The front page of yesterday’s B section in the Star Tribune had this little item
headlined “Soldiers bring petition campaign against war in Iraq
to Capitol Hill:”
President Bush's plan to send additional troops to Iraq faces public opposition from a slice of the American population that rarely speaks out: the military rank and file.
A group of service members came to Capitol Hill on Tuesday armed with signatures from more than 1,000 military personnel who oppose the war.
This tends to leave the impression that the only soldiers with something to say are those who are in opposition to the Iraqi conflict. But to be accurate, the only soldiers that the STRIB and the MSM choose to report on are those opposed to the war. I’ve heard and read a number them speak their minds in the pages of magazines, their own blogs, and on radio. This evening I happened to be listening to Hugh Hewitt conversing with a soldier who called named Chris. The exchange was definitely one of pride in service, belief in the mission and confidence in victory:
HH: When you hear people talk about withdrawing and let the chips fall, does that strike you…
Chris: It infuriates me.
HH: Tell me why.
Chris: Because just as in America, Iraq has their bad seeds, their bad eggs, whatever you want to call them. But it’s a minority. It’s a very small percentage, but just like anywhere else, that very small percentage makes the most noise, and therefore, they’re the most noticeable. Most of the Iraqi people that I’ve dealt with would give you the shirt off their back if you ask for it, not even needed it, not wanted it. If you just ask for it, it’s yours. You show interest in something of theirs, it’s yours. They’re very giving, they’re very kind, they’re very smart, and they just, just like us, they want a chance. I’m biased, because I have spent one heck of a lot of time with the Iraqi people. And by and large, they are one heck of a good group of people.
HH: Warrant Officer Chris, we’ve got about a minute left. Can we win there?
Chris: We can, but it’s going to take some resolve, and we know…like I said from the beginning, we know it’s a dangerous job, but we accept it. There’s going to be deaths. We know that. Everyone in the military, just about, knows someone that’s been killed over there. But it’s a volunteer army. We can do it, we can…it won’t be easy, it won’t be quick. But with support from the American people, we can do it.
Read the whole conversation (unless, like the STRIB, you’re not serious about knowing what’s going on over there).
Tony Snow had it right when he said that these handful of soldiers would get more press than tens of thousands who come home with pride in their service and belief in the mission. Those soldiers rarely achieve the same level of prominence in the MSM because the MSM is no longer about news, but presenting a predetermined viewpoint. If the MSM truly thinks that all the speaking out is on one side of the issue, it can only be the result of taking great pains to exercise this particular self delusion.