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The Rest of the Story

Read Jules Crittenden on the deaths of the nine members of the 82nd Airborne. (Hat tip to Ace) He has the rest of the story the mainstream media ignored. I seriously wonder how the battles of past wars, battles that we count as major victories, would be reported today. Hundreds, and even thousands, were killed in battles that we count major successes.

The television reports of today consist almost completely of casualty figures, and often soundbites of politicians, with no context of the battle whatsoever. The written press reports are usually somewhat better -- they are longer with more space to fill so they generally provide more context and some information about our military successes, but still are lacking. There is an entire generation of reporters that evidently believe that if anyone is killed in battle, then it by definition cannot be counted a success. I think that some of the problem is that these are not conventional battles with two sides shooting at each other and one side advancing to take territory. Instead, the battles being fought in Iraq are often back and forth action/reaction situations. We round up or kill the enemy, or otherwise disrupt their activities, then some of them come back and attack with a car bomb or other method. Unfortunately one of the ways the enemy fights is by using the media and they know that it doesn't really matter how many of them are caught or killed or how seriously their operations are disrupted, as long as they can shoot or bomb a half dozen or more Americans they know what news the people in the U.S.will hear that evening.

I am not advocating minimizing the significance of our casualties -- quite the opposite. What is a better way to honor the fallen? To recite a casualty number and express pity, or to tell the story of some of the successes those brave men and women achieved at the cost of their very lives? I realize that news is not about honoring the fallen, but it should at least be about telling the story -- the whole story.


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Comments (34)

Funny how many times I've h... (Below threshold)
a4g:

Funny how many times I've heard a reporter sneer that the military only focused on body counts in Vietnam.

I'm no fan of George Stepha... (Below threshold)

I'm no fan of George Stephanopoulos or McNeil/Lehrer, but I have always appreciated how each show takes the time to show the names and pictures (if available) of fallen servicemen and women.

I support this war, but I recognize that, as such, I have to acknowledge the price of this conflict. Feeling the queasiness in my stomach as I look at all of those young men (and occasionally women), most quite a bit younger than me, and reflecting on how each of those people are someone's boyfriend, husband, wife, father, mother, child, etc. means that I am not aloof or removed from what war means.

Sacrifice is a terrible price to pay for doing the right thing, but in acknowledging these fallen heroes, I am also paying silent tribute to their courage, commitment, maturity and patriotism. These are grown adults who have made the decision to do this, and I am humbled by what they give up to do the job they do. We all should be.

Do you suffer from this typ... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

Do you suffer from this type of nightmare often. The antique MSM report the truth or be an American. That would be a first since WWII.

Honoring the fallen stopped... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

Honoring the fallen stopped being a goal of the media around 70 years ago.

Scrapiron, your post is grammatically incoherent.

The sky is falling, the sky... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

The sky is falling, the sky is falling!!!

--Sen. Chicken Reid

The sky is falling, the ... (Below threshold)
average wizbang poster:

The sky is falling, the sky is falling!!!

--Sen. Chicken Reid
Posted by: Mitchell at April 24, 2007 05:18 PM


George W. Bush, January 2006: "There's progress. And it's important progress and it's an important part of our strategy to win in Iraq."

Bush, November 2005: "Iraq is making incredible political progress."

Bush, October 2005: "Iraqis are making inspiring progress."

Bush, September 2005: "Iraq has made incredible political progress."

Bush, April 2005: "I believe we're making good progress in Iraq."

Bush, March 2005: "We're making progress."

Bush, September 2004: "We're making steady progress."

Bush, July 2003: "We're making progress. It's slowly but surely making progress."

Also, ever notice they neve... (Below threshold)

Also, ever notice they never try to track down the enemy body count number? Why is that?

There's a reasonable chance... (Below threshold)
Herman:

There's a reasonable chance that the death toll of American soldiers will hit 4,000 by the end of the year. Of course, were such a milestone to be reached, the conservatives would happily celebrate, feeling important inside that so many Americans died just to assuage the conservatives' paranoia.

The television reports o... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

The television reports of today consist almost completely of casualty figures, and often soundbites of politicians, with no context of the battle whatsoever.


Yeah- our casualties only.

Lorie,You know eno... (Below threshold)

Lorie,

You know enough about me to know I'm not some lefty looking for trouble, so please remember that when I say there's good cause for the media not to report body counts like some sort of daily boxscore. I myself never fired a shot in anger but I have a number of friends who were right on the sharp end of the stick in Nam. One of my best friends tells me he was told by a field-grade officer (whose name you'd recognize) that when the score at the end a a battle was tallied up he was to report every shot fired at an enemy soldier as a kill. Since said officer had just saved his bacon by leading reinforcements into a battle that wasn't going well at all for the good guys, he complied. We were winning in Nam right up to the day Congress pulled the plug, but we were winning in spite of some stupid mistakes, not because of them. The body count game was one example of things that were handled anything but well. ("Search and Destroy" missions were another, but that's a separate issue.) As someone who knows what it feels like to help win a war and then watch Congress declare defeat anyway I'll keep right on blogging from the right; just wanted to clarify that one point.

Bill Faith
Proud Veteran-American

AWP:George W. ... (Below threshold)
marc:

AWP:

George W. Bush, January 2006: "There's progress. And it's important progress and it's an important part of our strategy to win in Iraq."

What would you call progress AWP? Nearly 1000 schools built? (3 page pdf file)

People that support this ca... (Below threshold)
dr lava:

People that support this catastrophic disaster for our country are nothing more than traitors. How many wasted young American lives to keep your egos intact.

You people have been WRONG every step of the way, this moron president that you voted for has been WRONG every step of the way ...and to believe at this late hour that this debacle is anything but Americas lowest hour is some serious mental illness. Absolute delusion and denial.

You supporters of this war have no honor, no morals no character and by supporting the senseless sacrafice of these brave young Americans you prove that you lack the basic good instinct of human nature...empathy.

And to suggest that we not talk of our dead.....MY GOD!! You people a truly vile.

Herman:of cour... (Below threshold)
marc:

Herman:

of course, were such a milestone to be reached, the conservatives would happily celebrate, feeling important inside that so many Americans died just to assuage the conservatives' paranoia.

Setting aside the fact your a presumptuous, contemptuous bastard to say anyone would be happy over those that are killed, is the fact what would actually make us happy is the continued opportunity to excoriate another or your factless posts.

Acknowledging Bill's remark... (Below threshold)

Acknowledging Bill's remarks that the military is apt to inflate enemy kills, the military/Bush refusal to provide body counts leaves us with the equivalent of watching a game and knowing only one team's score; knowing that the other side has 20 points isn't bad if your team has scored 50, but it is terrible if your side still hasn't scored. And not knowing our score leaves us thinking the worst.

An example was what happened in Somalia in 93. All we heard was 18 dead Americans and a terrible defeat for the US. Hearing much later (thanks Mark Bowden) that our troops killed upwards of 1,000 Somalis, I had a much different view on the battle.... our guys kicked butt.

dr lava, kindly point out a... (Below threshold)
marc:

dr lava, kindly point out a where anyone is advocating not "talk[ing] of our dead."

What would you call prog... (Below threshold)
average wizbang poster:

What would you call progress AWP? Nearly 1000 schools built? (3 page pdf file)

Well maybe if that was the reason we were given to invade Iraq, you know, to build schools, then I'd call that progress.

But, since we were given 27 different versions of why we invaded, and still no one can say what the damn mission is, I'd say trotting out little facts about schools being bulit is rather pathetic to say the least.

dr lava: "and to believe at... (Below threshold)
Drago:

dr lava: "and to believe at this late hour that this debacle is anything but Americas lowest hour is some serious mental illness."

Wow. Lower than Valley Forge? Lower than when the Brits sent James and Dolly Madison scurrying and burning the capitol? Lower than the attack on Pearl Harbor quickly followed by the fall of our forces in the Phillipines leading to the Bataan death march? Lower than when we lost 750 soldiers simply practicing for the Normandy Landing? Lower than when the Chinese almost overran our forces in South Korea?

Wow. Just wow.

Remember, Liberals only support our troops when they shoot their officers.

AWP: "But, since we were gi... (Below threshold)
Drago:

AWP: "But, since we were given 27 different versions of why we invaded, and still no one can say what the damn mission is, I'd say trotting out little facts about schools being bulit is rather pathetic to say the least."

Remember, just as with the 2002 resolution authorizing the war in Iraq , libs are only capable of recognizing 1 reason for action at a time.

Having multiple reasons for a specific course of action, multi-level criteria for determining success or establishing follow-on action steps, completely befuddles those on the left.

It's clear that's not going to change anytime soon.

Draog, what is the mission ... (Below threshold)
average wizbang poster:

Draog, what is the mission in Iraq?


"Well maybe if that was ... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

"Well maybe if that was the reason we were given to invade Iraq, you know, to build schools, then I'd call that progress."

"But, since we were given 27 different versions of why we invaded, and still no one can say what the damn mission is, I'd say trotting out little facts about schools being bulit is rather pathetic to say the least."

Read the 14th Paragraph

1 Mission. 1 Version. 1 Objective. Only 1 acceptable outcome: Victory.

Remember, Liberals only ... (Below threshold)
average wizbang poster:

Remember, Liberals only support our troops when they shoot their officers.

Wow. Just wow. That;s one of the more idiotic things I've read here, but then again you guys never cease to lower the bar further.

AWP:Please! Actual... (Below threshold)
marc:

AWP:

Please! Actually if memory serves the AUMF contained 23 reasons for the war. (You DO know what the AUMF is don't you?)

However, you avoided the question, is 1000 schools built progress, or not?

This is an example of more progress, so you deny it is?

FOB YUSUFIYAH, Iraq - On a warm Thursday morning, the city of Yusufiyah was bustling with the business of daily life. The aroma of hot chai and falafel floated in the morning air. Children walked to school, merchants displayed their wares and elder residents enjoyed conversation and chai along the Yusufiyah River.

The town's small café and market were filled with customers who were busy making their purchases for the week. Several months ago the market was nearly closed due to a terrorist truck bomb.

While on patrol, Civil Affairs Team 5 of Company A, 478th Civil Affairs Battalion and Tactical Psychological Operations Team 1481 noticed a change in Yusufiyah. There were signs of progress and employment everywhere.

Several projects have been completed recently. The sewage, water and electricity ministries have been proactively working with the Yusufiyah government to fix the sewer in Yusufiyah, repair the drinking water pipes and replace several transformers. The sewage ministry was able to secure 400 million Iraqi dinar to build a new administration building. The Yusufiyah beladiyah, the council which is responsible for cleaning and maintaining the local roads, recently completed a street cleaning project and has begun to build trash points for the residents of Yusufiyah.

"It is amazing to see the affect of the recent security improvements in Yusufiyah," said Capt. Chris Sanchez, operations coordinator for the 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry). "People have more confidence being out in public, and the government is becoming functional here. It is good to see that the various ministries are working for the benefit of the residents of the city. The ministries no longer have to work in fear of militia intimidation or terrorist attacks."

Btw, excellent post Lorie!<... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Btw, excellent post Lorie!

In WWII Crittenden's article would have been the lead story. Sadly, no more.

Hysterical yet again. I us... (Below threshold)
average wizbang poster:

Hysterical yet again. I used to think conservatives had a healthy distrust of the federal government, nowadays you people here simply fawn at the feet of power, and you believe every last sentence that is spewed from the whitehouse unquestioningly.

And then some other dim bulb says

1 Mission. 1 Version. 1 Objective. Only 1 acceptable outcome: Victory.

Ah, only one acceptable outcome. Acceptable to who, to you? To Bush? The Iraqis?

What does victory in Iraq look like?

One person's word is worth ... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

One person's word is worth the whole world's gold. Another person's word and $5 might get you a small cup of coffee at Starbucks.

I understand your grievance... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

I understand your grievance Lorie, that the brave men and women on the women did not get the recognition they deserved, but as P. Bunyan implies a myth can be more powerful than the rest of the story. Ronald Reagan, who did not serve in World War II, except to make propaganda movies in Hollywood,)was a war hero in the minds of many including himself) whereas the more moderate George H. W. Bush, who signed up as a naval pilot on the day of his 18th birthday, was always associated with 'the Wimp Factor,.'George McGovern voluntered at 19 in the same war decorarted World War B-54 bomber fighter, received the Dstinguished Flying Cross, gets even less respect because of Vietnam, whereas someone who had 5 deferments for a war he called 'a noble cause, such as Dick Cheney'.can ..and so it goes.

AWP:1 Mission.... (Below threshold)
marc:

AWP:

1 Mission. 1 Version. 1 Objective. Only 1 acceptable outcome: Victory.

Why was that posted AWP? Lets refresh, it was because you stated this: But, since we were given 27 different versions of why we invaded, and still no one can say what the damn mission is...

Which was also in response to my link to show 1000 schools have been built (you still haven't admitted that is progress or not BTW)

That was posted as a way to first divert attention from the 1000 schools and claim schools are not and never were part of the mission.

Here is a portion of that of that para:

As our coalition takes away their power, we will deliver the food and medicine you need. We will tear down the apparatus of terror and we will help you to build a new Iraq that is prosperous and free.

Are we to believe you think schools aren't as important as the food and medicine promised?

Are we to believe schools not being noted in that passage somehow invalidates the idea schools were part of the mission?

Those that support the war are called the "30 percenters," the "dead-enders," or in Reid's words "in denial" when he refs Bush.

What does that make you AWP when proof 1000 schools have been built and they were in FACT part of the mission from the beginning?

I tend to think Reid's words fit many in Congress and you AWP are all in denial.

I think people forget that ... (Below threshold)

I think people forget that death is a fact of war. If soldiers join up to fight and kill and then get kill then that is part of their duty. The deaths should be publicised on both sides, theres no reason for the figures to be hidden or manipulated.

Where can I read som... (Below threshold)
scott:


Where can I read some commentary on the Pat Tillman situation? I've been looking all over wizbang and can't find anything.

I'm I missing it?

Scott... does that request ... (Below threshold)
marc:

Scott... does that request mean you have no ability to look elsewhere for the Tillman story, or have you become one of the all too familiar psuedo wizbang editors-in-chief that arrive here with the misguided notion they can dictate what is posted?

In response to Drago.... (Below threshold)
dr lava:

In response to Drago.

In those conflicts you mention we were involved in honorable conflicts rightfully battling for our nations existence.

The Nation was lied to about the mission,with so many changing objectives, 650,000 Iraqis dead.

I teach a 3 week classes in western Europe, South America and Australia. I have made 43 of these trips since 2002. You know what the top 3 questions I am asked.

What has happened to America?
How could America put Bush in charge twice?
Is America aware of its plumeting image?

I have never been anything but a super patriot so it is devastaing to see what our country has become at the hands of this lunatic president and his disgusting "loyal bushies"

dr lava, tell 'em they neve... (Below threshold)
kim:

dr lava, tell 'em they never had it so good.
==========================

Dr. Lava,You could... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Dr. Lava,

You could give them the honest answer, that the leftist press and politicians have done such a fantastic job of misrepresenting all the facts about the war and America's motivation and intentions that anyone who could ask those queastions is simply informationally retarded.

marc,I read wizban... (Below threshold)
scott:

marc,

I read wizbang everyday to get my updates on news stories and also to read commentary from wizbang and they do a good job of giving me this information. I'm just wondering why an important story like this isn't mentioned anywhere on wizbang. Any thoughts on why?




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