Sunday, October 11, 2009

Are We Going to Win This War on Terrorism or Not?

Reader Benoit Balz points out, in the Q Tips below, the Pentagon friendly propaganda put out on Sunday morning by that Tea Party-animal himself, Jeff Brady. Brady is covering the recent deaths of 8 soldiers in Afghanistan and its impact at Ft. Carson in Colorado. He reports:
"A few days earlier at a press conference, Major Daniel Chandler said the affected unit over in Afghanistan is keeping its spirits up. He said surviving soldiers know their dead colleagues helped to win that particular battle. [Chandler] 'There were a lot of heroes on that day and they're really rallying around themselves and morale in the 4th brigade combat team is high and it's getting stronger.'"
Later in the story Brady talks to a college student whose father was in the army. Brady tells us, "She chose to focus on the sacrifice the soldiers made. [Student] 'I'm more thankful than anything...I'm thankful that somebody at least went over there and did it.'

Brady raps things up by talking to a priest in the area - the rightwing Father Carmody - who tells Brady, "People around here want to make sure that they didn't die in vain, and what I mean by that is, 'Are we going to win this war on terrorism or not?'"

I realize that it must be difficult for any news organization to cover the issue of US military personnel killed in combat. There is the tragedy of young people being violently killed and there are considerations to make for the feelings of the families and friends of those who have died. But could NPR ever - even just once - not use the trite and empty rhetoric of heroics, sacrifice and gratitude to talk about the war dead? Has NPR ever interviewed surviving family members who denounce the leaders and policies that have squandered the lives of their loved ones? When was the last time you ever heard members of Gold Star Families for Peace or Gold Star Families Speak Out interviewed on NPR? Have you ever heard on NPR from men or women who have served in Iraq or Afghanistan and then have become resisters of conscience?

It is worth reading the comments under the story at the NPR site. This one really nails it:
Unfortunately, hoping for such an angle from Jeff Brady (or NPR) is pretty hopeless; when covering an antiwar protest of over a thousand people, he gave all the coverage to a tiny contingent of pro-war counter demonstrators.


gopolganger said...

I missed the segue to "Father" Bill Carmody. I thought it was the guy with the thank you sign out standing in his field (idiocy) who was the one begging the question, "When are we going to [stop killing our sons and daughters and] win this war on terrorism?" (I've inserted the subtext, in case you missed it.)

Good on MTW to catch the name and trace the game of "Father" Bill Carmody, whose last notable media exposure was to denounce Kerry in 2004, for advocating a woman's right to choose:

"We can't just be Catholic in our homes and in our place of worship. We have to be Catholic when we vote," he said.

Right, but waging preemptive war and killing Muslims, hey - no problema, man: can do. Go USA.

In the same Newshour program, he invokes Hitler:

FATHER BILL CARMODY: Because before Hitler, I didn't have bread on my table. After Hitler, I had bread on my table. So they overlooked it. How many of us, when we vote, overlook the life issues because it puts bread on the table? And we need to understand [] that the life issues are just like that. It trumps everything.

Tremps everything...except the need to "win," it seems.

gopolganger said...

Carmody was apparently acting under the direction of his Bishop: Bishop Sheridan. Here are some excerpts from Sheridan's interview with IgnatiusInsight (?) With respect to how a Catholic's views on certain political issues can affect whether that Catholic should receive Holy Communion, is Church teaching on abortion, euthanasia, and same-sex marriage different from Church teaching on such things as capital punishment and whether to go to war in a particular instance?

Bishop Sheridan: I’m not aware of Church teaching that capital punishment is evil in and of itself. The Pope has called for an end to it, and I’m with him on that. But he hasn’t stated that capital punishment is intrinsically evil. And there is also the just war doctrine in the Catholic tradition. But there is a difference between things that are always evil and thing that could be, but may not be.

gopolganger said...

oops..published when I meant to edit.

Well, Sheridan glibly deflects the war issue with a blithe "there is also the just war doctrine in the Catholic tradition." Has NPR ever investigated this "just war doctrine"? I don't think so." Given [the moist, flushable] Simonizer's sermonizing, that's [not] surprising.

That any Catholic, never mind those most expert in the creed, can check their conscience and jump to 911 vengeance as the basis of a just war doctrine is ludicrous. Just...other wordly. And here's a god-damned bishop doing it. No doubt, he's got bishopric company.

gopolganger said...

lessee...feeling some remorse about calling the guy with the thank you sign a nudnik. The guy is at least caring about the soldier's sacrifice and offering some measure of appreciation for the loss. This in contrast to Catholic Church in the form of their local bishop and priest who have nothing but silence and/or equivocation about the moral issues confronting soldiers of Christian faith in these preemptive wars of choice.

Anonymous said...

"That any Catholic, never mind those most expert in the creed, can check their conscience and jump to 911 vengeance as the basis of a just war doctrine is ludicrous."

These are not just any Catholics. They are the (paternal) leaders in a church ("The Church") with a long (and goried) history of abusing their positions of power (as in, rape and sodomy of young children by Catholic priests)

As with nations, it's usually not the people who belong to the organization who are primarily at fault. It is almost always the "leadership".

Woody (Tokin Librul/Rogue Scholar/ Helluvafella!) said...

Any and every soldier who has died in combat in the service of the USer Imperium since 1945, at least, has "died in vain."

Every last one have spilled their blood in lost, ignoble causes, their families have suffered needless grief.

The kinds of wars we fight, there are no winners, only profiteers.

No, I don't support the troops. Without them, it couldn't happen.