Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Safe Port for Wade Goodwyn's Determination

Wade Goodwyn is NPR's point man for covering Tuesday's ceremony at Fort Hood. On Tuesday's ATC, Goodwyn does some creative reporting. In answering Melissa Block's question about what struck him most about the ceremony, Goodwyn reflects on the emotions of the event, offers praise for the stock patriotic sentiments of President Obama's speech, and then states,
"And for the soldiers, I think, renewed determination. They got hit at home and that has made plenty of these men and women angry."
Block asks if he spoke to any of the soldiers attending the ceremony and Goodwyn responds,
"I mean, there used to be a sense that this was a safe port; that's gone now. People here have a feeling that something valuable was stolen from them, like coming home and finding a thief rifling through the house, who has taken some of your most precious possessions."
Finally, Block asks about the issue of the accused shooter's Muslim faith. Goodwyn notes,
"certainly this kind of thing does not help our Muslims in uniform. Who knows what Major Hasan allegedly was trying to achieve with this act, but whatever that might've been, it did the opposite. It seems to me this has just hardened the Army's determination to achieve the missions. The shooting only facilitated the Western character of Muslims as violent extremists...."
Two issues in Goodwyn's comments really stand out. The first is his trumpeting of determination and missions. He claims that the massacre at Fort Hood has produced "renewed determination" in the soldiers. Determination to do what? Continue with the six year old supreme international crime called the Iraq War? Continue waging war and occupation in yet another country that doesn't want our troops there? Goodwyn conveniently never explains what this vague "determination" is for, but he returns to it and amplifies it as "the Army's determination to achieve the missions." Missions? Missions to do what? Are we supposed to believe that our nation's permanent war syndrome actually has some kind of missions (besides enriching the war industry and rotting away whatever liberal democratic principles remain)? Goodwyn's absurd logic would be laughable if it weren't so perverse: after admitting that Hasan's motive is unknown, he then proceeds to conclude that "whatever that might have been, it did just the opposite."

The second issue is Goodwyn's ridiculous assertion that Fort Hood was "a safe port." What planet has Goodwyn been living on? Did he do ANY research about Fort Hood (in Killeen, TX) - which has experienced previous carnage and - like all of the US military - is not a safe port for women. It's not surprising that Goodwyn ignores rape and sexual assault in the US military, since NPR news has not covered it (though the subject was featured on one NPR's Day to Day show in 2007 and found its way to NPR's website via The Nation).

Pierre Tristam, a writer for the Daytona Beach News-Journal, notes that
"The reality is that what Hasan did is a more American act than anything else. Killeen, of all places, has a history of violence, the kind of violence that is more essentially American than Arab or Muslim, just as terrorism's ground zero in the United States, before the World Trade Center, was Oklahoma City."
Tristam's work is what journalists are supposed to do. In contrast Goodwyn (as he did three years ago) does just the opposite: parrots the empty patriotic cliches of the Pentagon and the President, while ignoring relevant history and the underlying issues that really threaten what's left of our democratic principles.


jaytingle said...

It is important that you referred to another mass killing in Killeen in 1991. As desperately as the opportunists struggle to make the Ft Hood episode somehow relate to the GWOT, it is all too clear the issue is mental illness. In TX and similar domains, they use readily available firearms as a means of treatment. We observed this nearly 50 years ago after they opened Charles Whitman's skull and discovered a walnut-sized tumor. Incredibly, that mass killing was not blamed on communism nor violent comic books. He had been, however, a marine who had a problem with the corps. What a bizarre coincidence.

WarOnWarOff said...

Countless civilians around the world may have thought they were in a "safe place" just before our bombs struck.

Bill the Cat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bill the Cat said...

It amazes me how safe U.S. military installations are, despite the high concentration of god, guts and guns, and in the midst of war as a continuous exercise.

Also, as a former army medic, I always found the motto of the U.S. Army Medical Corps more than a bit ironic: "To preserve fighting strength."

Happy Veterans Day!

miranda said...

I heard Goodwyn's execrable analysis. Thanks for this post.

I'm of the belief that there is more to this story than we are being told (as with so many things). And it disturbs me deeply that the central issue -- two long, unjustified wars -- is being ignored in favor of jingoistic platitudes.

Anonymous said...

Goodwyn should actually ASK the people at Ft hood what they think rather than spewing his idiotic banter.

I'm really tired of the uninformed NPR opinion (crap, basically) that they try to pass as journalism.

People like Goddwyn have no clue what real journalism is. They are quacks, just like the head of NPR Vivian Schiller, who has ZERO background in journalism. She's a PR hack.

Compare Goodwyn's report to that of Dahr Jamail "10 Suicides a Month at Ft. Hood -- War Stress Is Taking Soldiers to the Brink"

"Responding to the allegations in the media that the attack was based on his Muslim faith, Kern told IPS that he did not know of anyone on the base who felt this was the case.

"We all wear the same uniform here, it's all green. I've seen the news, but most folks here assume it's just a soldier that snapped," Kern explained. "I have not talked to anyone who thinks what he did has anything to do with him being a Muslim. There are thousands of Muslims serving with dignity in the US military, in all four branches."

bg!pnk!fzzy!bnny! said...

Man with Texas poot-no-guff drawl speak with forked tongue. And Missy Goo-Goo just bobble-nods along.


gopolganger said...

Karen Grigsby Bates is another nodding head who was probably recruited to the evil side while enrolled in the "executive management program at Yale University's School of Organization and Management." All I heard was 30 seconds of NPR this afternoon, but it was enough to hear the expert little bit of propaganda where Bates is interviewing a veteran of the Gulf War who describes his experience as horrific in that he was made to perform compulsory murder (not his words, but the indication was clear) that haunts him. You'd think this would be enough - but no, they have to finish the interview with the vet describing how scared he'd be if one of his children became a soldier but then...wait for it, cuz you know it's coming...that little propaganda spin at the never fails: "but I'd also be something else. I'd be a little bit proud because someone's got to defend our democracy." (I paraphrase)

So that's what the Gulf War was about. I've been wondering!

gopolganger said...

The fourth estate is now just for the state.

Anonymous said...

Karen Grigsby Bates is another nodding head who was probably recruited to the evil side while enrolled in the "executive management program at Yale University's School of Organization and Management."

Of all the Ivies, Yale is the worst.

It is populated (faculty and students) almost entirely with spoiled rich brats who have never had to put in an honest day's work in their lives.

They not only believe that they are better than everyone else, but actually think the rest of us believe it as well.

It's actually rather pathetic.

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