Liberty Just in Case

A Dialogue for the September 12th World

Archive for December 20th, 2005

A War Without Heroes?

Posted by Mark on December 20, 2005

Never has a major news/op-ed source said something so true.

The Weekly Standard’s Fred Barnes, hits this one directly on the head.

A War Without Heroes?
Only if you’re reading the mainstream media.

Do you know who Paul Ray Smith is? If not, don’t feel bad. Most Americans aren’t familiar with Paul Ray Smith. He is the first and only soldier awarded the Medal of Honor for extraordinary courage in the war in Iraq. Five days before Baghdad fell in April 2003, Sergeant Smith and his men were building a makeshift jail for captured Iraqi troops.

Surprised by 100 of Saddam Hussein’s Republican Guards, Smith and his men, some of them wounded, were pinned down and in danger of being overrun. Smith manned a 50-caliber machine gun atop a damaged armored vehicle. Exposed to enemy fire, he singlehandedly repelled the attack, allowing his men to scramble to safety. He killed as many as 50 of Saddam’s elite soldiers and saved more than 100 American troops. Paul Ray Smith, 33, was killed by a shot to the head.

The war in Iraq is a war without heroes. There are no men–or women, for that matter–known to most Americans for their bravery in combat. There are no household names like Audie Murphy or Sgt. York or Arthur MacArthur or even Don Holleder, the West Point football star killed in Vietnam. When President Bush held a White House ceremony to award the Medal of Honor to Smith, posthumously, the TV networks and big newspapers reported the story. The coverage lasted one day. The story didn’t have legs.

Instead of heroes, there are victims. The two most famous soldiers in the war are Jessica Lynch and Pat Tillman (in Afghanistan). Lynch was captured by Saddam’s troops after her truck crashed. Stories of her heroism in a gun battle with Iraqis turned out to be false. She was rescued later from an Iraqi hospital. Tillman, who gave up a pro football career to join the Army, was killed by friendly fire. “The press made that a negative story, a scandal almost,” says a Pentagon official.

It gets worse. In a study of over 1,300 reports broadcast on network news programs from January to September of this year, Rich Noyes of the Media Research Center found only eight stories of heroism or valor by American troops and nine of soldiers helping the Iraqi people. But there were 79 stories, Noyes said, “focused on allegations of combat mistakes or outright misconduct on the part of U.S. military personnel.”

And there are still people out there that say the MSM bias is having little to no effect… Sure…

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Syria Agrees to Hide Iran’s Nukes

Posted by Mark on December 20, 2005

Now, does anyone wonder what agreements Syria may have made with their fellow Baathist Saddam before that little conflict began? Hmmmm.

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Narnia: An Excellent Review

Posted by Mark on December 20, 2005

R. Andrew Newman presents a marvelous review of a truly wonderful movie. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe is no children’s movie, just as the books are not “children’s literature” either. This review presents the secret things of the movie, that only became apparent after much thought, or after reading this piece.

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Sununu’s Response

Posted by Mark on December 20, 2005

There were four Republican Senators who sided with the Defeatocrats on the Patriot Act. John Sununu is one of them. Here is his response to being blasted by conservatives for his actions.

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The Value of Saying…Nothing

Posted by Mark on December 20, 2005

This is one of those days when every peice in OpinionJournal is worth reading. But the last one, the value of RealPolitick, is a keeper:

In the end, I realized, you can’t save every relationship that totters because of politics. The best you can do is ditch the friends who can’t see beyond left and right, and hang onto the ones who are prepared to stick with you no matter what.Consider another pal, one who hung in there even though he doesn’t see eye to eye with me in the least.

A voluble Deaniac, he sent me a string of notes during last year’s campaign asking pointed questions about the war effort and the president’s moral authority. If anything, he was an even more dangerous sparring partner than my former friend: He started every argument with disarming caveats about his own side, and when he went in for the kill he had much better facts at his command. I couldn’t dismiss what he said as a fever dream.

In one sense, it was everything I didn’t want in a friendship. For long, exhausting stretches all we talked about was politics, and I hardly ever held my own. But ideology never affected our friendship. He didn’t trust the right, but he trusted me–and he was genuinely curious to know how I squared my personal ethics with those of the supposedly compromised hawkish establishment.We didn’t convert each other, by any means, but I like to think we both ended up wiser for the experience–even if I’m still ducking some of his better questions.

Which brings me to one last big lesson from the past three years: Pick your fights. Don’t jump at every chance to defend your side in a debate. Wait for arguments that you can answer with elegance and good humor, and take the rest in stride.

Good rules. Important rules for the dinner table, and for the blogosphere.

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Intelligent Design v Evolution: The Trial Ends, The Debate Continues

Posted by Mark on December 20, 2005

I’m waiting for the decision to download, but in the meantime, it appears the Judge ruled on the motivations of the school board, not on the truth or falsehood of Intelligent Design. If that’s the case, I would be inclined to agree with the ruling. We’ll see what the actual decision says in a few minutes.
Update: You can find the complete ruling here. Obviously, I’ve not read the whole thing yet. Hugh Hewitt has an interesting take on the ruling.

Posted in War and Terror | Leave a Comment »

A War Without Heroes?

Posted by zaphriel on December 20, 2005

Never has a major news/op-ed source said something so true.

The Weekly Standard’s Fred Barnes, hits this one directly on the head.

A War Without Heroes?
Only if you’re reading the mainstream media.

Do you know who Paul Ray Smith is? If not, don’t feel bad. Most Americans aren’t familiar with Paul Ray Smith. He is the first and only soldier awarded the Medal of Honor for extraordinary courage in the war in Iraq. Five days before Baghdad fell in April 2003, Sergeant Smith and his men were building a makeshift jail for captured Iraqi troops.

Surprised by 100 of Saddam Hussein’s Republican Guards, Smith and his men, some of them wounded, were pinned down and in danger of being overrun. Smith manned a 50-caliber machine gun atop a damaged armored vehicle. Exposed to enemy fire, he singlehandedly repelled the attack, allowing his men to scramble to safety. He killed as many as 50 of Saddam’s elite soldiers and saved more than 100 American troops. Paul Ray Smith, 33, was killed by a shot to the head.

The war in Iraq is a war without heroes. There are no men–or women, for that matter–known to most Americans for their bravery in combat. There are no household names like Audie Murphy or Sgt. York or Arthur MacArthur or even Don Holleder, the West Point football star killed in Vietnam. When President Bush held a White House ceremony to award the Medal of Honor to Smith, posthumously, the TV networks and big newspapers reported the story. The coverage lasted one day. The story didn’t have legs.

Instead of heroes, there are victims. The two most famous soldiers in the war are Jessica Lynch and Pat Tillman (in Afghanistan). Lynch was captured by Saddam’s troops after her truck crashed. Stories of her heroism in a gun battle with Iraqis turned out to be false. She was rescued later from an Iraqi hospital. Tillman, who gave up a pro football career to join the Army, was killed by friendly fire. “The press made that a negative story, a scandal almost,” says a Pentagon official.

It gets worse. In a study of over 1,300 reports broadcast on network news programs from January to September of this year, Rich Noyes of the Media Research Center found only eight stories of heroism or valor by American troops and nine of soldiers helping the Iraqi people. But there were 79 stories, Noyes said, “focused on allegations of combat mistakes or outright misconduct on the part of U.S. military personnel.”

And there are still people out there that say the MSM bias is having little to no effect… Sure…

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Syria Agrees to Hide Iran’s Nukes

Posted by Mark on December 20, 2005

Now, does anyone wonder what agreements Syria may have made with their fellow Baathist Saddam before that little conflict began? Hmmmm.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

The Sands of Christmas

Posted by Mark on December 20, 2005

O.K., December 20th, it’s time for my annual Christmas Run-up.

Merry Christmas Everyone.

I had no Christmas spirit when I breathed a weary sigh,
and looked across the table where the bills were piled high.
The laundry wasn’t finished and the car I had to fix,
My stocks were down another point, the Dolphins lost
by six.

And so with only minutes till my son got home from school
I gave up on the drudgery and grabbed a wooden stool.
The burdens that I carried were about all I could take,
and so I flipped the TV on to catch a little break.

I came upon a desert scene in shades of tan and rust,
No snowflakes hung upon the wind, just clouds of swirling dust.
And where the reindeer should have stood before a laden sleigh,
eight hummers ran a column right behind an M1A.

A group of boys walked past the tank, not one was past his teens,
Their eyes were hard as polished flint, their faces drawn and lean.
They walked the street in armor with their rifles shouldered tight,
their dearest wish for Christmas, just to have a silent night.

Other soldiers gathered, hunkered down against the wind,
To share a scrap of mail and dreams of going home again.
There wasn’t much at all to put their lonely hearts at ease,
They had no Christmas turkey, just a pack of MREs.

They didn’t have a garland or a stocking I could see,
They didn’t need an ornament–they lacked a Christmas Tree.
They didn’t have a present even though it was tradition,
the only boxes I could see were labeled “ammunition.”

I felt a little tug and found my son now by my side,
He asked me what it was I feared, and why it was I cried.
I swept him up into my arms and held him oh so near
and kissed him on the forehead as I whispered in his ear.

There’s nothing wrong my little son, for safe we sleep tonight,
our heroes stand on foreign land to give us all the right,
to worry on the things in life that mean nothing at all,
instead of wondering if we will be the next to fall.

He looked at me as children do and said its always right,
to thank the ones who help us and perhaps that we should write.
And so we pushed aside the bills and sat to draft a note,
to thank the many far from home, and this is what we wrote:

God Bless You all and keep you safe, and speed your way back home.
Remember that we love you so, and that you’re not alone.
The gift you give you share with all, a present every day,
You give the gift of liberty and that we can’t repay.

Author Unknown

Posted in War and Terror | Leave a Comment »

The Sands of Christmas

Posted by Mark on December 20, 2005

O.K., December 20th, it’s time for my annual Christmas Run-up.

Merry Christmas Everyone.

I had no Christmas spirit when I breathed a weary sigh,
and looked across the table where the bills were piled high.
The laundry wasn’t finished and the car I had to fix,
My stocks were down another point, the Dolphins lost
by six.

And so with only minutes till my son got home from school
I gave up on the drudgery and grabbed a wooden stool.
The burdens that I carried were about all I could take,
and so I flipped the TV on to catch a little break.

I came upon a desert scene in shades of tan and rust,
No snowflakes hung upon the wind, just clouds of swirling dust.
And where the reindeer should have stood before a laden sleigh,
eight hummers ran a column right behind an M1A.

A group of boys walked past the tank, not one was past his teens,
Their eyes were hard as polished flint, their faces drawn and lean.
They walked the street in armor with their rifles shouldered tight,
their dearest wish for Christmas, just to have a silent night.

Other soldiers gathered, hunkered down against the wind,
To share a scrap of mail and dreams of going home again.
There wasn’t much at all to put their lonely hearts at ease,
They had no Christmas turkey, just a pack of MREs.

They didn’t have a garland or a stocking I could see,
They didn’t need an ornament–they lacked a Christmas Tree.
They didn’t have a present even though it was tradition,
the only boxes I could see were labeled “ammunition.”

I felt a little tug and found my son now by my side,
He asked me what it was I feared, and why it was I cried.
I swept him up into my arms and held him oh so near
and kissed him on the forehead as I whispered in his ear.

There’s nothing wrong my little son, for safe we sleep tonight,
our heroes stand on foreign land to give us all the right,
to worry on the things in life that mean nothing at all,
instead of wondering if we will be the next to fall.

He looked at me as children do and said its always right,
to thank the ones who help us and perhaps that we should write.
And so we pushed aside the bills and sat to draft a note,
to thank the many far from home, and this is what we wrote:

God Bless You all and keep you safe, and speed your way back home.
Remember that we love you so, and that you’re not alone.
The gift you give you share with all, a present every day,
You give the gift of liberty and that we can’t repay.

Author Unknown

Posted in War and Terror | Leave a Comment »