Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Newswarp From The Right

The A.P. has a report about the prosecution of Staff Sgt. Alberto B. Martinez for 'fragging' his company commander. The writer uses the opportunity presented by this case to examine the differences between Vietnam and Iraq/Afghanistan when it comes to 'fragging':
American troops killed their own commanders so often during the Vietnam War that the crime earned its own name - "fragging."

But since the start of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the military has charged only one soldier with killing his commanding officer, a dramatic turnabout that most experts attribute to the all-volunteer military.


Both Roland and Anderson said today's all-volunteer military, compared with soldiers being forced into duty in Vietnam, is the primary reason why fragging attacks are almost nonexistent in Iraq and Afghanistan. The conditions in Iraq are also much less conducive to the crime, Roland said.

"There's not as much isolated operation," Roland said. "One of the things about Vietnam was the extremes of small-unit activity, where a squad or platoon would go out on patrol and it was just them and the jungle. They were out of sight of other Americans.

"In Iraq, you never know when a helicopter might be going over or a newsman comes along," he said.
My post is not an examination of the fragging issue, or near non issue as it turns out. This post is to examine the delusional rant the article generated from the right wing water carrier The Confederate Yankee.

The hysteria starts with the title: "Media Laments Lost Opportunities In Iraq". Somehow, in the fevered and overwrought imagination of the C.Y., the reporter has expressed regret that more 'fraggings' are not being seen in Iraq. How C.Y. gets there from here (and there is a long long way from any semblance of reality) is a mystery to me, but the fact that he does get there is quite instructive of the outlook taken by these neocon fanatics. The A.P. simply reporting on 'fragging' is cause enough for these reactionary Bush backers to start slandering the reporters.

In the copy and pasted portion of the article in C.Y.'s post, I can only see one instance in which an editorial leaning can be found one way or the other. The A.P. writers denote that 'fragging' is a "crime". Well... duh. Yet it seems to me that if the writers were trying to make 'fragging' somehow seem like a good thing they would have written about the "act" or, even worse, the "statement"... or some terminology like that. I suppose that the frothing wingnuts would argue that the A.P. writers are pro crime, because that is the level of discourse one may expect from C.Y. and his ilk. But sane folk understand that in the one characterization used by the writers to describe fragging, they cast the act in a negative light.

The rest of the article in C.Y.'s post is simply quoting two experts, one a historian, and the other a Vietnam Veteran. At no point in reading the whole article or the portion pasted at C.Y. do these experts advocate the goodness or wholesomeness of 'fragging'.

C.Y. ends his post with a paraphrase of a tried and true Clintonism: "You can almost feel their pain." Well... if you get worked up enough by a fevered imagination, and somehow the target of your irrational anger actually carries the opinions you baselessly ascribe to them... maybe.

For the life of me I can not see what it is about this story that has C.Y. frothing at the mouth about the A.P. writers wanting to see officers fragged. It would be career suicide for a reporter from Raleigh N.C. to express the kind of opinion C.Y. tries to give them. This is just another example of an unfair attack by a lunatic rightwing blogger based upon absolutely nothing.

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