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BLACK AND WHITE AND FULL OF CRAP
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igotthisguitar



Joined: 08 Apr 2003
Location: South Korea (Permanent Vacation)

PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 10:32 pm    Post subject: BLACK AND WHITE AND FULL OF CRAP Reply with quote

BLACK AND WHITE AND FULL OF CRAP
By Ted Rall
Lies Run Big, Facts Small in U.S. Media

NEW YORK--One year ago the American media was pushing the Pat Tillman story with the heavy rotation normally reserved for living celebs like Michael Jackson. Tillman, the former NFL player who turned down a multi-million dollar football contract to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan, became a centerpiece of the right's Hamas-style death cult when he lost his life in the mountains of southeastern Afghanistan.

To supporters of the wars and to many football fans, Tillman embodied ideals of self-sacrifice and post-9/11 butt-kicking in a hard-bodied shell of chisel-chinned masculinity on steroids.

Tillman's quintessential nobility, we were told, was borne out by the story of his death--a tale that earned him a posthumous Silver Star. Whether you were for or against Bush's wars, Americans were told, Tillman's valor showed why you should support the troops. Young men were encouraged to emulate his praiseworthy example.

Several thousand mourners gathered at Tillman's May 3, 2004 memorial service to hear marquee names including Arizona Senator John McCain called upon all Americans to "be worthy of the sacrifices made on our behalf." "Tillman died trying to save fellow members of the 75th Ranger Regiment caught in a crush of enemy fire," the Arizona Republic quoted a fellow soldier addressing the crowd.

Tillman, said his friend and comrade-at-arms, had told his fellow soldiers "to seize the tactical high ground from the enemy" to draw enemy fire away from another U.S. platoon trapped in an ambush. "He directly saved their lives with those moves. Pat sacrificed his life so that others could live." It was, as the Washington Post wrote, a "storybook personal narrative"--one recounted on hundreds of front pages and network newscasts.

It was also a lie.

As sharp-eyed readers learned a few months ago from single-paragraph articles buried deep inside their newspapers, Pat Tillman died pointlessly, a hapless victim of "friendly fire" who never got the chance to choose between bravery and cowardice. As if that wasn't bad enough, the Washington Post now reports that Pentagon and White House officials knew the truth "within days" after his April 22, 2004 shooting by fellow Army Rangers but "decided not to inform Tillman's family or the public until weeks after" the nationally televised martyr-a-thon.

It gets worse.

So desperate were the military brass to carry off their propaganda coup that they lied to Tillman's brother, a fellow soldier who arrived on the scene shortly after the incident, about how he died. Writing in an army report, Brigadier General Gary Jones admits that the official cover-up even included "the destruction of evidence": the army burned Tillman's Ranger uniform and body armor to hide the fact that he had died in a hail of American bullets, fired by troops who had "lost situational awareness to the point they had no idea where they were."

"We didn't want the world finding out what actually happened," one soldier told Jones. A perfect summary of the war on terrorism.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ucru/blackandwhiteandfullofcrap

BRING BACK OLD SHOE !!!
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dogbert



Joined: 29 Jan 2003
Location: Killbox 90210

PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rall should stick with the funnies.
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R. S. Refugee



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Location: Shangra La, ROK

PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 11:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dogbert wrote:
Rall should stick with the funnies.


What specifically didn't you like about this story, dogbert?
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dogbert



Joined: 29 Jan 2003
Location: Killbox 90210

PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 11:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For one, I'm a bit suspicious when someone writes that "something was buried deep inside their newspapers", when I recall having had no trouble accessing it (the story) myself, and that from thousands of miles from the U.S.

I also think that the main point stands untarnished: that Tillman chose to forgo a comfortable life as a professional athlete and instead risk his life in service to his country.

My read is that Rall's real problem is that someone would willingly do that and that such a person is an idiot and subject to ridicule. While Rall is right to denounce the military's cover-up, I believe he is wrong not to honor Tillman.
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Joo Rip Gwa Rhhee



Joined: 25 May 2003

PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ted Rall's cartoon


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dogbert



Joined: 29 Jan 2003
Location: Killbox 90210

PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 11:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joo Rip, thank you for providing proof for my assertion.
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The Bobster



Joined: 15 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2005 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dogbert wrote:
I also think that the main point stands untarnished: that Tillman chose to forgo a comfortable life as a professional athlete and instead risk his life in service to his country.

My read is that Rall's real problem is that someone would willingly do that and that such a person is an idiot and subject to ridicule. While Rall is right to denounce the military's cover-up, I believe he is wrong not to honor Tillman.


I have a problem with this as well. The question remains unanswered about whether making the sacrifice for THIS American government is idiocy or heroic, but I do fault Rall for making the implied assumption and offering so little argument to support it. Comes off as a cheap shot, and I'd prefer the other side retain its monopoly in that regard

That's about the cartoon, though, a different matter from the article we're given here - the target of this essay is not Tillman but rather the American media blanding accepting their role as lapdogs and cheerleaders for pointless mayhem.

The military coverup is bad enough, very bad, with relation to the American public, but in my view far more so as it was perpetrated on the guy's family.

One blog I enjoy readin is a fellow calls himself The Rude Pundit. It's usually impossible to even refer to his site because he does so enjoy profanity and he's quite good at it - look for the column about Ann Coulter - but the short piece he did about this Tillmanfella had few or no dirty words in it, and boiled down the travesty thusly :

So, on April 29, Abizaid is told it was a friendly fire incident. On April 30, the general can look at the world with a straight face and talk about the "firefight" as if it was a great and mighty battle against the enemy. How freeing it must be to walk through this world heeding neither conscience nor soul.

The military and conservatives at large played up the nobility of this athelete and used his sincere desire to serve to their own political ends ... and when he was killed idiotically, they kept on trying to use him anyway.
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Nowhere Man



Joined: 08 Feb 2004

PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2005 7:41 am    Post subject: ... Reply with quote

As for the cartoon, do you think "AFghan Resistance" is an honest term?

For the record, I do think that it was brave of him to do what he did.

At the same time, I feel that his death was exploited (Gord, that would be definition 2).
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Ya-ta Boy



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: Established in 1994

PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2005 7:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was offended by the article.

Everyone who knows much of anything about war knows the giving of medals and media attention is highly arbitrary. It's part of the propaganda machine of a state at war. Equally heroic acts get ignored more often than rewarded. The awarding of medals is symbolic. It is meant to honor all of the people who have made the sacrifices.

I see no good purpose whatsoever being served in writing an article saying the man died in other circumstances. What is the writer's agenda? Whose mind is going to be changed about the war by this kind of article? It's fine to attack the policies and the administration, but I think it was incredibly insensitive and disrespectful for him to write this piece about a dead man.
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Sleepy in Seoul



Joined: 15 May 2004
Location: Going in ever decreasing circles until I eventually disappear up my own fundament - in NZ

PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2005 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I feel really sorry for the poor man and his family. It seems that he has been used by everyone. He was used by the U.S. media as a shining example of how people should make personal sacrifices to help America; he was used by the U.S. military and administration after his death in order to show that his death was not a pathetic waste of a human life; and now he is being used by opponents of Bush to score some cheap points.

What a waste.
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The Bobster



Joined: 15 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2005 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ya-ta Boy wrote:
I see no good purpose whatsoever being served in writing an article saying the man died in other circumstances. What is the writer's agenda? Whose mind is going to be changed about the war by this kind of article?

There are a lot of good purposes to be served by pointing out the most heoinous instances of lies perpetrated by the govt. One that comes to mind offhand is that perhaps, just perhaps, the govt will stop lying so often and about such monstrous things, or at least refrain from doing it quite so often.

In the end, Tillman's death can probably be laid down to Bush's disastrous decision to move the focus of the military's energies away from actual terrorism, and over to Iraq, which was simply a rival power that Bush didn't like and upon which he could conveniently pin the donkey's tail that we so quaintly call the "War on Terrorism." Read the accounts of Tillman's death and you'll see that the culprit is not only faulty command decisions on the ground but also aa lack of critical materiel in this particular mountain pass in Afghanistan.

(A part broke on a truck, the spare that was carried was also unserviceable, and central command could not spare a chopper to lift them out of that bad place they were stuck in.)

Somewhere there's a guy who had to make a judgment on the ground based on the lack of wisdom of those in higher places who created a situation where terrible mistakes could happen - his career is likely in shambles now, and his soul might be in worse shape, but the people above who put them all there in that bad place will likely continue to prosper.

Quote:
It's fine to attack the policies and the administration, but I think it was incredibly insensitive and disrespectful for him to write this piece about a dead man.

The article itself does not ridicule Tillman, not very much that I could see, and as for writing about a dead man, well, wars make a lot of those guys who sign up dead, and as long as we have a volunteer army people deserve to know a little about what they are getting into when they put their name on a piece of paper that's going to change their lives, for good or for ill.

Is Tillman's death being "used" by the antiwar crowd? Perhaps, but not really as much as his life was used by the prowar hawks.
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dogbert



Joined: 29 Jan 2003
Location: Killbox 90210

PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2005 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of course, it does not help that Rall conflates separate conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, either.
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canuckistan
Mod Team
Mod Team


Joined: 17 Jun 2003
Location: Training future GS competitors.....

PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2005 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember the media hoopladay over what's-her-name "bravely fighting them off while injured by enemy fire"-- in reality had suffered injuries from a vehicle crash and was brought to a hospital (by the "enemy" I might add) where she then was "saved" by commando's "storming the hospital"--another media hoopladay that turned out to be fabrications.

I suppose with an invasion that has been so contentious right from the start, the propaganda machine needs all the "bravery stories" it can exploit.
Otherwise, we've just suffered through 24-7 coverage of some runaway bride as a "top" story.
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Gord



Joined: 25 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2005 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

canuckistan wrote:
I remember the media hoopladay over what's-her-name "bravely fighting them off while injured by enemy fire"-- in reality had suffered injuries from a vehicle crash and was brought to a hospital (by the "enemy" I might add) where she then was "saved" by commando's "storming the hospital"--another media hoopladay that turned out to be fabrications.


The story of "fighing to the end" in that fight did happen, only it happened to Sgt Donald Walters. Though during his last stand, he was killed. It simply isn't as sexy when a man fights to the end.

Quote:
I suppose with an invasion that has been so contentious right from the start, the propaganda machine needs all the "bravery stories" it can exploit.


The frontpage news media runs with things that people will buy papers for and spend more time on. People simply are not as interested in reading about when people like Lieutenant Brian R. Chontosh do the impossible.

Here's a red-white-blue-for-glory version:

http://federalistpatriot.us/news/chontosh.asp

Or a summary version of it and some other stories.

http://www.nationalreview.com/kob/kob200405280824.asp
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bucheon bum



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: DC area

PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2005 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dogbert wrote:
For one, I'm a bit suspicious when someone writes that "something was buried deep inside their newspapers", when I recall having had no trouble accessing it (the story) myself, and that from thousands of miles from the U.S.


Exactly. I remember reading that soon after this death. Buried in the newspapers? Give me a break.

ESPN produced a show about him on the one year anniversary of his death. It mentioned at the beginning that he was killed by friendly fire. The program implied that he gave it quite a bit of thought before he signed up and joined.

It's too bad people in our political world don't do the same. Perhaps we wouldn't be so gung ho about invading other countries.
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