Monday, March 3, 2008

N.Y. Times Launches All-Out Attack on Vets

It's like "Born on the 4th of July" all over again. I certainly hope not.

According to the March 2008 VFW magazine, the N.Y. Times took every opportunity to play up their disrespect for war time veterans. Nothing new.

During January the Times ran a front page three-part series called, "Across America, Deadly Echoes of Foreign Battles." VFW magazine claims the Times"resurrected the worst stereotypes possible of war veterans." Allegedly claiming to care about our war vets, the newspaper placed the spotlight on 121 killing committed by Iraq vets, including involuntarily manslaughter.

Even without the absence of such great anti-war heroes like Jane Fonda and Cindy Sheehan, the paper did enough damage on their own. The Times dug up some Vietnam vet-related statistics. These so-called facts state the claim that "veterans are more likely to have committed violent crimes than non-veterans, according to government studies.

As a U.S. Army recruit I went through an eight week boot camp course during the Vietnam era. I never expected them to teach me how to emulate the non-violence of Ghandi in the face of a Viet Cong wielding a grenade ready to toss at my fellow soldiers and blow them to pieces. Just because we were told how to employ violence to stop the enemy does not follow that war veterans are violent people in a domestic situation. The reasoning is faulty and prejudicial.

Regardless, the peace-loving N.Y. Times failed to cite the Bureau of Justice Statistics (October 1981) correctly. The study actually said the opposite than the Times piece: "On the whole, veterans are less likely than non-veterans to be in prison." Of the extremely minority of Vietnam vets who were arrested for crimes during the 1980's, only 13.5% were violent.

Are we re-entering the era of war veteran bashing by the elitist liberal press accompanied by anti-war veterans films like Coming Home, Platoon, Apocalypse Now, and Deer Hunter. The pacifistic Timesmust despise war veterans. Surely, the prestige press does not want to march out-of-step with the tune played by Hollywood that loves to make war veterans appear to be murderous, psychologically screwed up mental idiots. The only intelligent people work for the Times and write scripts for Hollywood films . . . of course.

Too bad the N.Y. Times channel all their energy to tell the stories of our war heroes. Look at the marvelous film by Ken Burns, The War. The N. Y. Times is not capable of expressing such creativity and ability of capturing the patriotism of our boys who fought for this country.

VFW magazine suggests the Times do a story on "three Medal of Honor, at least 30 Distinguished Service/Navy/Air Force Cross and 450 Silver Star (U.S. Army) recipients of current wars. The New York Times doesn't do heroes. It shoots down heroes.

As a Vietnam veteran I salute the heroes of the Afghanistan/Iraq wars. I read somewhere that "if you can't stand behind the men and women who get on the front lines to defend our country, then stand in front of them." Standing off the side and shooting our soldiers down with mockery and slander is the way of a coward.


Gib said...

Good point Wandering Bear, but I think Dear Hunter is more about the undeniable horrors of war than it as anti-veteran. The truth is that war does change some people and facing that psychological trauma is one of the things that makes our veterans so special. I've never fought in a war, and I have extreme respect for the people who do. I do, however, see a very distinct difference between being anti-war and being anti-veteran.

Gib said...

also... I made a mistake... it's Deer Hunter, not Dear Hunter. Innocent Brain Fart.

Although, I want to see the movie that uses letter to someone named Hunter to weave its narrative.

Louis Lapides said...

Good comment Gib! But when John Savage or Christopher Walken (I can't remember who) stays behind in Saigon to keep playing the VietCong roulette game it seemed to me it was Michael Cimono saying that these vet are out of their minds. Who would want to stay in Saigon unless you flipped out and went over the edge. I think the writers teetered at the edge of making a statement that could be both anti-war and anti-vet.