Thomas Sowell

 You cannot fight a war without many brave men taking risks with their lives in order to try to accomplish their mission. Yet can you name a single American hero in either of the two wars going on today in Afghanistan and Iraq?

Chances are you can't -- not if you rely on the mainstream media. You may be able to name someone from the little band of people involved in the prison scandal in Iraq or perhaps Jessica Lynch who was rescued, but not those who rescued her.

 There are apparently no heroes among the more than 100,000 men and women fighting for us overseas -- only victims. At least, that is how the news gets filtered and spun in most of the media.

 Any reservist whose life is disrupted by being called to active duty has a good chance of making the front page of the New York Times with his laments. But 99 fellow reservists who are focused on their duty are far less likely to be featured.

 Enemy casualties, no matter how large, seldom get as much publicity as even a handful of American casualties. A whole ghoul school of journalism was preparing for the thousandth death among American troops in Iraq, so that they could run big features on it.

 The New York Times covered page after page with the names of those thousand dead. The television wing of the ghoul school did similar things in their broadcasts. The rationale for this is that they are "honoring" the dead troops and perhaps showing that the media, too, are patriotically "supporting our troops."

 The fraudulence of this can be seen in the fact that Ted Koppel, who sneered at those journalists who wore little American flag lapel pins after 9/11 as people who were "flag waving," has made the display of American dead a feature of "Nightline."

 Why is it that the New York Times, which has been against this war from day one, and against the military for decades before that, is spearheading this way of "honoring" our troops? What they are in fact doing is rubbing our noses in the casualties at every opportunity.

 People have every right to be for or against this war or any other war. That is what editorial pages, newspaper columns, and radio and TV talk shows are all about. But pretending to be reporting news and "honoring" the troops is dirty business.

 While our troops were willing to put their lives on the line to carry out their missions, they did not go overseas for the purpose of dying. Nor have they died without taking a lot more of the enemy with them. Every terrorist killed in Iraq is one that will never come over here to commit another 9/11.


Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

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