The Marine incident, and its aftermath, at Haditha tells us much more about the media than it does about the Marines. And what it tells us ought to outrage us to the core.
On every radio and television show I appeared on last week (and all I observed) in which this topic came up, without exception at least one of the media people immediately attempted to implicate not just the still-presumed-innocent Marines, but the American military's leadership and methods in general.
The "Drive By Media" (Rush Limbaugh's scientifically accurate description) has already started to report this story in a manner that is likely to do vast damage that may last for several years to the morale (and possibly recruitment) of our military. It will create a propaganda catastrophe of strategic proportions in our mortal struggle with radical Islam and its terrorist spear point.
And all this is being done by journalists who are seemingly oblivious to the consequences of their acts.
President Bush noted the extraordinary damage that reported events at Abu Ghraib caused and continue to cause. One can only imagine what the radical Islamist propagandists and recruiters will do with the Haditha incident -- especially since they will merely have to accurately quote from major United States and European newspapers and television news broadcasts. Is this any way to fight a war?
It is commonplace to observe that since the dawn of man -- and currently -- in the crucible of battle, warriors sometimes cannot contain their emotions and their violent actions. It is amazing our troops act as civilized as they do in combat.
It is particularly commendable of our American troops that they willingly go into battle under such restrictive rules of engagement that they are required to constantly risk their own lives in order not to offend civilian/terrorists(?) until they are almost sure they are really combatants.
No other military force in history has been so tightly limited in its defensive actions. And probably no other military force has been sufficiently disciplined to maintain such restrictive rules in the heat of combat. God bless our troops -- if not necessarily the policy that so restricts them.
For the parents, wives, husbands and children of our young warriors who are killed because they followed the restrictive rules and didn't fire first, this is a damned bitter pill to swallow -- whatever the geopolitical wisdom of it.
Blankley, who had been suffering from stomach cancer, died Saturday night at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, his wife, Lynda Davis, said Sunday.
In his long career as a political operative and pundit, his most visible role was as a spokesman for and adviser to Gingrich from 1990 to 1997. Gingrich became House Speaker when Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives following the 1994 midterm elections.