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Check out the Publisher's Weekly review of Home of the Brave : Honoring the Unsung Heroes in the War on Terror:
U.S. soldiers are fighting for our nation's survival, yet too many Americans couldn't care less, according to former secretary of defense Weinberger and Hall (coauthor with Richard Wirthlin of The Greatest Communicator: What Ronald Reagan Taught Me About Politics, Leadership, and Life). The fault lies with the liberal media, they add, which denigrates the military's valor and disparages America's war on terrorism. The authors aim to counter this misinformation with stories of 19 soldiers decorated for actions (rescuing endangered comrades or killing large numbers of the enemy) in Iraq and Afghanistan. Weinberger and Hall detail these accounts in breathless, overheated prose ("Rafael Peralta was not born in America, but he died defending her") and quote many fervent patriotic declarations plus expressions of love for democracy, commanders, wives, parents and God. These 19 soldiers—and the authors—believe absolutely that America's cause ("defending freedom") is just. Each chapter concludes with the official written citation that accompanied the soldier's medal. Readers searching for a deeper understanding of the war will end up no wiser."The fault lies with the liberal media, they add..." The New York Times has acknowledged the same shortfall in coverage. (And it's only fair to note that local papers do a wonderful job of covering the stories of heroes - and aren't afraid to call them heroes.)
But the review above brings an entirely different tone to the debate - sneering at the "breathless prose" used to describe those who "believe absolutely that America's cause ("defending freedom") is just".
"Readers searching for a deeper understanding of the war will end up no wiser" - true, if "deeper understanding" is code for validation of their own misconceptions. This is exactly the sort of book that people seeking a full understanding of the war should read - along with many others that deal with other specifics - and I'm curious as to why Publisher's Weekly seems so frightened by the prospect that they might. It's no surprise that the media will fixate on their own brief mention in this book, but those who actually read it will discover it's about heroes - not reporters.
Readers searching for an uplifting story of Honor and Heroism and Courage, will be greatly rewarded.
Traits JFK found sorely lacking in public life when he wrote profiles in courage.Posted by Soldier's Dad at April 16, 2006 04:08 AM
as if "defending freedom" were an illogical action or unattainable goal or mythical like a unicorn... odd. I thought defending freedom was what it is ALL about.Posted by Some Soldier's Mom at April 16, 2006 04:46 AM
Why does the fault have to be with the media?
Why can it not be with Americans themselves? There are over 37 million Americans of military service age. Less than 400,000 raise their hands to serve in a given year. There is no program of national service which requires young men to fufill their obligations as a man. There are no aditional taxes to help pay for the war, there are no bond drives, recycling efforts, or anything to rally the people. CEO's still are allowed to make 175 million dollars on stock sales, and baseball players use steriods and make obscene salaries.
People are not being challenged to show better support so they don't. They put a yellow ribbon on their car and feel like they have done their bit.
"The fault dear Brutus is not in our stars; its with outselves".Posted by Skippy-san at April 16, 2006 05:12 AM
"Why does the fault have to be with the media?"
Duh. Isn't the media the group that supplies the general public with news and information? If they are leaving out something because of their own agenda, I'd say that is their fault. I've seen more stories on Casey Sheehan's mother than stories on all of the war heroes combined. Whose fault is that?
"CEO's still are allowed to make 175 million dollars on stock sales, and baseball players use steriods and make obscene salaries."
Free market, supply and demand, etc., etc. That's irrelevant to the point of the post and the book.
If there were a mono-lithic thing as the media it might be true. There is not. There are just as many conservative media outlets as there are liberal ones.
We get what we demand and what we pay for. And its still true that on the home front, folks are not having to sacrifice for the good of the war effort.
When Americans demand better coverage, or give it themselves as is done here, you'll see more stories. As long as American Idol rules the ratings....well we get what we pay for.Posted by Skippy-san at April 16, 2006 03:23 PM
Skippy-san - What are these conservative media outlets which you talk about that are equal in number to ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, CNN, New York Times, Washington Post, etc? The only "conservative" media that I know of and follow each day are Rush Limbaugh, conservative blogs, milblogs, Washington Times, and the New York Post. If you can point me to any mainstream conservative media outlets on primetime TV, that would be great. Otherwise, I know of no primetime TV conservative news outlet. They are all liberal, anti-Iraq, anti-Bush, anti-Republican, anti-conservative and anti-military. As such, unless average Americans tune in to Rush Limbaugh or read conservative blogs or milblogs, they have no idea about the heroes, success and progress in the War on Terror.Posted by Michael in MI at April 16, 2006 08:57 PM
Skippy-san ... some of your suggestions would actually be counterproductive in terms of supporting the war effort:
There is no program of national service which requires young men to fufill their obligations as a man.
Are you suggesting a draft? The military doesn't want it ... not just because draftees are less motivated than volunteers as a whole, but are often less qualified for doing the job.
However, because they are drafted, the Army can't turn them away they way they can volunteers who wouldn't be an asset; with the politicians demanding the higher numbers a draft is supposed to bring, turning away the unqualified means expanding the draft to replace them, which erodes support for both the draft and the military itself.
We recently had the usual trolls screeching about "lowered standards" ... a draft is the ultimate lowering of standards. Of course, other trolls want a draft, because they believe they can use it to shape public opinion a la Vietnam, and hobble the "evil imperialist Administration" in its quest for world domination BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
There are no aditional taxes to help pay for the war,
Thank God ... or else we wouldn't be able to pay for it!
Can't y'all get it through your heads that there is an optimum level of taxation for maximizing government revenue ... and that increasing taxes can actually cut revenues. Don't laugh off the Laffer curve ... its roots are as old as marginal revenue vs. marginal cost in Econ 101.
there are no bond drives, recycling efforts, or anything to rally the people.
And they wouldn't have more than a symbolic effect on the war effort, because the resources needed for today's war are cast as much in silicon and brainpower as they are in steel and muscle.
I'd much rather have them support this war effort from a basis of reality ... but first I have to cut through 40 years of Utopian egalitarianism, moral equivalence, and self-doubt to get them to the reality that you can't live with evil ... evil must be confronted, as quickly as it appears ... decisively, and with resolve ... to minimize the loss in blood and treasure.
Getting people to see that is more important than the symbolic "sacrifices" described above ... and real economic sacrifice, again, could be counterproductive to the war effort by hobbling the economy that fuels it.
CEO's still are allowed to make 175 million dollars on stock sales, and baseball players use steriods and make obscene salaries.
So? Joe Kennedy kept his (allegedly ill-gotten) fortune during WWII ... as did Howard Hughes, and many others. I didn't hear any complaints about them ... and we had the resolve to win that war, despite all that "profligacy".
Now, I will give you this -- FOX News is conservative ... an island of conservatism in a sea of Leftists who believe that they are "normal" and those who live in Flyover Country are "abnormal"; i.e. ignorant hicks.
As a redneck in a blue state, I do resent the arrogance and condension of those who hold that view.Posted by Rich Casebolt at April 18, 2006 04:54 AM
Excuse me ... condesension.
If I was perfect, they couldn't afford to pay me ...Posted by Rich Casebolt at April 18, 2006 04:56 AM
OK ... condescension
As Popeye would say, "this is embarraksin ..."Posted by Rich Casebolt at April 18, 2006 12:36 PM
Your blog was recommended to me by Cassandra over at Villainous community. I'm a writer and I would just like to point out that literary critics generally care less about substance and more about style. Reviewers will point out "breathless overheated prose" in any work whether it's nonfiction, romance, science fiction, or anything else (Trust me, I know from personal experience). It's not the intentions or the aims of the work that are judged, its the writing style.
Now whether you should trust literary critics judgement of taste is another matter.Posted by alau at April 21, 2006 02:38 AM Hide Comments | Show/Add Comments in Popup Window(10) | (Note: You must refresh main page to view newly posted comments here)