Coverage Of the War

Deborah Venable



We waited in great anticipation to hear the president’s final decision on the upcoming new “surge” in Afghanistan.  Coverage of the decision was, as usual, completely overdone.  His announcement was just another photo-op.  As with all things connected to war, the ones who suffered most, even the announcement, were the poor pawns in the backdrop.  Those proud cadets, assembled to receive their leader’s message with programmed enthusiasm and mandated acceptance for what he had to say.


These guys and gals have to get up pretty early in the morning and pursue a rigorous schedule that includes much more important duties than being a good captive audience backdrop for the POTUS and his teleprompter.  I’m sure that most of them were really suffering that night.  They would have much rather set their DVRs or VCRs to record the speech from, oh, I don’t know – say the Oval Office, where most presidents choose to make such an announcement, and then played it back while they were putting that spit shine on their boots the next morning.


 But there they were, reading their books and nodding off, while the speechmeister delivered his usual oratory in that glorious campaign style for which he is so famous.  It should be noted that they were allowed the books because they were ushered into their “places” quite early to await the grand entrance of the star.  I guess “extras” get used to that sort of thing, but should we expect the future leaders of our military to wait out such a staged event with nothing to keep them occupied?


To say that the star had anything new to say would be like accusing him of being the greatest ad libber in the history of the presidency.  I don’t think so!


The particulars had been “leaked” so most of these “extras” had already read the “script.” 


So news coverage had to concentrate on the “reception” of the speech.  How did the left take it?  How did the right take it?  How did our enemies take it – and our friends?  That brings us to the unconscionable use of the term, “the enemy camp” to describe the backdrop!  The brave Commander-in chief entered the enemy camp when he went to West Point?  Nuff said!


Uh, just a little aside here.  That speech was supposedly seen by 40 plus million people, most of whom POTUS probably considers the enemy camp if the truth be told!


I pretty much feel invaded every time the guy comes up on my television screen these days!  That isn’t because I hate him.  It is simply because he is leading the war on America right now – plain and simple!  He may be a very nice guy, but his tactics suck!  His philosophy is evil.  And he has surrounded himself with a power hungry cabal that will do anything to abolish everything this country stands for.  I don’t need to know if he is “nice” or not.  The fact that he is the figurehead representative of my country is dangerous.


So, anyway, back to the war – the one in Afghanistan.  After apologizing once again for everything that America has done wrong, blaming the long duration of the war on the previous administration’s mishandling, and a weak attempt to justify beefing up the boots on the ground, Obama lays out the exit strategy and time limit he’s placing on the “new” war efforts.  That should have left the generals and students of war strategy the world over scratching their heads for the sense it made to do that!


A lot of pundits these days, some of whom I greatly admire, have been repeating the rhetoric, “bring the troops home” and “victory is not achievable in Afghanistan.”  Victory isn’t something this Commander-in-chief even cares about anyway.  He is, in fact, “uncomfortable” with the term.  Another unfortunate development in this particular war is the obvious change in the “rules of engagement” and the overall attitude of today’s military.  Still the best fighting force on the face of the earth, today’s military has been undoubtedly feminized, and as such, diminished in efficiency. 


Wars are historically fought on testosterone in defense of home, hearth, and estrogen.  Today’s women are evidently making more use of their own stores of testosterone, (yes, women also have this hormone) but insisting that males use less of theirs – hence the aforementioned feminization of the military.


I have nothing against women warriors as long as they do not insist on rules changes to accommodate them.  That’s laughable in the face of the evidence.


That’s just a bone to gnaw on.  I will conclude this piece with an invitation to read The Meal, an article I wrote a little over a year ago.  Perhaps some tidbits of insight may be gleaned as we study the coverage of this war.



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