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Wednesday, January 04, 2006 

Both Sides of the Story

It's pretty obvious to anyone who pays attention to various news outlets that particular agencies take every opportunity to twist stories to make a Republican President look bad while diverting attention away from any Democrat Party leader scandal.

Naturally, on the other hand, there are other news outlets that do nothing but kiss Bush's hind end regardless of his policies.

We all know who they are.

When I say Washington Post, you know what you're going to get, despite their vehement assertions that they are an objective and impartial source of news. I think by now, we all know better.

Time to flex some blogging muscle, as if I had any...
let us see if they are indeed willing to be balanced...

Visiting my man Bob over at Crazy Politico's Rantings this morning I came across this post that piqued my interest.

He asks Will the Post Print This? in response to a letter published in their prestigious periodical titled: A Life, Wasted.

Let's Stop This War Before More Heroes Are Killed- pleads Paul E. Schroeder, father of fallen soldier Lance Cpl. Edward "Augie" Schroeder II

The column is worth reading and concludes like so:
Though it hurts, I believe that his death- and that of the other Americans who have died in Iraq- was a waste. They were wasted in a belief that democracy would grow simply by removing a dictator- a careless misunderstanding of what democracy requires. They were wasted by not sending enough troops to do the job needed in the resulting occupation- a careless disregard for professional military counsel.

But their deaths will not be in vain if Americans stop hiding behind flag-draped hero masks and stop whispering their opposition to this war. Until then, the lives of other sons, daughters, husbands, wives, fathers and mothers may be wasted as well.

This is very painful to acknowledge, and I have to live with it. So does President Bush.
He is certainly entitled to that point of view whether we agree or not. On one level I agree that the tactics used to subdue Iraq were too weak, not enough Air Power was used to level areas of insurgency for fear of what the media would say. Instead soldiers were sent in on foot to clean areas out one doorway at a time subjecting our men to higher risks. Patton said it best:

"No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country.
He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country."

A simple logic seemingly lost forever.

However, claiming that his son's life was wasted smacks of Sheehanic lunacy.

What I'm wondering is if someone out there can point to a story published in the Washington Post that has a different take from Mr. Schroeder's?

I've yet to come across such a piece but perhaps someone out there can point to one for me, if so, I'll gladly revise this passage to reflect such an article.

Until then I want to challenge the editors of the Washington Post, following Bob's lead, to publish the thoughts and writings by the father of Sgt. Mike Stokely.

He too submitted a piece to the editors of the Washington Post after reading the column above and desired to express his thoughts publicly as first expressed at Mudville Gazette on Christmas Eve.

Bob received permission to post the letter submitted and subsequently asked his readers to spread the message thus I infer I've acquired the same permission. The entire contents of Mr. Stokely's letter can be seen at Crazy Politico's Rantings, but I will post portions here:
I thought I'd share my thoughts as the dad of an American Soldier killed in action four plus months ago, very near in time to Mr. Schroeder's son. My son was standing cover flank for two buddies checking out a suspicious location in the roadway while on patrol at 2:20 A.M. 16 Aug when an IED exploded. He was the only one killed. Two other soldiers suffered serious injuries and are now home on permanent medical leave and both are expected to make full recoveries after they finish med rehab and surgery...

...A week before Mike Stokely died on August 16, in his last telephone call to me, we again discussed the dangers of the war. In fact, I told him that when he came home on leave in a few weeks, I might carry out what I considered doing before he left - crippling him by hitting him in the shins with a ball bat. He very calmly, and firmly said these words to me "Dad, if it is God's will for me to die, he will take me wherever I am at, whether it be in the safety of my home or in the dangers of war in Iraq. Dad you can't hide me from God and if I have to die, I'd rather die serving my country than anything I can imagine. If my time is now, then I am ready."

For whatever reason, the last few days what Cindy Sheehan said "Casey didn't die for a just cause" has been on my mind. Maybe it is because some people have felt comfortable enough four months out to ask me how I felt about Mike's death and whether I thought the cause was "just" enough to justify his sacrifice.

My response is that Mike didn't die for a "just cause", he died JUST BECAUSE - just because he loved his country enough to want to serve it since the time he was in middle school; just because he loved his family enough to want to protect them; just because he loved his friends enough that he would rather fight a war "there" than here; just because he believed in our order of government whereby the civilian government rules and the military obeys, and when the President, with lawful authority(and the approval of Congress, including Republicans and Democrats), calls upon soldiers to go and fight, he believed it was not only his duty, but his honor to go; just because he wouldn't let his fellow soldiers - his guys - go it alone; and just because he wanted to do for others - the Iraqi people - what he would do for his own country.

A good friend of our family, Charles Carmical, wrote these words in tribute to Mike- "Would I lay down my life for a country to defend? I willing would if it housed my family and friends."

Mike Stokely didn't die for a just cause, he died for a lot of just causes, including the ones I set out above. I wish I were fit to tie his shoe laces but I am fortunate enough to have a son who believed in God, family, duty, honor and country and who certainly turned out to be the better of the two of us.
So, where do you stand Washington Post? Are you objective and impartial or did the words of Sgt. Stokely's father turn your stomach as I assume it did.

Or is the MO of 'if it burns it earns- if it bleeds, it leads' take priority?

As Bob mentioned, 'Any blogger reading who would like to help pressure the Post to print the other side's view of this, feel free to reprint this on your blog.'

If you do so please submit a trackback here or there (or better, both) and I will post links to your article below.

It's time to flex our collective muscle my friends...

linked at: Battle Born News, Politics of a Patriot, Knockin' On The Golden Door, Hooah Wife, Tidbits And Treasures, Lone Pony, Some Soldier's Mom, This That and Frog Hair, Macsmind, Don Surber, NIF, Basil's Blog, third world county, The Uncooperative Blogger, Jo's Cafe, Diane's Stuff, TMH's Bacon Bits, Conservative Cat)

Peak--please send this to JP at milblogging.com. I would but I'm computer impaired!I think he could turn this into a roar they couldn't ignore!

Done, thanks for the tip linda!

Thanks very much, especially all the extra trackbacks.

This already made it into the top posts of the week at TTLB, so hopefully even more will read it.

I recieved over 100 hits from the WaPo editorial page today, people reading yesterdays article, so if nothing else, some of their readers are getting both sides of the story.

Awesome, thanks for making me aware of this story!

I've passed this story on to some other sites... hopefully the spiderweb continues to grow.

Keep up the great work Bob!

Time to flex some blogging muscle, as if I had any...

Your looking pretty ripped to me Peak.


I'd better be... this is like David taking on Goliath...

I hope I get the same results although I feel like my slingshot is pretty puny...

Boy, talk about a tongue in cheeck request! I have never read a more Left wing rag than WaPo. Even if they posted the letter, it could never wipe out their history.

Uncooperative Bloger,

WaPo is more liberal the New York Times? I doubt it, but you might know better than me.

Peakah, an excellent post my friend! It's good to be back and able to read and comment again thanks to blogs like yours.


TUB: i know i know... consider it an experiment in blogger influence on the MSM... hey, we can dream can't we?

DL: yeah WaPo is even more left (can you believe that it's possible?!) than the NYT... good to see ya still kickin my friend.

Let's hope the experiment is a success. It's had my site meter spinning all day, that's for sure.

I'll update the original post if I receive an answer back to my direct plea to the editor and assistant editor at the Post.

BTW, I added a link to the post so you can go directly to the Letter to the Editor form at WaPo.

Thanks again.

There is no media bias! They are absolutely objective about EVERYTHING. They never slant stories, they never lie, they never exaggerate.

Then again, I could be wrong.

"On one level I agree that the tactics used to subdue Iraq were too weak, not enough Air Power was used to level areas of insurgency for fear of what the media would say. Instead soldiers were sent in on foot to clean areas out one doorway at a time subjecting our men to higher risks."

This should of been wrapped up the first time so we didn't have to be back there now. But we are- wrap it up.

Diane, I'm with you on that. We allowed the UN to talk us out of it, and then spent 12 years paying to protect no fly zones and enforcing sanctions the UN leaders were getting rich off of.

Latest update, Mr. Stokely has heard nothing from the Post this week, either positive or negative, about publishing his letter.

For sure CP. Let's hope we don't cave to pressures and get it done right this time.

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