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April 12, 2004

Fire Andy Rooney

Andy Rooney has crossed the line.

Most of the reporting from Iraq is about death and destruction.

Because most reporters follow the dictum "If it bleeds, it leads – and Bu$h=Hitler!"

We don't learn much about what our soldiers in Iraq are thinking or doing. There's no Ernie Pyle to tell us, and, if there were, the military would make it difficult or impossible for him to let us know.

Wow! So all those military bloggers in Iraq are just posting about what, exactly? There's a hundred Ernie Pyles over there, telling us every day, if you are willing to open your eyes and ears and read them. The Military in no way has forbidden the flow of normal, non sensitive information from Iraq. If there's censorship, and there certainly is, it's occuring in the news rooms at places like CBS, where they don't want Americans to know about all the good things going on over there.

It would be interesting to have a reporter ask a group of our soldiers in Iraq to answer five questions and see the results:

It would be even more interesting to allow the group of soldiers a ten minute suspension of military restrictions and see what they do to said reporters. I'd really like to see the results of that.

1. Do you think your country did the right thing sending you into Iraq?

From all the things I've read from soldiers blogging in Iraq, the answer is an overwhelming yes.

2. Are you doing what America set out to do to make Iraq a democracy, or have we failed so badly that we should pack up and get out before more of you are killed?

A leading question if ever there was one. That's like asking them "Do you think you should run away like a French school girl?" which of course is what Andy's going to do when he runs into the next veteran walking down the street.

3. Do the orders you get handed down from one headquarters to another, all far removed from the fighting, seem sensible, or do you think our highest command is out of touch with the reality of your situation?

Every now and again a headquarters gets a few mortar rounds lobbed at it, but it's nice that he implies the headquarters is "far removed" from the fighting, unless of course he's referring to the Pentagon. Isn't that the building that got T-boned by a high-speed Boeing?

4. If you could have a medal or a trip home, which would you take?

I'm sure they'd take option three, 10 days house arrest with loss of pay for ripping a particular CBS employee's dentures out of his head.

5. Are you encouraged by all the talk back home about how brave you are and how everyone supports you?

A nice follow up ask if they are irritated and even enraged at all the defeatest tripe being spouted by CBS. After his five questions, he gets far, far worse.


Treating soldiers fighting their war as brave heroes is an old civilian trick designed to keep the soldiers at it. But you can be sure our soldiers in Iraq are not all brave heroes gladly risking their lives for us sitting comfortably back here at home.

You can be sure that I will never watch CBS again, after that little comment.

Our soldiers in Iraq are people, young men and women, and they behave like people - sometimes good and sometimes bad, sometimes brave, sometimes fearful. It's disingenuous of the rest of us to encourage them to fight this war by idolizing them.

Oh my god! It's wrong for us to idolize them because then they'll fight on? That the most idiotic reason for sedition that I have ever heard in my life.

We pin medals on their chests to keep them going. We speak of them as if they volunteered to risk their lives to save ours, but there isn't much voluntary about what most of them have done. A relatively small number are professional soldiers. During the last few years, when millions of jobs disappeared, many young people, desperate for some income, enlisted in the Army. About 40 percent of our soldiers in Iraq enlisted in the National Guard or the Army Reserve to pick up some extra money and never thought they'd be called on to fight. They want to come home.

That's it. Boycott CBS and demand that Rooney be summarily fired. He can't claim our soldiers are draftees yet he still tries to make the assertion that they're in the military against their will. Fuck you Andy.

One indication that not all soldiers in Iraq are happy warriors is the report recently released by the Army showing that 23 of them committed suicide there last year. This is a dismaying figure. If 22 young men and one woman killed themselves because they couldn't take it, think how many more are desperately unhappy but unwilling to die.

They'd be alive today if they hadn't been sitting in their tents, all alone, watching 60 Minutes. And the number of suicides is about five or so more than normal. In retrospect, though It's really kind of sad that Andy never served in the miltary, got depressed, and shot himself. It really is.

We must support our soldiers in Iraq because it's our fault they're risking their lives there. However, we should not bestow the mantle of heroism on all of them for simply being where we sent them. Most are victims, not heroes.

His soldier as "victim" tripe will last up until he runs into the first soldier on the subway who's read this little journalistic suicide note.

America's intentions are honorable. I believe that, and we must find a way of making the rest of the world believe it. We want to do the right thing. We care about the rest of the world. President Bush's intentions were honorable when he took us into Iraq. They were not well thought out but honorable.

So is Rooney the first person to start up with "Blame the soldiers, not Bush" meme?

Bush's determination to make the evidence fit the action he took, which it does not, has made things look worse. We pay lip service to the virtues of openness and honesty, but for some reason, we too often act as though there was a better way of handling a bad situation than by being absolutely open and honest.

Ok then. I'll be absolutely open and honest when I describe what should be done to Andy Rooney. First, every soldier in Iraq should read his little questionaire. Then as they rotate home each gets to take one swing at Rooney with a Wiffle bat. Wouldn't want to use a real bat, because then only the first few soldiers would get a crack at him. Remember, we'll be at this for the long haul.

While they're at it, they can ask him how he could say that Bush tried to make the evidence fit the actions. If Bush had done that, we'd be up to our armpits in all sorts of chemical weapons that we planted ourselves, now wouldn't we? That hasn't happened, because unlike CBS employees, we don't make a habit of lying our little sanctimonious asses off.

April 12, 2004 in Politics | Permalink

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» Thar Andy Blows...... Again from Emigre With Digital Cluebat
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» Andy Rooney: "Our Soldiers Aren't Heroes" from A Small Victory
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Comments

Andy Rooney and Jimma Carter are both senile old coots who should be taken off to the home. Mad as a hatter, both of 'em.

Posted by: Patrick at Apr 12, 2004 5:54:10 PM

I stopped watching 60 Minutes in 1986, after that lying butcher job they did to Audi, which they never retracted despite it being proven false.

Posted by: R. Fliehr at Apr 12, 2004 6:25:21 PM

Hey, do you read David's Medienkritik blog at all?
He posted about the US soldier suicides vs German soldier suicides, and lo and behold, they're not even at war and their rates were MUCH higher.

*spit* Andy *spit* should read this

Shocking!! More and More Suicides! But Where? / Schockierend!! Immer mehr Selbstmorde! Aber wo?
Deutsche Version am Ende des Beitrags

SPIEGEL ONLINE – a medium where seriousness and objectivity still count, with the exception of Mondays through Sundays – has succeeded in yet another brilliant journalistic performance. In the series “Biased Journalism Against Bush” a truly gifted anti-American SPIEGEL writer, Dominik Baur, was allowed to print the following on 20 February 2004:

Suicides among Occupation Troops
Increasing numbers of soldiers are proving not to be able to deal with serving in Iraq. Hundreds have already been sent home, dozens have escaped through suicide. …

Suell, Small and Williams are three of 22 US soldiers who committed suicide the past year in Iraq. The suicide rate among soldiers stationed in Iraq is thus 13.5 for every 100,000 soldiers – noticeably more than in the rest of the US Army (10.5 to 11.)… (emphasis added)

Suicide among soldiers is, of course, not a topic the US Department of Defense gladly talks about. (our translation)


“Increasing numbers of soldiers…”: Right, the number increases with each suicide. After all, there hasn’t been a Resurrection in around 2000 years. Irresistible logic from SPIEGEL ONLINE.

“22” then are “dozens.” Hmm… one has to ask which calculators they are using over at SPIEGEL ONLINE.

And they don’t gladly talk about it at the US Department of Defense? Could that possibly be similar over at the Bundeswehr (German Army)? Just search at the site www.bundeswehr.de for the term “Selbstmord” (in English: suicide.) When I searched, the word only came up in connection with Islamist attacks. Otherwise, the Bundeswehr – like probably every other army in the world – wants to prevent reporting on suicide to prevent the danger of copy-cats.

Speaking of the Bundeswehr – how high is the suicide rate among our German soldiers?

Suicide among men serving in the Bundeswehr
“According to an internal report, the Bundeswehr lost 88 soldiers to suicide within 2 years.”
“The Tagesspiegel” 14 August 2000.


Among circa 250,000 active Bundeswehr soldiers that brings us to a rate of around 17 suicides per year per 100,000 soldiers.

Or to put it differently: Duty in the US Army in Iraq presents a lower suicide risk than service in the German Bundeswehr… Alright then Bundeswehr: Time to hurry on down to Iraq!

BTW: a suicide rate of 13,5 per annum per 100,000 is within the bottom third of the European countries! Very remarkable: France's average is 19,25...

(Translation by Ray D.)

Update: Matt Guerreiro has a very thorough analysis of suicides in the US military. Conclusion:

"Looking at this data, and noting how the suicide rates vary significantly from year to year and from service to service, it is obvious that a suicide rate of 13.5 per 100,000 Army soldiers stationed in Iraq is statistically indistinguishable from the peacetime suicide rates among active duty military personnel. ... When you consider the stress and anxiety that serving in Iraq must produce, as well as the fact that soldiers have constant access to loaded weapons, it is perhaps surprising that the suicide rate is not higher among our troops."

==============================================

You said it.. Andy needs to pull his head out of his sagging ass and READ. Asshole! grrrrrrrrr

Posted by: Lydia at Apr 12, 2004 8:29:05 PM

Awesome!

(Oh, and please delete the extra trackbacks. I don't know why it is that my MT keeps pinging your blog when I edit a post. It doesn't with anybody else's).

Now, I'm off to find a bridge to hang Andy Rooney's burned corpse from.

Posted by: Emperor Misha I at Apr 12, 2004 11:09:26 PM

Fred Pruitt at Rantburg delivers a Fisking to Andy. Worth a look.

Posted by: Steve White at Apr 12, 2004 11:57:55 PM

Damn. Just Damn.

Wisdom thy name at times is Turner.

Posted by: Defense Guy at Apr 13, 2004 1:06:08 AM

"I'm sure they'd take option three, 10 days house arrest with loss of pay for ripping a particular CBS employee's dentures out of his head."

I'm too old to enlist, but I'd gladly take their 10 days for them. Is that possible? Be a human shield for a soldier against punishment?


Posted by: Veeshir at Apr 13, 2004 8:39:29 AM

My little brother is off to Parris Island this summer. He is not a victim, not desperate for a job, not walking blindly into ANY situation. He is quite aware of the risks. And yet he chooses to serve, anyway. GO FIGURE THAT OUT, ANDY!

Liberals think of soldiers who fight and die for their country as helpless stooges, and that is why they don't deserve to lead armies.

Posted by: lauraw at Apr 13, 2004 10:52:51 AM

The cities and infrastructure in America didn't get built with the drippings from the mouths of sardonic whineing apologists like Loony Rooney.

It was the risk takers and rough men that saw what problems had to be delt with and did the daily dirty grind to get it done. When it came to war, men died, were maimed, lost love ones and friends, yet they continued the task till it was a threat no more.

Rooney doesn't add a sand flea's pubic hair to America. His method of writing was always skewed to the I-know-better-than-the-rest-of-you type of thinking. He is a master at baiting and trys to jerk everyone off at the same time.

Guess what, Andy panderer, when you're dead no one is gonna' look fondly back on your life and say you changed one worthwhile thing.

Here's my question: If you can have a bullet to the head or an Iraqi cut your tongue out, what would you choose?

...we'll all be waiting for your answer with baited breath.

Posted by: Mikenchi at Apr 13, 2004 12:37:30 PM

The suicude rate IN IRAQ is lower than the national average. So even though the rate is higher than standard in the Army, it is still lower than the whole US.

Hmmm.

Battle Master

Posted by: BATTLE MASTER at Apr 14, 2004 9:35:55 PM

You ignorant fool. How many hundreds of soldiers have to die before you can concede the point that Bush made a fatal mistake? As for Andy's comment that not all soldiers are fighting the good fight, pick up any paper and see the grins on the faces of AMERICAN SOLDIERS tormenting Iraqi prisoners. I'm sorry to say that I agree completely with Mr. Rooney and think you an idiot who refuses to face facts.

Posted by: Julietta at May 9, 2004 7:58:39 PM

You ignorant fool. How many hundreds of soldiers have to die before you can concede the point that Bush made a fatal mistake? As for Andy's comment that not all soldiers are fighting the good fight, pick up any paper and see the grins on the faces of AMERICAN SOLDIERS tormenting Iraqi prisoners. I'm sorry to say that I agree completely with Mr. Rooney and think you an idiot who refuses to face facts.

Posted by: Julietta at May 9, 2004 8:02:47 PM

You ignorant fool. How many hundreds of soldiers have to die before you can concede the point that Bush made a fatal mistake? As for Andy's comment that not all soldiers are fighting the good fight, pick up any paper and see the grins on the faces of AMERICAN SOLDIERS tormenting Iraqi prisoners. I'm sorry to say that I agree completely with Mr. Rooney and think you an idiot who refuses to face facts.

Posted by: Julietta at May 9, 2004 8:02:53 PM

Well thanks for your inept triple comment, Julietta, oh ignorant fool.

Your mistake is in asking "how many hundreds" of soldiers have to die, whereas 7,514 died under Bill Clinton. You should check the numbers before you spout, and numbers are something that Andy Rooney never had the intelligence to grasp, even though they teach all about them in grade school.


Posted by: George Turner at May 9, 2004 11:42:50 PM

Terribly sorry about the triple-send, these new fangled typing machines are so darn confusing. Bill Clinton served two terms, I pray G.W.B. will not have the opportunity.

Posted by: Julietta at May 12, 2004 12:07:49 AM

And why pray tell is that, Julietta? So we can have a President who has confessed to things infintely more heinous than anything we've yet seen out of Abu Ghraib prison? Voting for the self-confessed war criminal, I take it. How typical of the left to leap from the frying pan to the fire, just because an ultra-rich playboy(assets greater than Bush and his entire "ultra-rich" cabinet) btells you so.

Posted by: George Turner at May 12, 2004 5:31:34 AM