November 29, 2006

Media Matters in Vietnam

"Do not fear the enemy, for your enemy can only take your life. It is far better that you fear the media for they will steal your honor." - Bobby McBride, Crew Chief, 128th Assault Helicopter Company, RVN 1969-1970


...you're a big time media type guy and all........i was hoping you could thank the media for completely giving up and abandoning everybody who is in and those of us who are going to the suckage......makes us feel like we have a real purpose and all.....just thought they'ld be more inclined to listen to you and all...

This was a response I wrote to this subject.

Dishonor is based upon what your honor code really is. If your honor code sanctions the media, then dishonor obviously ain't gonna cut it.

The Marines know exactly why they should fear the media. They knew it in Fallujah. They knew it in Haditha. And they know it every freaking time they see CNN cameras draw IEDs and jihadist attacks on themselves, footage bought by Marine lives, used against the mission the Marines are fighting for.

To protect the American people, one of the core rules of honor amongst the Marine Corps. To uphold the traditions of the Corps, to honor the memories of the fallen and those who have gone before. To maintain the tradition of duty and loyalty that the Marines of WWII bought with their sweat and blood. All that, cannot be taken from you by the enemy, not even in death. But the media, they can take your honor away from you, because they can prevent you from honoring the loss of your brothers in arms. They can prevent you from fullfilling your mission to protect the American people. They can prevent you from maintaining the honor of the Corps by broadcasting fake atrocities that they claim the US Marines committed. An illusion that cannot be destroyed by the firepower of a Marine fireteam.

Honor is a hard subject to pin down. Because different cultures have different honor codes, different people have different variations on how they maintain their honor code.

The military was helpless against the media in Vietnam. You fear what you are unable to fight. No matter the courage, no matter the valor or bravery or how their comrades beat unbeatable odds in Vietnam, the media stole all of that. All of the honor, all of the successes, all of the sacrifice. Gone. As if it never was, yet the bodies are still dead aren't they.

Leyte Gulf. Wake Island. Saipan. People died there. But they are remembered for their honor and for doing their duty, remembered with pride and gratitude. What are the Vietnam generation and veterans remembered for? Are they honored in the same fashion as WWII veterans? By some yes. But mostly America remembers Vietnam as an embarassment, as an American defeat, when we were humbled.

Such a sad state of affairs. It wasn't the enemy killing our troops that took their honor from them. Dead is dead. But there's a difference between how people remember your death based upon what the media reported and between how the media caused you to lose. It is a breaking of a promise. You are there to protect the media back home, they should be there to protect you and help you in your mission. Your duty requires you to protect the media, but your honor degrades inch by inch every time you buy a journalist's life with one of yours, and the journalist provides help to the enemy in turn to kill your buddies. You cannot ignore your duty and at the same time maintain your honor. And yet you cannot do your duty either while the media is there feeding upon your protection.

For this war, imbed journalists aren't too bad. But their editors, they leech out whatever worth there really is. At the end, the media still takes your honor, regardless. Didn't blackfive start this blog because he sought to honor the memory of his friend, who died while defending a journalist? What do you really call someone that you have to protect, yet by protecting that person, that person will help the barbarians destroy all that you value and love? Journalist seems a bit inaccurate.

I can easily understand why the Vietnam veterans said that quote.

2 Comments:

Blogger Uncle Jimbo said...

You're not 17,

I have become convinced you are a Chinese Intel agent infiltrating Blackfive. How do you plead?

Cordially,

Uncle J

01 December, 2006 22:54  
Blogger Ymarsakar said...

True, True. I change the year around a bit so that people like Roach and others, can feel the temptation of "getting dirt" on me. Had gotten into some arguments with some spectrum analyzers over at Neo and Bookworm, so I set down the bait.

I can only plead for extenuating circumstances, since Georgia seems to have a rather large contingent of intel analysts like Grim and various other cloak and dagger phenomenon.

02 December, 2006 09:37  

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