Scratch Pad

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Hero Hypocrisy

We haven't seen a lot of TIME or Newsweek cover stories about the heroics of our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. Thomas Sowell points out the insincerity of calling our soldiers "heroes" only when we are painting them as victims.

The front cover of Newsweek’s March 5th issue featured a woman with amputated legs and a sweatshirt that said “ARMY” across the front. Inside, there were pages and pages of other pictures of badly wounded and disfigured military veterans, in a long article that began under the big headline: “Forgotten Heroes.”

The utter hypocrisy of all this can be seen in the word “heroes.” There have been many acts of heroism among our troops in Iraq — but those heroes didn’t make the front cover of Newsweek.

One man fell on a grenade to protect his buddies, smothering the fatal blast with his body, so that those around him might live when he died. But that never made the front cover of Newsweek. It was barely mentioned anywhere in the liberal media.

They are not interested in heroes. They are interested in depicting victims — in the military as in civilian society.


  • Are you arguing that Newsweek should have shown pictures of the corpses of soldiers who were "more heroic" than the ones they chose?

    It is long past time that the American news media and the American people realized that thousands of young soldiers are being permanently and horribly injured in this war. Keeping these images out of the media only serves to support those who are quick to send other people's children into war with little thought of the consequences.

    By Blogger Charles D, at 5/27/2007 8:26 AM  

  • I'm not sure I entirely understand your objection. I'm not advocating morbid pictures. I'm suggesting it would honor our soldiers more if we emphasized their successes and heroics in battle with equal vigor to the effort to portray them as victims of a failing government bureaucracy. It won't do to patronizingly call them heroes if we don't regularly explain why they are heroic.

    I think that you and I are are in agreement on this point: we should be fully informed about all sides of the issues surrounding the war. But I'd disagree that being fully informed means seeing grisly photos of corpses.

    By Blogger Bradley Ross, at 5/27/2007 10:06 PM  

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