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Casual Defamation?

Posted By McQ • [May 25, 2009]


You know I honestly don't go looking for these things. And in this case, I could be persuaded that the author of the objectionable line below just said it poorly and didn't mean it the way it came out. But it still struck me as an almost casual defamation of the many heroes that the war in Iraq has produced.

In a less puckish moment on the same tour, he jumped out of his Bradley Fighting Vehicle in the middle of a firefight to rescue an Iraqi woman on a bridge near the Euphrates.

That event was captured by an embedded Associated Press reporter and broadcast around the world, putting Carter in the uncomfortable position of being an early hero in a war with few heroes.

The story, on the whole, is a positive story. It's about Army MAJ Chris Carter and his third deployment to Iraq. And like I say, perhaps the author, Bo Emerson, meant something else - like Carter was an early hero in a war which had not recognized many heroes at that time. But that's not how it sounds - at least to me.

Of course we all know that we've had scores of heroes in that war - 4 Medal of Honor recipients, probably 20 or so Airforce, Navy and Distinguished Service Cross recipients, and well over 200 Silver Stars awarded. Additionally hundreds of Bronze Stars with "V" device have been awarded as well.

Now I don't mean to rain on MAJ Carter's parade. He's a hero in anyone's parlance and deserving of the accolades. I wish him an uneventful and successful third tour with my profound thanks for his service and his family's sacrifice.

But I can't let the line about "few heroes" pass without remark. If it was a mistake and Mr. Emerson meant there were few heroes evident early in the war, then he needs to clarify that. However, if, as I read it, he meant there are few heroes in that war at all, then he's simply wrong and needs to be called on it.

The problem isn't that there are few heroes in that war. The problem is that the many heroes of that war have gotten little media coverage. We certainly know that, because for years we have been covering those heroes and telling their stories when the media didn't. However the media's lack of coverage has created a "conventional wisdom" within the press that Iraq is a war with "few heroes".

They're wrong, they need to understand they're wrong and they also need to be called on it every time they trot this canard out there. If you're inclined to let Mr. Emerson know his remark is unfounded, please be polite and use facts. Like I said, his, for the most part, is a positive article, and those are always appreciated. His email address is at the end of the article.


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