Andy Rooney: "Our Soldiers Aren't Heroes"
1. Do you think your country did the right thing sending you into Iraq? 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? 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? 4. If you could have a medal or a trip home, which would you take? 5. Are you encouraged by all the talk back home about how brave you are and how everyone supports you?Let that all sink in. Go ahead, read them again. I'm going to ignore 1-3 for now. Lots of folks have covered them already. Check Misha and Bastard Sword. Read Rantburg. Question number four: 4. If you could have a medal or a trip home, which would you take? Giving the soldiers these two choices is like putting a puppy and a child in front of a man and asking, which would you rather stab with a fork? No matter what the answer, the man will be viewed as a terrible person. Andy does not give the soldiers an opporunity to say - neither, I would much rather stay here and win this thing and come home in one piece, medal or not. Which, I believe, most of them would say. The question Rooney presents is very leading. He wants a certain answer that will allow him to rip apart the soldier doing the answering. So he asks the question in such a way tht is designed to give Rooney ammunition for the ensuing rant. Much in the same way 60 minutes conducts a lot of its interviews. So let's ask some other people the question, but let's be fair and put a third choice in there, which would be c) other. Lt. Smash? Sgt. Hook? Chief Wiggles? Black Five? Baldilocks? How would you soldiers answer that? Oh, Baldilocks gets off a good one on Andy: If someone loved you, Mr. Rooney, they’d stop you from drooling in public. Now, question number five: 5. Are you encouraged by all the talk back home about how brave you are and how everyone supports you? This man is paid to interview people and this is what he comes up with? Well, no sir. We actually hate it when people encourage us. We hate when they call us brave and support us. We really like those other guys, the ones who call for our death. What a complete bucket of slop that question is. What kind of answer is Rooney looking for? Oh, he probably is just waiting to hear this "Please don't support us, America. We are bad people doing a bad thing. Mommy, I want to go home! They are making me kill terrorirsts!" Here's the real question Rooney should pose instead: Are you discouraged by the amount of American people supporting the insurgency? How does it feel to know that you are here putting your ass on the line so we don't end up on the receiving end of a massive bomb someday and there are people in San Fran marching the streets with signs calling for the insurgents to kill you? Are you discouraged by the show of support for al Sadr and Saddam's thugs right here in the U.S.? How do you respond when you finally get to see some U.S. news and you're greeted by people marching on the White House depicting you as a murderer who deserves to die? How do you feel when you see people calling for your withdrawal so that everything you have worked for so far will be all for nothing? And how do you feel knowing that your family back home is confronted everyday with images of your fellow soldiers being kidnapped, killed and maimed and there are an awful lot of people, your neighbors even, who think this is ok because soldiers deserve that? And I would add one thing to that: How do you feel about Andy Rooney asking these questions at all? Rooney has the right to ask these things of the soldiers. First ammendment and all that. You know, that thing they never had in Iraq. Free speech, I believe it's called. But once Rooney makes his senile, batty questions public, he is open to the backlash that comes with it, and he is open to people questioning his patriotism. Yes, his patriotism. Anyone who can look a soldier in the eye and ask the question 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? is willfully, knowingly and deliberatley contributing to lowering the morale of our troops. Rooney should have give it up a long time ago. I say this not just because of these questions he came up with. I always questioned the wisdom of having this man on television. He has nothing to offer the world. His segments on 60 minutes are usually nothing more than the blusterings of a man who has yet to figure out that watching him is like watching corrosive acid leak out of a battery. In a different time, Rooney might have been fired for saying such things as he said in his column. The one titled: Our soldiers in Iraq aren't heroes bq. 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.
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. But this is the new America. It's ok to talk about our brave (yes, brave) soldiers like that. It's ok, because America is evil and our soldiers are just the minions of Satan doing his bidding. It's ok, because Bush is a bad, bad man who willfully let 9/11 happen on his watch just so he can be a war president. It's ok because, even though we are at war with militant religious zealots who would prefer that the whole world be under their power, America must somehow be in the wrong to want to stop that. This is a very sad, sad time in this country. When people as famous and well-read as Andy Rooney can sit back from the comfort of their easy chairs and kick our soldiers in the balls and people just shrug, then we can honestly say this country has gone to hell and the people who encourage the enemies against our soldiers are leading the conga line into the furnace. And they are grinning. You win, Andy. You've taken the idea that our soldiers are evil out of the DU/Indymedia closet and brought it to the mainstream. You've put the idea out that our soldiers would like the opportunity to choose between a medal and a trip home, job in Iraq be damned. You've put the idea into their heads that the people in the states are somehow wrong for encouraging and supporting them. You've given them the idea that we are all sitting here in the states laughing and pointing at their commanders. Oh, there are people doing that. But they are a very small fraction of us. Unfortunately, the squeaky one gets the press and when someone with the fame of an Andy Rooney starts squeaking, the press starts feeding it all the cheese it wants. Squeaky mice make for good sound bites and great stories. The press no longer thinks yellow ribbons and support for soldiers is worthy of a few paragraphs or a segment on the ten o'clock news. Yep, you guys have won. Congratulations. When the soldiers in Baghdad turn on CNN, they'll hear about Rooney and the anti-war protests and their morale will sink. Just what you wanted, isn't it? Good work, Rooney. Good work, media. Nice job, anti-war crowd. Figuratively speaking, you've just fucked our soldiers up the ass. Update: Jim has more. And a good rant here.