web analytics
September 16, 2014 / 21 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



Home » InDepth » Monitor »

The Moral Clarity Of Fighting Men



In “The Media and the Military,” an article in the November issue of The Atlantic - arguably the best serious magazine in America today - Robert Kaplan writes of the great social and cultural divide that exists between the nation’s elite journalists and its soldiers.

Nowhere is that divide more evident than in the “starkly differing” (Kaplan’s words) ways that President Bush is viewed by members of the military and members of the media. Soldiers – certainly noncommissioned officers (NCOs) – hold Bush in high regard “for subjective cultural reasons. His voice is a clear, simple one that speaks of a clash between good and evil, between good guys and bad guys. Bush talks like a believer; he is unabashedly Christian. He says openly that it is all right to kill the enemy, which goes a long way with military fighting units.”

An Air Force master sergeant told Kaplan, “I reject the notion that Bush is inarticulate. He is more articulate than Clinton. When Bush says something, he’s clear enough that you argue about whether you agree with him or not. When Clinton talks, you argue over what he really meant.”

Kaplan adds that Bush “connects with sergeants and corporals in the same visceral, almost tribal way that I saw Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, a sophisticated European Jew who relaxed to the music of Chopin, connect with the tough, working-class Oriental Jews of Israel’s slums and development towns a quarter century ago. The Oriental Jews, like American NCOs, were looking not for subtlety or complexity but for clarity. How deeply does this man believe? Will he fight to the finish?”

The same issue of The Atlantic carries an uncommonly eloquent letter to the editor from Stan Coerr, a major in the Marine Reserves, which drives home Kaplan’s point that reporters and soldiers generally inhabit separate moral and political universes, as should be clear from the following excerpts:

“… I was commander of five U.S. Marine air/naval gunfire liaison teams, and also the liaison officer between U.S. Marines and British army forces…. As dawn broke on March 22, 2003, I became part of one of the largest and fastest land movements in the history of war. I went across the border alongside my brothers in the Royal Irish, following the 5th Marine Regiment from Camp Pendleton as they swept through the Ramaylah oil fields…. I killed many Iraqi soldiers, as they tried to kill me and my Marines…. I saw, up close, everything the rest of you see in the newspapers: dead bodies, parts of dead bodies, helmets with bullet holes through them, handcuffed POWs sitting in the sand, oil-well fires with flames reaching a hundred feet into the air and a roar you could hear from over a mile away.

“… Along with the violence, I saw many things that lifted my heart. I saw thousands of Iraqis in cities like Qurnah and Medinah - men, women, children, grandparents carrying babies - running into the streets at the sight of us, the first Western army to arrive. I saw them screaming, crying, waving, cheering. They ran from their homes at the sound of our Humvee tires roaring in from the south; they brought us bread and tea and cigarettes and photos of their children. They chattered at us in Arabic, and we spoke to them in English, and neither understood the other. The entire time I was in Iraq, I had one impression from the civilians I met: Thank God someone has finally arrived with bigger men and bigger guns to be, at last, on our side.

“Let there be no mistake, those of you who don’t believe in this war: the Baath rulers were the Nazis of the second half of the twentieth century. I saw what the murderous, brutal regime of Saddam Hussein wrought on that country through his party and their fedayeen henchmen. They raped, murdered, tortured, extorted, and terrorized for thirty-five years. There are mass graves throughout Iraq only now being discovered. The 1st Battalion of the 5th Marine Regiment liberated a prison in Iraq populated entirely by children…. The war was the right thing to do then, and in hindsight it was still the right thing to do….

About the Author: Jason Maoz is the Senior Editor of The Jewish Press.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “The Moral Clarity Of Fighting Men”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
rocketpopmap12009
IDF Confirms: Rocket Launched from Gaza
Latest Indepth Stories
IDF lone soldier and Ohio native David Menachem Gordon (z"l).

We talked about the responsibility that comes with the pen, its potential to influence and inspire.

.

Amnesty International:The crippling of the power station was “collective punishment of Palestinians”

Donny-Fuchs-medium

Originally scheduled to be held elsewhere, the hotel canceled, pressured by local missionary groups

syria_stratfo

It’s likely that some of the rebel factions, including US clients, have indeed made pacts with ISIS

Imam Tafsirli of the Harlem Islamic center: “You cannot be a Muslim without believing in Jesus”

If simple fuel choice were implemented, the power of petroleum and those who sell it would cease.

Value of IS: It enables people to see the place to which all other Islamist fascism is headed.

“When Frank does something he does it well and you don’t have to worry about dotting the i’s or crossing the t’s.”

President Obama: “ISIL is not Islamic. No religion condones the killing of innocents”

he time of the Uman pilgrimage is upon us, and we dare not ignore the opportunity to highlight the danger.

Healing requires that the victim be validated for being harmed and the guilty assume responsibility.

During the war, not once was Hashem’s name mentioned to the nation by Israel’s PM or gov’t officials

How many illegal Arab structures are there in the city? Why are they not being destroyed?

We did not win the war in Gaza because we are still captive to the concept of the 2 state solution.

Trapped in a false notion of power, America will lose the battle in the same way Israel now loses.

More Articles from Jason Maoz
Charles Krauthammer

Wye would be seen to have set the groundwork for the creation of a Palestinian state

Presidential-Seal-062014

These are not necessarily the best all-around biographies or studies of the individual presidents listed (though some rank right up there), but the strongest in terms of exploring presidential attitudes and policies toward Israel.

The Clintonan “engagement” liberals remember with such fondness did nothing but embolden Arafat and Hamas and Hizbullah as they witnessed Israel’s only real ally elevate process ahead of policy.

What really makes one wonder about the affinity felt by certain Jews for Grant was the welcome mat he put out for some of the country’s most pernicious anti-Semites.

With 2013 marking half a century since Kennedy’s fateful limousine ride in Dallas, the current revels are exceeding the revisionist frenzies of years past, with a seemingly endless parade of books, articles and television specials designed to assure us that, despite everything that has come to light about him since his death, JFK was a great president, or at least a very good president who would have been great had his life not been so cruelly cut short.

As someone who for the past fifteen years has been writing a column that largely focuses on the news media, I’ve read what is no doubt an altogether unhealthy number of books on the subject. Most of them were instantly forgettable while some created a brief buzz but failed to pass the test of time. And then there were those select few that merited a permanent spot on the bookshelf.

George W. Bush has been getting some positive media coverage lately, with recent polls showing him at least as popular as his successor, Barack Obama, and a big new book about the Bush presidency by New York Times chief White House correspondent Peter Baker (Days of Fire, Doubleday) portraying Bush as a much more hands-on chief executive than his detractors ever imagined.

Readers who’ve stuck with the Monitor over the years will forgive this rerun of sorts, but as we approach the fortieth anniversary of the Yom Kippur War – and with the stench of presidential indecisiveness hanging so heavily over Washington these days – it seemed only appropriate to revisit Richard Nixon’s role in enabling Israel to recover from the staggering setbacks it suffered in the first week of fighting.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/media-monitor/the-moral-clarity-of-fighting-men/2004/11/10/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: