I nearly read this book in 2014, only my reading schedule was tight and I put it aside for another time. After watching the documentary a few weeks back, I decided the time to read it was now, as I could not believe that the book would be anywhere near as sensationalist in style as that truly awful documentary.
I was disappointed to find that
it was. Maybe I shouldn't have watched the Doco first with all it's
blatant heart string pulling slow shots of children's little faces and
weeping wives and grandmothers. Maybe my cynicism came to the book as a
result of that tarnish. But there was no doubt what this author was
about. Sensationalism in it's finest post Vietnam War petticoats.
happened to War Journalism during and after the Vietnam War. With the
other large conflicts that preceded it, WW1 and WW2, civilians had blind
faith in their soldiers. They were heroes and assets to their greater
community, gracing print media and advertising material with their arms
around the girl, or Coca Cola pouring down their throats.
They could do no wrong and did no wrong. They did not rape nor torture, and collateral damage was a myth.
course, none of that was true. But while soldiers in WWI & II were
portrayed with positive bias, the Vietnam War brought about a new world
order of negative bias. These modern armies became armies of 'baby
killers'. Degraded and shamed by the media, they were murderers of women
and children. Burning villages, slaughterers of the innocent.
was murder. There is no doubt of that. Women and children killed and
villages destroyed, but it has always been this way in war. It was this
way in WWI and WWII. It was this way in Iraq and Afghanistan, and it
will be this way forever more. This is the bloody reality of War. And
while this journalist went about trying to expose covert US led
thuggery, tried to prove that the American military and the JSOC arm
were all bloodthirsty baby killers, to me all he really managed to
expose was his own ignorance of War.
Isn't it time that
journalists got passed the exhaustive finger pointing. This need to
sensationalise and dramatise for the benefit of making a name for
themselves amoung the bleeding hearts?
I did not think this book revealed any new moot points about American led covert global operations. The author worked the usual angles of America
the thug. America the war monger. Killing with expedience and without
remorse. Baby killers.
Vietnam's Search and Destroy becomes the Middle
East's Capture or Kill.
So easy to put down an easy target like the US, when one does not realise they are only one piece of a broader puzzle.
do not go these things alone. Why do journalists like these ignore that
fact? What conflict or offensive has America ever gone into that was
not supported by another country in some way or boosted by Coalition
This book did it's job. It exposed some catastrophic
failures by professional soldiers. To err is human. And in many cases,
those errors have disappointing outcomes. That will always be revealed
when you put War under the microscope.
The world is full of
readers who will not sense the exaggerated stylings of its author, but
since I am not a bleeding heart, I believe less than half of what he is saying. I know when a
journalist who was not there and does not know, and clearly did not heed
any opportunity to expunge JSOC of any sin (imagined or not), is trying
to lead me around by the nose.