We now have another dust-up over alleged troop misconduct in Afghanistan. On Wednesday, the LA Times published photographs from two years ago in which U.S. troops are seen posing next to the bodies of suicide bombers. Following the LA Times’ actions, Washington has gone nuts. The White House has condemned the troops. The Pentagon has condemned the troops. The U.S. commander in Afghanistan has condemned the troops. Wait just a second! War is hell, right? Who’s jumping forward to condemn the LA Times for blatant sensationalism and a pathetic reach for ratings?
Does anyone out there have ANY idea what it’s like being in the shoes of troops on the front lines of war? Sure… plenty… because they served in their shoes. What makes me absolutely crazy are people like Obama and his spokesman and editors at these elitist left-wing newspapers that look for any opportunity to denounce our troops. Give me a break.
As noted at Mediaite.com, “After White House condemnation of the L.A. Times for publishing photos of uniformed military posing with the bodies of suicide bombers, Fox News contributor and retired United States Army Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Peters described himself as ‘furious’ at the L.A. Times and the civilian military leadership for their handling of the nascent scandal.”
Here’s part of what Peters had to say:
“No terrorists were harmed in the taking of those snap shots,” said Peters. “The real scandal is that the L.A. Times, desperate to survive, creates a scandal, publishes those pictures over the Pentagon’s objections. The real scandal is that the establishment media leaps on another chance to trash our troops. The worst of the scandal is that our leaders, in and out of uniform, rush to condemn our troops – no explanation, no context.”
“I suggest the White House spokesman Jay Carney join the military and see what it’s like himself before he condemns our troops,” Peters continued. “I’m especially appalled that those in uniform, General [John R.] Allen, our commander in Afghanistan, just jumped to trash our troops.”
So what did the White House have to say about this? Here’s a quote from White House Press Secretary Jay Carney:
“[The] conduct depicted in those photographs is reprehensible and does not in any way represent the high standards of the US military,” Carney said to reporters on Air Force One. “And the president certainly shares in the defense secretary’s opinion that this should be investigated and those held responsible will be held accountable.”
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said this:
“I strongly condemned what we see in those photos as has Gen. Allen. That behavior that was depicted in those photos absolutely violates both our regulations and, more importantly, our core values. And it’s certainly not who we represent when it comes to the great majority of men and women in uniform.”
Where’s the outrage here? I’m not talking about outrage toward the troops. I’m talking about outrage at the LA Times and everyone of these so-called leaders who don’t have courage enough to stand up for service men and women. Peters summed up the issue perfectly in the interview on Fox News:
“The Greatest Generation sent Japanese skulls home to their girlfriends. I’m not condoning it, but I’m trying to make the point that our soldiers out on the front line and our marines are under tremendous stresses. War is not a ladies auxiliary tea party, and it’s all too easy for people comfortable in Los Angeles, or New York or the White House to condemn the troops without context.”
What do you think? Should the pictures have been published? Where should the outrage lie? With the troops or with the LA Times and Washington?