How Vets Were Changed by Iraq

Good friend and former Executive Director of Iraq Veterans Against the War Kelly Dougherty appeared (embed not working) on PBS Newshour with three other vets to discuss the ways in which Operation Iraqi Freedom changed her life.

Members of Veterans For Freedom usually grate on me when speaking in their official capacity but Lt. Zirkle was tolerable.

The one who really needs to be exposed is Major Ewing, who is transparently full of boloney and doesn’t belong on the news except to be exposed as such. What civilian viewers might not realize is that he’s using his rank (the most senior on the panel) to shut down his fellow panel members without honest debate. He wants us, with no independent examination of whether he has demonstrated his knowledge of the subject matter, to take him more seriously than the rest because he holds a higher military rank.  This goes a long way toward explaining why he, with such unqualified authority, references the “big picture” as if he knows something the rest of us don’t about how the Middle East, riven by revolution and a nuclear arms race that appears increasingly likely to go kinetic, is more stable than it was in 2002 and about how Iraq’s democratic government, in which there’s an arrest warrant for the Vice President and in which many army divisions identify on politicized lines, is functioning.  As a vet and a Marine, one picks up on these things.

Also, I find it hard to believe that any Iraqi told him in honesty that they wanted the US military to deliver “freedom” from the insurgency.  They may have used the word “security” or “stability,” but in my experience the only ones in Iraq throwing around the word “freedom” were US servicemembers.

It’s unfortunate that the format of the panel did not allow for PBS to challenge him on his fantastical political assessment.  Military officers, especially those on active duty, need to be challenged immediately on such public statements.  And if their military duties don’t allow them to arrive at certain assessments in a public setting, then they should not be asked the questions in the first place because they cannot be trusted to give the truthful answers on which television news is predicated.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: