NYT tries to revive the “crazy vet” meme


One of the most enduring themes of the Viet Nam era was that of the badly damaged Vietnam vet who came home and created mayhem – all because of his experiences and training. It was a myth that died hard only because the war was so unpopular and so many people wanted to believe it.

BG Burkett in his book Stolen Valor, completely takes all the underlying premises that supported that myth apart with facts and statistics. I don’t have time to relate them all but I cannot recommend that book highly enough.

That said, this article by Luke Mogelson in the New York Times Magazine (via PJ Tatler) entitled “The Beast In The Heart Of Every Fighting Man” is a travesty. It’s subhead gives you a clue why:

The case against American soldiers accused of murdering Afghan civilians turns on the idea of a rogue unit. But what if the killings are a symptom of a deeper problem?

Instead of telling the story of the now infamous “kill squad” from the 5th Stryker Brigade out of Ft. Lewis WA, and the reasons for their actions and activities, Mogelson does what many hacks do and tries to conflate what happened in a single platoon out in the middle of nowhere in Afghanistan with a problem that infects the entire military.

Granted – no, stipulated – war is hell, it changes people, it is something which anyone who has ever experienced it up close and personal would never wish on another person. And yes, there are stresses that come from multiple deployments, leaving your family behind and watching men you think more of than anyone in the world die in action. But those stresses aren’t unique to these wars. Yes, multiple deployments are fairly unique. But then the alternative is the duration – which my parents did in WWII – 4 years of war, from beginning to end.

But that’s not the point of the article. Mogelson does a credible job of telling the “kill squad” story. It’s a horrible story in which a deviant but charismatic junior leader, in an isolated outpost, talks some impressionable squad members into doing the unthinkable all while the weak leadership in charge of the platoon failed in their roles.

Had he left it here, I could actually find myself saying nice things about it. It is a story that must be told.

But he didn’t leave it there. He started to veer in that old and predictable lane in which the military is indicted for making robot killers out of their charges and becoming so good at it that things like this happen.

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I, too, saw that story via the Tatler.
Since I had followed the case somewhat I was surprised by this article’s twisted take on what happened.
Luke Mogelson would agree that no one should paint all Muslims as violent jihadis.
In fact, you described some of the same things that happen to make jihadis out of Muslim men:

It’s a horrible story in which a deviant but charismatic junior leader, in an isolated outpost, talks some impressionable squad members into doing the unthinkable all while the weak leadership in charge of the platoon failed in their roles.

Members of the terror cells and also of the ”sudden jihad syndrome” individuals have been found to have been impressionable people influenced by deviant but charismatic imams or mullahs, sheiks or ulema.

At one point in their training they are isolated so that others they might have respected cannot perform their proper role in moderating away their new ideas.

But, while Luke Mogelson would agree that no one should paint all Muslims as violent jihadis, he has no problem extrapolating one severe case onto many, even most men in service.

Shame on him.
For the dishonest article AND for the cognitive dissonance.

Today, again, in his article that is basically a “look what these crazed American forces are guilty of” another NYSlimes reporter shows a photo taken six years ago of a frightened and bloody little girl after her parents were killed by American forces. But if that was not bad enough, you have to read the responses to his article. Hated for President Bush is on full display with stupid comments from people in lots of nations that have never suffered from terrorism or knew what it was like to lose a loved one because of Islamists who are intent on killing them.

Where do these people come from? When the POTUS travels to Fort Campbell, Ky to congratulate the Night Stalkers, where do these slugs come from that cannot find joy in the death of the most wanted man in the world, the man who racked so much death and destruction on our nation, but instead have to slander our military?

We have lost 6,023 American soldiers in the war against Islamic terror in Iraq and Afghanistan. Of those lost in Afghanistan, 60% of them have died under the command of Barack Hussein Obama, Jr., product of a atheist, globe hopping hippy and a radical Islamic Marxist. That loss represents one in every 50,475 Americans. But not for my small town, no, not for us. Out of 4,000 citizens, we have lost five of our best and bravest, one for every 800 residents, four of them since Obama has taken office.

My only wish was that Mohammed Atta had missed his mark and hit the NYslimes building instead.

My God, how I hate these liberals. And with every funeral I have attended, all five of them, my hatred grows even deeper.

It’s unlikely I have felt as much disgust for humans as I did after reading that NY Mag Slag piece by Mogelson… and worse yet, the comments following the article. Oddly enough, Mogulson is a recently discharged Nat’l Guard member, and received the Wallace Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University’s creative writing program for his NYT’s Mag cover story on this story. One has to wonder if, in the events of this past week, he’s not somewhat chagrined that the story… most likely blocked in for this edition – happen to inconveniently fall within a week where shooting pundit arrows at the military isn’t likely to be well received.

Then again, he’s a Bennington College, VT type… that’s Indy/socialist Bernie Sanders territory. While he seems to suggest this isn’t indicative of all our soldiers, his highlight and stress on the long war and it’s effect belies that “doth protest too much” type language.

My question would be, did the guy ever deploy overseas with the guard? Or is he a conscientious objector, observing from a closer perimeter on the weekends? Anyone know?

Mata, why dredge up a photo from 2005 in Afghanistan of a frightened, bloody child whose parents were killed by U.S. forces? What was the NYSlimes purpose in that? On a week-end when even the disgusting liberals in D.C. are singing the praises of our military?

For one reason, to do a story on that little girl six years later and lament her loss. So f*cking what? How many orphans did ObL create? I am so damn sick of hearing about how badly we should feel because the Afghanis themselves refused to out bin Laden and the Taliban. Remember, Massoud was our friend. He was the leader of the Northern Alliance and it was ObL and Al Qaeda that killed him. He was the one chance that Afghanistan had for a somewhat democratic government.

I have as much use for these left wing bastards as I do for Muslims, who remain quiet as their co-religionists try to kill westerners. I am tired of being told that it is a “religion of peace” and that not all Muslims are like ObL. Yet, we see Muslims marching in Great Britain with signs that Islam will take over the world and they are going to kill westerners.

We are at war. But the left wants to deny that. And make no mistake, while it may not be a religious war for us, it is for the terrorists. They are just picking up where they left off on September 11, 1683.