Sunday, November 05, 2006

Whatever Happened to Disagreeing Without Slander?

Perhaps slander is too harsh a word. However, I think that in this case, it might be the right word.

I should put in here that I am not a big fan of Seymour Hersh, or at least not a fan of his post-9/11 work. Mainly this is because I feel that his reporting and writing is influenced by a personal desire to find another My Lai.

In any event, at McGill university the other day, Mr. Hersh was giving a talk. It started out fine, with Mr. Hersh reminding everyone that the bad news is that there is 800+ days left in the president's term of office, but that tomorrow morning means that there will be one less day.

Then he went on to say that,

“In Vietnam, our soldiers came back and they were reviled as baby killers, in shame and humiliation,” he said. “It isn’t happening now, but I will tell you – there has never been an [American] army as violent and murderous as our army has been in Iraq.”
Not only is this probably not true (if you want to see an American force that was violent and murderous try taking a look at Philippines Insurrection during the Samar campaign), but its not helpful to the situation. Does Mr. Hersh believe that reverting back to the Vietnam-era form of protest by belitting, disparaging and insulting service personnel is the right way to go?

Mr. Hersh needs to apologize for that comment. Disagree with the policy. Disagree with the president. Protest, complain, vote. But how about not reverting to something that caused such deep psychic scars for many people who ultimately had little say about how, when, and where American policy was and is carried out. They and their families do not need someone doing this to them.

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