Rant: Joe the Plumber

I have just one question: Why on earth are people still paying attention to this guy? Samuel Wurzelbacher, who gained some fame during the election during the latter weeks of the campaigning, has been made a ‘War Correspondent’ for the conservative site Pajamas Media. Fine, okay, he’s going to try and do something. But when he starts spouting off crap like this, I have to really wonder about what’s really newsworthy, and the intelligence of some of my fellow countrymen.

From one article:

“To be honest with you, I don’t think journalists should be anywhere allowed war [sic]. . . . I liked back in World War I and World War II, when you’d go to the theater and you’d see your troops on the screen and everyone would be real excited and happy for them,” he said in an interview with the Associated Press.
“Now everyone’s got an opinion and wants to down soldiers—our American soldiers, our Israeli soldiers. I think media should be abolished from reporting,” he said.

What complete and utter bullshit. Not only is it incredibly shortsighted, it just practically just shouts obedience and follow orders quietly.
War reporting is an incredibly important thing to have happen in a war zone during hostilities. Without reporting, we wouldn’t have known anything about what was going on, especially when a number of problems came up. Without reporting, atrocities would have never been reported and would have likely continued.

I can appreciate the notion of wanting to support the soldiers that we’ve deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. But to be completely honest, the reporting for soldiers has been largely positive, with much of the criticism going against the administration and people who have mismanaged the war. Soldiers have come under fire from the press when they’ve done something that is really wrong, such as torturing prisoners or other unconscionable actions. People who do that not only bring down the honor of our soldiers, but of our entire nation. If they commit a crime, they shouldn’t be supported or allowed to continue.

Looking at some of the other things that he’s said, he’s alluded to World War II. There were atrocities there too. Our soldiers have been known to execute POWs, and there has been allegations and reports of rape and torture while the allied forces moved inwards. This wasn’t reported, or it was suppressed, but it certainly has given a number of people the very wrong impression of warfare – It’s never clean, it’s almost never right and it brings out the absolute worst from everyone involved. World War II unjustly has a reputation for the Just War, or the Good War. It wasn’t. It was just a necessary war that was still just a war.

Another small point: Israel’s soldiers aren’t our soldiers. They’re not American citizens, not on our payroll, etc. A vast majority of the people that I’ve come across don’t want to down soldiers – they have the upmost respect for them and what they do, but they want to make sure that we can be proud of our soldiers. The media is the only thing that really is a good safeguard to making sure that war is fought by the few, necessary rules that we’ve set up. But on the whole, I’m more astonished by the attitude here, that people should essentially put the war into the hands of someone else. To some extent, that’s true, because I’m no more qualified to run a war than this guy is. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t question why we’re doing this, because warfare and the political policies that go into it are things that need to be questioned, constantly.

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