web counter Media Lies: Sites, the Marine and the video

Monday, November 22, 2004

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Sites, the Marine and the video

Kevin Sites has posted the story of the shooting on his website. I've read a great deal about this incident, but I haven't written about it personally before. I fully understand why people get so emotional about something like this, but when I read comments that call Kevin Sites "a traitor", I think people are getting carried away.

If you advocate always telling the truth, you cannot be selective about the truth you're willing to reveal. You have to take the good with the bad. If the videos of French troops slaughtering unarmed civilians are fair game, then so are videos of American troops killing the enemy. Rather than protest the airing of the video and label Sites as a traitor, we should look at this as an opportunity to educate.

War is hell. Anyone who is honest knows this. It should be avoided at all costs. When it becomes necessary, we should not romanticize it. Ask any vet who has seen combat to describe what they saw, and they will answer you with silence. Combat is not something you share with anyone but the men who fought beside you.

Civilians need to understand that war is awful, nasty, inhuman, bloody hell. When you put men in the position of having to make split second life or death decisions, there will be questionable decisions made at times. When those times occur, it's the job of the JAG corps to sort out the details and determine what happened and whether or not a crime was committed under the rules of engagement. Until then, the rest of us should close our eyes and thank God that we have not been asked to make a similar decision or live in similar circumstances.

Pray for the Marine and for justice, but leave Kevin Sites out of it. All he did was provide the film. (Hat tip to Powerline.)