Whenever a crazed gay murderer or psychopath, like Jeffrey Dahmer or Andrew Cunanan, dominates the news, extreme social conservatives are quick to seize on the story in order to show how horrible, no good and very bad “homosexuals” are. They delight in defining our community by its worst elements.
We’re seeing something similar in the MSM coverage of the alleged massacre at Haditha. While doing the StairMaster at my gym barely twenty-four hours before our troops took out one of the world’s most notorious mass-murderers, I watched CNN devote a long segment to this story, featuring an interview with General John Batiste, an outspoken critical of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, but not including anyone defending the Administration. It seemed that that “news” network’s coverage of the war focuses on our troops’ bad behavior with commentary coming primarily from critics of the coalition.
CNN & other MSM outlets reporting Haditha suggest not only that our Marines did indeed murder those civilians, but also imply (as have Murtha, the New York Times et al.) that this is not because the soldiers are themselves bad people per se, but because the stress of an unnecessary war whose execution was botched by Rumseld & Co. made them do bad things.
As Bruce pointed out earlier today, the accused Marines may not even be guilty of alleged atrocities. Even if they are (in which case, I agree with Bruce that they should be punished to the “full extent” of the law), these troops represent fewer than 1% of 1% of U.S. soldiers who have served in Iraq. If the circumstances of this particular war caused such atrocities, there would be many more “Hadithas.”
To be sure, there have been a few cases of American soldiers committing atrocities, but these actions have been exceptions. By and large, our soldiers have performed exaclty like those who took our Zarqawi earlier this week, bravely and honorably serving our country. Those committing such atrocities represent the average serviceman as well as Jeffrey Dahmer represents the average gay man.
And I’m almost certain that some on the radical right have made arguments similar to Murtha’s, that it wasn’t that Jeffrey Dahmer was per se a bad person, but that some other force caused him to murder young men. If our society weren’t so tolerant of homosexuality, he wouldn’t have committed those crimes.
According to Murtha and the MSM, if we weren’t in this bad war, our military wouldn’t be murdering innocent Iraqis. If the war is so bad, how come our troops are doing so many good things in Iraq? Although CNN rarely shows such things; our troops have been busy building roads and schools, helping kids, rushing wounded Iraqis to hospitals — and especially doing what they do best, taking out terrorists. Similarly, anti-gay social conservatives don’t show gay people volunteering for theirs communities, taking care of theirs parents and partners or living their lives pretty much like straight people do. They don’t report the numerous monogamous gay couples. Or the well-adjusted children of gay and lesbian parents.
Maybe service in the military caused the great majority of our troops to do so many good things. And maybe coming out helped gay people become better individuals.
As we have seen from MSM attempts to downplay the meaning of the death of the terrorist leader of the “insurgency” in Iraq, our “news” outlets would rather dismiss evidence of our success in Iraq and focus on the bad news.
Similarly, extreme social conservatives would rather dwell on the Dahmers — or the drugged-out denizens of dark dance clubs. Or the angry lesbians. Or promiscuous gay men incapable of observing the basic rules of safe sex. They have a template of how “homosexuals” are supposed to behave. And some do indeed behave that way. So, the anti-gay forces are quick to highlight such behavior — and ignore any information which contradicts their narrow world view.
As to our military, the MSM is similarly narrow-minded. Just look at the coverage first of Abu Ghraib — and now Haditha; they repeat stories about the very worst behavior of our soldiers ad nauseum. But, when it comes to the exemplary service of the overwhelmingly majority of our soldiers, they act as it hasn’t happened — or mention it only in casual asides. Just as the most narrow social conservatives ignore the average, ordinary gay person. We just doesn’t fit into their image of the way we’re supposed to be.
And the exemplary behavior of the average soldier appears somehow to contradict the MSM’s image of our servicemen and women.
Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com