Thursday, November 06, 2003

Well, at least someone involved has some sense.

I have a newfound respect for former POW Jessica Lynch. Like many of us, I'm sure, I've been annoyed by the way the media and the military seemed to be turning her into a peaches-and-cream heroine, a damsel in distress sort of emblem for all that is good in America. Lynch, unlike that "Let's Roll" widow, recognizes this is horrible and calls the media on their bullshit.

Initial reports portrayed the Army supply clerk, then 19, as a hero who was wounded by Iraqi gunfire but kept firing until her ammunition ran out, shooting several Iraqis.

But Lynch confirms that was not the case. She tells Sawyer she was just a soldier in the wrong place at the wrong time, whose gun jammed during the chaos. "I'm not about to take credit for something I didn't do,"

..."I don't look at myself as a hero," she adds. "My heroes are Lori [Pfc. Lori Piestewa], the soldiers that are over there, the soldiers that were in that car beside me, the ones that came and rescued me." Piestewa was one of the 11 members of Lynch's unit, the 507th Maintenance, who were killed in the ambush near the southern Iraqi town of Nasiriyah.

Well, at least someone is mentioning Piestewa, who I think should really be the one emerging as a hero and poster-girl.

There was also another aspect of Lynch's story here that I find disturbing. Maybe I'm just naive about how the military usually works, but you'd like to hope that they'd be fighting with reliable equipment, at the bare minimum.

She said her convoy was surrounded by Iraqi attackers: "They were coming from everywhere. We had vehicles getting stuck, vehicles running out of gas Â… our weapons were jamming."

...In the chaos of the ambush, Lynch says, she discovered that her gun was jammed and she was unable to defend herself. She was never able to fire her weapon.

Scary. But, the worst thing about this article I think is the fact that it has the tawdry headline "Jessica Lynch Says She Can't Remember Sexual Assault" and said assault is mentioned only once in the very first paragraph. The article goes on for four pages after that without mentioning sexual assault. Does the media really think the American public is so hungry to read about the rape of a soldier that they'll use it as a headline that misleading as to what the article is really about?

Worse still, is the American public actually hungry to read about the rape of a soldier? Creepy.

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