TV Idiots

TV Idiots

April 1, 2003                          Lack of context distorts war effort




“Dictators don’t stop killing and torturing people because people sing folk songs and write poetry politely asking them to stop. They stop because men with guns and bombs kill them and their followers.”


Dennis Domrzalski (Dom-zal-ski) is one of the funniest and most entertaining columnists and authors writing today. He rants against stupidity, hypocrisy, mediocrity and conformity with a flair, blue-collar bluntness and hilarity that no one can match. And his targets, whether they’re corrupted bureaucrats, blowhard, talentless newspaper editors, or dim-witted celebrities hate him because he makes them look like the losers they really are.

The Chicago native has been a newspaper reporter and columnist for 23 years. His new comic novel, I Got Stinky Feet, is an insanely funny attack on everything that is phony, pretentious and politically correct in America.



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     It's good thing that today's casualty obsessed TV news anchors and reporters weren't around in the Civil War to show us every time a soldier had an arm blown off or was killed. If they had been, the slaves would probably still be slaves.

     If the hand-wringing hair types had been frowning during the Revolutionary War we'd still be drinking tea instead of light beer. And heaven forbid if these history-challenged fools had been babbling into their lipstick cameras during World War II. We'd be a nation of slaves.

     It's not too strong to call some of these people idiots. And it's not too strong to suggest that their ignorance of history, especially military history endangers human liberty.

     Somehow these people--and through them, millions of Americans--have gotten it into their tiny minds that wars are dainty, orderly, deathless exercises, and not the chaotic, brutal and hellish events that they are.

     And unfortunately for all of us, the professional frowners apparently believe that humans gain their freedom merely by wishing for it or by singing folk songs.

     The TV fools were ecstatic during the first couple days of the war with Iraq. They were awed by the spectacular pyrotechnic display the U.S. put on in day two when the military blew up a bunch of Saddam Hussein's buildings in Baghdad. And they were giddy, because, despite the mighty display of force, it appeared that no one was killed.

     But they were in deep funks by day four when a few Americans and some Iraqi civilians were killed. And they appeared shocked when the Iraqis started fighting back and began taking prisoners.

     In their dangerous and irresponsible ways the TV people began declaring it a bloody day and a U.S. setback when fewer than 10 of our soldiers were killed. When fewer than 50 Americans out of a force of 100,000 had been killed or captured, they were frowning and referring to high casualties. And they began babbling about a prolonged war when we were only nine days into this fight.

     The TV people and all Americans should read some history.

     A truly bloody situation and "setback" is when Hitler hurls three million troops, 2,500 tanks and 3,000 airplanes against your country (the Soviet Union in World War II) and kills and captures several hundred thousand of your troops in the first six weeks of war.

     Big deal casualties are the seven million fighting men and women the Soviets lost in that war. Large civilian casualties are the 20 million citizens the Soviets lost in just four years of fighting.

      If it's a ruthless war against civilians the TV glamour people are looking for they shouldn't focus on the couple hundred or so Iraqi civilians that have been killed in Baghdad so far, but to the 900,000 people of Leningrad who died during the 900 day Nazi siege of their city. Or to the fire bombing that Hitler's air force carried out against British cities during the Battle of Britain. Or to the Japanese, who thought that raping women with swords and beheading people was great fun in Nanking.

     When Churchill took over from the appeasing Chamberlain in World War II he told the Brits he could offer them only "blood, tears, toil and sweat." Today's TV anchors and news analysts would have called him a war criminal.

     In World War II 405,000 of our soldiers were killed fighting the fanatical Japanese and Germans. Those are big losses. But that was about three-tenths of a percent of our population of 131 million.

      The allies landed 170,000 troops at Normandy on June 5, 1944. The Nazis launched savage counter attacks to drive them back into the English Channel. It took weeks of terrible fighting and enormous casualties for the Allies to break out of Normandy. They eventually liberated France and crushed the Germans. Brokaw and Jennings and company would have proclaimed the invasion a failure in the first 20 minutes.

     In our Revolutionary war we lost 25,324 soldiers killed, or six-tenths of a percent of our 3.9 million people. The TV babblers would have wailed into their cameras about the horrific, frozen conditions at Valley Forge and would have urged Washington to quit.

      The Civil War was our bloodiest. About 620,000 Americans died on both sides. That was 1.9 percent of the combined population of 31 million.

     And in the war with Iraq? As of March 30, 39 killed, 16 missing and seven captured for a total of 62. That's out of a population of 284 million.

     Wars are awful. Soldiers die in them and civilians are brutalized. A single casualty is catastrophic for the wife, kids, parents and siblings of the dead soldier. But things like freedom, justice and a respect for human rights must be fought for. Evil, demented dictators don't stop killing and torturing people because people sing folk songs and write poetry politely asking them to stop. They stop because men with guns and bombs kill them and their followers.

     In the Civil War Grant and Sherman waged brutal war against Lee and the slave-loving South. Sherman destroyed huge swaths--homes, farms, factories, railroads and whole towns--of the South in an effort to break its will to fight.

    Grant threw his men into nearly suicidal charges against the enemies of freedom, losing tens of thousands of troops in the process. But he won, and the world is a better place for it.

     These two generals shared another trait besides the ability to wage all-out war on behalf of freedom. They thought that many reporters were stupid and a danger to the war effort.

     History does repeat itself.


© Copyright 2003 Dennis Domrzalski All rights reserved