First published Wednesday, July 19, 2006
What is a civilian?
It used to be one could tell who was not a civilian by the uniform they wore and the country they worked for.
But now, enemies do not wear uniforms. They don’t even display cute shoulder insignia. And we have a media still living in a time when they did.
It seems the more personal a reporter can make a story they more interesting it is to the reporter and the more we tend to measure a battle by its casualities, both civilian and military.
Face it. Soldiers are weapons. When the ‘soldier’ of an enemy cannot be identified differently than the people they hide within isn’t each ‘civilian collateral death’ a potential measurement of success of a campaign against an ‘army’ that doesn’t look like one?
One talking head after another faces down news viewers with cries of the dastardly carnage of war.
They bemoan the loss of civilian life when not even they can tell the difference between an enemy combatant and a civilian.
Excuse me. War is a bad thing. It means lives will be lost.
But instead of reporting that one force manages to inflict casualities, reporters lament casualties and condemn the loss of life.
Loss of life is a bad thing too, regardless of how. But loss of life in a war is at least for a purpose.
The reporting of the loss of life, and the macabre count up of it by the media changes the measurement of a war from the cause to the immediate result and tends to make even the strongest leader whince at a larger number.
Any force not willing to take casualties is a force not willing to win.
It is what caused America to be utterly embarrassed in Vietnam.
It is what is causing America to be branded in Iraq.
It is now the focus during Israel’s war of survival.
Someone needs to at least inform the media that war kills so it won’t be such a big surprise to them and at least educate them that it happens and that does not change the purpose.