This sort of floridly anti-military and anti-American behavior on the part of the nut clusters on the political left seems to be a fairly frequent occurrance in this day and age. Berkeley happens to be one of the main players in these little psychodramas, but you can find the same sort of moral insanity wherever the species academicus pseudointellectualis runs rampant, i.e., in most university towns.
The same manics who espouse the "military oppresses and victimizes our children" meme--which was the Berkeley City Council's righteous explanation of their scurrilous behavior--will often rapidly shift into a somber depressive mode at a moment's notice and, as evidence of their devout "support of the troops", will tut tut about the terrible victimization of the poor, oppressed and helpless 'children' who serve in the U.S. military.
Thomas Sowell made an excellent point about this sometime back when he discussed the way the left "support the troops":
The front cover of Newsweek's March 5th issue featured a woman with amputated legs and a sweatshirt that said "ARMY" across the front. Inside, there were pages and pages of other pictures of badly wounded and disfigured military veterans, in a long article that began under the big headline: "Forgotten Heroes."
The utter hypocrisy of all this can be seen in the word "heroes." There have been many acts of heroism among our troops in Iraq -- but those heroes didn't make the front cover of Newsweek.
One man fell on a grenade to protect his buddies, smothering the fatal blast with his body, so that those around him might live when he died. But that never made the front cover of Newsweek. It was barely mentioned anywhere in the liberal media.
They are not interested in heroes. They are interested in depicting victims -- in the military as in civilian society...
After generations of dumbed-down education in our schools, perhaps it is inevitable that there would be large numbers of people who have no way of separating rhetoric from reality.
The reality is that many of those in the media and in politics who are constantly talking about "supporting our troops" or "honoring our troops" have for years been in the forefront of those criticizing or undermining the military, long before the Iraq war.
Now this is a theme the political left really gets behind! And it regularly alternates with the regularly recycled one about the US military being murderous, raping oppressors, who seduce foolish children into joining their ranks--in Berkeley and elsewhere.
Until recently, almost all of the leftist rhetoric against the Iraq war has focused dramatically on the toll it has taken on our military. This was seen in the daily death counts; the portentous talking heads seriously intoning about the latest explosions and such. How horrible and tragic it all is blah blah blah.
You saw a lot of this until the troop surge began to dramatically cut back on the American casualties in Iraq.
But as Sowell notes, parading casualties in front of the public is not the same thing as "honoring our troops." Honoring them means that we need to talk about the good things they have done; their achievements. But on those realities, the left and their Democratic mouthpieces in Congress and the MSM are almost completely silent.
Simply "pointing out that someone is dismembered or disfigured" is not "honoring" them.
Honoring them is recognizing their sacrifice by placing it in perspective.
No one in the MSM, for example, has ever acknowledged that those who join the military and put their lives on the line for their country do so voluntarily and that they see it as a profession; with professional risks that they are willing to take.
Almost always, the focus of such stories is on the few souls who deeply regret having made the choice to serve and now want to break their committments and walk away from it all. Such morally vacillating individuals are celebrated for "coming to their senses" and heroically "speaking truth to power". That they made a choice and that the honorable thing would be to live with the consequences of that choice is never discussed. It is considered a "travesty" that they have consequences--like a court martial--at all.
Almost everything that is reported is designed to demonstrate what an awful war the poor victimized soldiers have to fight in. And how inconsiderate and uncaring the evil Bush Administration is toward their plight.
You may have noticed that, for the most part, there are only two ideological templates that exist for journalism regarding the U.S. military: Either, (1) they are the poor helpless victims of an oppressive military system and the current political administration which horribly abuses them; OR, (2) they are the brutal, savage, sadistic psychopaths that enjoy inflicting death and misery and who are encouraged to do so by the oppressive military system and the current political administration.
Just yesterday, the "Abu Ghraib" storyline has come back into the news cycle, as it always does when things are going really well in Iraq. This happens to remind us that there are indeed real psychopaths who join the military--though I would say real psychopaths are also highly represented in leftist "antiwar" organizations like Code Pink et al.
In that regard, you might recall the recent attempt by the NY Times to smear soldiers returning from Iraq by portraying them as vicious murderers unleashed on the hapless American population. Too bad the paper forgot to put that information in context, too.
There is no middle ground on this subject for the political left and its allies in the media. They simply flip-flop between the 'oppressed victim' or 'brutal oppressor 'meme, depending on which one suits their purposes at the moment.
This bipolarity reflects the way the political left views the world.
This just happen to dovetail nicely with the same old, tired marxist view of the world; where a person must be either one of the "oppressed" victim class or one of the brutal "oppressor" class.
Karl Marx may well be the most popular figure never mentioned journalism schools these days, and all journalist wannabees are consciously trained to bring the marxist perspective (sometimes referred to as standing up for "social justice" in the nether realms of neo-marxism) into every article and story as part of the journalist's role of being an advocate for 'truth, justice and the socialist way'.
Sadly, many other professions--like teaching-- have surreptitiously adopted this sad ideology as the unspoken premise of required coursework--just take a look at many of the topics now required in academic curricula for the social sciences .
Caught up in the marxist agenda of their postmodern rhetoric--with which they hope to "make the world a better place"--the graduates of these programs march in lockstep with the other "oppressed" people of the world, including the poor victimized terrorists and all the helpless and persecuted dictators and tyrants who also only want to make the world a better place (with them in charge, of course).
But if you speak to the vast majority of military personnel; or read the blogs and letters they write home about their experiences, they will give you a perspected that does not depend on the marxist dialectic template; and which also presents a more realistic and honest portrayal of events.
In their own writings you can clearly see the honor they bring to their mission; and the everyday valor and courage they live as they serve their country.
The important point is this: the grim costs of any war or conflict--which include the damaged lives and bodies of the soldiers depicted in the latest round of MSM handwringing over Walter Reed, as well as the death of every soldier in Iraq and anywhere--must always be placed in the context of how much peace and security have their sacrifice, given voluntarily and with honor, brought to the country and people they willingly serve?
The inescapable truth is that there has not been another 9/11 to date on our soil. This reality was an unimaginable one after that horrific day in our history. No one thought that we would be spared for the next 5 years. Yet that is exactly what has happened; and the only conclusion that can be drawn is that it is the bold (and occasionally flawed) actions of our military--in Iraq and Afghanistan, along with other efforts by this administration, that have made us safe during this time. And, other areas of the world (e.g. Europe-- whose countries are in full appeasement mode) have not been.
James Lewis remarked at American Thinker in an editorial about the utter moral vacuity of the left and its media partners:
The greatest disappointment since 9/11/01 has been the total moral vacuity of the Left—a complete and utter nullity—both here and in Europe. Today, five years later, psychological denial still rules the day, and the few Democrats who raise their heads above the screaming mob are chased out, like Joe Lieberman and Zell Miller.
One-third of American voters are still being suckered by the left-wing media, who live in some sort of Toon-Town where you can Have your Cake and Eat it Too, where Lunches are Free and Health Care is Too, and where there are no ideological killer movements in this world, and to achieve World Peace you just have to point your finger at the “Warmongers” and scream really loud. The Left is now populated by “mewling, puking infants,” as William Shakespeare put it, utterly lacking an understanding of the world as it is.
Now, of course, we daily the Obama Messiah preaching the same neo-marxist BS, but its stench is perfumed by a charismatic personality and tempered by the emptiness of his lovely words. Obama talks of "change", but even the briefest glance at his specific programs are the same old same old the left has been preaching for decades. He and Hillary represent the newest 21st century version of that BS. The difference between them is that Obama really means it; and Hillary just says whatever she thinks she needs to to win.
So Barack gets high marks for ideological honesty, at least. If the American people stop swooning over his charisma and actually look at what he suggests we do in a number of areas and then vote for him anyway...they will have been seduced by a pretty face and smooth talk just like any other rube.
Getting back to the two-sided military template of the left, if you extricate yourself from all the postmodern neo-marxist rhetoric for just a brief moment, you might reflect that the greatest way to honor the members of our military is to give them the status of real human beings with free will--and not automatons of a ridiculous marxist dialectic, i.e., they are neither oppressors nor are they oppressed--who have chosen to fight for this country; and who want only to complete the mission they have been given with honor and integrity. They are willing to cope with the consequences of their choices and they do so on a daily basis.
And in this postmodern day and age, that accomplishment is truly, remarkably heroic.