THE BATTLE OF THE HUMVEE: Don’t believe the media are the enemy? Then ask the US Army. As Diana West writes:
Ever hear about the Battle of the Humvee? That’s what I’m calling a May skirmish fought by soldiers of the 37th Armored Regiment’s 2nd Battalion in the southern Iraqi city of Najaf. In what became a six-hour firefight, Americans battled followers of Moktada al-Sadir to secure the hulk of a burning Humvee. It’s not that our soldiers fought because the flaming wreck amounted to a tin can’s worth of military value. They fought, as Capt. Ty Wilson of Fairfax, Va., explained to The Washington Post, because “We weren’t going to let them dance on it for the news. Even (with) all the guys they lost that day, that still would have given them victory.”
Chalk one up for our side, a small win on the way to an underreported triumph over the followers of Moktada al-Sadir in the spring. Iraq is sovereign, life goes on … but I can’t get over the chilling description of American soldiers risking their necks to keep the media from awarding a phony victory to the enemy. This puts the media — in this case, anyone with a video camera and a satellite hook-up — not in No Man’s Land, but on the Other Side. The concept is horrifying in that the ramifications are so bleak. It shows our soldiers engaged in a war on two fronts — a military front and a media front. And it shows our soldiers fighting two enemies: the adversary who fights fire with terror, and the adversary who also fights fire with perception.