Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Stars and Stripes, We're Back On

Those of you who have known me for a while know that I tend to have a bit of a love-hate relationship with the Stars and Stripes, the Army's unofficial-official military newspaper. Sometimes I love what they say and the way they try to avoid censorship. Sometimes I hate the way they have been apologists for the Bush Administration long past the time even the Military Times ceased.

This week is one of the weeks that I love them again. Why, you ask? Well, they did in fact publish a letter of mine, and it's finally made it to the online edition so I can link it.

The important excerpt, of course, is:

...But what I was sad to see is that this enormous piece was entirely about South Korean protests. What about American protests? When a major American protest happens, even when soldiers and veterans are involved, we definitely don’t hear about it in Stars and Stripes. We don’t even really hear about the veteran protesters, such as Sgt. Nick Morgan, of Iraq Veterans Against the War, who suffered a cheekbone broken in three places from being trampled by a police horse recently at Hofstra University (mentioned in the Army Times, but not our daily paper). Why aren’t these protester-veterans profiled in a two-page spread, instead of three South Koreans?...

I'm also particularly proud of the Stars and Stripes for the courageous stance they took against attempted military censorship during their coverage of the election. As Stripes said, the memorandum is clear: that they are entitled to gain access to common areas to report. Yet for some reason, the Pentagon had an issue with this. One wonders just precisely why. Fortunately, Stripes took their prior orders literally, and still sent their reporters out, and they wrote a very nice piece. It might not be how I would have written it, but still very nice.

Stars and Stripes is also notable for publishing stories about the Winter Soldier II hearings, Matthis Chiroux and other's IRR refusals, and I am told IVAW's presence at the Democratic National Convention, though I haven't seen the article itself. They've also published a few letters from myself and other IVAW members over the past years.

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