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November 17, 2010

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Comments

cathyf

The point I would make is not to make gratuitous insults against MOH winners, but to simply point out that it reflects the rules of engagement. Our troops are being explicitly prevented from killing the enemy in all but the most limited circumstances, so their heroism will be skewed towards rescuing their comrades from the disasters that are to be expected from those policies.

In other words, it's the Generals and (especially) the Commander In Chief who are the pantywaists...

DebinNC

Obama called and told Sgt. Giunta he'd selected him for the MOH at the beginning of September this year...for the incident which occurred in 2007. Knowing in September a "shellacking" was coming in Nov., both here and abroad, the timing of today's ceremony seems very politically expedient for a CiC who desperately needs to reinvent himself.

Sara (Pal2Pal)

TM: You are not alone in your disgust at this article. Take a look at this very p!ssed off Blackfive post by McQ.

And I agree with both of you.

As I watched today's ceremony, all I could think of was how proud his parents must be. As a parent, I cannot think of anything that would be of greater glory than knowing your son (or daughter) gave up their self to save others while displaying incredible bravery in the process.

Of course, the writer of this hit piece is probably one of those who speaks of our honorable and brave military members as children, as in "Bush sends our children off to war" BS. Another thing that really p!sses me off.

Sara (Pal2Pal)

Bryan Fischer obviously only hangs out with journalists, democrats and moonbats, all of whom are cowardly little dweebs not fit to spit shine a soldier's shoes. I doubt he has ever done a manly brave thing in his life nor ever put someone else's needs above his own selfish shallow ones.

Steven W.

<>

thanks for the memory - that's not what Rachel Maddow said!

Steven W.

Prior was supposed to include quote: "Gen. George Patton once famously said, "The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other guy die for his." :)

lift chair

Yes, indeed you are right. I should have known it. Awarding this medals are often a misleading issue. I must say that there are still a lot of unsung heroes out there who sacrificed their lives for the sake of other people. This is so true. Thanks a again for such a brilliant opinion. More power.

custom water walls

What you have posted is really a timely article. This will simply elaborate the difference nowadays the kind of how we award medal of honor to our respected men in the service. I can say that there are still a lot of people who take risk in order to give safety and better life to their fellow men. They maybe sometimes categorized but there are lot of heroes out there.

daddy

Don't know how we missed this, but Clarice continues to do great service to this country:

">http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/11/i_bet_youre_wrong_roger_ebert.html"> I bet you're wrong, Roger Ebert.

narciso

I'm reminded that one official, Lofgren, was burned twice by Agee, in 1975 and 1978, and a third time by a Indian fellow traveler, Nair
in 1988, one of the same that also flagged
Pound in 1988, before finally appearing in the Tamraz matter with Baer in 1997

daddy

Kim,

BBC's Richard Black has finally mentioned Cancun.

He is somewhat mealy mouthed about his own opinion of what to expect, so he includes instead the opinion of a former BBC editor concerning the following:

"And what of "Climategate...the question is whether the media gave too much or too little prominence to the e-mails during the Copenhagen summit...conclusion: far too much was made of the episode by certain publications in certain countries, but almost exclusively in English."

So there you have it. BBC former editor says the western press made too much of the ClimateGate e-mails. That Science now settled, Richard closes with a strong finish:

"Some editors, judging by comments in the report, were persuaded by "Climategate" that the entire edifice of climate science was a crock, and have chosen to cast an already "difficult" subject out of their news pages and programmes. Yet the fundamental reason for reporting climate change - because it threatens major changes to our lives, and the prospects of future generations - endures."

So "given that the mass media remains the most significant conduit for information on the issue",...and "with Cancun about to dawn, this is an ideal time for some new ideas."

">http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/11/copenhagen_or_babel_-_a_climat.html"> Link.

Captain Hate

Comments at American Thinker are always worth reading but one from Clarice's fat Egbert article was primo: Joe Wilson and his wife, Secret Squirrel. I'd ordinarily suggest beaver as the mammal but, judging from the slutty way she dresses which is extremely inappropriate for somebody who erroneously believes she bathed in the fountain of youth, there's no element of secrecy.

bunkerbuster

I would have thought it goes without saying that it is not necessarily heroic to kill other people, even when they are the enemy. It is always heroic, however, to save lives by putting your own at risk.

As for "feminization": the macho-insecurity fetishes of identity conservatives really give themselves away with that one. My favorite, of course, is Rich Lowry, who after writing at length about the horrific social and political costs of the "feminization" of America at the hands of liberals, declined Al Franken's repeated challenges to a fistfight, fair and square. Pantywaist, indeed...

daddy

Having had a new dog these last few months, I've learned a few things, and one of the things I've learned is that you can only get a couple dogs at a time with their noses up some other dogs A-hole.

That being said, I think that what with this fawning new story from the UK Guardian on ">http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/nov/16/barack-obama-childrens-book-thee"> Obama's wonderfulness and his wonderful new kids book, that what with Chrissy Matthews and David Brooks and Couric and Koppel and Colmes and Maddow and Modo and Newsweek etc, that this new UK brown-noser is going have a tough time getting his nostrils up our Prez's anus, but he's certainly off to a good start!

sbw

Ponder this, but not for long. Ebert doesn't care that he was wrong. He's in the entertainment business, not the accuracy business. It doesn't matter if inaccuracy undermines the country because gullible Americans follow a gullible press. That's their problem. What a great country this is. Guilty as hell. Free as a bird.

He's a jackwagon. Hollywood is filled with unprincipled jackwagons. Plame, Wilson, and free as a bird Ayers are jackwagons. All of a piece. Pathetic.

Dave Phillips

Please sign our Petition to bestow upon Audie Murphy, America's 'most decorated soldier of WWII' the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom for his lifetime contributions to the peace and secuity of the United States as well as his significant other cultural contributions.
Simply click the link below or copy and paste it into your web browser.

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/audiemurphy/

Thank you,
Dave Phillips
Administrator
Audie Murphy Presidential Medal of Freedom Campaign

daddy

sbw,

That fits right in with the BBC editor quoted above:

"And what of "Climategate...the question is whether the media gave too much or too little prominence to the e-mails during the Copenhagen summit...conclusion: far too much was made of the episode by certain publications in certain countries, but almost exclusively in English."

If only the Western Press had done its job and effectively hushed up ClimateGate instead of screwing up and actually discussing it, the oceans would now no longer be rising and we'd have a worldwide Cap and Trade Tax and Copenhagen would be our shining symbol of progressive One World Government for a thousand years.

Damn Press, what the hell were they doing actually reporting the story?

And even that is a lie, because it wasn't the press that reported it, it was the internet. Excepting Dellingpole, the Press was essentially silent. The BBC got the ClimateGate e-mails first and refused to report on them, so the leaker had to go to the internet.

Many beers tonight, but boy, do I hate the mainstream Media. Even when they lie they're lying.

narciso

Just goes to show, you Ebert was all torn over this, sarc, in the LUN

charles green

SFC Smith, early in the Iraq war, manned a 50. cal killed upwards of 100 enemy and saved the lives of his men. He was killed in the action. His was the first MOH awarded for action during the War on Terror.

pagar

Meanwhile, at the Telegraph, Delingpole is now providing pictures with his Phil Jones articles. May not be safe for work.
LUN

Eu Referendum describes the so called climate scientists lightweight fools.

"None of these people are serious scientists, none of them are worth a pile of chickens' droppings and, in fact, chicken manure is more useful."

sbw

Daddy, I love, "Even when they lie they're lying."

Jack is Back!

I have known 3 MOH receipients. No one ever "wins" the MOH, they are chosen through a triage process by their commanders and recommendations to the chain of command. Finally, the POTUS can either approve or disapprove. LUN

As a veteran and patriot I am not amused by the article. Its bad enough that the most anti-military president since Clinton bestows the honor but to have some so-called conservative decide we are feminizing the MOH is even more damaging. And CathyF, you are spot on regarding the RoE's and what they result in combat.

Clarice

Thanks, daddy. I haven't heard bak from Ebert yet. Maybe he's checking to see if he has $10 in his piggy bank to bet with/

Extraneus

Tony Montana: "I always tell the truth. Even when I lie."

boris

Cathy's point is a good one ...

reflects the rules of engagement. Our troops are being explicitly prevented from killing the enemy in all but the most limited circumstances, so their heroism will be skewed towards rescuing their comrades from the disasters that are to be expected from those policies
... but having a hissy fit because somebody noticed the wrong symptom kinda seems like the allahpinhead vapors over Rush hoping Obama fails.

PaulY

Either Gary Cooper or Alvin York was given MOH for killing all those innocent Germans to "save lives". I know, I saw movie.

Extraneus

A message from the Joe Miller campaign:

Division of Elections Grants Miller Campaign Access to Precinct Logs; Not Voting Machine Tapes

Anchorage, Alaska. November 16, 2010 -- The Joe Miller campaign is pleased the Division of Elections will allow access to several precinct registers for review; however, the Division has not responded to the campaign's request to review the voting tapes generated by the voting machines at the polling places. These tapes tally the total number of votes cast.

The Joe Miller campaign filed suit last Friday in state court in Juneau in order to compel the State to fulfill its legal obligations under the Public Records Act and allow inspection of the election registers from certain precincts that voters signed before casting their ballots. The Division of Elections had been unresponsive to the Miller request. The lawsuit simply asked that representatives from the campaign be given access to inspect the election registers.

Given the contested nature of the election, time is of the essence to ensure the vote count is trustworthy and that each valid vote is counted, and that there is no opportunity for fraud to taint the election results. Irregularities at polling places have been noted both Election Day and during the ballot review process including sworn affidavits testifying to unsecured ballot boxes and ballot envelopes arriving in Juneau presorted by the Senate race: these ballots are not to be handled in this fashion prior to the write-in review.

Miller Campaign Chief Counsel Tom Van Flein noted, “The campaign determined that inspection of precinct registers was an appropriate audit to spot check the process. The registers will provide data on the number of people who signed in to vote which can be matched with the number of votes tallied for each precinct.”

Another essential verification of the vote totals will be a review of the voting tapes created by the vote counting machines from the precincts. The Miller campaign has requested a review of the tapes from certain precincts, but thus far the Division of Elections has refused to respond to this request.

Miller campaign spokesman Randy DeSoto said, “The review of these tapes will help ensure the accuracy of the vote count. The Alaska Democratic Party brought suit against the Division of Elections in 2006 because of the wide variation in the Division’s “Official Results Statewide Summary” and the “Statement of Votes Cast” reports. The Democratic Party's complaint noted in 2004 there was a 77,546 vote discrepancy for Lisa Murkowski between the two reports. We want to avoid any such reason to doubt the results in this election.”

DeSoto added, "At the end of six days of ballot counting, the race between Joe Miller and Lisa Murkowski is still very close. The number of Joe Miller votes is 90,448, while the number unchallenged votes for Lisa Murkowski stands at 84,563. If current trends continue, Murkowski's final unchallenged tally will be in close proximity to Miller's total. Additionally, there are hundreds of ballots yet to be counted including those from overseas military personnel, which may draw the overall numbers between the Miller and Murkowski even closer. The race is far from over."

PaulY

A conscientious objector was awarded MOH as medic carrying wounded down cliff. It was much harded as he had to wear a dress.

PaulY

"much harder" too

Roland

I am astounded by the failure of comprehension both in this article and the replies. The "feminization" of the MOH is not about the people who are awarded it being undeserving. It is about the decision making process about how it is awarded having been feminized, excluding heroic actions that just involve killing without the direct saving of lives.

He was clear. How could you all get it so badly wrong?

Also, finding exceptions from Vietnam does not make him wrong. Unlike the rest of you, I naturally understood he was talking about what has been happening to the MOH recently.

sbw

PaulY, I have very high regard for some conscientious objectors, particularly those who volunteer to serve as medics. No shortage of courage there.

I have work with both pacifists and generals, and the best of both agree that war is a nasty place to be. They simply disagree on how best to prevent it.

Danube of Thought

"it is not necessarily heroic to kill other people, even when they are the enemy."

Yes it is.

Ranger

Mr. Fischer is obviously unaware that the Medal of Honor at one time wasn't a combat award. Several were issued for risking ones life to save others in peacetime. One very famous incident of this type was the Navy crew of an experimental submarine rescue bell that made several trips down to a disabled sub to rescue the crew even though the vehicle wasn't fully tested and the weather was so bad they could have easily been lost themselves on the bottom. IIRC they were the last peacetime awardees. Since then congress created the Soldiers/Salors Medal to cover risking ones life in peacetime to save someone else.

Than, Mr. Fischer can take a look at the Medal of Honor awards from Pearl Harbor. Several USN junior officers were awarded postumous medals for actions that allowed their sailors to escape sinking ships.

Just as an asside, the types of incidents that produce this kind of herosim are the results of enemy forces in a position of significant advantage that threatens an entire unit with immenent death. In other words, the types of actions for which servicemen are awarded the Medal of Honor generally save the lives of lots of people. And the Medal of Honor winners (who survive) will tell you that saving their comrads was their prime motivation at the time.

Roland

Crikey, people. The last line in Fischer's article:

"We rightly honor those who give up their lives to save their comrades. It’s about time we started also honoring those who kill bad guys."

So can you all just can the mindless bashing and address his actual point?

I happen to think he doesn't go nearly far enough. Everything about the leadership of our society (including the choice of MHO recipients) has been getting feminized. That's why we are over there trying to "save" the "moderate" Muslims, sacrificing our blood and treasure to help build stronger and more stable Islamic States ..... that will be more effective future enemies of Western thought and values.

jimmyk

Roland, the author claims a "trend." He provides no evidence. If he were to say studied the data and found that prior to 1980, 24% of the awards went to "killers" versus 0% post-1980, or something like that, he might have an argument. As it is, the article seems like baseless innuendo. My casual unsystematic observations of the award is that the prototype is the guy who throws himself on a grenade to save his comrades. I've seen no evidence that much of anything has changed.

There's gotta be one about passing over in there somewhere.

Why did the chicken shit cross the road?
==================

Danube of Thought

The award has changed a great deal over time. (I'm going from memory without the benefit of Google or Wikipedia, so you're welcome to correct any and all errors.)

At least up through the Civil War it was the only medal there was, and it could be awarded only to people in the US Army. The normal way to reward exemplary behavior in combat was a "brevet" promotion. I believe in those days it was awarded somewhat more commonly than today; I think two of Custer's sons, or a son and a nephew, had them.

After it was opened to all services, it was definitely awarded more freely--Gen. Smedley Butler, USMC, got two of them. The first action in which the Navy was eligible was the dustup at Vera Cruz in 1914, where a good percentage of all the US Navy Medals of Honor were handed out--and nobody got killed.


A great friend of my parents'--and their next-door neighbor for several years--was John Bulkeley, the PT Boat skipper who evacuated MacArthur from Corregidor. There is no doubt that it was a courageous act, but no shots were fired and they were never detected by the Japanese. It has always seemed to me that Dugout Doug himself was behind it, trying to invest the whole thing with grave danger so as to cloud somewhat the fact that he was cutting and running while leaving his men to a terrible fate.

Ranger

DoT,

I may be misremembering this, but I think Bulkeley was awarded the medal because MacArthur was also awarded one for the same incident, and it would have been hard to justify awarding one to the passanger, and not to the boat commander as well.

MarkO

Be fair. MacArthur said, famously, "I'll be back when it's safe."

Roland

Jimmyk, Fischer pointed to Bill McGurn's article at the WSJ. I have not read that article, so I do not know if McGurn supported his claim. It would seem foolish for McGurn to write such a thing if he couldn't back it up, since he would be certain to get called on it (being the widely read WSJ).

Besides, that is not what has irritated me the most about the response here by Tom and the commenters and elsewhere by others. Fischer was clearly not intending to denigrate the service and sacrifice of the recipients of the awards that were given, yet to read his detractors you would think that was the whole point of his article.

Let's not eat our own, and for no good reason. Let's leave that to the vile, truth twisting likes of Mother Jones.

jimmyk

The award has changed a great deal over time.

Oh, I don't doubt that. But the author appears to be referring to relatively recent changes. It's his job to offer evidence. When I said "I've seen no evidence that much of anything has changed" I meant in the last few decades. Which is not to say there haven't been changes, just that I'm aware of no evidence.

I believe it possible you'd put your own life at risk for another.

bunkerbuster @ 7:23 AM.

I completely agree with your first paragraph. Well done.
==================

War is messy, necessarily.

CoT @ 9:55 AM

'Not necessarily' creates a high standard.
===============

Note, I didn't say 'old'.

'Codger of Thought'?
==========

Danube of Thought

Just checked and I was wrong on at least one thing--it was created for all the armed forces at the same time. The navy did, indeed, hand out 46 of them for Vera Cruz.

Delingpole's had three fine columns in the last coupla days.

Hey, daddy-o, L!ink U!nder N!ame for my latest fave, Our Man in Sichuan.
=============

MarkO

I've stayed in Vera Cruz. It's damned dangerous.

Danube of Thought

Rich Lowry on why he didn't fight Al Franken:

All that said, the premise of Franken’s challenge is wrong. He makes the same mistake that the columnist Richard Cohen did in objecting to Christina Hoff Sommers’s argument that masculinity is under assault in America — namely, associating the hallmarks of adolescent males (toilet humor, crass sexuality, fistfights, etc.) with manliness.

Franken told me he wants our fisticuffs to be “just like The Fight Club.” But The Fight Club — just like the popular gross-out movies Cohen cites as evidence of the triumph of men in our popular culture — really portrays a perversion of masculinity.

As for Franken’s offer, in these matters it’s always best to ask, What would Gary Cooper — as good an approximation of the gentlemanly ideal as any — do? When challenged to a unnecessary fight, his instinct would always be to walk away.

So, I regret to say I won’t be bruising Al Franken anytime soon. When I called to let him know a few minutes ago, he told me his son made him promise to say that he was “just kidding” when he made his challenge.

Ranger

Roland,

The problem is that this "new trend" isn't new at all. It goes back at least to the inter-war period when the Medal of Honor could be won in peacetime for non-combat actions.

As an infantryman back in the 80s and 90s, my basic understanding was that you got a Medal of Honor for doing something suicidal to save your unit, and if you were very, very lucky, you survided it.

The Medal of Honor is about self sacrifice. It has been since the end of World War I. It's not a new trend.

jimmyk

Roland, McGurn's article (LUN) makes no claim about a trend. The closest he comes is this:

When we think of military heroism, we may think of Rambos decorated for great damage inflicted on the enemy. In fact, the opposite is true. Every Medal of Honor from these wars has been for an effort to save life. Even more telling, each specifically recognizes bravery that cannot be commanded.

He is obviously making a very different point from Fischer's.

boris

Does Fischer claim :

  1. Too many medals for rescue
  2. Too few medals for killing
The harshest criticism here seems to be for saying (1) when he may be saying (2):
So the question is this: when are we going to start awarding the Medal of Honor once again for soldiers who kill people and break things ... ?
If so then harsh criticism is off base.

Ranger

Even more telling, each specifically recognizes bravery that cannot be commanded.

Yeah, that's why the citation reads "above and beyond the call of duty."

MarkO

"Even more telling, each specifically recognizes bravery that cannot be commanded."

Then everyone who went ashore on June 6, 1944 should have one.

Harold

"and then rescued the sergeant who was walking point and had been taken captive by two Taliban, whom Sgt. Giunta shot to free his comrade-in-arms"

I don't see the problem here. It says he shot two Taliban to rescue his SGT. It doesn't specify how many others he may have shot up during the entire engagement- those numbers are irrelevant to his well deserved award. Doesn't dound like a feminized award to me at all.

Danube of Thought

MacArthur got his for his leadership in the Philippine Camgaign. His father had also been awarded one.

Ranger

Boris,

One of the key components of the award now is total disregard for personal safty. In modern combat, that is a particularly hard bar to overcome. The only situations that really call for it are situations that are very dire to begin with. At that point you are not primarally concerned with killing people and breaking things, you are concerned with saving your unit. The number of people you kill or things you break is incidental to the main goal of saving the unit.

Danube of Thought

From 1865 to 1940 there were 193 MOH awards for non-combat activity.

Ranger

DoT,

Yes, but I thought the escape was part of the justification for the medal. That was what pushed it "beyond the call of duty."

PaulY

sbw
Desmond Doss's MOH citation LUN
Truly a hero
Starting in WW2 most are killed at a distance

boris

"One of the key components of the award now is total disregard for personal safty. In modern combat, that is a particularly hard bar to overcome. The only situations that really call for it are situations that are very dire to begin with."

Which may not be much different than Cathy's point. Still ... pointing out a complete absense in two conflicts would be a valid observation. Whatever the reason. ROE, squeamish civilian leadership, modern combat. Two of those could be realistic concerns so the denunciations seem uncalled for.

Danube of Thought

You're right, Ranger. I had thought it came after the Philippines were retaken, but it was awarded in April 1942, right after the escape.
Here is Wiki:

For his leadership in the defense of the Philippines, General Marshall decided to award MacArthur the Medal of Honor, the decoration for which he had twice previously been nominated. It was admitted that MacArthur had not actually performed acts of valor in battle on Bataan but the 1927 award to Charles Lindbergh set a precedent. MacArthur chose to accept the medal on the basis that "this award was intended not so much for me personally as it is a recognition of the indomitable courage of the gallant army which it was my honor to command."
Ranger

I always thought it was one of history's great ironies that MacArthur, who had coveted the medal his entire life so that he could live up to his father's legacy, finally got it for the one battle in which he was completely defeated.

Cecil Turner

Pretty sure I'm not buying the "feminization" argument. IIRC the single most common act for historical MOH awards is diving on a grenade, though I can't find any data to support it. If so, it goes a long way toward refudiating the "trend" claim: because it's always been that way.

As to the "no medals for killers" argument, some of that is obviously a matter of changing circumstances. Typically given to a commander of a large battle (e.g., Vandegrift on Guadalcanal), or a sustained firefight (e.g., Chambers on Iwo Jima), or high-ranking aces (e.g., Bong, McCampbell, Foss/Boyington), these "opportunities" simply aren't present in insurgent-type warfare. And the small-unit incidents appear to be there.

I think the subject is very interesting, but Fischer's article is a clean miss on the good stuff. Contrasting the British philosophy (where all honor flows from the Queen, and an award is very much a recognition of personal valor) with the American one (where the award is designed pour encourager les autres and meant to inspire similar intrepidity) is worthwhile. And there's also a useful point about whether an excessive emphasis on posthumous awards might be counterproductive (and perhaps that view was a contributing factor for this award going forward). But ISTM the "feminization" claim makes a lot more sense talking about things like press coverage than it does in relation to MOH awards.

matt

DoT;

Funny you mention that. The commander of the second boat was my uncle's best friend at the Academy.I believe he may have received the Silver Star. As a kid I looked up to these guys and read the story.

The boats left Corregidor under heavy fire as it was falling to the Japanese. They then hopscotched down from Luzon down to, I believe, Mindanao, several hundred miles, stopping wherever they could for gas.I do believe they came under fire a couple of times and open throttle in rough seas can be pretty dangerous.

Early 1942 was the worst of the war. The Germans were sinking everything we had and the Japanese were rolling up East Asia. A number of Medals were awarded that one might argue with, but at the same time, we have to ask "what is above and beyond?".

I am working on the case for a recommended but not awarded DSC of a friend right now who lost his Company at Anzio. It's in all the history books.They were the trip wire for the German attack. They lost 100 men out of the 117 on the hill. Pretty much as bad as it gets.They also blunted the attack and allowed the artillery to do its job. My friends actions are well documented, but after 65 years, it will be difficult to get this done.

A kid I know was a squad Sgt. not far from where Giunta got his Medal. Same unit. All of those kids in the Korengal Valley were under fire every day for weeks at a time.Their stories are similar.They are all heroes.

Most of the men I have known who have those decorations (Silver Star, DSC, etc.) don't want them.If people are close enough to kill you easily, that is far too close.

The current guidelines for the Medal are, to me, a bit absurd. It was never meant as a Victoria Cross, for which the recipient was expected to have lost his life. It is the vagaries of the definition of heroism, I guess. All I know is that from the stories I have heard, there is room for a lot of discussion of some of these decorations.


kim

My own brother earned a Bronze Star and never told me why.
=================

Danube of Thought

Matt, what was that PT skipper's name?

Just about every award about which I have any personal knowledge caused at least a little bit of controversy in some quarters, and I think part of it is that we all know of many, many guys who did fairly comparable things and got no official recognition. It all has the feel of a lottery sometimes.

DebinNC

WWII medic Desmond Doss's MOH story is incredible. After his unit retreated after a ferocious fight, Doss remained behind to save the fallen. Over a period of many hours he crawled to injured solders, dragged each long distances to a cliff, and exposed himself to withering enemy fire as he lowered each to safety below. That he survived, unscathed if I remember right, is nothing short of miraculous. An excellent documentary about Doss's life and deeds, The Conscientous Objector, is available from Netflix.

Jack is Back!

Roland,

In some aspects I agree with you but Fischer is missing the point - the MOH represents heroism and bravery/courage under fire over and above the call of duty. It makes no difference if you are killing the enemy or saving your buddies lives. Statistically, less than 20% of all MOH's have been awarded posthoumously. In Vietnam, I knew an airman who was awarded the MOH for throwing a flare that had been launched out of the aircraft he was in and saving the lives of the crew and the plane. But the process of choosing receipients has really slowed down in the last 20 years for a lot of reasons: Rules of Engagement, assymetrical combat, Undefendable air power, use of technology (i.e. B52 and submarine launch platforms not even near the battle-field), etc. I could go on and on. The LUN is the MOH primary website maintained by the Army and the statistical summary. I urge all to read and decide for yourselves about using the word "feminization" when discussing the criteria of "bravery beyond the call of duty".

Jack is Back!

One last note:

You will note that starting in WW1 the trend line shows more and more KIA awards as a percentage of any wars total. I have a theory on that but its wacky. Heros! Especially, Military heros compete on the national stage with politicians who give out those awards. We can't have too many heros cluttering up the national ego scene, can we. As an illustration, rememer the group scan picture of the Vietnam Vets who were critical of Kerry in 04? Not the Swifties but the others. Front and center was Col. Bud Day wearing his MOH. I still say to this day it did more to re-elect Bush than anything Bush did in the campaign. Kerry was sunk.

cathyf
Pretty sure I'm not buying the "feminization" argument. IIRC the single most common act for historical MOH awards is diving on a grenade, though I can't find any data to support it.
Well you could argue that this is classic maternal behavior (don't get between a mama bear and her cubs...) and so the medal has always been "feminized" in that sense.
boris

"It makes no difference if you are killing the enemy or saving your buddies lives."

ISTM everbody agrees that rescue bravery warrants decoration, even Fischer. Seems the disagreement is whether lack of decoration for killing the enemy constitutes "feminization" when there are other explanations. Then again, valid reasons for reduction in such decorations may not be sufficient to explain reduction to zero.

Danube of Thought

Every officer who served in Vietnam knows that it was possible for an unprincipled officer to manipulate the system so as to load his chest up with salad. John Kerry did just that.

Jack is Back!

One last thing. Did you know that in Vietnam we had 2 Army Chaplains and one Naval Chaplain get the MOH. There have been a lot of Chaplains in all wars get the MOH. One of them is being investigated for priesthood by the Vatican. Emil Kapaun of Kansas received his KIA MOH for Korea. Catholic chaplain may become one of handful of American born saints. Wonder which one he considers the highest honor:)

Ranger

JiB,

I think the increase in postumous CMH awards has been the result of the creation of newer awards for valor. First the Silver Star, then the Bronze Star w/V device, and finally the service Commendation Medal w/V device. The bar for each award gets raised as a new one is introduced to cover valor worthy of recognition, but not up to the level of the higher awards.

jimmyk

valid reasons for reduction in such decorations may not be sufficient to explain reduction to zero.

True, but the burden of proof is on the accuser, I would say. Also, we are dealing with small numbers, are we not? If normally 25 percent of awards are for killers rather than savers, zero of eight is not statistically significant.

sbw

What if the killers are killing to save us?

Can't tell the players w/o a score card.

boris

"the burden of proof is on the accuser"

Fer cryin out loud ... sheesh !

Fischer quotes McGurn at the zero number. Burden met. Suggesting that indiciates feminization is clearly an opinion with no burden.

jimmyk

Fer cryin out loud ... sheesh !

Boris, please read what I wrote. The zero is not at issue, it's the claim that it indicates some kind of "trend" or change in policy. Why is this so difficult to understand?

boris

If something goes to zero ... that is clearly a trend.

In opposition to that observation people have been pointing out that rescue bravery has always been decorated. Why is the irrelevance of that so difficult to understand?

The inference that the observed trend is due to policy rather than circumstance is presented as speculation. I don't happen to think it is persuasive BUT it does fit with the whole Abu Graib, waterbording, Gitmo mindset which makes it a legit suspicion.

XBradTC

LUN has my thoughts on the matter.

1. Fischer's facts are wrong.
2. He has no understanding of how valor in combat works.
3. His thoughts on selfless sacrifice are weak.

Reality has arrived

Bryan Fischer obviously only hangs out with journalists, democrats and moonbats, all of whom are cowardly little dweebs not fit to spit shine a soldier's shoes

Bullshit. Fischer is a hard core Republican, a director for the ultra conservative AFA. Like most chickenhawks, he is a Republican who's never served a day in his life. Plenty of Democrats have served, fought and died for this country.

Obama called and told Sgt. Giunta he'd selected him for the MOH at the beginning of September this year...for the incident which occurred in 2007. Knowing in September a "shellacking" was coming in Nov., both here and abroad, the timing of today's ceremony seems very politically expedient for a CiC who desperately needs to reinvent himself.

So why did he wait till after the election? I mean, if we even accept the thesis that this was somehow political manipulation, and not the fact that the timing for awarding such a medal is a long process with many steps that can take years.

Its bad enough that the most anti-military president since Clinton bestows the honor but to have some so-called conservative decide we are feminizing the MOH is even more damaging.

Anti military? Because he only upped the defense budget to its highest level ever and is working to finally bring troops back from Bush's idiotic Iraq quagmire? Because he gets lavish praise from the VA for increasing their budget and being more supportive of veterans issues than W?

Clearly you are comparing him to Bush, which is funny, because what they hell did Bush ever do for the military except bash it to the point of breaking and then do nothing for veterans benefits or upgrading the GI Bill? Think about this: he threatened to VETO a badly needed upgrade to the GI Bill, and he only relented when it was revealed that there was enough bipartisan support in Congress to overturn his veto. This is "pro military" to you?

Ponder this, but not for long. Ebert doesn't care that he was wrong.

Sounds like he should work for Fox. Or maybe American Thinker (and ironic name if there ever was one) since the writer who called the Plame affair "a bunch of lies" was even more wrong and doesn't care. Hell, he gets quoted by other idiots online!

Every officer who served in Vietnam knows that it was possible for an unprincipled officer to manipulate the system so as to load his chest up with salad. John Kerry did just that

Bullshit. And if I still have to explain why its bullshit after 6 years then you'll never understand. Its amazing how ignorant lies like this can live on and on despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. A man goes to war and risks his life for his fellow

Reality has arrived

And addressing the Fischer issue: this is about him wanting to seem "tough" and make other cowards like him tough too. Because they think the military should be all Rambos and John Wayne's, mowing down any and all non American's like grass. This isn't how war works, unless your a Mongol or a Roman legion coming to burn down cities and salt the earth.

He is afraid of the big bad world, afraid of women and feminism, and most of all he's afraid that people will see what a coward he is.

Reality has arrived

Dammit where did those apostrophes come from?

Captain Hate

Ok wha5 shit blog got linked and brought this turd in?

Jack is Back!

Cleo, take your carp someplace that gives a damn.

If you believe Kerry was meritorious then maybe you can find and provide his service record for us - not the one Carter sealed but the original one - you know the one where he got BCD. Actually, all I want to see is his original DD-214. That should be easy for an alert, cognizant and patriotic citizen like you.

Danube of Thought

"Bullshit. And if I still have to explain why its bullshit after 6 years then you'll never understand."

I was there, fuckhead. In the River Patrol Force. And you don't need to explain a damn thing to me.

Danube of Thought

"Plenty of Democrats have served, fought and died for this country."

Silly argument. So have plenty of Republicans, Independents, Whigs, Freemasons, Socialists and Birchers. So what?

Danube of Thought

"This isn't how war works, unless your [sic] a Mongol or a Roman legion coming to burn down cities and salt the earth."

I haven't heard anybody suggest it is how it works, including Fischer.

DebinNC

So why did he wait till after the election?

Because by September there was no doubt about the historic loss coming and his responsibility in causing it. Fitting Sgt. Giunta's ceremony in between his triumphant (not) Asian trip and this weekend's masterful (not) NATO trip was a strategically timed photo op'd part of Operation New Obama.

Melinda Romanoff

Ahem, TM was 'lanched.

The Sanity Inspector

As someone who would most likely be catatonic with fear in any combat situation, my hat's off to all our military on battlefields everywhere, whether they win a medal or not.

Richard Aubrey

My father, Silver Star ETO, remarked that anybody who took a step forward deserves a medal.

DirtCrashr

I'm shocked, shocked - has there even been a Stanford Philosophy grad who served in the past thirty years, especially one who was a hard core Republican? Stanford doesn't appear to have much of a past military-experience presence , and only a rather small current one.

matt

DoT;

It was Anthony something (I think Italian), Class of 1941. Been looking all over the net for the name, but I don't thing it was Akers, the commander of the second boat.

My uncle graduated a few days after Pearl Harbor when they were accelerating the classes. I think he went through in 3 1/2 years. It's been a long time since I thought of them.

I remember my uncle telling me that a very high percentage of that class never got home. We went to Army-Navy several times when it was in Philadelphia. I remember the train up from DC with hundreds of active duty Army and Navy officers.

Jack is Back!

Its not about medals.

Even Sgt. Guinta has said he is wearing the MOH for all in his platoon, company, battalion and regiment. He was the one chosen. By the way, Obama did not pick him - he only approved the SecDef who was the last link in the chain before the CinC. Only the CinC has the final approval.

And Inspector, you'd be surprised how being catatonic with fear increases your awarness in war and leads to a safe return while still being able to do your job. I have not known any warriors who claim that have no fear. That is an 'urban' myth.

Skyler

Get off your high horse, Tom.

First, the attack on the person, whoever he is, is irrelevant. What does it matter if the guy did or did not serve in the military? The military is not a priesthood that inculcates identical ideas in every brain. Why would being in the military affect the argument being made?

It is quite true that there is an emphasis in the media to portray the Medal of Honor as being mostly earned by going in to save lives. There is a legitimate concern that the 60's anti-Vietnam generation has downplayed the importance of offense and prefers to concentrate on protecting lives. If this is true, it is a very serious development and should be discussed intelligently.

You have brought forward some anecdotal evidence, and that's fair enough, but the name calling and holier-than-thou military bigotry is too much.

Sara (Pal2Pal)

Stanford doesn't appear to have much of a past military-experience presence

I remember going to a Rose Bowl game back in the '70s where the Stanford band refused to wear band uniforms because the uniforms were too militaristic and gave the wrong message.

jimmyk

If something goes to zero ... that is clearly a trend.

No, it's not clearly anything, especially without knowing what it used to be. It could be random variation (hence my comment about "small numbers"). Is a warmer than usual winter clearly a trend?

DirtCrashr

Weren't the 70's fun? The Band's tuba-player had that big pot-leaf painted on the bell.
I remember when Stanford students tried to burn-down the Hoover Institute as an expression of their anti-war sentiment.

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