Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Are Soldiers Victims?

The top headline on right now is a story about reactions in Ohio to the recent deaths of 19 marines from a reserve unit - Grief hits home of Marine reservists. A typical piece of MSM war coverage, highlighting casualties without any context about what the unit was doing in Iraq. But the bit that jumped out at me was this description from the seventh paragraph, which made the text on CNN's front page:
A few steps away, near the gates of the 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines, residents piled red roses, American flags, handwritten notes of condolences and white crosses for the victims.
These are Marines who were killed in the line of duty, serving their country. They are casualties of war. But victims? This strikes me as a piece of anti-war editorializing in a "news" story, which diminishes the service and sacrifice of the slain. To the reporter they are not Americans who fought for their country but simply "victims" of an unjust war.

Maybe I'm over-reacting here. Maybe fallen soldiers have often been referred to in this manner. And this is surely not any worse than some of the other biased war reporting that focuses on casualties and not the mission. But it really struck a chord.

Oh, I just noticed the byline. It's an AP story. Naturally.

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