Reflection by MICHAEL P.
Original TED page w/ speaker bio, links, comments, etc:
People don’t like to talk about war.
In this day and age, all you hear about the war is a 30 second bit on the news every now and then, but nobody really talks about it. Unfortunantly, the war doesn’t go away just because you don’t think about it.
The media has a huge impact on public opinion of a war and it’s soldiers.
Unfortunantly, like what Sgt. Pink says in “War Tapes”, the soldiers are exploited by the media. The media only reports the bad things, the bombings and casualties. “Why don’t talk about the good things that we do?”, one soldier asks in the talk. When was the last time you heard the media say anything even remotely positive about the war and the soldiers? Most of the news networks ignore everything good, and only report the the bad. You only hear about isolated incidents that put a negative stigma on all soldiers. Did you ever hear about American troops risking their lives “outside the wire” to save iraqi lives? No, you only heard “Car bombings in Iraq today, 20 casualties, and 20-30 wounded.” in a little 30 second blurb on the news. If the media doesn’t seem to care about the war, who will?
The media has a huge impact on the opinion of the war and the soldiers, and if the media does not support the troops and paint them in negative light, than nobody will support the troops. Whether or not you support the war, you should still support the soldiers.
Also, I like how “War Tapes” really shows that the soldiers are real people, not just pictures and numbers on the news.
That fact often gets lost.
A lot of people, whether they realize it or not, don’t even think of the soldiers as real people with friends and families. Disagreeing with a war doesn’t make it right to hate the soldiers involved, like what happened during and after Vietnam. Many people say the war in Iraq is not about creating peace, but for money, oil, etc., but that is no excuse for hating the soldiers. There seems to this attitude among people who really have no idea about what the soldiers go through that soldiers are these homocidal maniacs who love nothing more than shooting everything that moves. The troops don’t choose their orders, but they are still out there fighting, and everyone should at the very least, respect that. Soldiers are protecting citizen’s rights, even the ones they are using to condemn them.
I hope “War Tapes” and other similer media will help to change the opinions of those who criticize the soldiers.