The U.S. still has a national military, it no longer has a national media

Robert D. Kaplan writes, in Modern Heroes,

The sad and often unspoken truth of the matter is this: Americans have been conditioned less to understand Iraq’s complex military reality than to feel sorry for those who are part of it.

The cult of victimhood in American history first flourished in the aftermath of the 1960s youth rebellion, in which, as University of Chicago Prof. Peter Novick writes, women, blacks, Jews, Native Americans and others fortified their identities with public references to past oppressions. The process was tied to Vietnam, a war in which the photographs of civilian victims “displaced traditional images of heroism.” It appears that our troops have been made into the latest victims.

Media frenzies are ignited when American troops are either the perpetrators of acts resulting in victimhood, or are victims themselves. Meanwhile, individual soldiers daily performing complicated and heroic deeds barely fit within the strictures of news stories as they are presently defined.

Fox’s war coverage is less right-wing than it is simply old-fashioned, antediluvian almost. Fox’s commercial success may be less a factor of its ideological base than of something more primal: a yearning among a large segment of the public for a real national media once again–as opposed to an international one. Nationalism means patriotism, and patriotism requires heroes, not victims.

Feeling comfortable with heroes requires a lack of cynicism toward the cause for which they fight.

When a war becomes unpopular, the troops are in a sense deserted.

An army at war and a nation at the mall do not encounter each other except through the refractive medium of news and entertainment.

That medium is refractive because while the U.S. still has a national military, it no longer has a national media to quite the same extent. The media is increasingly representative of an international society, whose loyalty to a particular territory is more and more diluted. That international society has ideas to defend–ideas of universal justice–but little actual ground. And without ground to defend, it has little need of heroes. Thus, future news cycles will also be dominated by victims.

Multi-culti PC pomo tranzie journos have been depriving us of our heroes because they don’t want us to have any.  Doesn’t fit their template or support their preferred narrative.  The party that profits from victimhood has recently shown it’s true feelings towards the military, yet they are the Majority and hold the power of the purse over every program and can give the kiss of death to any general’s career.  This is yet another political battle private citizen surrogates will have to fight on behalf of our apolitical military.  

Milblogs have become the interpreters, the interface between the boots on the ground and the folks back home who yearn for heroes.  A pitifully small percentage of the American domestic target audience has any worthwhile knowledge of military affairs.  Many really would like to know more, and they are relying on the public intelligence system, the Drive By Media, and it is failing them and us miserably.

Because modern American warfare now involves only a very small percentage of the population it has become a kind of spectator sport where the plays are actually called from the stands. One would hope on good information. Yet a news industry whose techniques were adequate to cover traffic accidents, murders or cumbrous wars in which armies moved a few hundred yards a day must now must cover events whose complexion can alter in hours. The difference is that this time there is no low-tech acetate overlay, maps, or timeline in battalion notebook. Battlefield events are still reported like isolated traffic accidents, conveying no sense of spatial location, temporal development or continuity. To the extent that any symbols are plotted on the public mental map, they remain there, hours or days after the information has been updated. Long after it became clear that the attack may not have been an attack on a wedding party at all, the original accusation soldiered on.

Some of us are already engaged in a proxy war within the American domestic target audience, attempting to uphold the values that produce the intelligent, physically fit, committed, PATRIOTIC young American NATIONALISTS this Republic cannot do without if it is to continue as a viable Westphalian nation-state.  Our heroes cannot legally do what must be done, and we really don’t want an overtly partisan military.  There are polite fictions that must be maintained.

 Relentless, destructive critique of MSM persons and publications is among the most important tasks of bloggers, commenters, and tipsters of the Right Pro-Victory side.  – Kralizec, in a comment at Hot Air.

They’re running down my country, hoss, and walkin’ on the fightin’ side of me.  And I’m Jacksonian enough to slap their jaws and force them to resent it.



Filed under Old Media

11 responses to “The U.S. still has a national military, it no longer has a national media

  1. suek

    I am deeply grateful for the internet and the links to the milblogs it provides. In fact the internet generally provides a breadth of opinion that our media no longer affords.

    Somewhere I ran across the ownership percentages – most of our news sources are owned by very few entities, and most of those are not individuals but mammoth companies. The result is the complete bland pablum that suits the agenda of the operating boards. They are effectively an intellectual monopoly – very dangerous for the future of the USA.

  2. suek

    Here’s an article that needs reading. Demography is the topic of “America Alone” – somewhat to my surprise. Somehow, I thought the discussion was going to be different than it turned out to be. After reading AA, this particular article was more relevant to the current struggle. The funny thing is that my _mother_ first commented on this genral concept to me some 50 or so years ago, and didn’t consider that the idea was original to her. Everything old is new again, I guess.

  3. suek

    Here’s another article worth a read, if you’re not a regular Dr.Sanity reader. This one is on the “theory” of victimhood, and the logic behind its application – how you “lose” your status as a victim.

  4. I learned much from Blackfive’s writers such as Grim Beorn, Jimbo, Matt, Subsunk, etc. They have the military background that can translate theory and book knowledge into practical skills or at least guide you away from the whirlpools.

    Without the respect for war and the diligent study of it, however, a person will not be able to get anything from reading about the military or wars. That is why you have intellectuals that have high reading comprehension but they don’t understand what the hell they are reading, if by chance they ever read somethiing or have ever seen something of military value.

  5. The reader generally has some positive feeling toward the warrior, or he woulddn’t be reading the book, unless forced to as a homework assignment. Good accounts, fictional as well as nonfictional, can be motivational and influential. Diligent study is not always required.

    Many intellectuals do not value the warrior’s virtues.

    Virgins writing about sex.

  6. sue, that demographics link explains why we as a society are so casualty-averse. 63 years ago American families had enough sons to absorb the losses of Normandy, the Bulge, Iwo Jima and Okinawa. Each loss back then was a tragedy, but the family unit survived and carried on. Now each loss often ENDS a family line, and the parent(s) become psychological casualties.

    This is why we have gone overboard on Force Protection, loading them down with heavier and heavier body armor, accepting heat and leg and back injuries to avoid bullet and fragment wounds.

    Cannonette and I did our part in producing “Military aged males.”

  7. suek

    I did my share as well…but I think it ends there. One son has two sons, but one is autistic. Another son has one son so far, but I’m not so sure there’ll be another. Neither DIL will do much supporting a military mindset, and in fact raise their sons with a very non-military attitude. Not anti – just non. The son with the two sons is still Reserve, but his wife simply tolerates it. He’d still be in active service, but Reserve is their compromise. One son married late and now has three daughters, last son isn’t married, and is unlikely to be so.

  8. The demographics bit is an interesting facet that I’ve never thought about before.

  9. suek

    ymar…read “America Alone” (Mark Steyn). I thought it was going to be about the fall of Europe, and that America would be left as the only power that wouldn’t be muslim at some point in the future. Actually that’s what it is, but it’s based on demography – something I hadn’t really considered before – rather than the multi-culti thing that I had thought was the prime cause. He’s also an enjoyable read.
    I like Ann Coulter’s books in that I agree with her for the most part, and I appreciate her research. I _don’t_ enjoy her writing style, however. Too acerbic for me – almost to the point of being a distraction from the purpose of her book.

  10. I’ve read Steyn’s remarks about demographics changes allowing higher population ideologies to conquer without a shot fired, but specifically I was refering to the effect of lower populations on military families both logistically and psychologically. I am not a father or mother, thus I see casualties as individuals rather than as links in a family chain.

    Too acerbic for me – almost to the point of being a distraction from the purpose of her book.

    To a certain level, I no longer need pundits to tell me what is what. I now have the tools, which I acquired through diligent study and observation of those more wise than me, to figure out what is what on my own. Therefore Ann Coulter is superfluous to my position or interests, so I neither feel anything negative or positive towards her. She does make some good points but her personality on screen and in writing can be rather acidic and evasive. Her style is not my style, but I have no interest in telling her what to do unlike the Left. What is the point to controlling another person and devoting that much energy into manipulating their behavior? I mean, sure that may acquire you power if only by allowing you to fool others, as is the case for the Clintons, but in aggregate it is really a rather big waste of time. Using power in such a way simply ensures that you become a parasite, a leader that cannot grow his network and thus have to sustain himself through vampiricism. Rather than using cooperation and having people police themselves, providing you a net plus in growth, you have to expend huge amounts of energy and time policing one individual or another.

  11. suek

    >>but specifically I was refering to the effect of lower populations on military families both logistically and psychologically.>>

    It isn’t the “military family” – it’s society as a whole. Even bee colonies with fewer bees will be less aggressive than bee colonies with a bursting population. I think it’s a factor of surplus males/not enough working jobs to support them and just a surplus of male testosterone – although that won’t wash with bees, since the workers are all female!

    As for reading “pundits” – it’s not a matter of being told what to think – it’s a matter of listening to beautiful music. I don’t enjoy rap; I do enjoy classical music. They may use the same musical notes, but they don’t sound the same. Some people have a way of formulating and communicating specific ideas in concise ways – I appreciate that – probably because I don’t do it well myself.