November 9, 2003

Saving Jessica

Two weeks ago, after spending the day visiting the wounded at Walter Reed, the same hospital where Private Lynch recuperated upon returning to the United States, Cher, of all people, crystallized the game plan. She called into C-Span to tell of her experience talking with "a boy about 19 or 20 who had lost both his arms" and then asked: "Why are none of Cheney, Wolfowitz, Bremer, the president why aren't they taking pictures with all these guys? Because I don't understand why these guys are so hidden and why there aren't pictures of them."
The NYT is running "Pfc. Jessica Lynch Isn't Rambo Anymore" by Frank Rich, discussing how Lynch was used.

I think Jessica Lynch is, in some ways, a symbol of this war, but not in the way the powers that be would have liked. Here you have a brave (though she'd probably deny it) young person who did her part to help her country in its time of need at great personal cost. We should all be thankful for what Ms. Lynch has done for us. At the same time, we have a cynical administration (and its neocon supporters) first using young people by sending them on this Iraqi errand and then using Ms. Lynch further by distorting her story.

I wasn't going to watch any fictionalized account of Ms. Lynch's rescue, but after reading the NYT story, I think I might consider catching tonight's "Saving Jessica Lynch" because Ms. Lynch's story is likely going to be part of the history of this war, and that history is still being written and re-written into the consciousness of America.

Posted by James at November 9, 2003 12:08 PM
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There's no mention in that NYT story of how the Rambo stories about Lynch got started. I watched 60 Minutes last night (well, I watched bits of it in between doing laundry and paying bills). There was a segment about some other soldier who was apparently with Lynch and did one hell of a lot more shooting and heroics. Unrelated to this soldier's story, there was an interview with a commanding officer who offered a possible explanation for the Lynch myth. Iraqi battlefield reports mentioned a blond soldier who fought hard until she was finally stabbed and shot to death. Supposedly that pronoun "she" was in error, whether in the original report or in the translation. There was a blond sergeant who might have been the person referred to in the report, who was stabbed and shot to death. But, because of the wrong pronoun, the heroics were attributed to Lynch, despite her not having been shot and stabbed.

Are you buying what they're selling?

Posted by: Brandon at November 10, 2003 8:33 AM

Possible explanations are fun, aren't they. Especially when the excrement hits the fan. They don't have to have any proof, but when they catch on they can be told as if they are the truth.

My "possible explanation" about how Bush got elected was that many people were hypnotized by aliens in an attempt to weaken our country in advance of an eventual takeover.

No, I'm apparently not buying.

How it got started is one thing. How it spread is another. And how it has been subsequently used, still another.

Posted by: James at November 10, 2003 9:34 AM

I didn't watch the TV movie, but I am looking forward to hearing what she has to say tomorrow night on whatever show that is with Diane Sawyer (ten times better than that idiot Baba Wawa). I've heard plenty of what other people are saying, so it'll be nice to finally get it straight from her.

Posted by: julie at November 10, 2003 10:33 AM

wow, have I been out of the loop or what?

Who the hell is Jessica Lynch?

Posted by: Rui Campos at November 11, 2003 5:08 PM

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