Sunday, November 09, 2003

Lori Piestewa, Shoshana Johnson and Jessica Lynch

Is it worse to sensationalize a soldier who is famous for being in a car accident in Iraq or a child kidnapped by a perverted religious fanatic? Tonight anyone who really cares about the answer will have to watch one and channel surf to the other. You can watch the Jessica Lynch story or the Elizabeth Smart story. At least Lynch chose to exploit her own story. Elizabeth Smart was done in by her own parents.

Let's rehash the history of Jessica Lynch. At first we were told that she had been shot and stabbed in a ferocious gun battle with Iraqi troops. Then we were told she was injured when her vehicle crashed and never fired her weapon. Shoshana Johnson and Lori Piestewa did in fact engage in battle. Both were shot. Piestewa, the mother of two preschool children, was killed. Johnson was captured by the Iraqis. Johnson was discharged from the army with a disability payment of $500 per month. Lynch is gettting $1,500.

Then we were told that commandos stormed the hospital where she was being held. Then we were told that no storming was necessary. The Iraqis just let them inside.

Last week we were told that a medical examination of Lynch showed evidence of anal rape. Now we are told by Iraqi doctors who cared for her that the rape story isn't true. What does Lynch say? Only that she has no memory of being raped. I wonder why someone who has no memory of her ordeal is getting a $1 million book deal.

When the rape story first surfaced I was skeptical. Not necessarily because I believed that the incident hadn't taken place but that the timing of the story was suspicious. You have to give it to the Bushies. They have a knack for propaganda. As soon as things go badly in Iraq they produce torture tapes, news of mass graves or rapes of blonde damsels in distress.

Jessica Lynch notwithstanding, it must be pointed out that the situation in Iraq grows worse by the day. Another helicopter was shot down and six were killed. The army retaliated by dropping 500-pound bombs in Tikrit. I wonder how many civilians were hit by them.

But don't worry your pretty little heads about it. The U.S. military says it has the upper hand. I don't know about anyone else but I don't feel any better when I hear rosy scenarios from this government. Do you remember words like "cake walk?" The cons, neo and otherwise, told us we would drop a few bombs and waltz into Baghdad with cheering throngs in our wake.

But I digress with war news. Let's get back to Jessica Lynch. It is true that if she were a man her story would not be in the news at all. If she weren't white she wouldn't be in the news. But white and blonde and cute was too much to be ignored. Did I mention that Elizabeth Smart is also white and blonde? So watch Jessica or Elizabeth and let me know your verdict. I will not be watching either one.