Celebrated British journalist, Robert Fisk, is simply tired of excusing U.S. Military from murder by claiming mental breakdowns, madness, and derangement, and specifically speaks of Staff Sgt. Robert Bales – the alleged killer of 16 civilians in a remote Afghan village. There is no consideration of the significant sentences for Military who kill civilians – not dying in war, they usually die in prison after many, many long years. Fisk knows this. He could use a few deployments to cleanse his judgement after a career based out of Beirut, and spending years defending Hezbollah. Thirty years in the Middle East does nothing to give a glimpse of what goes on in the mind of a man who has seen four deployments to war zones. A journalist may get a taste of the horror, but not close to the experience of a man who does not know whether he or his friends will survive another hour, let alone another day – and doesn’t know it, every minute of every 24-hour period for a year or more. If Fisk has sat in a bunker with soldiers, he likely has had very few sleepless night wondering what the rest of the night brings, or the dawn – and no memories each time he closes his eye of the buddies he lost just yesterday. I’m sure Fisk has seen death in war zones. All the more reason his lack of mercy and compassion for a man who served, and served and served with a portion of his foot missing and a diagnosis of traumatic brain injury, is unfathomable.
I’m getting a bit tired of the “deranged” soldier story. It was predictable, of course. The 38-year-old staff sergeant who massacred 16 Afghan civilians, including nine children, near Kandahar this week had no sooner returned to base than the defence experts and the think-tank boys and girls announced that he was “deranged”. Not an evil, wicked, mindless terrorist – which he would be, of course, if he had been an Afghan, especially a Taliban – but merely a guy who went crazy.
He sites a few more cases. Nothing about Nidal Hasan, the Ft. Hood killer, and how our Government will not label him a terrorist. Nothing about the 7/7 bombers in London. He mentions an Israeli soldier who killed Palestinians, but nothing about the Sbarro Pizza Parlor bombing in Jerusalem, or the Tel Aviv nightclub bombing, or any of the hundreds of attacks of Palestinians crossing into Israel to murder and maime. Just take a quick look around YouTube or the Internet and you will find Fisk defending Hezbollah against the atrocities of Israel – but never, never a comment about Hezbollah’s denial of the right of Israel to exist. The rest of the story: Fisk has expressed doubts about 9/11. He was against any agression after 9/11/01.
Staff Sgt. Bales will be punished. His wife and children are under government protection. Regardless how heinous the crime, and Staff Sgt. Bales’ crime was heinous, he was still under unimaginable duress that Fisk might think he knows, but he doesn’t, and it is insulting to every soldier and every Military family to intimate he does. Why not just keep his mouth shut? Because he is an apologist and defender of Islam.
A war correspondent’s experience can be brutal, but nothing like that of the soldier. As Fisk has said, journalists can fly home if they want to. I’m not denigrating Fisk’s service in war zones. I’m sure he is an heroic figure, but by leaving no room for some forebearance, when it is well known, this soldier’s life if over, it’s sad that he will use his journalistic podium to attack the U.S. Military – and make no mistake, that is what he is doing. This after having time to write about 8 books that I can readily see.