True enough. There were two miracles that day. One, that he wasn't killed
in the attempt. I believe him when he says he was certain he would die.
The other is that he got the MOH and not a court-martial.
*BOBO, JOHN P. Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps
Reserve, 3d Battalion, 9th Marines, 3d Marine Division (Rein), FMF. Place
and date: Quang Tri Province, Republic of Vietnam, 30 March 1967. Born: 14
February 1943, Niagara Falls, N.Y. Citation: When an exploding enemy mortar
round severed 2d Lt. Bobo's right leg below the knee, he refused evacuation,
insisting upon being placed in a firing position to cover his command group.
With his leg jammed into the dirt to curtain the bleeding, he remained and
delivered devastating fire into the ranks of the enemy. 2d Lt. Bobo was
mortally wounded while firing his weapon into the main point of the enemy
Those "incredible restraints" are the direct consequence of global
television and the Internet.
Every soldier now fights under the watchful eye of CNN and MSNBC and
YouTube and al-Jazeera. Any mistake, and they pounce.
And every air crew knows that when they drop bombs, CNN will be there
watching the action from the *enemy's* point of view. One missile goes
off course and hits a civilian target, and instantly the cameras will
show horrific pictures of wailing mothers and maimed children.
Broadcast into every American living room.
I wonder if we could have won World War II that way.
The Franklin Roosevelt administration had imposed strict censorship on
the American news media. Many stories unfavorable to the American war
effort never made it for publication.
And no American news station would have dared to show things from the
German or Japanese points of view.
-- Steven L.
Worse than that, news coverage doesn't capture the danger that hovers like a
thick fog all the time. If soldiers don't stay "frosty" they end up dead.
Your comments remind me that in more than one instance in the Vietnam war,
parents would see their sons dying in agony on the evening news before the
DoD contacted them officially. There was a belief that showing the horrors
of war on the news would put an end to war. Ha! All it did was lead us to
this "if you kill a civilian, you're going to get in a jackpot" craziness.
I am of the opinion such wars should be fought thusly: Broadcast a message
by leaflet, radio, loudspeaker, etc. that Tikrit or Kabul or whatever city
the bad guys are hiding in will be totally leveled by bunker-buster bombs in
48 hours. Leave or die. Our "advantage" is our ability to obliterate an
enemy, biblically. Getting in all these brush wars has eroded, rather than
enhanced our position at the end of WWII. A true superpower able to end the
fight that someone else started with a quick one-two punch.
Hell, back in those days, the media wouldn't even report he was crippled
with polio. Now we know everything there is to know about candidates down
to their sex habits. It was a different world. On the positive side,
cellphones, Twitter, etc. make it hard for totalitarian regimes to keep a
lid on things. I expect China to explode with internal problems in the
future. The world has changed and will change even more. I can understand
why so many older Americans feel so lost. People are starting to speak a
foreign language around them: Ebay, Twitter, tweeting, the cloud, RSS,
Well, a lot of soldiers did listen to Tokyo Rose and her German counterpart.
But I think that's more akin to "500 cable channels and nothing to watch."
But you're right, the world has changed much in the last 60 years. But you
also have to remember that AfRaq has virtually no civilian impact. If we
didn't see it on the news, not many of us would know it was happening. A
WORLD war is a very, very different animal. Almost everyone has "skin" in
the game. I don't see how we can avoid another one. The European Union
unionized too quickly without realizing the incredible problems assembling
such a vast new state entailed.
There are interesting times ahead, that's for sure. India/Pakistan,
Japan/the Koreas/China, Israel/Iran, Iran/Irag, Tibet/China and dozens of
other smoldering fires spread out around the world. Like cross-linked
investments (penalties increasing amounts due when values fell, for example)
the pacts and alliances between various nations almost guarantees that at
least one of these hotspots is going to drag a lot of "extras" into the
*CUTINHA, NICHOLAS J. Rank and organization: Specialist Fourth Class, U.S.
Army, Company C, 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry
Division. Place and date: Near Gia Dinh, Republic of Vietnam, 2 March 1968.
Born: 13 January 1945, Fernandina Beach, Fla. Gravely wounded, Sp4c. Cutinha
maintained his position, refused assistance, and provided defensive fire for
his comrades until he fell mortally wounded. He was solely responsible for
killing 15 enemy soldiers while saving the lives of at least 9 members of
his own unit.
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