Sunday, March 18, 2007

Shame on 60 Minutes. Shame on Scott Pelley.

I am not typically a very political person. I was very opinionated and outspoken in high school, and then I figured out that the older I got, the more my views evolved. Having done 180's on numerous issues, I decided to just start keeping my opinions to myself, lest I end up sounding like an idiot every time I change my mind.

Opinions should evolve I think. Your life experiences and the people you meet over time should effect the way you view the world. After my miscarriage, I had a really hard time reading anything about abortion and considered the possibility that it may in fact be wrong. My women's rights and ProChoice mindset were on shaky ground. I have come back down solidly on the side of choice, with the firm understanding that my choice would never be to abort. If I hadn't decided that by the time I read kgirl's post, she would have convinced me.

That was a complete tangent. Almost. This post though, is about some of my opinions. Some of my firm opinions and how angry I got at one little story on 60 Minutes tonight.

I am what my father calls a bleeding heart liberal. I hate war. I hate that our country is at war. I hate George Bush for pushing so hard and so blindly for war.

I hate it because people die. Violence does not beget peace.

My father was a soldier. He was a Captain in the Army during Vietnam. I asked him one day to tell me about the war. I had just read In Country and wanted to hear his stories. He didn't want to talk. I pressed. He blew up. He yelled at me that I didn't really want to hear it.

"Do you really want to hear about how your old man flew around in helicopters and shot into the jungle, into towns, and killed whatever people were there? Do you? Do you want to hear how I probably shot women and children too?" he screamed.

My answer was "yes," but I said "no." He obviously didn't want me to know, and he didn't want to talk about it. But there were people trying to kill him. His job was to stay alive.

Tonight on 60 Minutes, Scott Pelley interviewed Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich. This is one of the Marines who has been charged with murder in the death of Iraqi civilians, including women and children, in Haditha. I am not going to recount the whole story here, but you can read it on the CBS website. You will have to watch the video to get the over the top I'm-so-ashamed-of-you wrinkled forehead that Pelley liked to display. His skills in this interview were akin to Meredith Viera or any other pseudo journalist that people use as background noise in the morning.

What made me so angry was that CBS touted this interview as the first time a Marine was going to speak about Haditha, like they were going to let him tell his story in a for real news interview. What happened though, was Pelley attempted to lead him through questions that pointed fingers, placed blame, and were more designed to shame this man as he tried to explain what no civilian understands. War.

Our country is going to try 4 Marines for murder. Murders that were committed in a war. After they were attacked. I am not even kidding.

Yes, the wrong people got killed that day. One of the wrong people killed was a Marine from that troop. The others were innocent Iraqi civilians. One of those was a 2 year old child. It was a tragedy. It was awful.

For God's sake, it's war. War is a tragedy. War is awful.

Pelley actually tried to get Wuterich to apologize as if he were one of the predators on Dateline's computer pervert set ups.

I think Pelley needs an assignment on the front lines of Iraq.

Every life taken in this war is someone's family member. Every man is someone's son. Every woman is someone's daughter. Most of them are innocent.

When you choose war as the answer for your problems, you have chosen the deaths of innocent people. To then punish the soldiers you employ to carry out your war is despicable. They don't have time to make decisions that are always the most humane. The only soldiers who benefit from 20/20 hindsight are the ones who are still alive.

I despise our government tonight. I despise Scott Pelley. I despise 60 Minutes and CBS.

God bless the people of America and Staff Sgt. Wuterich. He is a man that had shit decisions to make. He is a man whose job sucked. He is a man who believes in this country so much that he chose to go and fight for it.

That is certainly more than I would ever be willing to do. I'm guessing it's a hell of a lot more than Scott Pelley would ever do.