Accuracy in Media

As incredible as it sounds, Hollywood has produced a patriotic movie for a change. “Lone Survivor,” the new war movie starring Mark Wahlberg, is so powerful in its depiction of the brutality of al Qaeda and its Taliban backers that it could awaken the American people to the reality of President Obama’s deliberate retreat in the face of this global danger.

“‘Lone Survivor’ leaves box office shocked and awed,” is how USA Today described its debut. It depicts the grueling training of U.S. Navy SEALs and the sacrifices that American soldiers are making to keep Afghanistan free of Taliban and al-Qaeda control.

A local Texas paper noted, “Both men and women came out of the theater red in the face from crying, some still wiping tears from their eyes.”

In short, the reaction shows that the American people are not prepared to give up on the battle against Islamist terrorism.

While celebrating American heroism and sacrifice, the film also leaves the distinct impression that rules of engagement in battles with the enemy, encouraged by a “liberal media” that puts the human rights of terrorists above the lives of our troops, threatens ultimate victory in this global struggle.

The story of Marcus Luttrell, a retired Navy SEAL who received a Purple Heart and Navy Cross for his actions against Taliban fighters, is also part of a Patriot Tour coming to various U.S. cities this year. The purpose is to demonstrate appreciation for the U.S. military and to expose the brutality of the terrorists who cut off heads and massacre their own people. This, too, is shown in the film.

The release of the film comes as a new book by former defense secretary Robert Gates asserts that President Obama doesn’t believe in the Afghanistan mission, and apparently doesn’t care if al Qaeda takes control of the country.

The movie, however, makes it clear that American soldiers fighting the Taliban believe in this mission, and understand what they’re fighting for and against. It also shows that many Afghans want the U.S. to succeed, and their country to be free of terrorist control.

The Taliban is the Islamic movement that protected al Qaeda in Afghanistan before the terrorist group carried out the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on America. President Bush ordered the invasion of Afghanistan in retaliation for the attacks and then, with Congressional approval, an invasion of Iraq in 2003 in order to expand a military campaign against terrorist-supporting Arab regimes.

The timing of the film could not be more significant. Terrorism expert Peter Bergen has recently written that “…al Qaeda appears to control more territory in the Arab world than it has done at any time in its history.”

In a related development, The New York Times reported on Friday that the fall of Falluja, Iraq, to al-Qaeda-affiliated forces, has “stunned” American troops who fought terrorists there in 2004 and liberated the city from terrorist control. One soldier told the paper, “It made me sick to my stomach to have that thrown in our face, everything we fought for so blatantly taken away.”

The film has drawn attention to Luttrell’s 2007 book, which became a best-seller and describes in detail how he became the “lone survivor” of the mission to kill a notorious Taliban commander.

Luttrell says he is not a political person, but his book is very complimentary toward President George W. Bush and detailed in its criticism of the “liberal media” and “liberal politicians” who he says thwart victory in the war effort.

He even defends the invasion of Iraq, where he had previously been deployed, saying he saw at an al-Qaeda training camp north of Baghdad, Iraq, “evidence of the strong links between the Iraqi dictator and Osama bin Laden’s would-be warriors.” He adds, “Some of the guys who had been in Afghanistan said it was just about a direct replica of the camp the United States destroyed after 9/11.”

He went to Iraq in 2003 and Afghanistan in 2005.

Luttrell makes clear that he believes restrictions on the U.S. ability to wage war, some of them emanating from fear of the media, have put the U.S. at a significant disadvantage.

He writes that in the Middle East, a captured terrorist “knew that the way out was to announce he had been tortured by the Americans, ill-treated, or prevented from reading the Koran or eating his breakfast or watching the television. They all know Al Jazeera, the Arab broadcasters would pick it up, and it would be relayed to the U.S.A., where the liberal media would joyfully accuse all of us of being murderers or barbarians or something. These terrorist organizations laugh at the U.S. media, and they know exactly how to use the system against us.”

The “liberal media,” writes Luttrell, “knows nothing of combat, nothing of our training, and nothing of the mortal dangers we face out there on the front line.”

He says the Taliban and al Qaeda are among “the monsters of history” with their savage attacks on innocent civilians. But American soldiers go into combat with “an extra element of fear and danger”—“the fear of our own, the fear of what our own navy judge advocate general might rule against us, the fear of the American media and their unfortunate effect on American politicians. We all harbor fears about untrained, half-educated journalists who only want a good story to justify their salaries and expense accounts.”

He writes about the “media war” associated with combat operations against terrorists; when the media get involved, “you’ve got a damned good chance of losing, because the restrictions on us are immediately amplified, and that’s sensationally good news for our enemy.”

The intense fighting in the movie follows a decision by the four American soldiers on a secret mission to release a group of goat herders that stumble upon their location.

If they kill the goat herders and save themselves from an anticipated counter-attack from the Taliban, they figure the news will reach CNN and Al Jazeera, and the American soldiers will be portrayed as bloodthirsty killers. Luttrell’s fellow soldier Michael P. Murphy says, “The media in the U.S.A. will latch on to it and write stuff about the brutish U.S. Armed Forces. Very shortly after that, we’ll be charged with murder.” Luttrell says the “terrible reality” of those words hit him hard. “Was I afraid of the liberal media in the U.S.A.? Yes. And I suddenly flashed on the prospect of many, many years in a U.S. civilian jail alongside murderers and rapists.”

Luttrell’s book even predicts the Al Jazeera headline that would result if they kill the non-combatants and word leaks out:



US Military Promises SEALs

Will Be Charged

Releasing the goat herders would mean the Americans would be fighting for their lives as the Taliban learned about their presence and came after them. The latter option is what they chose, however, because they couldn’t morally justify killing the goat herders or leaving them tied up to die. After their release, one of them is shown running down the mountain to inform the Taliban of the American presence after being released, leading to death and destruction.

As a result, three of the four American soldiers on this dangerous mission pay with their lives, fighting against a much larger force of 50 Islamist fighters. Another 16 soldiers die in a rescue mission when the Taliban brings down their helicopter with a rocket-propelled grenade.

Almost miraculously, Luttrell survives the onslaught and is saved by a local Afghan villager named Mohammad Gulab. Taliban terrorists attack the village to find and kill Luttrell, but are beaten back. Eventually, the villagers contact American forces who rescue Luttrell. His book portrays the Afghans who save him as tough people willing to stand up to the terrorists, but in need of U.S. help to prevail.

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  • oxco

    Jake Tapper, will you ever get it?? #Senseless

  • Richard Hellstrom

    Al Qaeda and the U.S. backed Rebels just gunned down and murdered the Christians in Syria by shooting women and children down in the streets. it was a Leave , Convert or Die policy of genocide and the UN has never acted against any of these people and the U.S. and their media has only acted to support and brag about how smart it was to use Al Qaeda is Syria because of their brutality.

  • stlouisix

    Some things that had to be said, and were said in this piece in
    regard to PRAVDA USA with its shameless constant barrage of radical left
    agitprop and its impact on our military who paid for it with their

    On April 23, 2009, I attended a dedication ceremony at Pond Laboratory, Penn State, in memory of Lt. Michael P. Murphy, USN SEAL, who gave the last full measure of devotion for his country in Afghanistan in 2005. The Pond Laboratory at Penn State now has The Navy SEAL Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy Memorial Conference Room. Lt. Murphy graduated with honors at Penn State with degrees in political science and psychology.

    The incredible account of Lt. Murphy’s heroism is given in the link below

    Remembering Lt. Michael P. Murphy, USN SEAL Congressional Medal Of Honor Recipient, At Penn State

    with an excerpt from The Congressional Medal of Honor citation printed on the back of the dedication program. The highlight of the day for me was being able to talk with Lt. Murphy’s parents and brother at the end of the ceremony, letting them know that, as a Vietnam Era Navy veteran, “I had to be here today for your son and his family,” which I’m sure are shared sentiments with military veterans around the country who, if they could not be at the dedication ceremony physically, were there spiritually out of respect for a true hero in the highest tradition of the Naval service.

    This was a very special day for all involved to include, in particular, the officers and enlisted of the ROTC units at Penn State, the Navy ROTC unit en masse, and representatives from the other ROTC units and military that were able to attend.

    God bless and keep you and your family, and all in our Armed Forces in harm’s way, always, Lt. Murphy. You will not be forgotten by those who had the honor to be in the presence of your parents on a chilly April afternoon at Penn State. It is very easy to understand what a special young man that you were after seeing your parents!

    Eternal Rest grant unto Lt. Michael Murphy, O Lord. And let perpetual light shine upon him, and may his soul and all of the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace, Amen.

    The Navy Hymn

    Eternal Father, strong to save,
    Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
    Who bidd’st the mighty ocean deep
    Its own appointed limits keep;
    Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
    For those in peril on the sea!

    O Christ! Whose voice the waters heard
    And hushed their raging at Thy word,
    Who walkedst on the foaming deep,
    And calm amidst its rage didst sleep;
    Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
    For those in peril on the sea!

    Most Holy Spirit! Who didst brood
    Upon the chaos dark and rude,
    And bid its angry tumult cease,
    And give, for wild confusion, peace;
    Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
    For those in peril on the sea!

    O Trinity of love and power!
    Our brethren shield in danger’s hour;
    From rock and tempest, fire and foe,
    Protect them wheresoe’er they go;
    Thus evermore shall rise to Thee
    Glad hymns of praise from land and sea.

    There is no higher cause for pride than what Lt. Murphy and his SEAL team, and those who tried to rescue them did in Afghanistan!

    Gospel According to Saint John Chapter 15

    12 This is my commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you. 13 Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

    Lone Survivor is about as intense as it gets it terms of a realistic portrayal of what war is really like and what Lt. Michael Murphy’s SEAL team endured in the Hindu Kush in Afghanistan. It is riveting and not for the squeamish.

    The theater in State College, PA, the biggest in the UEC complex, was packed because Murphy was a Penn State grad who posthumously awarded the medal of honor.

    The ending is very moving. I will not give it away.

    But I will tell you this that when the credits came on, there was applause and everyone left that theater in silence out of respect for the memory of those who endured so much for us in harm’s way.

    Freedom is NOT free!

  • RightVote

    Wonder if the PRESS and Commentators are going to SEE this Documentary!
    The MEDIA got FullExposure…..But they still don’t ‘get it’!
    They can go back and ‘suck a nose’!

  • joshuasweet

    see the movie it is well worth it, and should be seen for the message it delivers. make your own opinion of the content and not the medias idea of what it should be seen as. Honor and the brotherhood of the warriors involved comes through. Great movie!

  • Rick Nielson

    The war against the Taliban in Afghanistan was in response to 9/11? Nobody believes that anymore. Our own President can’t even fake it anymore.