I’ve never been to Paris or Russia. That doesn’t matter, to e mar any other American affected by the terrorist attacks on their country. All of humanity is affected and the cries of anguish and rage emanating from overseas stir our collective souls at home.
The media knows this. Fueling the fire in and of itself is not a bad thing, though the profit motive makes me a bit sick to my stomach at times. And the media is powerful, especially in terms of perception. When the media perceives something a certain way, much of the populace follows suit, whether they feel the same way or are just parroting points of view.
Consider the current cry to deploy our ground troops to fight ISIL. They appear to be covering the crisis with objective journalism, countering the experts criticizing Obama with quotes from the President himself. This is essential in journalism, as objectivity must come first despite emotions and ideals. But the cry to unleash the full might of our Armed Forces is still heard and gains support and traction. I sometimes find myself getting caught up in the rush as well, shaking my fist for a demonstration of power. It’s sexy to see the headline on the news. America at War
However, our enemy hides in the shadows. They blend in with innocent civilians and moderate Muslims who detest and denounce the activities of their radical countrymen. Yet they get caught in the crossfire of air strikes and ground forces. These are the facts of the new war we face. And yes I’m not the first to repeat them. But I have a different perspective than many.
I’m no Special Forces operator but I know a few. I’ve heard the stories they tell. I don’t know much but I know enough to keep the faith that they fight this war. Silently. The clandestine actions of our SOF community may not be plastered all over the headlines. But that’s why it is effective. After talking to some of our countries operators, I maintain a profound respect for our quiet professionals.
They blend into our enemy’s cities, gathering intelligence. Waiting.
And when they strike, I wonder to myself if our enemies cower in fear. Do they beg when the door hinges burst off of cheap plaster walls? Do they curl up into the fetal position when the ceilings of their homes and caves collapse? Do they repent when the full force of our nations fury is meted out in rapid-fire metal piercing cheap plaster walls and flesh?
Though we don’t get the satisfaction of watching justice dispensed, I keep the faith that our SOF guys are doing their jobs. I urge you to keep the perspective that we have no idea how many attacks are thwarted, how much intelligence is intercepted. We never get to see the primal fear or hear the screams for mercy as the sound of combat boots in a stack pour into their safe houses and caves.
I keep the faith that these quiet professionals are bringing the collective fury of our country to the enemy’s doorstep.