Selective Outrage

Earlier today, I published a little piece about women and their role in international politics. I freely admit it was very shoddily written, with a mediocre title, poor styling, and several factual errors. The underlying point — that a large part of the world is very sexist — was solid, but I undermined that with the actual poor quality of the article.

Which was exactly my intent.

I was curious how some of our resident detractors would handle my publishing a piece with a big, glaring factual error — one largely incidental to the main point. I suspected they would pounce all over it, using it as an excuse to bat me around and avoid the actual subject. And hoo boy, did they ever.

Which satisfied me immensely.

You want proof I did that delibarately? Look at that piece again. Take the first letter of each word in the title, and it spells out “CRICE” — as in Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of State under President George W. Bush. And take the first letter of each paragraph, and it spells out “ALBRIGHTM” — as in Albright, Madeleine, the first woman to serve as Secretary of State.

That was NOT a coincidence, folks. And it’s why I had a crappy title and rather stilted writing — far below my normal standards. (Yes, I have them. Honest.)

But there was a further point than making the usual crowd of bozos look stupid.

Last week, President Obama spoke to the 10th Mountain Division of the US Army. He lauded some of their heroes — including Medal of Honor Winner Sergeant First Class Jared Monti.

Unfortunately, Obama, his staff, and his Teleprompter all blew it. None of them bothered to actually check the facts surrounding SFC Monti’s feat of heroism.

Obama said he was proud to have awarded Monti the Medal of Honor, and he was the first living recipient of the award since Viet Nam.

Which was completely and utterly wrong. Monti died in Afghanistan fighting terrorists. His patrol was attacked, and one of his men was wounded and trapped. Monti braved enemy fire three times to try to rescue him, but was forced back twice. On the third attempt, he was  fatally wounded. But the artillery and air support he had called in did kill 22 of the enemy.

The first living recipient of the Medal of Honor since Viet Nam was Sgt. Salvatore Giunta, who whom President Obama presented with his award on November 16, 2010.

And President Obama presented the family of Sgt. Monti with his award on September 17, 2009.

This is not a simple mistake. This is a gross insult, one that could only come about through gross negligence. It shows that Obama and his staff simply didn’t care enough to remember the details of those two ceremonies, or to double-check the facts, before he gave his speech. It demonstrates a level of disregard that borders on contempt for the members of the Armed Services, especially the 10th Mountain Division that he thought he was honoring.

Compared to that, my little fumbling about female world leaders and Secretaries of State seems — rightfully — downright trivial.

But it is incredibly revealing how many people jumped all over those mistakes to denounce me, had little to nothing to say about Obama’s insult.

Especially you, Chico. Thanks SO much for playing. I quite literally couldn’t have done it without you.

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