Eric H. May
HOUSTON, 4/13/2011 —
On Saturday, the eighth anniversary of the fall of Baghdad,
I posted Baghdad’s
Neutron Bomb and America’s Nuclear Obama, with references
to back up the explosive title. Military comrades and media
colleagues have since asked for a fuller explanation of what
moved me from reactionary to revolutionary — or, as we
Texans would put it, from redneck to rebel. A paraphrase of
Napoleon is helpful: From redneck to rebel is but a step.
We proved that when we took Fort Sumpter, 150 years ago today.
May family forebears settled in colonial Jamestown, later fighting
for America against England, then the Confederacy against the
Union. Patriots all, they would not be shocked by my infowar
against our era’s maniacal King George, and the abominable
Kenyan King who has followed him. On the contrary, I believe
they would be ashamed had I not done my duty. Eight years ago,
I declared my independence from the tyrants of our times in
an essay that has been published at intervals by the internet,
but never widely until today:
13, 2003 — To Frank Michel, Associate Editor, Houston
I talked with you the day after the April 5 Iraqi counterattack
at Baghdad Airport, you have been the only media person to
take me seriously. Thanks for encouraging me to write. I have
tried to spark other media interest in the fate of the 3/7
Cavalry, but have been ignored by television and radio. I
have been dismissed as crazy more than once.
the last week I have been taking up a collection for the unit’s
Army Emergency Relief fund. On the donations bucket is the
‘Please donate to the relief fund
of the 3/7 Cavalry,
which took losses over the weekend.’
have collected for 22 hours, and have exactly 20 dollars in
donations. Although the public has no reason to doubt that
the unit spearheading the advance to Baghdad has taken casualties,
they have not been told to grieve yet, so they render no gifts
to the dependents of the dead.
would make me happier than to be wrong in my inferences. I
hope the facts will disprove me. Should my fears about the
3/7 Cavalry be realized, though, I ask that you publish my
wept as I watched CNN. It was pre-dawn, April 5 in Iraq, the
end of the night on which Saddam Hussein had promised an attack.
With a background in military intelligence and public affairs,
I could see and hear the confusion, fear and tragedy in the
faces and voices, and I could read between the lines used to
keep the disaster hushed. It was apparent to me that the 3/7
Cavalry, the avant-garde for our assault across the desert,
had been blown off the Baghdad airport.
attack made military sense for the Iraqis. The airport was crucial
for the control of Baghdad, and it would have surprised me had
they not booby-trapped it, targeted it for a counterattack,
or both. Saddam had banked on winning the war by repeating the
debacle of Mogadishu, where a handful of well-publicized casualties
had swung American public opinion against military involvement
in Somalia. At the Baghdad airport he had executed the best
ambush since Little Big Horn, where Crazy Horse and Sitting
Bull had destroyed the Seventh Cavalry Regiment. By morning
writers would pen the name George “Custer” Bush
and national resolve for the war would plummet.
dilemmas are the price we pay for the freedoms guaranteed by
our Constitution, the first of which is freedom of the press.
But we didn’t pay. Plugged into the media matrix, we didn’t
blink and we didn’t ask questions. We ceased to function
and Sunday following the disaster were part J. Edgar Hoover
and part P.T. Barnum. The tail wagged the dog. The rescued Private
Jessica Lynch, a tragic battle casualty, was morphed into
Jessica” to hold national attention. The 3/7 Cavalry
breakout from the attack was labeled a “foray” into
Baghdad. The U.S. body count, a pesky statistic from the Vietnam
era, was hidden in the fog of war.
morning offered a new scenario to dazzle the public: Four one-ton
bombs had “probably” killed Saddam in one of his
lairs. We had already bought that lie on March 19, the first
night of the war, and it worked again. We focused on Saddam,
and we focused on victory. We stayed on message, and we stayed
in the dark. Mideast media carried stories of a massacre of
U.S. forces at the airport, but we were told not to trust them.
didn’t sleep at all the night the 3/7 Cavalry fell into
a trap, and I haven’t slept much since. If my conviction
about the unit’s bad luck is right, many fears, strange
to me as an American who has spent a lifetime in service to
his country, keep me awake:
- I fear we can no longer trust the president to tell the
truth, since he clearly did not trust us to know the truth
when the chips were down.
- I fear his military actions go against to the parting advice
of two former presidents, both men who had led wars. In his
valedictory address, George Washington admonished us to beware
of foreign entanglements, and the Mideast is likely to be
as entangling as quicksand. The departing Dwight Eisenhower
bade us beware of the military industrial complex, which has
either co-opted or coerced today’s media.
- I fear the public will not feel outraged at being offered
the mirage of an adventure, instead of the reality of a war.
Will media present the unlucky 3/7 Cavalry as a band of martyred
brothers, rather than as grim casualties? Will our children
learn that inside each flag-draped coffin is the torn body
of a youth, who once dreamed of the future? Or will they be
indoctrinated with images of fallen heroes, saluted by salvos
of rifle fire? Will they want to grow up to fight wars, too?
Are we training our own suicide volunteers for a Disney World
- I fear the media has signed a Faustian pact for a close-up
of the best story of the new millennium: an American incursion
into the Mideast. Has media/military cooperation ceased to
be a public affairs operation conducted for the American people,
and become a psychological operation conducted against them?
- I fear my president ordered assassination in the April
luck incidents” of U.S. forces shelling Baghdad’s
Palestine Hotel, which housed foreign journalists. The Arab
media believes it was murder, and they were telling the truth
about the 3/7 Cavalry. Was the “truth” we saw,
heard and read in the U.S. “embedded” media the
only version of truth admissible in an Orwellian cover-up,
and was there a death penalty for dissent?
- I fear the tentacles of government have stretched too far.
In suppressing the biggest negative story of the war, it has
shown a mighty grasp over a professional group dedicated to
the truth, but embedded with lies. Twisting the arms of the
professions has always been part of the blueprint for strong-arm
governments, which become as repressive to their own citizens
as they are bellicose to other countries.
are my fears, based on my belief that since the night we lost
the 3/7 Cavalry:
- Our president has lied to us and our representatives in
order to insure that the country did not function according
to its Constitution.
- Our Congress has passed a $2.5 trillion national war budget
in ignorance of the true conditions of the war.
- Our military has coerced those who professed to be our
truth tellers into becoming purveyors of lies of omission
look at my commission as a U.S. Army officer, and see that I
swore to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign
and domestic. The commander in chief took an oath in which he
swore to do the same. He betrayed it.
should demand explanations from President George W. Bush, and
prepare articles of impeachment if he can’t or won’t
explain himself. As for the media, perhaps it will realize that
although it was willingly embedded by the government, it is
not married to it. A trial of impeachment of the president would
be as good a story as the war was, and might even tempt the
media to reconsider its spring fling in Iraq. Only then can
we claim to live in the land of the free and the home of the
brave. Only then can we say that the fate of the 3/7 Cavalry
was a tragedy, and not a travesty.
+ + +
Nuclear Bomb, and America’s Nuclear Obama
- Correspondence with
Frank Michel (BOBCUP Report, vols. I & II)
Jessica Lynch, the media and the military
- Baby Jessica
Rescue Web Page
bombs Al-Jazeera center in Baghdad
Über Alles” — Our Nazi Nation
+ + +
Captain Eric H. May, a disabled veteran,
is a former U.S. Army military intelligence officer and Desert
Storm volunteer. A former NBC editorial writer, his essays have
been published worldwide, from The Wall Street Journal
to Military Intelligence Magazine. He served on
the general staff of Houston’s 75th Division, and graduatee
in Classical Studies from the University of Houston Honors College.