Via Jeff Jarvis, I see that Greyhawk of Mudville Gazette has PhotoShopped a rather angry reply to Time‘s selection of The American Soldier as Person of the Year by juxtaposing the POTY cover with four others.

The contention seems to be that Time is generally anti-soldier and is just using this honor to sell magazines. These covers don’t illustrate that in my mind.

Certainly, the “Are We Stretched Too Thin” cover could arguably be construed to be pro-soldier. Indeed, most soldiers have been arguing for a decade now that the opstempo is too high for the extant force.

Ditto “Peace is Hell” and “Mission Unaccomplished.” Lots of soldiers are getting killed in Iraq doing nation-building; it’s worth noting that. Indeed, even the “UNTruth and Consequences” cover is, if anything, anti-Bush.

It is indeed possible to question the way the campaign is unfolding–or even oppose the war itself–while still supporting the troops. Certainly, there is a vocal minority on the Loony Left that is both anti-war and anti-soldier. I don’t, however, see any evidence that Time-Warner is in that category.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. BigFire says:

    Well, as Charles Johnson of LGF points out, it’s only last week that Time ‘reporter’ were huddling around with the terrorists bent on killing these very same American soldiers just in time to catch their reaction to Saddam’s capture.

  2. I didn’t think of it that way, James. You’ve changed my mind.

  3. James Joyner says:

    That’s what I’m here for!

  4. James, don’t be silly. George W. Bush is the commander in chief. Therefore, he is one of our troops, and any criticism of him is evil and unpatriotic. You’re either with us, or you’re with the terrorists.

  5. Debbie says:

    My dad served in Nam, so I have the utmost respect for soldiers and what they are put through. Bush, on the other hand, is NOT a soldier. He is a deserter who happens to be commander-in-chief at this time.

    The people on the left who expound hate for the servicemen are not the voice of the left anymore than extremist morons like Ann Coulter are the voice of the right.

    By the way, has anyone actually met someone who thinks that our soldiers are evil? I certainly haven’t. I think the media has to look pretty hard to find these people. Hmm.

    The majority of Americans voted against Bush, but we also know and love military men and women.

    That’s not a contradiction at all.

    I don’t have to love the president to love America any more than I have to love cherries to love cheesecake. The cherries can be scraped off.

  6. Paul says:

    Someone help my failing memory… Who had that vile piece comparing one of the terrorist resistance fighters to one of our soldiers?

    I *thought* it was Time.

  7. James Joyner says:

    It was Time, back in November.

  8. Greyhawk says:

    Greyhawk here
    That post was my immediate gut reaction to the announcement by Time. It’s probably more of a visceral reaction to a year’s worth of lukewarm media support (post actual march on Baghdad) and a chorus of support-the-troops-not-the-war garbage from the Left. An American free press is something I hold dear, I truly appreciate that anyone can criticize the president, the military, and essentially anything else they want. And admittedly Time is far from the worst offender in this category. Still, they were at the “right place at the right time” to draw my personal ire. (For what its worth.)

    I resisted much temptation to expound further in the post to what drove me to that entry. In the end I chose to simply “run it up the flagpole and see who saluted”. I had truly hoped to see voices from many sides on the issue, and definitely expected opposing views.

    Time is driven by a profit margin (I’m all for a free market too) but my cynical side says that Time is profiting off soldiers, and that they would publish battle plans if they thought they could make a buck. Their managing editors comments do nothing to allay my doubts. I’d like to see some gesture (say profits into some fund or other, perhaps beneficial to the ‘fallen heroes’) on Time’s part that would reduce the increase in my stomach acid level that resulted from their choice. (Though my evil cynical side might rise up and refute that gesture too.)

    I appreciate your comments (and link). You’ve contributed the thoughtful counter to my position that I really wanted to see. I’ll always appreciate the ideas of thoughtful folks like you and the rest of the folks who’ve commented above.

    At your service!