With a book deal,
multiple prime time interviews and a made for television movie under her
belt, not to mention naked pictures of her frolicking with fellow soldiers
in an army barracks safely stashed away in Larry Flynt’s vault, the most
famous soldier of the Iraq war is definitely a unique figure. The petite
soft-spoken Private First Class Jessica Lynch was a very unlikely person
to emerge as a media celebrity and become a household name.
Tragically ambushed in the early days of the conflict, her lost unit suffered
dreadful losses and she barely escaped with her life. The amazing rescue
of this badly injured soldier helped rally the nation to victory and was
a significant morale booster and propaganda victory for the military.
The initial reports after her rescue told of a ferocious firefight with Private
Lynch unleashing a barrage of bullets at the enemy before she was taken prisoner.
A Washington Post headline read “She Was Fighting to the Death,” and
went on to quote U.S. officials as saying that, “PFC. Jessica Lynch fought
fiercely and shot several enemy soldiers after Iraqi forces ambushed the
Army’s 507th Ordnance Maintenance Company, firing her weapon until she ran
out of ammunition.” She was quickly and roundly hailed as the shining example
of what great soldiers females make. Unfortunately, this turned out to be
a mere public relations blitz that is now universally regarded as fiction.
Her much heralded amnesia regarding both the firefight and subsequent imprisonment
was refuted from the beginning by her father. “Her memory is as good
as it was when she was home,” he said. “There really wasn’t no amnesia
So the amnesia victim received a million dollar book deal about a capture
and experience that she does not remember. Ms. Lynch has also recently
claimed she was too busy to meet with Mohammed al-Rehaief, the true hero
of this story, who risked his life to provide the information used by American
soldiers to rescue Lynch. A fictionalized account was portrayed as
truth by the media and those who were a little too concerned about political
correctness and the feminization of the military.
To her credit, Jessica Lynch has finally come forward to help expose the
truth. "My weapon did jam and I did not shoot, not a round, nothing. I don't
look at myself as a hero. My heroes are Lori (Private Lori Piestewa, who
died in the ambush of Lynch's convoy), the soldiers that are over there,
the soldiers that were in the car beside me, the ones that came and rescued
me," she said.
So why has there been so much myth building around the capture of Pfc. Jessica
Lynch? The Left likes to blame a Pentagon desperate for good news and a rally
point during the frantic hard fought days of the Iraq war. The Right
tends to suspect the “Pentagon feminists” and their media allies who are
desperate to prove that women are just as “fierce” as their male counterparts
and, despite much lower standards for their inclusion in the military, are
not just baggage in the field but capable of holding their own in combat.
They thought they had their proof in Private Lynch, but the truth has melted
the myth away.
All of this seems to come at the expense of those who served with distinction
and exceptional bravery in combat in Iraq but whose recognition has been
completely overshadowed by the media hype of her capture and rescue.
This does not in any way detract from the fact that we as a nation were all
extremely relieved at her safe return and tremendously proud of those who
risked their lives to live up to the pledge of “no man (err…woman) left behind”.
It is ridiculous that we have allowed 105-pound females to be captured, beaten,
and raped in the name of social experimentation and equal opportunity. It
is bad enough that we have male soldiers shot, blown apart and killed. Do
we really want to have our wives, daughters and sisters returned to us in
body bags or with the often devastating physical and mental scars of war?
In the end what does it say about our society that we send our women to fight
our wars for us?
David M. Huntwork is a conservative activist and freelance columnist in Northern Colorado. His columns may be read at http://dkhunt.tripod.com.