Monday, September 27, 2004

Our interviews by Newshour piece to air this week

Our interviews by Newshour piece, Military Families speaking out, to air this week.

As you know, we were filmed and interviewed by Lee Hochberg, Seattle correspondent for Newshour with Jim Lehrer. This morning (Monday, Sept 27) Lee phoned me to give update on when this piece will be aired. He said he hopes to see it aired Thursday or Friday evening..this week. Again, as he explains, their morning meetings and news pertinent to the moment decides the basis for what gets aired that evening. Lee says he is aiming for Thursday, and with Presidential debates, he thinks it is more likely it will air Friday.

Newshour with Jim Lehrer is shown on PBS stations, please check the listings in your area. Here also is url for Newshour features

The piece Lee has been working on is military families speaking out, as this is a first in history and a new phenomenom, that military families would come together in commonality to speak in support of the troops by speaking out against the war. citing a misguided administration and Commander-in-Chief. Military families have traditionally been taught to "suck it up", support the troops with public statements of committment for whatever combat theatres where their loved ones as soldiers are deployed, and hold their criticisms of administrative policy as private thoughts not shared in public venue.

Newshour decided to learn more about what compels military families with loved ones deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan to break with the traditions of military families and speak out against the war. Lee Hochberg is compiling the piece and I have no way of knowing what the completed piece will look like until we see it aired. Lee included various events and interviews of Military Families Speak Out.

Lee also included filming me at my church giving a sermon that addresses the wrongness of the war and the President's decision to take us into Iraq. He also filmed an interview with both Arthur and me at our home, my views as a military brat, young wife to Vietnam veteran, and mother and aunt to 2 new Iraq veterans; Arthur's views as a Vietnam era veteran speaking out.

We invite you to watch this piece. We hoped to be able to videotape it at home, but aren't set up to do so. If anyone else is able to do so and can videotape it, perhaps provide a copy for us, we would be appreciative. Thank you. I believe, also we can purchase a videotape of the show from Newshour.

Lietta (and Arthur) Ruger


Executive Editor and Anchor

Jim Lehrer was born in Wichita, Kansas, in 1934. He is a graduate of Victoria College in Texas and the University of Missouri. After three years as an infantry officer in the Marine Corps, he worked for ten years in Dallas as a newspaperman and then as the host of a local experimental news program on public television.

He came to Washington with PBS in 1972, teaming with Robert MacNeil in 1973 to cover the Senate Watergate hearings. They began in 1975 what became The MacNeil/Lehrer Report, and, in 1983, The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour, the first 60-minute evening news program on television. When MacNeil retired in 1995, the program was renamed The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.

Lehrer has been honored with numerous awards for journalism, including a presidential National Humanities Medal in 1999. In the last four presidential elections, he moderated nine of the nationally televised candidate debates. For the 2004 election, Lehrer will moderate the first presidential debate on Sept. 30 in Miami.

"No Certain Rest" is Lehrer's 13th novel; his 14th, "Flying Crows," was published in May 2004. He also has written two memoirs and three plays. He and his novelist wife Kate have three daughters and six grandchildren.



Based in Seattle and Portland, Lee Hochberg has been a NewsHour correspondent since 1986, covering events in his region. He provided the NewsHour's ongoing coverage of controversies over the northern spotted owl, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the Exxon Valdez oil spill, and the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. His numerous awards including a Peabody Award for a NewsHour report on dangerous trucking practices. Lee is married, has three children, and lives on Mercer Island in Washington State.

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Anonymous said...

Patriotic Duty - The relationship between the Citizen, the Soldier and the President

The following is found at the home page of Military Families Speak Out :

"Military Families Speak Out is an organization of people who are opposed to war in Iraq and who have relatives or loved ones in the military. We were formed in November of 2002 and have contacts with military families throughout the United States, and in other countries around the world.

As people with family members and loved ones in the military, we have both a special need and a unique role to play in speaking out against war in Iraq. It is our loved ones who are, or have been, or will be on the battlefront. It is our loved ones who are risking injury and death. It is our loved ones who are returning scarred from their experiences. It is our loved ones who will have to live with the injuries and deaths among innocent Iraqi civilians."

Despite the unspoken claims to a monopoly on American Patriotism and their right to define that patriotism, organizations such as MFSO are exercising one of the highest duties with which any American citizen is charged. If our family members serving in the military are duty bound to follow their Commander-in-Chief they then have a right to expect fidelity from that commander. The commander must have no higher priority than the greatest possible support of the troops, must focus on keeping them as safe and least exposed to harms way as possible in pursuit of national security objectives.

Likewise, citizens are duty-bound to our military in a way no less important than the troops' obligation to obey and trust their commander-in-chief. The commander-in-chief is neither an emperor nor a dictator and at all times remains accountable to all citizens - not just those who voted for him. American civilians have - as their highest duty in support of our family members in the military - an insistence on accountability for decisions placing our troops in harms way. We in fact are a vital part of a system of checks and balances that must function in order to protect the integrity of what constitutes democracy in America.

On the one hand, military devotion to duty, courage in the line of fire, and obedience regardless of agreement or disagreement with command decisions ought to be the highest measure of soldierly patriotism.

On the other hand, civilian devotion to the fact of American democratic process is equally vital in making sure ulterior motives and secret special interest agendas are not placed ahead of the safety and well-being of our troops.

When either of the dominant political parties in this country makes an assertion that patriotism and loyalty are defined within that particular party, we disenfranchise ourselves if we blindly buy into that notion. Particularly dangerous is the circumstance where we as citizens find politicians attempting to exploit what they believe to be our own personal politics, philosophy or economic outlook with highly emotional rhetoric in an attempt to stampede us into acting without thinking.

We see the Democratic Party expend a lot of energy trying to appeal to the electorate as an alternative to the Republican administration that - in response primarily to 9/11 - launched this country into a military enterprise. We see the Republican Party expend a lot of energy trying to appeal to the electorate based entirely on a war on terrorism launched after the 9/11 event - essentially appealing to our patriotism.

What has devolved is a conflict around who is patriotic and who is not.

The fundamental truth of the matter is this: Neither party has the monopoly on patriotism. Neither party is empowered to define for you and for me what it means to love your country and what a patriotic act looks like.

The politician who says that those who do not support the President are then in support of terrorists is deliberately denying that which is at the heart of democracy.

The politician who declares that dissent and disagreement with national leadership is not patriotic and in fact is a betrayal of the country is deliberately denying that which is at the heart of democracy.

The politician who declares that families with relatives on active duty betray those relatives when they openly disagree with the administration is deliberately attempting to harm a vital component of our political system in pursuit of a personal agenda.

If we who remain at home do not do our part to make a powerful lobby on behalf of our military troops we may be able to lay the blame for disaster at the feet of those whose politics got us into a disaster. However, the blame will lay more fully in our corner for believing someone else's deliberate denial of what is at the heart of our America.

It is, after all, Our America.

There are more of us owners out of office than in office but We the People remain in charge.

Arthur Ruger, Publisher - The American Choice

Kevin Jackson said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
President George W. Bush's statement in March 2006 after 3 yrs of war "a future President will have to resolve war in Iraq"


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