Three Reasons Why Nobel Peace Prize Winners Are Wrong About “Stars Earn Stripes”

For the first time in human history, a collection of Nobel Peace Prize winners — led by Archbishop Desmond Tutu — issued a statement about a reality TV show.  They targeted Stars Earn Stripes, the new NBC series starring a collection of celebrities and veterans who raise money for military-themed charities by competing in a series of military-themed challenges.  The show is entertaining, but no reasonable person watching it could think that it truly simulates war.  It does, however, give you a tiny glimpse into the kinds of skills (and stamina) required to complete even the simplest tasks, and it’s full of tributes to men and women in uniform.  So what’s the problem?  Here’s the key paragraph from the Nobel laureates:

It is our belief that this program pays homage to no one anywhere and continues and expands on an inglorious tradition of glorifying war and armed violence. Military training is not to be compared, subtly or otherwise, with athletic competition by showing commercials throughout the Olympics. Preparing for war is neither amusing nor entertaining . . . Real war is down in the dirt deadly. People — military and civilians — die in ways that are anything but entertaining.

They go on to call the program “a massive disservice to those who live and die in armed conflict and suffer its consequences long after the guns of war fall silent.”  While I share the laureates’ desire for peace, I disagree with their criticism of the show — for three reasons:

First, it is right and good to honor martial courage.  For eleven years, hundreds of thousands of our fellow citizens have risked their lives for their country, tens of thousands have been horribly wounded, and thousands have died.  Yet aside from the obligatory “thank you” to the troops and the inevitable avalanche of anti-war movies from Hollywood, our pop culture has been remarkably devoid of a military presence.  This has not always been the case.  When Alvin C. York won the Medal of Honor in World War I, he was perhaps America’s most famous celebrity.  The heroes of “Flags of Our Fathers” — the men who hoisted the flag atop Iwo Jima — helped boost a nation’s flagging spirits in the midst of a bloody war.  Yet after more than a decade of war, is there a single soldier who’s a household name?  Until war ends, we need warriors, and how much better is it to honor men who laid down their lives for their country than it is to honor a football player who hustled for a sack or a celebrity who wore a particularly fetching dress to a premiere?

Second, it’s a mistake to assume that American pacifism means peace.  As a veteran of the Iraq war, I must admit that I’m puzzled by those who seem to insist that if only Americans were less militaristic, the world would be more peaceful.  Do they not understand that while war requires only one party, peace requires universal assent?  During the early morning hours of September 11, 2001, Americans thought we were at peace, but the war had already started — in fact, it had been underway for some time.  If we demilitarize our culture, we don’t foster peace, we make war more likely (and more terrible, once it arrives).  After the bloodbaths of the Twentieth Century (each started when America was weak), the new century has seen less war and less death — in large part because of American strength.

Third, if Americans saw the true face of war, we’d be more militaristic, not less.  The Nobel laureates accuse Stars Earn Stripes of sanitizing war, mistakenly believing that showing the reality of war would discourage militarism.  This is 180 degrees from the truth.  If Americans were to see the raw, bloody, horrifying truth of our war, they would be stoked — as many of us in Iraq were — to pure rage against our vile and vicious enemy.  The true face of our war includes our enemy shooting babies in the face, raping women to turn them into suicide bombers, putting bombs in the backpacks of handicapped children, beheading women and children on camera while screaming Allah akhbar like they’re at some kind of soccer match, creating medieval-style torture chambers so gruesome they make waterboarding look like a day at a water park, and generally killing, maiming, and terrorizing as many innocents as they can in an effort to plunge the world into the darkness of jihadist Islam.  Our media has sanitized our war in large part by sanitizing our enemy.  Show the “true face” of war, and the war will only intensify.

I enjoyed Stars Earn Stripes.  My family cheered when Todd Palin (a man who understands the pain of separation from a soldier son and the fears of the family left behind) carried his team and beat even the “operators” through the barbed wire obstacle. My son immediately identified each weapon and was thrilled to see them in action, but we were mostly happy to see some of our finest vets get a moment in the sun — a moment when they could showcase some tiny part of the skills they’ve learned, the skills they’ve used to make sure that days like September 11 never happen again.

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  • Mpalmer77

    Wow. My thoughts – why bother even giving these nay sayers any publicity? My husband and I both watched the show last night. We’d recorded it so we wouldn’t miss it. We thought it was wonderful and we were so blessed by all the participants!
    We felt it showed the country what our soldiers go thru and how important they are to our country!!

    Bravo to the producers of this show and to all of the participants!! Boo to the critics. Grow up and try some encouragement. This country could use a little more of that!!

    • Brian

      Let these air headed Nobel Prize winners go fight the next war and dont call on america to help anyone out…..Then they will see we are a proud nation, and believe in the liberty of all not just ourselfs.

      • Sgt Redbird Soldier

        These naysayers? Please, read their entire statements which illustrate the fact that these so called actors/actresses/stars in this reality show are earning their stripes, all these Nobel prize winners are saying is this show like many others does not show what those who actually serve go through, that war is not glory, not fun and is not a game. Just about every soldier I have known is the first to want peace, including my son who in four years of active service in the Army spent over 30 months in combat with two deployments plus two stop losses. Instead of a reality show which is scripted, show actual combat, training, deaths, fire fights, ambushes, training each and every Combat Soldier endures to include losing their families because of divorce after so much time away from home. As for the funds for the military, the actual amount will be slim if any. Each person who is on this show will be paid an appearance fee. Anyone who wants to understand our military in war, training, their sacrifices then enlist and serve the country so many keep saying is worth fighting for but enjoy saying these thoughts from the safety of their living room. I am retired from US Army, 20+ years all active duty, 100% Service Connected Disabled Veteran (several body parts have been left during my time in service to our country), a son who also Airborne Infantry Combat Soldier plus many other family members who have served, sacrificed on active duty in our military with honorable service.

        • Carl Lee Wheless, Jr.

          As a 17.5 year active duty veteran, (10 USMC, 7.5 US Army) and with two COMBAT tours in Iraq (26 months total), who is now going through the process of being medically retired due to wounds and injuries, both visible and invisible, inflicted in COMBAT – I must 100% concur with your comments.

          Anyone reading this should not make the mistake of thinking I am a Liberal, a Democrat, a partisan, or an ideologue. I am a patriotic American who gives thanks to God every day that I had the chance to serve this great country, and if given the chance, would without hesitation do it all over again. I 100% supported our being in Iraq and am sick to my stomach we as a nation did not at least leave a minimal sized force in Iraq at the end of the SOFA negotiated by the Bush Administration.

          I find it to be a slap in the face for a bunch of well-meaning but misguided Hollywood Producer-inspired celebrities to run around “playing Soldier” for a “reality” television series when there are so many REAL Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines and veterans of OEF/OIF/OND that could have been used to bring the same exact amount of attention to the noble cause of assisting the victims and survivors of combat and war – civilians and combatants alike.

          I normally do not agree with the likes of Desmond Tutu and those who twiddle about, showing off their Nobel Peace Prize – awarded by the Liberal mutual admiration society – but in this case he has wondered into the truth.

          “Y’know what I think? Don’t really matter what I think. Once that first bullet goes past your head politics and all that shit just goes right out the window.” ~ Sergeant First Class Norm “Hoot” Hooten from the movie “Black Hawk Down”

          • Kyle

            Greatest use of a quote in recent history. Hat is off to you Mr. Wheless.

          • Surly Curmudgen

            Carl normally it is Hollywood libs using us to further their leftest agenda. With this show we are using them to show our side of the argument. And I used “we” and “us” because I to am a twenty year plus active duty disabled vet. I say more power to those doing this show.

          • Larry

            ok first do you think that anybody would watch a show without the celebirities?? that is the main reason they are doing it. second what game show and i call it a game show because they are compeating to win money for charities would give money to the charity of one of the people kicked off?? does survivor give money to the ones kicked off NO they don’t but GOT YOUR 6 did get some money for dolvett getting kicked. and they stripes they are earning are worth 10,000 dollars each to their charities not in any form a type of military rank. sure it is mostly fake. but it does give a small glimpse into the training and things done daily by our men and women of the service. and it also gives these “stars” a taste of what the normal people do. i know that the stars could not or would not be able to do these things in a real war situation but at least they are doing it to raise awareness and money for various vet charities. and yes i am a vet also before anybody jumps on me for having no idea what i am saying.

    • Lester Murray

      Americans are bloodthirsty pigs. Bishop Tutu, unarmed, brought down the American supported illegal regime in South Africa. He, like Mandela, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, stared down murderous genociders. Palin is an ignorant criminal who neglects to pay property taxes for YEARS!!!

      • Dennis McHale

        Lester I think you are a shameless jerk. You believe those men succeeded without bloodshed? What world are you living in? You not only live in a world of lies, you make them up.

      • Hapi Gal

        Don’t forget Mandela killed plenty of innocents in his youth.

  • bellagrazi

    Shame on these Nobel Peace Prize winners. We gain peace through strength. Our military should be saluted for keeping America safe. On a lighter note: Todd Palin is a badass! Everyone was in awe of his skills. Super proud of the First Dude!

    • me here

      I so agree. What a nice guy too. So down to earth and normal.

    • Patricia

      I come from a very long line of soldiers, sailors, and airmen that stretches all the way back to our colonial wars. Without them and the millions and millions of other men and women of the United States Military, I shudder to think of where we all would be worldwide today. And what do these Nobel Laureates do besides sit around telling other people what to do taking bows? If people like Arafat and Obama are given the Nobel Peace Prize, it means worse than nothing anymore. The very least these people could do is show some appreciation or sit down and shut up.

      • Lynn

        Brabo! Pat you said it like it is. The NBP has no meaning when given to just anyone. Our men and women of the U.S. Military should have the highest praise, under God of course. They should never have to worry about anything. Because of them we have the freedom to do what we want, (although some do stupid).

    • Merica

      Not sure how he’s the first dude when Palin never made it to office…

      • Carrol

        Yes she did, Governor of Alaska.

        • Merica

          True, but typically when you say something like that the office of the President comes to mind. My mistake.

          • WCARR

            probably not your first..TYPICALLY I SUSPECT HAVE YOU EVER HAD AN ORIGINAL THOUGHT

        • Sgt Redbird Soldier

          So he is a First dude of a QUITTER, someone who did not fulfill the commitment after swearing her oath of office. If a Soldier such as her son decided to quit because of the hardship of military service what would he and others be thought as? Her son I respect his service to our country but his mother is a separate issue. So he is not a first dude.

          • Donna

            She didn’t quit due to hardship. She resigned because all the frivolous liberal lawsuits (over a dozen) were a cost burden and distracted her from fulfilling her obligations.

          • Bill589

            People that don’t think Sarah is a capable patriot, and certainly people that think she is a quitter, do not know Sarah Palin. With the corrupt government, both party establishments, against her – she continues to defiantely stand and fight for our constitutional republic. God bless her.

  • jo morgan

    I’m really sure Sarah Palin didn’t write this…she is not capable of putting two complete sentences together..you becha….but she does have grandchildren who like to use the “f” bomb….very articulate that Bristol must be to teach her two year old such profanities.

    • Susan

      If you had taken the time to even LOOK – Sarah shared a LINK to an article written by someone else. You have every right to have whatever feelings you have for Sarah – but for God’s sake – learn to simply read the blog post before making comments that make you look foolish.

      • Catblaster

        What a nitwit….typical liberal. What can ya say?

        • Sgt Redbird Soldier

          Typical liberal? Nitwit? Not words I would think of when discussing actors/actresses/so called stars earning their stripes. Yes she and others are using the link to make a point that Nobel Prize winners are against this show and she feels they are wrong. So I would like to have you to actually read what the Nobel Prize winners wrote. War is not a game, it is not a reality show to make money from, the amount of money that will actually make it to a military charity will be a small percentage. The so called ones attempting to earn their stripes, they all will earn an appearance fee. Most Soldiers agree we want peace because war is hell, too many good people lose their lives and a TV show, especially a scripted reality show is looking for ratings not reality. Instead begin by showing daily actual combat footage, training, sacrifices, hardships, difficulties of actual soldiers the true American stars because as with this show which allows the big talkers to send our military to war, face death, over and over while they are standing back saying I wish I could enlist but I have just insert some lame excuse for why most Americans will not fight, serve for a country they say in words is great and they love. Join the military instead of hiding behind your “Support our Troops” bumber sticker or poster……. It is the Soldier not the actor and I am proud to be a Soldier.

          • Bill589

            You are clueless about the Palins. Research. Know what you think you hate.

          • Dennis McHale

            Sgt. I respect your comments and I respect what Nobel Prize winners have to say. I am a huge supporter of both Todd and Sarah Palin and have had the great pleasure to meet and speak with them. The show was made with to bring respect to the profession of being a military soldier. Hollywood hires actors and create movies and shows the horrors of war, but also glorifies it. This show was created to show the difficulty of the training these men go through and how they managed to succeed and overcome the worst life can bring. Without reaching out to ‘Amateurs’ to draw the contrast the missions would have to extremely dangerous to have a ‘winner’ among just professionals. Many believe it is worthwhile to explore this idea and and allow the chance to see these ‘warriors’ in their realm, yet for them a relatively safe environment for them. I don’t see this show glorifying violence or war, just the reality that the need for these types of professionals are needed, and this is just a small peak into their ‘REAL’ environment. I enjoyed the first show, and like you if I felt uncomfortable about it, I wouldn’t watch it. In the meantime it also gives us an insight into the personalities of some of ‘celebrities’. I get its not for everyone. Again, I respect your thoughts.

    • David Kramer

      Nice of you to bring your level of discourse to the discussion. We are profoundly inspired on your point of view on the subject, do you know what it was? Sorry, you saw Palin mentioned and you went all wonk on us. Sarah, Sarah, Sarah, Sarah. Did I set up a resonance in your voluminous empty head and it go boom. By the way, that Ol Joe is only one step away from the presidency, you must be proud.

      • Catblaster

        Don’t forget the moron who actually sits in the WH.. blasts Ryan in a speech for not passing the Farm Bill aid to farmers when in reality the House passed the Farm Bill two weeks ago. Guess he must have been on the golf course or playing with his Hollyweird buddies campaigning to get the memo. I feel soooooo safe knowing he’s on top of everything.

    • sujalea

      Jo, it doesn’t say that Sarah wrote it. In fact I’d you had actually looked at the byline you could have seen that. You just wanted the chance to spew you hate.

    • Eric McDougle

      Uuuhh… Jo? Where did that come from?

    • james

      It’s people like you that make me proud to hate liberals. I’m willing to bet that you spew your hatred toward Sarah Palin and her attempt at educating people the importance of personal responsibility, while sitting on your couch, collecting your welfare check, having sexually explicit dreams of Rachael Maddow. Isn’t this 1st amendment thing wonderful?

    • T.D.

      At the top it says, “by David French”. :) Palin just placed a link to it on her facebook page.

    • Alex

      Hey jo morngan, have you ever actually read a piece written by Sarah? Or better yet, have you ever actually seen her articulating thoughts while speaking? I didn’t think so. She is a remarkable woman and orator. I bet she can read the teleprompter quite well too, better than the moron in chief, but I digress. I am really sure you are just drinking the koolaid been served by the liberal media, only that can explain your foolish and misinformed comment. But then again, what can one expect from someone that doesn’t even capitalized his/her own name? Just so you know, while your opinion may seen interesting, it is totally irrelevant. Brilliant people will continue to fight for this country while ignorant people like you will fade away.

      • Tom

        “…that doesn’t even capitalized his/her own name? LOL. Is this some of the neo-con brilliance showing?

    • linda hicks

      Why don’t you do some home work on Sarah paling before you spew you’re crap.you Moron!!!

    • Karen

      Maybe Tripp learned the “f-bomb” from TV coming from our lovely VP Biden!

    • Richard Murry

      Hey Jo, why don’t you have someone read her books to you.

    • Surly Curmudgen

      Jo Morgan, falsehoods and hatred, all over the web, falsehoods and hatred. The Palins, all of them, have displayed incredible class in the face of that spew. Myself, being a Surly Curmudgeon, would perceive such falsehoods and hatred as fighting words and react accordingly.

    • King James

      And then Jo, you reveal your own dead wood by repeating it.

    • WCARR

      HOW CAN YOU DEVELOP SUCH HATE FOR THE WHOLE CLAN WHEN YOU HAVE NEVER MET THEM….AND WHAT IS YOUR CLAIM TO FAME

  • Susan

    While this type of show truly isn’t my cup of tea, I understand it’s premise and why people would enjoy it, and why it has value.

    I may be reading the comment wrong, but it seemed that they were elevating the Olympic athletes above military might, correct? Well – what were the original Greek Olympics FOR? Guess what – military training of the young boys of Greece for combat. Somebody supposedly very smart has forgotten their history.

    • Catblaster

      Actual history means nothing to these weasels. Saw a post on FB the other day by a liberal where they had cherry picked quotes from the founding fathers that PROVED our country isn’t based on Judeo-Christian values. The way they can twist facts and logic is truly miraculous.

  • Kim

    Who cares what the Nobel Peace Prize winners think. After Obama won that thing I lost all respect for that “award”. Apparently, it’s given out indiscriminately. We watched the show last night with our children and not only was it entertaining, but it does give one a new respect for how hard these people (in particularly our military personnel) work. I’d like some of these liberal naysayers to get off their fat asses and try it. BTW, Todd is a BEAST!!

    • Nicki

      I agree 100%. If he can win the award then hell I have a good chance…. NOT…. I watched the show and loved it. It gives a tiny glimpse into what our men and women protecting us, serving our country, defending us, does on a daily basis.

      Todd Palin is a beast and a hottie

  • Drew

    That third point comes with a big asterisk. Yes, if most of the people in the US were to see the things that our enemies do they would be incensed and probably up in arms about it. However, there are things going on in the theater of war that the public simply doesn’t have the capacity to understand. I’m firmly convinced that the expanding television coverage was one of the big reasons for loss of support in the Viet Nam war and the recent wars.

  • Bobo

    Nobel Peace prize is worthless and those who “won” the prize were selected for their leftwing/communist views, not pacifist views.

    • Catblaster

      and how many people have been murdered under the peaceful watch of communism and socialism? hmmmm

  • sp00ky

    How many of these ‘great’ men and women have ever spent time at the pointy end of the spear out of love for people they don’t even know. And, no, directing your followers to kill farmers in a war where both sides were racist does not count.

    • http://felicityburnett.blog.com/ Felicity

      That is the truth!

  • Gwen Byrd

    I loved it . I knew the military took a special person to join but after watching this show last night I know just how awesome and special they really have to be. It was great to get a glimpse of some small part of the trianing process and see how they “carry out missions” in example form. I have an even higher respect than I did before for the military and I loved them to the highest degree before this but now….WOW! What special people they are!! Most people with simple brains know this is not war….but it is as close as you can get without being there…and it makes us aware of the great love and respect our troops have for this country…even those dummies who complain about a show donating money to military causes…let them complain jealous people do that so well. I would rather watch this than win a Nobel Prize especially after one of the winners did nothing to earn it. Can not wait till next week

    • Marge Straker

      Thanks to this show, Americans got to see just a glimmer of not only what boot camp is, BUT that these men are all special forces, elite soldiers who are good at what they do. These are the people who keep us safe and guard OUR freedom! Another point missed by some of the above comments – the winner will be donating $100,000 to a fund for military or families. Congratulations for the stars for their bravery to endure this so this donation can be made.

  • mnight

    a horrific show.
    sounds like little more than propaganda

    “Shame on these Nobel Peace Prize Winners” – yes, what would they know about international conflict and its effects

    • Hawkeyeted

      What do they know about International Conflict, considering one of the biggest instigators of International Terrorism was once in their ranks?

      There is a Civil War raging in Syria, and all these clowns can do criticize an American TV show.

      • Sagrav

        Yes, I’m sure that making a statement criticizing a silly, jingoistic show for being silly and jingoistic is all that these Nobel Peace Prize winners do all day. They must sleep 23 hours a day, and for the brief moment that they are awake they gurgle “American TV is teh suck” before drifting back to sleep.

        Thank God we have op-ed writers like David French to remind us that pro-military game shows are necessary for keeping America’s war-boner hard enough for our next military misadventure. If we didn’t fetishize military service, more people might question the very notion that we can bomb enough targets that all of the world’s terrorists will simply give up and thank America for turning their country into Craterville. And that would be horrific.

  • http://steelcityresistance.wordpress.com Wardy

    This show is more of a tribute to the military than anything. As it should be. They are right it isn’t the same as an athlete, they are watching TRUE heroes, and not some overpaid jock. If they don’t like it, they don’t need to watch. Peace through superior fire power. These type of shows should be on constantly to demonstrate the amount of skill and true athletic prowess these heroes possess. Why don’t they go whine to Obama and ask him to quit divulging national security secrets and putting their brothers into harms way.

  • Alberta Brett

    Hey Jo dumb-a Morgan – She didn’t write it. Read it before you make stupid commenrs!!

  • Gary Ernsthausen

    The last joker that won a NPP in USA is barely able to wave a white flag that is why he won one!

  • Rick246

    I have always believed everyone should have to go through Boot Camp.

    • WCARR

      BETTER YET ALL YOUNG PEOPLE SHOULD HAVE TO SERVE OUR COUNTRY IN SOME CAPACITY AFTER HIGH SCHOOL (QUITTING OR GRADUATING) THAT WOULD TEACH THEM SELF SUFFICIENCY,HOW TO WORK WITH OTHERS RESPECT FOR OTHERS ETC……CUT THE CORD SO TO SPEAK MAYBE WE WOULDN’T HAVE SO MANY NAMBY-PAMBY FAT ASS LAZY PEOPLE WHO CAN NOT SEEM TO FIND THEMSELVES (OR A JOB TO THEIR LIKING)

      • AZgal

        Yeah and I think that all those who want to run for any political position in our US
        government should go through all that training too!

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  • Michael

    Any group of people who give their highest honor to a man who had served what 30 days in Office; and whose only “crowning foreign policy achievement” in 3 years was *not to belay* ordering a SEAL team to storm, overwhelm, and kill a single terrorist; doesn’t rate in my book.

    I had problems with a former General on the show, until I realized that this is a program designed to demonstrate the skills, training and the resulting capability of everyday servicemen and servicewomen when compared to the elite of the physically conditioned of Hollywood.

    I suggest that the NPP committee go and find a way to achieve peace in Africa and Syria and for the Palestinians rather than comment on a TV Show.

  • Robert Williams

    My thoughts while the commercials aired during the Olympics, were probably similar to those of the laureates
    mentioned. I seem to recall even saying to my wife “If these actors think for one second that they are equal or
    comparable to any of these service members, they should be shot.”

    However, being the open-minded conservative *veteran* that I am, I watched to see what the show would bring.
    After viewing, I fully understood that the actors were doing this for two reasons:
    1) to raise awareness for the various charities; such as Wounded Warrior, Got Your 6, and Military Child
    Education Coalition, and
    2) to not to show that they are seen as equal to the heroes they stood next to, but to show that they are NOT equal.
    After viewing the 1st episode, I actually have a new found respect for many of those actors and hope it continues.

    • David French

      Completely agree. The celebrities were NOT equating themselves with the soldiers, and that’s one of the more endearing aspects of the show. It seemed as if they found the experience humbling.

      • http://aol.com Kathy

        I agree David, they seemed pretty humbled, the amazing thing is that the ones you think will do good seem to be the most humbled.

  • N4CER (@n4cerinc)

    Why don’t these Peace Prize Whiners check with the Peace Prize Weener in the White House and ask him about all those Drones he is using to kill terrorists on the spot and everyone else in their immediate vicinity?

  • Robert Williams

    BTW, I think they are called “operatives”, not operators.

  • http://CashInTheHand.org David Leak

    Mr French,
    A Great article. Thanks for your service and thanks for your support of the armed services.
    I hate to nit pick, but in your first paragraph, you have a typo. You said “hundreds of thousands of our fellow citizens have laid down their lives” when I’m guessing you meant to correctly state “hundreds of thousands of our fellow citizens have risked their lives”. Your current sentence contradicts itself as currently written, giving two widely different casualty figures. Thanks again.

    • David French

      Good catch. I’ll change it.

      • http://CashInTheHand.org David Leak

        Your welcome. I didn’t want the truth of your article diminished by a typo, which is what people do these days.
        ====
        On a separate topic, If you get a chance, please check out my political web site CashInThe Hand.org and let me know if you agree with the tax deduction that is described there. Thanks. PS. You do not need to post this comment on your site, as I do not want to be “spamming” your web site. I don’t sell anything on my site, but the name can infer that.

        • http://bmay18@gmail.com Golden 18

          Funny – you correcting his grammar. The word should be You’re welcome – not Your welcome.

  • Laura

    Hey, I am “liberal” in some ways, but when it comes to military strength and training, I was a 100 lb woman out in the desert with the marines. And I kept up. And received honors. And I would go back in a heartbeat. Please don’t spew comments about how people like “Jo” make you hate all liberals, there are idiots everywhere, and I don’t hate all “conseservatives”, even though they have more than their fair share of idiots too, because I know that most of us have a little of each side in us. I do not agree with the Nobel Laureates remarks but any publicity is good publicity with the result more people watching.

  • Tom Sheil

    I could not agree more with the comments above. Our military personnel are the bravest, strongest, and most honorable men and women in this world. It is their strength and character that keeps all of us safe. It is terrible to sit on the sidelines and make ridiculous statements about how a television show glorifies war, and that Americans are the only people waging wars. I think the show is excellent and gives only a glimpse into how talented, strong, courageous and intelligent our servicemen and women are. These people train so hard, fight so fiercely… all for our freedom and safety. My advice to the Nobel Prize winners who made these “arm chair comments” should really be reflecting on the fact that their freedom to speak has been won by the love and strength and lives of our military…. if not… keep their mouths shut!

    • Merica

      Ummm none of those NPP winners are citizens of the U.S. so I don’t know how our military has given them their freedom to speak.

      • http://aol.com Kathy

        So does that mean Obama is not a citizen?

  • David

    I also don’t want to nitpick, but regarding the sentance “When Alvin C. York won the Medal of Honor in World War I, he was perhaps America’s most famous celebrity. “. SGT York did not “win” the Medal of Honor. He wasn’t an entrant in a contest. Neither the Medal of Honor, nor any other medal for that matter, is a “prize” to be “won”.

  • dtc

    Before you slag off every Nobel Prize winner because Obama got a prize, why don’t you take five minutes to read the biographies of the signees to this letter and think about what their viewpoints might be. I get it – because Obama won a Nobel Prize the Nobel prize is now worthless. If Obama wears a pair of jeans, does that make jeans worthless? If Obama eats a Big Mac does that make Big Macs worthless? If Obama uses a toilet do you reflexively swear off toilets and, i don’t know, go in the backyard?

    • Judy

      Don’t be ridiculous! You may equate silly fluff to a supposed prestigious award, but, not everyone else does.

      • Merica

        Yet he makes a valid point. The majority of people here have no idea who these people are for the most part and what they’ve done. Just because they have a differing viewpoint than you on this show does not mean they must be dismissed without discussing it. These people have encountered far more in their lifetime than you or I, and is comparable to many of our armed servicemen. They have lived through the horrors of war among other things on their own soil.

  • Josephine

    Maybe Tutu and his nobel peace prize phonies ought to go after the movie producers who make war and violence movies if they want peace and quiet.

    • Judy

      Would someone please remind me what the Nobel Peace Prize winners have actually done for their respective countries, to make their opinions worth listening to. My opinion of the “Peace Prize” declined dramatically when Mr. Obama received one only months after his election.

      • L3

        I must agree with you on this. As long as Obama continues to support a military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan he really did not deserve that Peace Prize. Many of us hoped that he would close Guantanamo, and withdraw all of our forces from the Middle East, however, he didn’t so he is as much a warmonger as the Bush’s.

      • KCF

        Judy, I could understand if you didn’t know the names and at least the basic biographies of a couple of those particular Nobel Prize recipients, but to not know anything about any of them… and to ask someone to “remind” you what they’ve actually done… makes me feel very sad about this country.

        First of all: Google is your friend. Secondly: Take a World History course. Apparently the one you took in high school or college didn’t take.

        But yeah, let’s assume ALL these remarkable and admirable men and women are “not worth listening to” because Obama received the same award. That’s like saying ALL Governors (including Palin) are corrupt because one of them was corrupt at some point in history.

        Disagree with them all you want… but to denigrate all of them because of your partisan viewpoints not only pays them a disservice, it makes you look petty and uneducated.

  • dUg

    Ok, it doesn’t simulate war nor was the show and its participants trying to do so either. It tries to create a situation where civilians can see the physical sacrifice and skill AMERICAN SOLDIERS endure in every day military life. We appreciate the Most Reverend Desmond Tutu’s work with the defense of human rights, but I’ll have to disagree with him on this issue.

  • http://facebook Jody

    It truly is a sad day when an archbishop takes the time to criticize something like this compared to all the filth, sex and promescuity and immoraity going on, on television and in the movies, an in the world. Try to say something about child exploitation, women exploitation, mass murdering in some countries. The list goes on!!!

    • Josephine

      You are absolutely correct

    • Merica

      To say that filth and sex are more abhorrent than violence says something about our country. We have become more desensitized to violence than a pair of tits. And many of those things go on in our country all of the time. I still love this country though and feel blessed to have been born here.

  • Janie

    I watched the show Monday night and again last night. I love the show and so proud of our former active duty that are doing the training. The celebrities are there to win money for charity and they are doing a good job. Kudo’s to Todd and Peekaboo for having to finish there tasks without a partner. Every one was so dedicated to their tasks. This show honors our military and informs those that have no idea what it is to train for these deployments.

  • http://yahoo.com john norton

    Keep on Truckin,All U Palins… U betcha… ~ !

  • http://www.southernmanblog.com Southern Man

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

  • paul

    The npp no longer has integrity after given to Oblamo. undeserved publicity for our king. maybe he could have been considered after but a months in, really? lost all respect for it here and I know everyone lost respect for it… as for the show it was a sample for charities and done with respect, obvious it was not promoting wars. honor and respect that is a good thing.

  • L3

    To most of us here in Wasilla, Jeremy Morlock posing with his “civilian kills” is a prime example of what these wars mean to the average Alaskan. Jeremy is serving 24 years in prison for his wonton acts of violence, and if you ask the average Wasillan that is not enough time served for his horrific crimes. War is nasty, ugly and innocent people are killed and maimed. But hey, maybe some of these “celebrities” will find out exactly what payment war extracts before there trite, televised games are over. Better be careful celebs, someone could lose an eye, or worse.

    • Merica

      Exactly, not everyone in our military should be praised considering many of them commit acts that are as heinous as the people they are fighting. I support the troops but that does not mean that they are not subject to scrutiny.

  • Steve A

    I think “Stars Earn Stripes” needs much more mopping, floor buffing, and shoe polishing.

    Someone who seeks to de-glorify the soldiery ought not do so by showing it in its horror, but in its mundanity. Being shot at is terrible and foul and exciting. Mopping floors and pressing uniforms has no such superlatives attached to them.

    But I believe those are part of the means by which a Soldier earns his stripes (ie becomes an NCO).

    SSG, USA, 10 years time in service, more than 3 in Iraq & Afghanistan over…several…trips.

  • ArmyVet

    This coming from the organization that gave Obama a Peace Prize for doing nothing…alrighty then.

  • Surly Curmudgen

    Those awarded the Noble Peace prize tend to be very enamored with and admirers of left wing dictators and wanna-be left wing dictators. With that malediction they naturally do not want the US military to be the best equipped and best trained. When our military is the best equipped and trained there are fewer brush fire wars or coups where a republican form of government is overthrown and a socialist government is implemented. Generally when a Noble peace prize awarde states a position it is best to be opposed. Also when someone evinces respect for noble peace prize awardees, their positions should be opposed.

  • ben

    if it was not for US military, these useless nobel peace prize winners would be torn apart by jihadists and comonists immidiately. the useless finish winner could bring peace to balcan only afetr us airforce forced the serbs to accept talking to him

  • jan n johnny

    Once again Sarah exposes the liberal mindset and makes me feel like a proud American. Keep it up Girl!

  • Al Rockoff

    I agree 100% with the article with only one exception regarding terminology: one does not win a Medal of Honor, one earns it!

    • David French

      But of course. I should have been more precise!

    • Ruthanna

      Youre right Al. As I understand it, it takes the commitee some time to make their choice and give notice. It has been said that they would have made or been close to having made their decisionjust prior to Obamas election to have awarded it to him within a month or two of his having taken office. Regardless, what did this person DO to EARN it? I didnt know “community organizers” were on the list of possible recipients. For me, it did tarnish the intention of the honor… I hope they dont do something like this again.

  • John Keller

    My 10 year old handicapped son and I watched the show with great enthusiasm because his brother and my other son is an army infantry soldier, he turned to me at the end of the show and said “im so proud of my big brother… he’s on that team…” enough said

    • David French

      Thanks John. Enough said indeed.

  • Andy Sandoval

    I LUV SES!!! Can’t wait for the next show! If it wasn’t for the US military might, we’d be speaking German. All our military deserve recognition! This show is up lifting. Rambo Todd!!!

  • Coastaldee

    I have a son in the military and one in law enforcement operating at the same levels as these men. I can tell you as a very proud mother, I am so glad the public has the opportunity to see and understand what valiant men and women go through to train to defend not only our country, but also the countries of those mealy-mouthed “pacifists”, giving them the very opportunity to voice their absolutely stupid opinions. (Who says winning a Nobel prize is any guarantee of intelligence or common sense?) And, by the way, I grew up in Alaska, and lived for a while a short distance away from where the Palins live. Todd Palin could easily take this competition. Alaskans are real men – and women. I still wish we could have had the Palins in Washington. Todd Palin is a real man!!

  • Tom

    Excellent article Mr. French, all of our men and women are military heroes in my book. This is a prime example of why the so called Nobel Peace Prize has absolutely no meaning to me.

  • Bill589

    Sarah Palin gives me hope as a patriot of our constitutional republic.
    She is a great leader of patriots, winning our country back.

  • Jim

    I think everyone that Graduates form High School should be required to go though Basic Training! It would make them realize that there freedom is not free! The Training is Tough but far and it teaches respect and disapline! This country would be a Greater and better country because it would help eleminate crime as well as everyone would have the understanding of what our Miliatery Men and Women are going threw when at war! I am a Persian Gulf War Veteran and I am Proud that I the the Priveledge to be part of the Liberation of Kawait! These Antiwar People have no clue about what they are talking about! Just my opinion!

    • Kate

      I agree. I wish I had had some military training.

  • Jim Locke

    With “winners” of Nobel awards including such folks as Al Gore for his disproven movie show and Obama for … for….. well, for not being George Bush…. who gives a sh*t what they think or say?!?

    • jwNYC

      Great show. Fitting tribute to our military…to those who serve w/ a quiet valor…they don’t boast about their heroics, so it’s really nice to have real operatives & cops participate & get noticed.

      If the show was condemning the military, as most Hollywood movies do, Tutu & his Nobel prize wining friends (terrorist Arafat was also a Nobel prize winner)would not be protesting. Sorry, Tutu & Code Pink, most Americans are grateful for our fighting men & women in uniform and enjoy learning more about their service & code…our freedom isn’t free, afterall.

      As for Todd Palin, the IronDog champ & father of a son serving in Afghanistan, well, he stole the show among the celebrities performing the mission w/ a display of heart, determination & athleticism that pays respect to all the operatives. (The Palins have contributed & sacrificed greatly to this country & many want to thank them, too, as the family constantly face the Libs snark, smears & defamation of character.)

      • ssarah2012

        G-d forbid real soldiers & cops should be seen on network tv. How offensive it is to see them display their elite skills & distract viewers from watching otherwise brain-dead fictional, lewd tv. For me , SES was informative, entertaining & made me proud of our service men & women…guess tha’t a crime. Really enjoyed when the operatives critiqued each other’s missions.

        On an aside, General Clark is an ultra Leftists politician(he follows Palin-hating Bill Maher, Gore & Obama on his twitter acct, too.)…you’d think that would satisfy the Code Pink protestors who probably never even watched the show.

  • THE Alpha Male!

    My first thought…How did the largest part of this conversation become about Sarah Palin? Her family aside, this article was about the show and the importance of it in our “pop culture.”

    Secondly…the thing that pisses me off the most if where the Nobel Laudates say “Military training is not to be compared, subtly or otherwise, with athletic competition…” I can tell you from experience, it takes some VERY athletic to be a soldier, especially on the battlefield…BUT, not every athelete could be a soldier. See, being a soldier DOES take the physical attributes of an athelete, but it also requires a presence of mind and a certain mindframe that I would guess most pampered atheletes don’t possess. Keep trying tree huggers!

    • Kate

      Just saying Sarah Palin’s name brings out the nutcases who are scared to death of her. Sometimes I just bring up her name in liberal groups to watch the reaction.

  • Kellie

    I say who cares what they think? Anyone who looks to them for an opinion will often be disappointed. We caught the show this week, strategically placed right before the season premier of Grimm, and I thought it was very respectful of the military — the people who keep us all from speaking Chinese or some other foreign language. No offense to China, but I’m a proud patriot of the USA!!

    Kudos to NBC for placing a positive light on our men and women in uniform!

  • Tawny Jones

    Nobel Prize usually means crackpot liberal shill.

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  • Kate

    I’d rather have these men and any military at my back than any Nobel fake prize winners who don’t have a clue the danger we face in this world. I don’t give much credence to the Nobel prize any longer. It is only for left-wing zealots who don’t have the United States’ welfare in mind. Come on, Obama got the peace prize after being in office for, what, two minutes? The Nobel Prize people were just waiting for the right time to give this socialist a prize no matter he has done nothing for peace. Our country is the least peaceful it’s been in a long time. He has pitted groups against each other and done it very well. One of his followers just shot up a religious groups office. Real peaceful.

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  • http://zovalente.wordpress.com Lorenzo

    Reading this article has been an absolutely fascinating experience for me, given its written from a typical neoconservative perspective. Apparently, media entertainment has done its job effectively over the last decade. Warming the hearts and minds of countless Americans to the idea that we, the people of the U.S.A., should worship and bow down to those who have served in the military; both past and present. I have not seen the show mentioned in this article, but I’ve heard about it briefly, therefore I cannot objectively critique the program.

    However, for anyone to go on to say “we need more militarism in our culture” I’d suggest said individuals read a history book, and the U.S. constitution while you’re at it. I’ll never condone the vile actions of anyone, anywhere, shooting babies in the face, raping women, coercing them to join terrorist causes, and various other atrocities of war cited in this article. That being said, preventing domestic crime in foreign lands abroad, such as many listed in this piece, is not the reason we were to launch military campaigns into the middle east. Taking this perspective suggests to me that you, the author and apparently many of those who have left comments, are saying we should police the entire world while leaving our own backyard a decrepit wasteland filled with criminal activity that tenders similar conditions; inflicting just as much damage.

    The campaign to glorify the military no matter what they are ordered to do, and in some cases not ordered to do, despite how vile the actions, seems to be effective on the mental psyche of most Americans. Yes, I recall viewing footage of American soldiers targeting, shooting, and killing families shopping and taking their children to school and several other cases of everyday normal harmless activities we partake in here such as shopping. Do you remember this breaking news story, while you were quick to point out what the actual terrorists do to civilians in these war zones? Revisionist history is a fancy way of saying “let’s lie…leave this out….and add this.” I remember this news footage, not delivered by the mainstream media, because I don’t exercise selective memory nor partisan politics. I read, learn, and above all, research. I watch, read, and listen to news objectively and with that newly acquired intel, I do the best I can to verify it, as opposed to further perpetuating and spreading lies and rumors. Try it sometime. You may just learn something new outside of the propaganda filled bubble which surrounds you. To this regard, I’m speaking to those on both the left and the right. I bid you all, a good day.

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  • CavaltyCaptain

    Well stated. We are the 14% who have served and know a little something about battle. Peace comes from strength. I’m sure these wimpy lefties are very nice people. But, until they grab a weapon and stand on the wall, I don’t want to hear from them.

  • Sara M

    “After the bloodbaths of the Twentieth Century (each started when America was weak), the new century has seen less war and less death — in large part because of American strength.”

    Seeing as it is only 2012, this statement is completely pointless. The statement shows how little the author of this article keeps up with current events in the world. To say that the United States has lead the entire world to safety is blatantly false and narcissistic. Please get out of the realm of your “stars and stripes” and “America fuck yeah” world and realize that the rest of the world doesn’t sit around waiting for the US to come save them.

  • Travis

    You’re a fuckwitt…… The INVASION of Iraq was a crime against humanity. It is a PROVEN FACT that Iraq had NOTHING to do with sept. 11 2001. Everyone involved with the invasion should be put in front of a firing squad and shot….

  • http://aol.com Kathy

    I think the show and the people who give of their time to honor the troops and give money to help the veterans are more noble than the so called noble peace winners. What have they done for our troops do they give them money or sacrafice their time raising money. After I watched the show I donated money to the veterans, in respect for what they do. God Bless our troops.

  • http://aol.com Kathy

    War is never pleasant, I pray that the day shall come soon that it will be no more. But if it had not been there would be no freedoms of which to speak, we would all be under socialism, slavery or dictatorships. In some cases since the beggining of time it has been necessary, for some had wished to rid the earth of certain human races. No one likes the evils of war, but if not for our brave troops we would not have had the freedom to speak here, I believe in other countries they still have no voice.

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  • LS

    I didn’t read the comments, so maybe someone already mentioned this: You ask if any soldier is a household name? I can only think of Pat Tillman, the former NFL player who was killed by American friendly fire in Afghanistan. His death was spun politically, both ways, and is now basically an anti-war symbol. And of course I know the name of anti-war protestor Cindy Sheehan, whose son was killed — but I can’t even remember his name 100% (Brandon?).

    Now I want to watch this show out of spite. I thought it looked interesting before — now I may actually tune in.


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