...has led me to believe that the U.S. military has completely spoiled the media.
A whole generation of journalists and pundits has grown to maturity believing that war is a precision affair, with special safe zones like hospitals and places of worship where the enemy can yell "Not it! Olly olly oxen free!"; where bombs only hit bad guys and the exceptions to that rule are worth a circular firing squad of finger-pointing and a cashiered officer; where women and children are safe, "collateral damage" is something to worry about, and rape is a prosecutable offense; where invading armies are trailed by a thundering herd of engineers, civil affairs, and military police and JAG types, anxious to rebuild infrastructure, put up schools, and keep the troops in line.
This is not how war works. This is an aberration, a relatively recent Anglo-American twist on warfare brought to its current fine pitch only by the might of American technology and taxes that allow us to blow up a crude hand-built donkey cart carrying a couple of AK-47's with a $250,000 computerized satellite-guided bomb. And then worry about the wrath of the ASPCA for hurting the donkey.
Nowhere else, nowhen else, has war ever been fought like that. When the Russians go into South Ossetian towns, raining dumb bombs on civilian and soldier alike, that's the way war is and has been for the entire history of the human species. The French even have a special phrase for when nuns get blown up by indiscriminate rocket fire and babies are charred by napalm and the invading army rapes their way through a village: C'est la guerre.
Such is war.
Think about that the next time you rail at America's "brutal, fascist war machine".