Time Magazine Cover Sparks Outrage from Iwo Jima Vets

The powers at Time magazine, who now approach reporting the issue of climate change with a holier than thou persona, as blogged yesterday by NewsBusters' Mark Finkelstein, have ruffled the feathers of a few Iwo Jima veterans.

The Time cover story by Bryan Walsh calls green "the new red, white and blue." But Donald Mates, an Iwo Jima veteran, said this goes a little too far. He told the Business & Media Institute on April 17 that using the famous Iwo Jima flag-planting photograph for the global warming cause was a "disgrace."

"It's an absolute disgrace," Mates said. "Whoever did it is going to hell. That's a mortal sin. God forbid he runs into a Marine that was an Iwo Jima survivor."

Mates said making the comparison of World War II to global warming was erroneous and disrespectful.

"The second world war we knew was there," Mates said. "There's a big discussion. Some say there is global warming, some say there isn't. And to stick a tree in place of a flag on the Iwo Jima picture is just sacrilegious."

Lt. John Keith Wells, the leader of the platoon that raised the flags on Mt. Suribachi and co-author of "Give Me Fifty Marines Not Afraid to Die: Iwo Jima," wasn't impressed with Time's efforts.

"That global warming is the biggest joke I've ever known," Wells told the Business & Media Institute. "[W]e'll stick a dadgum tree up somebody's rear if they want that and think that's going to cure something."

Time managing editor Richard Stengel appeared on MSNBC April 17 and attempted to justify it by saying the United States needed to make a major effort to fight climate change, and that the cover's purpose was to liken global warming to World War II.

"[O]ne of the things we do in the story is we say there needs to be an effort along the lines of preparing for World War II to combat global warming and climate change," Stengel said. "It seems to me that this is an issue that is very popular with the voters, makes a lot of sense to them and a candidate who can actually bundle it up in some grand way and say, ‘Look, we need a national and international Manhattan Project to solve this problem and my candidacy involves that.' I don't understand why they don't do that."