Thursday, September 10, 2009

Freedom is on the march and it gets shot by the Taliban

First of all my condolences to the family and all those affected and effected by the loss of someone close to them in these wars.

The AP editor’s recent decision to show a dying Marine on the front page may be morally reprehensible to some but to me I find it refreshing. It’s about time someone shows the unvarnished truth of sacrifice from this war on terror, or global contingency operations, or overseas contingency operations or whatever the new term is today. It is strange that in the age of media we are getting less information like this from the press due to America’s willingness and ignorance to sop up fluff peddled by Generals, Presidents, and Representatives. I guess it’s OK to say that 4 soldiers died so long as Americans don’t have to actually witness it. Don’t impugn their ivory castles of flat screen TVs and big, gas-guzzling SUV’s to show the actual sacrifice being made on their behalf. I think the outrage from the general public is not one of horror that something like this could be shown to them, but that it was, and this picture reminds them of what they too often forget. It reminds them of what is actually meant in those crushed seconds between the GM and Bank Of America commericals when the anchorperson says that X number of service members died today in some far-off land that most of them and their children can’t point to on a map. Do you not want to know how they die? Is all that matters to you is that we sacrifice? Would you rather wash the gory details from your conscience with your yellow ribbon magnet on the back of your SUV?

Let’s not even get into the hypocrisy of the Marine dying for ‘freedom’ as we would like to censor the press for doing it’s job. If I die in the combat zone, which is likely as my luck runs out from two extended deployments, I want the picture of how I died on the front page of every paper. But unfortunately the deaths of service members aren’t big news. We’ve been dying for eight years and we’ll die for eight years more, and after. I think the biggest bone of contention here is that we don’t know for what that Marine died. Maybe, that is finally permeating the conscience of America. That we have citizens dying overseas and we don’t know for what end, especially if we Americans, out of a sense of false outrage to protect us from our own ignorance, are going to usurp the jingoistic and Orwellian reasons of freedom and the spreading of Jeffersonian democracy that we use to send combat forces to these exotic lands at the drop of a hat. A little inward introspection of our own outrage may be in order.


Law Firm Manila said...

Marines and other soldiers are heroes of one's country. We salute you for your bravery. It's not easy to sacrifices your own life--family, loved ones, just to fight for the freedom of the country. Whenever I come across a soldier on the street, I usually feel frightened yet respectful. Frightened because I know they are so strong and matured; respectful because I know that their work is unusual. They sacrifice a lot for the country greater than the sacrifices made by the politicians who do nothing but the make his/her name famous to be voted in the next election.

Long Ben Avery said...

Here's how Kipling saw it.