Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The occupation in its exquisite purity

The first thing I do in the morning is set my fantasy baseball team lineup for the day. The second thing I do is scan the headlines on the much reviled New York Times Web site. Most often I am greeted with stories such as this coming from Iraq: Kidnapping and Bombing Add to Baghdad Turmoil. The story reports sectarian violence and death exquisite in its purity qua violence and death.

One is often tempted to ramble on about the Iraq Occupation—one way or the other. It might be better, at times, to listen to the voices of the Iraqi wounded, fearful, and grieving.

Anyway, tomorrow’s Iraq Occupation stories will be different. The names of the dead, wounded, grieving, and fearful will change. And, for some far removed, romantic notions of set piece battles against a pure unadulterated enemy in Iraq will remain unchanged.

Thus goes the occupation.


At 3:52 PM, Blogger -epm said...

The Iraqi dead, wounded, grieving and fearful, are just faceless phantoms in the minds of so many Americans. They're not us. They're brown and wear shabby clothes and speak in funny accents. They don't live as we live, nor pray as we pray. They're different, they are other. They are, somehow, less deserving of sympathy, less sensitive to hunger and death. Less civilized. Less human.

The bloody cauldron of ethnic and sectarian carnage, stirred by corrupt players both domestic and foreign, hardly matters to the American observer. That is until a handsome young lad from a small town in Georgia, or a city neighborhood in Detroit ends up dead. Then we care; a little. But it passes.

We're Americans: Land of the proudly ignorant, and smugly disdainful, of all things foreign. It's our badge, and we wear it all too proudly.

And besides, who reads newspapers anyway?

At 5:25 PM, Blogger Lynn said...

My idea on how to alleviate the problems in Iraq is to pack up the troops and leave. We've accomplished all we can whether for good or ill. There's an old addage in business: if you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem. I don't see where our troop presence in Iraq is solving any problems except for keeping the Green Zone from being totally overrun.


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