You Won’t See This On Television

Unless, of course, you have a C-Band dish and can tune into Al-Jazzera. And yet, this is whats happening. Slightly more newsworthy, in my estimation, than grainy green night-vision shots of tanks sitting around in the desert.

Dead Iraqi civillian Two dead British soldiers

The reality of war is always death and destruction. It always spews out dead bodies — torn, twisted and charred bodies — and legions of injured and maimed. It always creates prisoners of war. It always leaves in its wake homes reduced to rubble, lives blighted, families destroyed. It always brings suffering and misery, disease and hunger. It is not a computer game or a movie where, when it is over, we can get up and go and have a meal and a laugh. It is horrible and evil — which is why it must always be the very last resort — something that so many governments, so many people, told Washington and London, but something that they ignored — so convinced were they that it could be played and won with computer-like efficiency.

The ArabNews Editorial is a pretty well-balanced criticism. They make us read dozens of war-is-hell books in high school, to the point where 10th graders all want to commit suicide because our world is so terrible, but after a few years everything we’ve read has sunk away. Maybe everyone needs to be hooked up to a computer and virtually shot and killed once a year. Might help us with the perspective.

War is hell. War is sometimes unavoidable. But in this war, all of the rhetoric on both sides seems very…fake. George W. Bush and even Colin Powell don’t convince me that they mean it when they talk about this terrible burden. Meanwhile, the Hollywood-provided peaceniks aren’t very coherant. Sigh. Whatever happened to “vigorous public debate”?

3 replies on “You Won’t See This On Television”

  1. There is an obvious reason why the US media has not shown the pictures you have elected to post on your blog. I think most thinking persons, you included, know that “war is hell.” In deference to the families of those unfortunate enough to have been killed and then had their pictures posted on Al-Jazzera, I think you should remove the pictures. This is not about you. This is about the dead soldiers. Sorry Dan, but try thinking about someone else in this instance.

  2. If so many people understood that “war is hell,” they might have been a bit less suprised when we didn’t go in and crush Baghdad in five days like people seemed to think we would. And less suprised when they realized that people were dying. It truly is a video game to us, and more so because we refuse to see the real cost of war. It doesn’t matter if you support the war or not, you have to recognize what war is, and recognize that it is always the last option.

    The left picture is an Iraqi civilian, and I think his family knows what happened, seeing as there are so many people gathered around him. The right picture is two British soldiers who were killed several days ago. Their parents certainly know by now what happened to them.

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