Saturday, May 07, 2005

Either war is finished...Or we are.

There is an incredibly tragic photo that is making the rounds of the papers and the blogosphere the last couple of days. Taken by reporter Michael Yon, embedded with a US unit in Iraq. It shows an American soldier holding a girl who has been mortally wounded in a suicide bombing. Its heartbreaking:

This is a totally senseless tragedy. And as many have pointed out, the folks who planned and promoted this attack have to be hunted down and killed without mercy. And hope that there is a special place in hell for criminals who would "drive THROUGH A GROUP OF PLAYING CHILDREN to get to the passing convoy of Stryker's".(text from CDR Salamander)

This is disturbing stuff indeed.

I am a little troubled, however, by the spin some conservative pundits and reporters are putting on it though. Some of the usual suspects are dredging up the Pulitzer Prize controversy again and also taking the opportunity to show how this photo somehow "Proves what is so good about our soldiers and why we are so different." and it also proves that the main stream media are biased against American soldiers because they won't run the photo or recognize it for a Pulitzer prize.

Perhaps there is a different way to view this:

a) American Soldiers are better and America is great. That does not require proof, the same way one does not require proof that the sun shines. You look up in the sky and you see it. You see American Soldiers, Sailors, airmen, and Marines and you see clearly American compassion, generosity, selflessness, willingness to go the extra mile and do what is right. Its a given. No matter what one's opinion of the Iraq war is ( and mine has been well stated elsewhere in this blog), the Americans and the British are the good guys. Always will be.

b) As for the media, well I think the photo has appeared everywhere, even in so called liberal outlets.

What the picture highlights to me, how truly senseless, tragic, and wasteful war is. A soldier, far from his home, his family, his real life, is trying to lend comfort to a helpless victim of totally senseless violence. To me this photo is every bit as tragic as this one:

Memorial for Stephen Curtis Kennedy , killed while trying to save a man during an ambush.

It is all tragic and we have to find a saner way to run our planet. Somehow the damn Muslims need to figure that out. Or to paraphrase Herman Wouk:

[These events] stand as a monument to the subhuman stupidity of
warfare in our age of science and industry. War has always been a violent blind man's bluff played with soldiers lives and nations resources. But the time for it is over. As the race has outgrown human sacrifice, human slavery, and dueling, it has to outgrow war.....The silliness of it all would be slapstick if it were not so
Yet granting all that what alternative to was there but to fight and win? Cain was Able's neighbor. That is the crack we are in, and still are.
I have no answer to this dilemma, and I will not live to see it resolved. I honor the young men of our Armed Forces who must man machinery of hideous potential, in a profession despised and feared by their fellow countrymen (He wrote this in the 70's...Today it may not be so despised, but it is still woefully misunderstood). I honor them to my very soul and they have my [respect and] sympathy. ...
As long as their are belligerent fools or villains on the earth who consider [war and violence] an optional policy, what can free men to do but confront them with what we met Adolf Hitler and the Japanese in World War II with---daunting force and self sacrificing brave spirits ready to yield it?
If the hope is not the coming of the Prince of Peace, it has to be in their hearts most people, even the most fanatical and boneheaded [Muslims], love their children and don't want them to come to harm.......The future now seems to depend on that grim assumption. Either war is finished or we are.
(Paraphrased from War and Remembrance)

The followers of Islam need to be made to understand this...or if they can't then its time to do away with them and their stupid ideas. Seeing that photo made me angry and it still makes me angry. Thanks for letting me vent.



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