Tuesday, December 14, 2004


A Culture of Life

I don't like the outright lying. About what we're facing in Iraq, about whether we could have had any idea about the makeup or strength of the insurgency, about the supposed authority of the Iraqi provisional whatever. Most of that is so transparent, however, that I don't blame the government or even the media: you'd have to be an idiot not to realize that what's coming out of their mouth & what's the truth have no relation to each other most of the time.

What I fucking HATE however are the lies of omission. Not telling us how many Iraqi civilians have died - at the hands of the U.S. or the insurgents. There is no excuse for that: we run that country, and clearly have the ability to count every last limb blown off of every last Iraqi. I mean, they announce the number of insurgents who we kill, right? And don't you think they'd have an interest in painting the insurgents as even worse (to the Iraqis themselves) by showing how many regular Iraqis have died? No, because then the real scope of what we're facing becomes more clear. It's not dead-enders, not remnants, not foreign holy warriors. It's something else entirely, and it's far bigger than we'd imagined. Fallujah was supposed to be a Sunni paradise by now. But Marines are still getting killed there.

Meanwhile, around 1,300 American soldiers have died in this conflict. Nearly 10,000 have been wounded. Part of me feels like some of these guys WANT to die: they reinlist, refuse to question the rationale of this war, vote for Bush. Better a hero's death than a meaningless life in modern-day America? With our reality shows and Scott Petersons? Given "support the troops" means something other than "attend their funerals" or "sign their death letters" and (talking about a different war but the same administration) they fucking forgot to tell us that NFL star Pat Tillman died from friendly fire.... I wonder: does anybody really care about these men and women other than as symbols?

And is this what Bush meant when he said he wanted to create a "culture of life"?

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