Voice in the Wilderness

The news about the "war on terror" your local newspaper won't print.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Sanitized War Masks Its Ugliness

******* Official disclaimer: The following report is presented for informational purposes only and is not meant, and should not be taken, as a failure to support the troops. We all wish for their safe return. *******

Two weeks ago, when Sen. Dick Durbin spoke out against the continued and documented abuse of prisoners at Guantanamo and elsewhere in the U.S. "gulag," the Illinois Democrat was showered with invective from the White House and their ilk, claiming this amounted to one of the most heinous crimes we, as Americans, can commit: failing to support the troops.

Never mind that Durbin was referring to the policymakers who have given aid and comfort to the enemy by allowing Americans to treat human beings like dirtbags. The administration has -- successfully -- deflected criticism of its Iraq policy by using the brave men and women who have no choice but to serve in Iraq as human shields.

And when incidents occur, the news media shy away, lest they be accused of failing to "support the troops."

So we'll have to see how far the media run with this extraordinary incident, which was the lead news story on the BBC's news site (below Live 8), but received scant coverage in most Saturday morning papers. (The story was gaining legs, as they say, during the day, however.):
Iraq's ambassador to the UN has demanded an inquiry into what he said was the "cold-blooded murder" of his young unarmed relative by US marines.

Samir Sumaidaie said his 21-year-old cousin was shot as he helped marines who were carrying out searches at his village in the restive Anbar province.
Lest I be accused of failing to support the troops from out here in the wilderness, here is the story, from the BBC. (Read the entire article.) The Washington Post published a bylined dispatch from staff writer Colum Lynch at the United Nations in New York, on page A19. (Read the entire story.)

"The task of carrying out violence, of killing, leads to perversion," writes Chris Hedges in his book, "War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning." This veteran of covering wars argues persuasively that no combatant is immune. That given the impetus -- whether military discipline, patriotism, support for one's compatriots, or raw fear -- it becomes easier and easier to justify killing.

The longer we stay in Iraq -- Dick Cheney says it could be years -- the more these incidents will occur.


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