Past is Prologue


What American, if our country were bombed and invaded, our families shot, burned, maimed, and raped, our environment destroyed and our wealth stolen, would not feel the same anger Iraqis feel? Americans in particular, so geographically and culturally isolated from most of the world, (so much that we demand conformity from our very melting-pot citizens,) seem to have an inability to face our common humanity with others who look, seem, so different from ourselves. It is a fearful effect, and Iraqi anger falls on deaf ears here.

"Even if you are an American with a weak stomach, it would be cowardly to avoid looking at what you voted for. If you can't bear to look, skip the pictures and read the text, and remember that if you cannot bear to even look at the suffering, how dare you insist anyone else bear the reality of it." -

The argument that the act of talking about the reality of war, of showing pictures of the violence of war, or of speaking out against war, hurts our soldiers is... well, panicky. It is irrational. Soldiers in combat see war every day, they need no education on pain and violence. They are already experts, whether they like it or not. And those soldiers will bring their pain home with them. So why is it that those who argue this would not allow non-soldiers to see it? Why create this buffer of ignorance? Why pretend that what is happening is not? The American public (oh yes what delicate sensibilities the American public has) shrinks from confronting the truth about war, and we allow our government; allow the television, to lie to us every day and every night, year after year. In Iraq human bodies are burned, shot, blown to pieces, while at home we play pretend-soldier in fancy Hummers, ribbon magnets on display, and make up mythologies about ourselves.

Why do we do this?

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