Saturday, September 15, 2007

Hostages, martyrs and liars

If William Randolph Hearst had had television, I'm sure it would have been necessary for the US to attack some crumbling empire less pathetic than Spain's. As it was, the sinking of the Maine in Havana Harbor was the 9/11 of its time that allowed the media and McKinley to contrive a reason to bring freedom and American values to Cuba and the Philippines and annex the country of Hawaii.

If Fox News and Freedoms had been there, I'm sure they could have challenged France or Germany or England, if not all three. Hearst didn't have slick Ads using one-legged Judas goats to lead more people to martyrdom and he didn't have the families of the fallen to persuade us that to die a martyr for commercial interests and a president's ambition is sacred.

The lesson of the 1960's, for me, was that any war is sacred and once it's begun, reasons for its continuation will arise. Protest is bad because it decreases the morale of those being martyred for the cause that may not be questioned. Now as in the dear dead days of Vietnam, we have people who want to hold our democratic process and free speech hostage so that they can maintain the comforting illusion that their sons and daughters, fathers and mothers died for a noble cause. So it is that Merrillee Carlson, national chair of Families United for our Troops and Their Mission, went on Fox News to protest the use of the names of the dead in a protest against the continuation of the War for Oil.
"When somebody goes and abuses our son's courage and heroism by using it in this manner, it just strikes right to the heart and causes such pain that is unbelievable"
said she to Tucker Carlson. I'm sure her son had courage and he may or may not have been a hero; he may have thought George's oil grab really was a cosmic Manichaen struggle between Good and Evil, but my need to believe that and Merrillee's differ. Indeed if she believes he was abducted by aliens because it eases the pain, it is not America's problem nor is it America's duty to kill more and more and more so that she can sleep at night free from the suspicion that it was George W. Bush and his gang of Neocons who abused his courage and heroism, not the rest of us.


5th Estate said...

Damn straight!

If the cause is just and true then these deaths were not in vain and the parents of the dead should be proud.
If the cause is not just and true then the parents of the slain should be angry.
The awful thing for a supporter of this war who has lost a family member to it,is to reconcile the gain from the loss. Some cannot face what might be their own culpability in their own loss. But how much greater is the loss of those who did NOT support the war, whose offspring did not support the war, and suffered loss all the same.
People such as Merliee Carlson have to validate their offspring's death by the deaths of others. The likes of Cindy Sheehanseek no personal validation for their losses, but rather to seek anyone else's loss.

5th Estate said...

oops... but rather seek to PREVENT anyone elses loss.

sorry about that

Capt. Fogg said...

I can't imagine the pain of losing a child and for all I know, I would seek refuge the same way, but that doesn't make it right.

Thanks for the comment.