Thursday, September 13, 2007


If you're a human being, you are saddened by the story of Youssif, the Iraqi boy set on fire by unknown assailants. His face is deformed and we can only imagine how this child's view of the world is deformed by the pain he's been through and the ugliness he sees in the mirror. Of course you and I are pleased to see that some American hearts bled enough that he will receive the best in burn treatment and reconstructive surgery in the US.

Dr. Peter Grossman spoke on CNN this afternoon, outside the Grossman Burn Center in Sherman Oaks California, about the course of surgery that will probably involve more pain and as much as a year of treatment. He seemed a bit non-plussed when the reporter asked him how seeing Youssif had changed his views. For a second I half expected a denunciation of war, of violence, of the unthinking, uncaring horror of using massive military force to bomb crowded cities, but no, Grossman gave CNN what CNN wanted.

CNN wants heroes and has been blathering for weeks about heroes as though we needed men of marble instead of a world where common decency was common. Acting as though the masked men who burned a little boy could be taken out of context of the country we have destroyed in the name of fake freedom and real oil, he told us that all the good, warm, caring loving Americans who will surely send him teddy bears and pay for his expenses until they forget about him, balance out the bad men.

Youssif is 5. Had he been a dozen years older we would care about him as much as we care about all the other "Hadjis" we identify with "alqaeadainiraq" many of whom are shot, arrested tortured and blown to bits with little fanfare every day: just another brown skinned teenager standing in the way of the oil giants. It's too much to expect of CNN to ask how many children have been burned by American bombs or Iraqi bombs in the war America started; burned maimed, killed, orphaned, made homeless and deprived of a childhood and education. It's exactly what we expect of these toads to blame it on "alqaedainiraq." It's exactly the kind of tokenism we expect of self-idolizing Americans.

That this story was followed by an expensively produced ad gushing over America and it's commitment to FREEDOM accompanied by golden sunsets and pictures of men in battle dress, is fitting. Why bother with truth, justice, honesty, and a concern for humanity when we can grab the oil, kill anyone who stands in our way and make it all disappear behind a curtain of flags and patriotic advertising and a few token acts of mercy?

cross posted at The Impolitic


5th Estate said...

Ah yes...the "good news" that the "liberal media" refuses to tell.
I've seen a few stories like this touted by the right wing blogs and held up as examples of the nobility of American soldiers. But all that's demonstrated here is an individual case of simple humanism plucked from a thousand, a million, inhumane actions.

Capt. Fogg said...

The Liberal Media spent most of a day on that story. I don't know how many other people will killed that day.

I'm not questioning the motives of those who helped that poor kid, but to use him like a wafer in some TV absolution ceremony is sad.

What are we spending - 2 billion a week or so? That could help a lot of people in the world - even people who don't have oil.