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Monday, May 28, 2007

Dimming of the day

Memorial Day photo? Sure. Here.

Comments (25)

The photo with caption is here.

Even more detail here.

When I read the details of this tragedy, I was reminded of why Arlington Cemetary was located where it was: To lay the Civil War Union dead literally on the doorstep of the man that was considered directly responsible for their deaths, Robert E Lee.

I hope there will be a day when we no longer need Arlingtons. But if we do, I vote to locate it in Crawford, Texas.

Where have all the flowers gone?

A real hero. If we only had some remf's that were half as good, loyal, smart and patriotic. Can we honor the sacrifice and demand some results? Not democratic or Republican results but American solder results?

Many of the troops are giving up. They see what a charade the whole thing is.

I just hope the world survives another 20 months, when we'll be rid of the sick and ignorant people whom we currently have running the United States.

It is an exquisitely touching photo. Very similar in its aesthetics to Nina Berman's wedding photo of Ty Ziegel and Renee Kline in that it can be taken up as anthemic by both detractors and supporters of the war. And in fact, many who support the war extoll sacrifice as almost compulory to achieving historic goals; and even the disappointments of infrastructural destruction, civilian death, torture and chaos can be seen as necessarily painful benedictions to all of the freedoms and liberties that future generations will enjoy. As though, "If you're going to have the courage to do the right thing, you are going to be unpopular. And if you're going to make a positive difference in the world, you are going to have to pay the ultimate price."

What I don't see in this photo is the fact that invading Iraq was a horrifyingly stupid thing to do, that everything that subsequently followed has been a meaningless nightmare, that estranged gangsters have a hammerlock on foreign policy, that our national immortality project has miscarried both symbolically and physically.

Which isn't to say that it isn't a fine photograph. It is. But no amount of superimposition of the familiar vernacular of sacrifice and loss can cover over the fact that we have indeed been thrown into a uniquely wasteful affair; one that ought to provoke not rituals of agonizing pity or traditional melancholy, but outright revolt.

I put in a league with this.

outright revolt

Funny you write that, "Telecom"... then Jack posts that famous picture from Kent State.

It was after Kent State that I burned my draft card in class, and walked out the door, abandoning my scholarship. People don't remember how many campuses were shut down, how afraid of their own kids our country had become.

What makes me really sad is that for all the anti-war stuff back in the day, and the ending of the draft, our young men and women still die in pointless wars. And I can't help but remark that this Ranger walked the same hallways as I at my old Chaminade Catholic High School, where I first learned to oppose an earlier war.

Memory is a wonderful thing. How-why did she get there? Here's the picture you should put side by side. http://www.foureyes.com/towers/ In modern times it re-started with President Carter and the Shah of Iran. Then each successive President buried his head in the sand as the war got hotter and closer to home. They all forgot to remember what happens when tyrants are left unopposed. WWI. WWII. We paid for the lessons, but we did not learn them. It isn't over. Hating Bush won't make it over. Loving the anti-war left won't make it over.

Greg, no one here -- including you -- is dumb enough to think that 9/11 had anything to do with Iraq.

From now on, we should only fight wars if we can be sure that nobody is going to die.

Then we can let the tyrants run the table.

From now on, we should only fight wars if we can be sure that nobody is going to die. Then we can let the tyrants run the table.

what do you do when the tyrant running the table is on your side and starts the war? or, when your leaders put another tyrant in power, like the Shah of Iran?

tODD, thanks for summing up a response in much more succinct and civilized terms than I would have been able to.

I have three falled comrades buried at Arlington, one of whom, Ben, was a close friend. I still talk to Ben.

I cannot decide which is more tragic: that we have the worst president the U.S. has ever experienced or that people like Greg have the right to vote (though the latter likely explains the former).

Of course, it is no small irony that someone applying informed and rationale thought (like Ron Paul in the Republican Debate) to the issues at hand is mocked by Rudy Giuliani and the other Republican candidates.

The amazing thing to me is the Chimp could rape puppies on live TV and wouldn’t lose the support of 28% of the population. We’ve become that divided. Greg’s bizarre version of great men making history is doubly depressing as it’s purely an excuse for partisanship. To test that take everything we’ve gone through – lies, incompetence, the death of thousands – and substitute the name Hilary Clinton for George Bush: “Hilary Clinton uses the murder of three thousand people as an excuse to fulfill a long-held plan to change a region.” “Clinton says the war will pay for itself but the cost turns out to be a trillion dollars and rising.” “Hilary puts together a group to cherry-pick intelligence” etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. In that situation do you think Fox would be harping on constantly about supporting our commander in chief during wartime?


Ben wants o take awa the voting rights of those with whom he disagrees.

It'd almost be funny if it wasn't such a sad commentary on the "Move On" inspired left.

As repugnant as the stuff comin out of Cheney's mouth is, I still have't seen Cheney saying that folks with whom he disagrees ought be dis enfranchised.

Pathetic Ben. You sure don't speak for my part of the the anti war movement, or for me

Of course we must give the fallen soldiers their due. But why, on Memorial Day, do we never consider the vastly greater number of civilians killed in "modern" warfare? I'm not interested in blaming the warriors; they are victims, too. But celebrating "heroism" is insulting to the families of civilians slaughtered in the name of politics.

Nonny, you are mistaken on several grounds.

First, I did not claim to speak for you or anyone else. Nor did I suggest that anyone disagreeing with me should be disenfranchised. What I am suggesting is that people who exercise voting rights actually know something about the issues. And what Greg demonstrated by tyring to link 9/11 to the grieving woman is that (a) he knows nothing of the issues (and comparing the war in Iraq in any way to WWI or II is factually unsupportable--so much so that not even Rove would try to do so), and (b) whatever understanding he "apparently" has seems to be based on sound bite spin. Those are not "views" of any political group. Those are facts.

Second, my commentary is equally applicable to people of all political persuasions. But typical of your uninformed ilk, you make baseless assumptions.

Finally, what is pathetic is that Bush was elected to two terms. And if I shared your penchant for baseless assumptions, I would conclude that you must have voted for him in both elections. But making assumptions is often times inappropriate. So I will give you the benefit of the doubt and won't assume that you voted for the moron twice.

"Pathetic Ben"

"But typical of your uninformed ilk"

"your penchant for baseless assumptions"


What really galls me ...

The lesser one is people saying, 'Bush was elected such-and-such ...,' and drawing conclusions from that false premise, and basing opinions and behavior acting in it. For the record: No, Bush was not elected, fewer voters voted for Bush, both times, and more voters voted for his opponent, both times, and the ballots were destroyed, stolen, buried, ignored, etc., and the massmind media reported fraudulent results. The actual fact of reality is, Bush's bloc, and conservatives, and their opinions, were and are, the minority of Americans both voting and non-voting.

The larger witlessness is hearing people cite some historic time 'where this all started,' and then pointing at a date in the middle of the context. The crux 'tipping point' was 1900, (essentially, the so-called Spanish-American War, 1898, and USA's imperialistic invasion of The Phillipines; and large evidence of that importance is how it changed Mark Twain's opinion of America, and what he had to say about it). For several views of the same ONE theme running through WWI, WWII, Korean War, Vietnam War, Reagan trading Iran weapons for hostages, the Gulf War, 9/11, the Iran invasion, and most anything else you know to connect to it, first see a library of books on the theme, HERE, (Modern History Project), then read 'em and weep, perhaps starting HERE.

Thank you for your attention.


You were an inpiration in school. And an inspiration afterwards. Thank you for your service. I, too, still talk to a friend killed most brutally. It has changed me and made me the person I am today.


P.S. I am under no illusion that his death was worth my development. I carry his death as a burden, and only hope to live up to it.

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