Saturday, August 30, 2003

Odious--far more odious than odious--comparisons

With the death and injury toll of our (and our "coalition's") soldiers mounting in Iraq and Afghanistan, we now hear from the warmongers various comparisons. We're told that we're suffering fewer dead soldiers daily than traffic and murder victims, cancer patients, tobacco addicts, and so forth.
I am so dumbfounded, struck dumb in bewilderment, by such idiocy that I find myself unable to form words to extemporize in rebuttal to such thinking (which, BTW, I've occasionally heard--usually by obscene shouts--during the Saturday Peace March through downtown Santa Barbara at which I display a sign that says, "Hey, Hey, USA, How Many Soldiers Died Today?"), that I must write.
The number of dead kids--shot down in the prime of life while in service to their nation--is not comparable to abstract numbers of dead drivers, smokers, disease-ridden elderly. Not, either, to dead victims of crime, tragic as their deaths are. Life goes on, and with it, death, as part of the process of being alive.
The deaths of soldiers aren’t the same. These are youngsters that have chosen to risk their lives for our benefit, for our peace and safety. Their lives are precious to us in a special way, like the lives of firefighters and police.
Can you imagine how Limbaugh/Savage and their ilk would rage (have raged) against the death of a single cop? Can imagine them comparing a death from cancer to a death by a robber’s bullet into the chest of a policeman? Can you imagine the outrage of the surviving spouse of the cop or firefighter when such a comparison is made? Can you imagine why I—or anyone with any sensibility—cannot without loss of speech on account of revulsion respond to such comparisons?

We lost thousands of young soldiers in the world wars, in Korea, VietNam, and elsewhere. Never, except now, have we heard such comparisons. How wretched, how ugly, how base--how sick--have the warmongers become.

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