Thursday, April 17, 2008

What's disturbing about this picture?

There a number of things disturbing to me about this picture, one of the many that get posted daily on Yahoo from Iraq.

1. The bullet holes. Look about you as you drive around today. There are no buildings in the U.S. that have bullet holes. I can recall two other places where I saw such holes. The first was in the Boar's Head Inn in Ireland. There was a hole in one of the window panes that was there from the Easter Rebellion in 1916. There was also an inscription in the glass from a diamond ring. I can't remember what it said and I think it was in Irish. The second place was in a Church in the center of Bucharest, Romania. They were left there from the revolt against Ceauşescu in 1989. Strangely, the Athenee Hotel (which figures so prominently in Olivia Manning's The Balkan Trilogy ) wasn't so damaged.

2. Why aren't these boys in school? They are definitely either teenagers or are close to being teenagers. We know that there is very little functioning education in Iraq at the current time. What will happen to these young men in 5-10 years? They have never known anything but violence. The idea, in Bush's mind, that such a society could suddenly become a functioning democracy subserved to the rule of law is absurd. Even more frightening is that they will become jihadists in an Islamic State. They will very likely be sworn enemies of the United States.

3. Does not the American Soldier remind you of something? If he was all in white he would look even more like a storm trooper out of Star Wars and all that that signifies. He is utterly without a personality. Plus that, his whole demeanor is one of dominance and control. Note that his gun is not over the shoulder, but at the ready with his finger on the trigger. You might think he is "cool" if you are an Iraqi teenager, but when you became a soldier, you would want to emulate him.

This is what George W. Bush wants to continue. This is what John McCain wants to continue, for 100 years. It ain't going to happen.

1 comment:

Felix Grant said...

Wait until Sarcos' new powered servorobobotic exoskeletons go into service ... they'll look even more like star troopers then.

"A society that admires its shock troops had better be bloody careful about where it's going..." (John le Carré, /A Perfect Spy/.)