Sunday, September 6, 2009

US Casualty Censorship

[Julie Jacobson- AP]

We delighted when Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf joked about the killing of Iraqi soldiers as he narrated their deaths in aerial video game mode during the first Gulf War. We think nothing of the havoc we later brought to Iraq as entire families were blown up daily on their own streets, and remaining family members abducted to prisons to be falsely imprisoned and tortured.

While I can deeply respect the feelings and motivations behind the family of Marine Lance Corporal Joshua M. Bernard, I must strongly disagree with the role of censoring documentation of US battle deaths. We are absolutely free to publish and view a plethora of images featuring dead and mutilated bodies of "the other" from every corner of the world- and yet, when it comes to American dead (whose origins come from throughout said corners of the world), only then does it become sacrilegious, immoral and perverse; and therefore perpetrates the notion that American lives are somehow more worthy and sacred- and the rest of mankind significantly less. It's the first crucial step that allows us license to consider and then execute the killing of whatever group or nation of people we so choose.

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