Humbug. (Day 125/365)

I did not get the last six measures of Milky Way done. I did, however, get the Deer and Lava Flow™ display put up in the front yard:

Deer and Lava Flow display

But I do have a liberal rant, to wit:

The Times has an article about a memorial put up in northern California Here’s a photo.

Needless to say, people have gone nuts. One lady, whose son is at West Point and will be heading to Iraq after graduating next May, does not consider it a memorial. “The hillside is painful,” she said.

Another man called the display “a travesty” and said the people who put it up were “despicable and morally bankrupt.”

Why is it that any time anyone brings our Iraq casualties to our attention by individualizing them, the pro-war nutjobs go berserk? You would think that they would be pleased that everyone was honoring our dead, or at least they might pretend that’s what the memorializers were doing even if they weren’t.

But that’s not what happens. Every time someone reads out all the names of the dead or puts up thousands of crosses or stones or whatever, the überpatriots have a hissy. I just don’t get it. I mean, my elementary school has a big display in the front hall, with the names of all the soldiers from Coweta County who died in WWI, WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. Is that a “travesty”? Are we “despicable and morally bankrupt”? What if we added the names of soldiers from the first Gulf War? Or from this one?

What is the difference? I’m going out on a limb here and suggest that the pro-war nutjobs understand, even if they don’t admit it even to themselves, that our current Iraqi situation is itself “despicable and morally bankrupt,” and that calling attention to the deaths of the brave men and women who have given their lives in this debacle underlines that fact in ways that not even pro-war nutjobs can avoid. And they don’t like it. They like their country right or wrong, their wars just, and their dialectics black and white.

Thus they see every attempt to call attention to the nearly 3,000 troops who have died as an attempt to undermine the war effort, to stab their patriotism in the back and to paint the United States as a villainous imperial power. Somehow they never think that perhaps it was their patriotic duty to oppose this war in the first place, and if not in the first place, certainly by now. It should now be their patriotic duty to support our troops by making sure no more die in George W. Bush’s blunder, the worst foreign policy decision by any American President, ever. And when other people point that out to them, and to the rest of the public, they scream bloody murder. Because they understand that even if the memorial is absolutely sincere, it’s an intolerable intrusion of reality into their pony-based patriotism, and that’s what the rest of the world will see as well.

2 thoughts on “Humbug. (Day 125/365)

  1. Nice analytic move to point out how this reaction is an example of reversal and projection.

    You will always be able to find what the ideological apparatus has had to disown in order to organize outlooks.

    Were the crosses on the hillside a naive (spiritual, memorial) gesture or an act of political resistance?

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