Monday, May 17, 2004

Somebody posted one of those pictures right in the center of the city of Poseidontown.

Now, I really need to come clean here. I was mad and said a dumb thing, that "Americans need to be reminded that this is what happens in war." If we are a society that fights wars only out of necessity, than we should conduct those wars in a manner conductive to humanity, which is what the Geneva Convention proposes. We should not fight for glory; we should know that war is detrimental to both sides and needs to be avoided whenever possible.

But more importantly... I avoided seeing any of those photos, because I have a weak stomach and am sensitive to images, but also because I felt that I would become so full of blind rage that I would lose my head (something I have yet to do, and something I hope never happens). Keep in mind that these photos are going to be across al-Qaeda recruiting pamphlets everywhere in the world, as a symbol of the blind hatred that Americans have towards Muslims (not true... but its easy to construe our intentions in Iraq that way).

So now I'm just on the verge of barfing, completely befuddled as to how someone could be so devoid of humanity to do these things. I'm not blaming any particular side; the beheading of an American soldier was more gruesome, if you want to play the we're-not-quite-as-bad-as-al-Qaeda game, but it still makes me wonder where anybody gets the capacity for such cruelty.

So, it's a selfish thing for me to say, but that image will haunt me for the rest of my life, just like the images in Vietnam haunted that generation, and so will every war before we can fially come together and abolish war forever. War is a last resort, people, and if the U.S. government weren't so keen on playing Top Gun in the Middle East then we could establish a worldwide police force and no longer have any need for war. It's too bad when, weith a little organization, we could have everybody in the world, united, with one discourse moving humanity forward onto greater things. Instead, there's something so alluring about calling yourself a war president that you need to slaughter innocents to achieve it.

I have to remind myself that not every human is like this, after all, the photos were leaked by conscentious soldiers disgusted by what they were seeing. I just can't get that image out of my head of the soldier at the back of the photograph, smiling and admiring his handiwork. He looked exactly like Saddam Hussein. We've become the beast we were fighting. Lord knows what can pull us back.
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