Thursday, October 28, 2004

Recent commentary: Fallujah

Should the news media have broadcast and published images of the mutilated corpses of U.S. contractors killed in Iraq?

(published 12-Apr-2004, Appleton Post-Crescent)

If the networks don't broadcast these sorts of images (remember the decapitation of Daniel Pearl? The people in the World Trade Center choosing to jump to their deaths?) then we become too complacent; it becomes too easy to say that the murderers have a reasonable point of view. If we censor the images then we can anesthetize ourselves. The fanatics in Iraq are counting on our squeamishness. They take heart from the ignoble events in Mogadishu and think that Americans have no moral toughness. They see our high-tech weapons and sneer, believing that we would never risk our precious skins, and that if we see our noses being punched often enough that we'll cut and run. Maybe they're right. Maybe we are cowards. But George Bush isn't like Bill Clinton, thank God. I see American soldiers driving tanks into Fallujah and honoring those men by blowing the town to pieces.

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