Some tiny creature, mad with wrath,

Is coming nearer on the path.

--Edward Gorey

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S. Outlying Islands

Writer, lawyer, cyclist, rock climber, wanderer of dark residential streets, friend.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Is It Really That Bad?

Billmon over at Whiskey Bar reveals himself as a lefty who formerly believed staying the course in Iraq might be the moral thing to do, not for any war on terror rationale but simply because we broke it and bought it, because to leave would be to incur even more widespread killing in civil conflict -- would, simply put, be worse for civilian Iraqis just trying to stay alive.

But something's changed, and now he wants out, big time.

There was a time when I would have argued that the American people couldn't stomach that kind of butchery -- not for long anyway -- even if their political leaders were willing to inflict it. But now I'm not so sure. As a nation, we may be so desensitized to violence, and so inured to mechanized carnage on a grand scale, that we're psychologically capable of tolerating genocidal warfare against any one who can successfully be labeled as a "terrorist." Or at least, a sizable enough fraction of the American public may be willing to tolerate it, or applaud it, to make the costs politically bearable.

This discussion in its entirety derives from his discovery of a website dedicated to soldiers' personal photographs of the carnage in Iraq (he provides the link if you want it; I refuse), which apparently has a meaningful audience in the U.S.

Hat tip Bloodless.

UPDATE: And while we're at it, Whiskey Bar also features this hilarious mock press conference from last week; this is merely a short representative passage:

Q Scott, how responsible does the President think state and local officials in Texas will be for the sluggishness and incompetence of the post-Rita relief effort next week?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well that’s obviously hard to answer until we see just how sluggish and incompetent it will be. But the President has already spoken to Governor Perry, and he’s assured us we’ll have his full cooperation in shifting as much blame as possible to Houston Mayor Bill White and the lesbians who used to work for Ann Richards. But Governor Perry has also agreed to accept a few minor criticisms, which is very generous since he’s running for reelection next year.

Check it out.


Anonymous Melissa Contreras said...

I think that the United States is a stronger nation than we have ever been. After that the attacks of 9/11 Americans have expressed their love and loyalty for the United States more than they have ever expressed it.
I think that American citizens around the world are more caring of their families and their neighbors. Americans are more willing to help others in need even if they are total stangers.

4:25 PM  
Anonymous binky said...

The most telling thing about the site Billmon discusses, is that the soldiers who post the horrific photos are rewarded with porn. That's right. They trade pictures of mutiliated corpses for porn.

11:46 PM  
Anonymous binky said...

And, I am with you, Moon, on not looking. Americablog has some redacted photos (via Majikthise.

11:49 PM  

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