Saturday, September 5, 2009

How do we honor our fallen heroes?

In one of my many publishing related feeds, I learned of a very personal and moving debate. The debate involved the Associated Press (AP) and their decision to make images of a mortally wounded United States Marine available through their publishing network.

To the father of this soldier, himself a soldier, and to the Secretary of the Department of Defense, Robert Gates, they believe that the AP dishonored the sacrifice the soldier and his family made when they decided to publish the pictures.

Three years ago one of my best friend's son was killed by a sniper in Iraq. I witnessed first hand, what the loss of a beloved son can do to a man, to a family. I spoke at his memorial, where we honored everyone's sacrifice. I then watched my friend re-enlist and ultimately be deployed to Iraq, to honor his son.

During five of the six long years we have been in Iraq, the administration of George W. Bush expertly controlled the media. They insisted on strict guidelines that forbid the capturing and publishing of pictures of coffins being unloaded at Dover Air Force Base. You see, the war pigs learned a very valuable lesson during the Vietnam War. They saw how quickly public opinion can turn when they see pictures depicting the cost of war in their hometown papers. It didn't even need to be about a local fallen hero, for the photos to have their impact.

While I hope to never know the pain my friend lives through, or the loss this Marine's father must feel, but as a veteran and a father, I respectfully support the AP's decision. While I acknowledge our blood lust to observe the morbid, the gory, the suffering, we can not really shelter ourselves from the ravages of war. It always hits home, it always carries too high a price, so I ask, "Do we shield our sensitive sensibilities fromthe carnage of war to honor the sacrifices being made or because we don't want to be reminded of the senselessness of it all?"

To me, we dishonor every sacrifice made in pursuit of the "War on Terror," by every politician that claims that we can win this war or that they can protect us. There is no winning against terrorism. Who will surrender? Where do they live? What are the ideals that we need to expose to prove our victory? Just how do you prevent anyone from conducting terrorism anywhere in the world? How can we so intimidate a fringe political faction to stop them from threatening the world, without becoming worst terrorists ourselves?

Friday, September 4, 2009

Are f@#*&ing kidding me?

I just got a correctly addressed letter, expertly delivered by the USPS to my mailbox. The letter explained that the reason why the Social Security wasn't able to pay my daughter her disability benefit in August was because they did not have her correct address. Huh?