Thursday, June 08, 2006

Watching C-Span

For no particular reason except that there's nothing else on, I'm watching the House of Representatives on C-SPAN. It's after hours in Washington, so the few House members left in the chamber are mainly there to bloviate along party lines to an audience of microphones. It's also a time to earn some brownie points with the bereaved back in the district by assuring them that every one is very proud that their sons have gotten killed in Iraq.

The gist is that our troops, magnificent people to begin with, are doubly so when they get killed. because they are protecting our freedoms.

This sort of speech is, of course, ancient. It's necessary to keep the supply of fools on the front line replenished in spite of the horror and meaninglessness of war. Like good illusionists, war profiteers and their lackeys in Congress offer up the glory of "serving one's country" to ensure that there is a steady supply of fools to replace the ones that get killed. The hope is that you won't notice the terrifying reality of war, the meaningless death and maiming, whether by hand-axe, cannon or IED. This is the age-old delusion that governments foist on the unsuspecting young--the glory of "serving their country," the beauty of sacrifice. The parades, the patriotic marches, bunting, the wounded limping or wheeling down the street to be cheered and then expected to disappear so that people won't suffer embarrassment.

Some things will never change? Not if I have anything to say about it.


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