10.02.2004

It's all in your definition of precision

Great article. The euphemistic language of the military does much to mask the effects that military ordnance has on individuals. The problem is that our way of thinking about the meanings of words is not the same is the military. That is why they can say with a straight face that destroying an entire block is a "precision strike". It’s not that they are lying, they have just defined the term differently.

It is amazing that the loss of life in terms of Iraqi civilians is seldom discussed in the mainstream. Every American lost is a tragedy, but it takes a bus load of Iraqi’s to merit any coverage at all. The pictures of the dead are sobering reminders that there is a cost to all this. The retaking of Samarra, underway right now is causing civilian deaths that we will never hear about.

It’s increasingly obvious that Bush’s policy in Iraq is moribund, but I’m not sure that Kerry has yet presented a viable alternative. No one else is going to help us with this mess. The community of nations has turned their backs on us. This war is our own tragic-comedy, and I’m sure that many countries are enjoying a certain degree of Schadenfreude as this mess continues to spin merrily out of control.