A Kinder, Gentler Patriotism   
11:20am 14/04/2003
 
mood: numb
music: bob dylan - blowing in the wind
Over the weekend Newsday published an article by Professor Zinn entitled
"A Kinder, Gentler Patriotism." The following is an excerpt:

"At some point soon the United States will declare a military victory in
Iraq. As a patriot, I will not celebrate. I will mourn the dead - the
American GIs, and also the Iraqi dead, of which there will be many, many
more. I will mourn the Iraqi children who may not die, but who will be
blinded, crippled, disfigured, or traumatized, like the bombed children
of Afghanistan who, as reported by American visitors, lost their power of
speech.

We will get precise figures for the American dead, but not for the
Iraqis. Recall Colin Powell after the first Gulf War, when he reported
the "small" number of U.S. dead, and when asked about the Iraqi dead,
Powell replied: "That is really not a matter I am terribly interested
in."

As a patriot, contemplating the dead GI's, should I comfort myself (as,
understandably, their families do) with the thought: "They died for their
country?" But I would be lying to myself. Those who die in this war will
not die for their country. They will die for their government."
 
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