|Friday, April 30, 2004
14:39 - "Americans will give their hearts to you"
Since it appears that the story of the prisoner-torture is what we're all going to be discussing for the next six weeks, whether because we believe it's necessary to prove that the rest of the U.S. military is not exemplified by these contemptible morons, or because we believe it's indicative of our society's intractable corruption and racism and cruelty and therefore we must withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan and apologize to the UN for depriving it of its illicit funding via Oil-for-Food—I for one am in the mood for a reminder of what America is.
A Canadian on LGF, in response to one of the obligatory Canucks who crawled out of the woodwork to dispense a torrent of variations on You Americans disgust me, said:
Two summers ago, I was in Covington, KY and Cincinnati, OH with my son and father for a conference relating to his special needs. Everyone was so nice, and friendly and caring. When they said, I'll be praying for you, they meant it. When they asked how we were doing-they really wanted to hear.
We were checking out of the hotel and the clerk asked me how was my stay. I said it was fine-but that the reason I was there had to do with my son's condition. She smiled and said she knew all about children in hospital. Eight years before her son was born with a fatal heart condition. The doctors said that he was not going to live without a heart transplant. She named him Michael.
She sat at his bedside, praying for her baby. The doctors said that they came up with a risky procedure to use some kind of plastic rod to fix one of the veins, but that he could die in surgery, too. She decided to go ahead with the surgery. They were prepping her infant son when another baby died in the NICU.
The mother of the dead infant walked right over to this lady at her son's bedside and said "My son just died, and I heard your baby needs a heart."
She gave her baby's heart to that woman's child. And you know what that mom's baby was named? Michael.
I said to the clerk that she had been graced by an angel, and we both started crying.
You get it Zephyr??? Americans will give their hearts to you. So piss off.
We're also a country that stands 100% behind our soldiers, as long as those soldiers don't shockingly break our sacred trust in them. But if and when they do... no justification. No excuses. No rationalizations or moral relativism. Some of us—other commenters in that LGF thread, for example—may try to let us console ourselves that "At least Saddam was worse", but others among us will tell those people to shut up. Our anger, like the anger we feel against anyone who breaks the trust of the social contract by taking advantage of it for his own personal gain (for instance, someone who defrauds a charity), must be visibly and loudly targeted upon those directly culpable. If this story is to be made raucously public, let it be so we can bitch-slap the soldiers in the Guard unit responsible and ask, "What on Earth could you possibly have been thinking? Did you think your country would be proud of you for doing this? Do you realize you may have just lost us this war? Do you realize you've betrayed us all?"
It's in this way that we demonstrate, because nothing else would suffice, that this kind of behavior is not just anomalous among Americans, it's antithetical to what we believe in.
If there's any silver lining at all, it's this: This incident gives us the opportunity to show not just how we behave when things are going mostly our way, and when we have little to apologize for... but also how we behave when we have a slate to wipe very thoroughly clean.
Pass the pumice, please.
UPDATE: Sgt. Stryker has given it the first good scouring.