RANGER AGAINST WAR: Missing the Boat <

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Missing the Boat

Recent events in Iraq have spawned headlines and articles indicating that the U.S. military is embarking upon troop training in values, cultural sensitivity and even ethics. This was last week's news.

Yesterday's news, however, was the death of al-Zarqawi on the battlefield in Iraq. Whether he is a terrorist or a criminal is beside the point, which is that he was killed by the U.S. military. Now, the rules of war and the Geneva Convention prevent the display and use of bodies resulting from combat for any reason. Plastering the world's media with pictures of a dead and mangled body is un-American, non-democratic, mean, petty, un-Christian, and definitely exceeds the bounds of humanistic civilized behavior.

Is this "cultural sensitivity" in action? Leave out the cultural entirely, and view this display as totally aberrant and insensitive to any qualities we might normally equate with the term. What positive values are enhanced by displaying a dead body? How can this voyueristic behavior be justified?

We call the unconventional warriors fighting the invasion of Iraq terrorists, yet we proudly diplay the bodies of Saddam's murdered sons, and now that of al-Zarqawi, bringing to mind the way hunters pose with their quarry, pulling the antlers back to reveal the dead buck's face. The difference is, hunting prey is sport. War is not not the place to spike the ball in the endzone. You do not display your bloodied, dead enemy's heads as trophies. The goal is not to emulate those whose crimes we are scandalized by, for then, what are we?

Exactly what is terrorism, and what is humanity, and what is it that we are exporting?

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