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October 26, 2005

Bitter Fruit

Photo essay covering funerals for those killed in Iraq by Paul Fusco, Magnum Photographer. [via deano]

If you're so gung-ho for this war, then get your ass over there and help finish this thing. Unless you think dying for no reason isn't worth dying for. The reason we went in - a bogus reason - is not the reason we're still there. The original reason we were given for going to war has everything to do with why somebody leaked the identity of a CIA operative when her husband wrote an op-ed column in the New York Times challenging the White House's claim [addendum: made via a report from the British government] of yellowcake uranium.

We have a volunteer army, it's argued. A volunteer army is better to have than a conscripted one. Well how much of a volunteer are you if the military is the only option for you to escape poverty, if you don't have the option of going to college? How much of a volunteer are you if it's illegal for you to quit the military once you join?

If the draft was reinstated, then people would take this war more seriously. Then people would realize they have something at stake, if they or their children actually had to fight in this war, or any other war. Then people might realize what sacrifice for the sake of your country really means. Things seem different when your own life is at stake.

Sure, people would go to Canada or some other country claiming asylum or conscientious objection. The wealthy and well-connected would find ways to escape their obligations. (Chickenhawk Cheney skipped Vietnam because he had "other priorities.") Fine - somewhere it will be on record and the press can expose them and challenge them on why they were exempted from fulfilling their duty as citizens.

As an aside, I find myself increasing angry with the New York Times and the case of Judith Miller. Miller isn't a saint protecting the freedom of the press. She's an irresponsible, reckless journalist who allowed herself to be used by sources to drum up justification for this war. She's damaged the field of journalism and she's damaging the credibility of the NYT (at least in the eyes of those who don't already view the NYT as part of that liberal media, a liberal media owned by such prominent liberals like Rupert Murdoch). She ought to be fired, not allowed to take a leave of absence and then resign to "pursue other interests." Fire her ass, and let her try to explain that her work and her practices weren't dishonest and fraudulent.

Yours, &c., LC | 12:33 PM | Pictures , Politics | TrackBack (0)

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