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Hide The Dead Soldiers!

Peter T. 23 Apr 04 - 08:17 AM
Midchuck 23 Apr 04 - 08:23 AM
Amos 23 Apr 04 - 09:15 AM
Bee-dubya-ell 23 Apr 04 - 09:37 AM
Don Firth 23 Apr 04 - 12:20 PM
Amos 23 Apr 04 - 12:23 PM
katlaughing 23 Apr 04 - 12:42 PM
Don Firth 23 Apr 04 - 01:00 PM
Stilly River Sage 23 Apr 04 - 01:07 PM
Peter T. 23 Apr 04 - 01:12 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 23 Apr 04 - 01:15 PM
Amos 23 Apr 04 - 01:15 PM
Amos 23 Apr 04 - 01:18 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 23 Apr 04 - 01:27 PM
Rapparee 23 Apr 04 - 01:34 PM
Amos 23 Apr 04 - 01:38 PM
akenaton 23 Apr 04 - 01:48 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 23 Apr 04 - 01:50 PM
harvey andrews 23 Apr 04 - 02:14 PM
jaze 23 Apr 04 - 02:20 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 23 Apr 04 - 02:23 PM
M.Ted 23 Apr 04 - 02:26 PM
Amos 23 Apr 04 - 02:38 PM
artbrooks 23 Apr 04 - 03:14 PM
Don Firth 23 Apr 04 - 03:32 PM
Rapparee 23 Apr 04 - 03:39 PM
dianavan 23 Apr 04 - 03:46 PM
DougR 23 Apr 04 - 04:21 PM
dianavan 23 Apr 04 - 04:33 PM
Strick 23 Apr 04 - 04:39 PM
DougR 23 Apr 04 - 04:48 PM
GUEST,petr 23 Apr 04 - 04:50 PM
Megan L 23 Apr 04 - 04:50 PM
Peter T. 23 Apr 04 - 04:54 PM
Peter T. 23 Apr 04 - 04:56 PM
Strick 23 Apr 04 - 04:58 PM
dianavan 23 Apr 04 - 05:12 PM
Rapparee 23 Apr 04 - 05:13 PM
Strick 23 Apr 04 - 05:21 PM
Rapparee 23 Apr 04 - 05:26 PM
Ebbie 23 Apr 04 - 05:32 PM
Greg F. 23 Apr 04 - 09:35 PM
Rapparee 23 Apr 04 - 09:59 PM
Stilly River Sage 23 Apr 04 - 10:05 PM
Strick 23 Apr 04 - 11:14 PM
GUEST,guest from NW 24 Apr 04 - 02:05 AM
Peter T. 24 Apr 04 - 09:25 AM
Rapparee 24 Apr 04 - 10:25 AM
Strick 24 Apr 04 - 10:36 AM
GUEST 24 Apr 04 - 10:54 AM
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Subject: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Peter T.
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 08:17 AM

George Bush refuses to go to soldier's funerals, and now the Pentagon is upset about showing pictures of coffins of American soldiers. What do they think is going on over in Iraq -- picnics? Do they think there is no connection between their grand plans and dead soldiers? Where are the Veterans Associations? You have to shake your head.   

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Midchuck
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 08:23 AM

I agree with you.

But I don't see the music connection. Why's this in the music threads?

Peter.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Amos
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 09:15 AM

Maybe because it is a great name for a sad song.

A


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 09:37 AM

Yep, our military learned some valuable lessons in Vietnam. Mainly, that if they want continued public support for a war they have to present the most sanitized version they can come up with.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Don Firth
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 12:20 PM

On the Jim Lehrer News Hour (PBS), at the end of each program, they show photos (with name, branch of service, rank, age, and home town), in silence, of each of the soldiers who have been killed that day, or when their death becomes official and photos become available. In the early part of the Iraqi war, they were showing maybe one or two a day. A couple of nights ago, they showed eight.

This, of course, is the sort of thing that makes PBS one of the more blatant members of the "liberal news media."

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Amos
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 12:23 PM

Right. Liberal meaning "free, or espousing freedom, or acting freely". A word not much beloved by control freaks, or by fascists, or by people who have reasons for hiding things. And, too, a word often slandered and distorted by mind-meld mass-think promoters, and also by some Republicans.


A


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: katlaughing
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 12:42 PM

Sorry, Peter, I didn't see your thread when I posted this one a little later in the day. I've closed it and referred folks to this one. There are some media links in mine, though.

kat


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Don Firth
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 01:00 PM

By the way, speaking of "liberal media," don't miss NOW with Bill Moyers tonight. One of the stories compares the relationships between Bush and Congress and Blair and Parliament. Seems that if the Brits have a question they want answered, they're sometimes not quite as polite about it as Congress is. Not quite as easy for Blair to "stonewall" or ignore the issue. I'm looking forward to it. Check your local listings.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 01:07 PM

Well, there are photos and photos. I did a search on "Dead American Soldiers" in the images section of Google and found things like this gruesome page (it takes a long time to load, even on DSL). The point is taken, and there are angry responses at the bottom of the whole thing.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Peter T.
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 01:12 PM

Interesting about the Jim Lehrer hour.

I wonder if George W. will show up at the 60th anniversary of D-Day to mourn the fallen dead of long ago. (I don't wonder, I am sure he will, with knobs on).

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 01:15 PM

I'm really torn on this one. As much as I abhor this occupation of Iraq, I also have respect for the privacy of the families and the dignity of the deceased.

Regardless of my feelings, I would not want my son or daughter's picture to be used as propaganda for either side of the issue.

While I detest the disregard for the freedom of the press, I am also disgusted by the way the media uses such images to push ratings and generate ad revenue.   The PBS approach is a dignified way of putting a human face on the war without stooping to low levels.   If ANYONE feels that what PBS is doing is a sign of their supposed "liberal" bias, I would ask how honoring these heroes could be considered as such?


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Amos
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 01:15 PM

People sometimes wonder why I start foaming at the mouth and resort to strong language about Bush and his &(*^&*#&*% militarism. Well... some people, anyway.

Here's why.

A


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Amos
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 01:18 PM

I am repeating here what I said in the other thread:

Well, I can appreciate the sensibility with which you write, Ron. But if I may say so what I find ghoulish is fomenting blind allegiance to an operation that spills the entrails of innocent humans into the sand and leaves them there smoking in the sun. What I find ghoulish is trying to persuade people that there is glory in invasion and virtue in throwing hot lead into other people's bodies. I find it ghoulish in the extreme that the insurgents of Iraq -- even if they are misguided -- are being identified as terrorists so that they will be identified as linked in some arcane evil way with the nurders of September 2001. I find it ghoulish that human beings can contemplate a unilateral war, all its horror and destruction and pain and bloodletting, and smile with patriotic pride rather than puke their guts out on the White House steps.

But maybe that's just me.

A


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 01:27 PM

I agree with you Amos, but showing those entrails on TV does not make us any better than the ones sending our troops into such a situation.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Rapparee
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 01:34 PM

The deaths should be treated with dignity. ALL of them -- those of the US, those of the Iraquis, all of them. Let the families mourn; if THEY want to share that is their privilege.

That said, I fail to see why it would be undignified to show the coffins of those killed. If the goal is honorable, why would be deaths be less so?

To use these deaths or pictures as propaganda -- that would be both undignified and cheap.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Amos
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 01:38 PM

Well, here's the thing, to my mind, Ron...and I am open to changing my mind. The effort of the Bush crowd is to commit violence and hide it. Sanitzed war information is the one thing that makes was tolerable or, to the very immature, even attractive. If they don't have to see the gore and the dead, then they can focus on the thrill, the courage, the HooRAH and the glory of it all. And, in dooing that,m they can lure another generations of brave but underexposed people to stand up and be mown down for the sake of some little back-room decision taken by a man who never had the courage to go towar himself?

I am in favor, therefore, of making the consequences plain and public, no matter how grim. I am sorry for the families whose losses are restimulated by such an approach, but I assure you it is not the pictuires which are breaking there hearts, but the grim reality of their strife and their love being wasted in the dirt for dubious benefit. We cannot remedy the problem of war -- especially of insanity cloaked as war -- by not looking at it plainly.

On the other hand, I have no wish to hurt anyone unnecessarily, so that is all I am going to say on the subject, at present.

A


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: akenaton
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 01:48 PM

Amos....That was very well said


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 01:50 PM

Good points Amos, but if someone is that immature to sign up for "the glory of it all", seeing a flag drapped coffin is not going to make things better.

I'm reminded of my high school drivers ed class where they showed us pictures of horrific car wrecks and bloody corpses. Did it teach us to not drink and drive?   I honestly don't think the pictures made that much of a difference.

With all due repect Amos (and I have a great deal of respect for your thoughtful posts), I worry that even your response to this issue is somewhat of an example of how these photos can be used as propaganda. No matter how just the cause, I wonder if there are limits.

I honestly not sure. The photos that I have seen are rather anonymous. We do not know who is in the individual coffins and it does make a dramatic impact. There are many issues and thoughts that go through my mind.    I wonder if it will win a Pulitizer? Would that make it "okay"?   Just random thoughts, as I've said, I really don't know what is right and what is wrong in this case.

One last thing, to give credit where it is due - the decision to not show pictures was made back in 1991. Now when it is an issue, Bush refuses to change the decision.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: harvey andrews
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 02:14 PM

Maybe because it is a great name for a sad song.

Just what i thought Amos, maybe Mudcatters could write it;

Hide the dead soldiers
Smuggle them in
Contraband coffins
Somebody's kin
Somebody's child
Who was told "We can win."
Hide the dead soldiers
Smuggle them in


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: jaze
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 02:20 PM

I think the families should be treated with respect. I understand not having them there at Dover or allowing pictures of them when the coffins come off the plane. I don't see how an anonymous photo of flag-draped coffins intrudes on their privacy. If we're expected to support what our gov't is doing, then everything should be out in the open-including the end result-flag-draped coffins.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 02:23 PM

So what's the big difference between a photograph of a row of flag-draped coffins and a row of grave markers in a military cemetery? They're both symbolic, not graphic, and the interpretation of the photo is up to the viewer.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: M.Ted
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 02:26 PM

There was a color picture of rows of caskets draped in flags, on the front page of the Washington Post this morning. I cried when I saw it, and I am sure others did, too. Those kids and their families deserve at least that we share their grief.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Amos
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 02:38 PM

Ah, M. Ted, a more telling point has not been made on this thread.

A


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: artbrooks
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 03:14 PM

Personally, as a veteran, I'd rather see the coffins, properly covered with a flag, so that I am assured that they are getting the respect they deserve. The military and the Bush government (which includes the various Secretaries) are two very different things. This
is from the official Army web site, and they are hardly hiding anything.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Don Firth
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 03:32 PM

Years ago, I saw the movie Henry V (1944) with Sir Lawrence Olivier as King Henry (excellent movie, by the way). Filmed during WW II and released just as the war in Europe ended, it reflected the time. It was full of pageantry, trumpets, colorful banners, white steeds, and shining armor. Olivier wanted moviegoers to believe in the justness of the war. It reflected the mid-twentieth century far more than it did the early fifteenth century. The charge of the French knights to the accompaniment of the exciting musical score by Sir William Walton, and the sound of the flight of arrows unleashed at them by the English longbowmen was soul-stirring. War is glorious!   

Kenneth Branagh's 1989 version (another excellent movie) of Henry V reflects a different time and a different view of war. The time was post-Vietnam. The battle scenes, rather than panoramic views of a line of charging horsemen in shining armor with banners waving in the wind, were mostly bewildering close-ups composed of swinging swords and battle-axes, the clash of steel on steel, men slipping and falling in mud . . . screams . . . blood . . . dead bodies. The soldier's-eye view. In one scene, Branagh as King Hal carries a dead boy over the hacked-up bodies of both the English and French, and you can't help but realize that this battle—and war in general—is a panorama of blood and mud and death.

At least, in the Battle of Agincourt, King Henry, the man who decided to go to war, was there, not sitting safely behind his polished desk thousands of miles away.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Rapparee
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 03:39 PM

...masquerading as a veteran.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: dianavan
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 03:46 PM

There's a big difference between a flag-draped coffin and a mutilated, dead body.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: DougR
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 04:21 PM

The feelings of the families of the dead soldiers are far more important than the need to use those photos for political purposes. And that is exactly how they are being used. In my opinion, they should not be published.

Also, PBS does not have a franchise on the listing of names of dead soldiers. ABC's Sunday morning program with George Will lists them at the end of each program too.

DougR


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: dianavan
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 04:33 PM

Seems to me that if the coffins were shown draped with the flag and handled with dignity, the families would feel sad but proud. Thats alot different than the trauma caused to families if a dead body was shown.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Strick
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 04:39 PM

"Seems to me that if the coffins were shown draped with the flag and handled with dignity, the families would feel sad but proud. Thats alot different than the trauma caused to families if a dead body was shown."

Not when you're using the photos as a weapon to convince other people they died in vain. Military families remember Viet Nam and the treatment their dead and returning Vets received.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: DougR
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 04:48 PM

Strick: I would challenge anyone who has posted to this thread that believes the photos of coffins should be made public, to tell us WHY, if not for political reasons, they should be shown. They are trying to use the dead soldiers to support their view that Iraqi citizens should still be under the thumb of Saddam.

DougR


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: GUEST,petr
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 04:50 PM

and not when youre showing flag draped coffins being taken out of
wtc site - as in BUsh's election ad - while not allowing same photos
dead soldiers from Iraq.

anyway - whatever happened to freedom of the press?


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Megan L
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 04:50 PM

Having stood on a pier and watched the coffin of a loved one being swung of the boat on the freight crane, I would much rather see one draped respectfully flag or not. No one should use another mans death for his own ends


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Peter T.
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 04:54 PM

I thought the picture(s) that I saw were very beautiful, awe-inspiring, made one think. It seems to me that sober reappraisal is not exactly propaganda. Besides, the Bush administration lost the argument about not using them when they showed flag-draped coffins in their ads.

A question that is raised here -- and here I mean to have a reasoned discussion -- is the nature of the role of privacy in this case. My own opinion is that, in a democracy, soldiers are citizens, and are therefore doing a public duty. Reflection on that public duty is part of citizenry, and therefore it seems to me right and proper that some of the rituals of death be carried out in public. We need the weightiness of these rituals, to overcome the flashy grandiosity of our masters, to be citizens. I see no justification for putting a claim for not showing pictures of flag-draped coffins in order to protect the families of the deceased.   That presupposes private over public: but as soldiers, soldiers are partly public, in death as in life (that is why there are memorials and war cemeteries). Speaking only for my country (Canada), our Prime Minister has consistently attended the return of coffins from Afghanistan, Kosovo, and the other places where we have lost soldiers. I cannot imagine the outrage if our Defence department starting talking like the Pentagon. It is true that we have had far fewer deaths, but the principle seems to me to be one that we would adhere to, even if it became wearisome. We need to be able to weigh the consequences of our actions -- one of the terrible strengths of democracies (I believe) is that once we do decide to go to war, because of the preciousness of each individual as citizen, democracies will fight tooth and nail to the last dead dog. That is why we need to be as right as we can.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Peter T.
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 04:56 PM

I thought the picture(s) that I saw were very beautiful, awe-inspiring, made one reflect on the care the military takes with its dead. It seems to me that sober reappraisal is not exactly propaganda. Besides, the Bush administration lost the argument about not using them when they showed flag-draped coffins in their ads.

To try and answer Doug's question -- and here I mean to have a reasoned discussion -- we are speaking in part of the nature of the role of privacy in this case. My own opinion is that, in a democracy, soldiers are citizens, and are therefore doing a public duty. Reflection on that public duty is part of citizenry, and therefore it seems to me right and proper that some of the rituals of death be carried out in public. We need the weightiness of these rituals, to overcome the flashy grandiosity of our masters, to be citizens. I see no justification for putting a claim for not showing pictures of flag-draped coffins in order to protect the families of the deceased.   That presupposes private over public: but as soldiers, soldiers are partly public, in death as in life (that is why there are memorials and war cemeteries). Speaking only for my country (Canada), our Prime Minister has consistently attended the return of coffins from Afghanistan, Kosovo, and the other places where we have lost soldiers. I cannot imagine the outrage if our Defence department starting talking like the Pentagon. It is true that we have had far fewer deaths, but the principle seems to me to be one that we would adhere to, even if it became wearisome. We need to be able to weigh the consequences of our actions -- one of the terrible strengths of democracies (I believe) is that once we do decide to go to war, because of the preciousness of each individual as citizen, democracies will fight tooth and nail to the last dead dog. That is why we need to be as right as we can.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Strick
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 04:58 PM

"anyway - whatever happened to freedom of the press?"

Ask Diana's family. Or Dale Earnhart's when the press wanted to show his autopsy photos. There are limits to any "right". Nothing would be gained by by showing the photos but purient interest or, in this case, pure politics. The military doesn't have to let you on their bases for this purpose if they don't want.

It's a good custom, much like the one Peter refers to in the first post here, where Presidents have [i]never[/i] attended funerals of men killed in action. Memorial services, even cemetary dedications, but not funerals. Keep the politics out of it.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: dianavan
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 05:12 PM

Tell that to Bush!

If I had a family member that died as a result of war, I would want the public to see the sacrifice that had been made. Furthermore, I would want only the flag draped coffin to be shown, not a mutilated body. A body is private, the flag draped coffin is not.

I would also like the president to show some respect by showing up at the airport when the body was returned to home soil.

Of course that might be a little risky for Bush. Personally, I'd probably want to rip his face off.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Rapparee
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 05:13 PM

My comment "...masquerading as a veteran" was aimed at GWB and no one else. As a Guardsman whose unit was activated and served in Vietnam (and I in Korea at that same time) I have little liking and less respect for the "service" of those who, like GWB, used Guard or Reserve duty as a shield against the possibility of being drafted. Moreover, I especially dislike those who, like GWB, "jumped the list" because they had political connections.

I'll say no more on this; if my feelings about the President's military service disagrees with your views, well, you have your views and I have mine. I respect and acknowledge your views and expect the same courtesy in return.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Strick
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 05:21 PM

So how do you feel about Clinton who lied to get in, then out of the ROTC for the same reason?

dianavan, if these were new rules, maybe I'd agree. The one about Presidents not attending the funerals is quite ancient by US standards. Barring any change, ask the families if you can photograph their dead. Just be sure to be honest with why you want the photos.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Rapparee
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 05:26 PM

Didn't say I liked that, either, Strick.

I'd much rather someone spoke up from the beginning. Kerry went to 'Nam and then had the courage to change his mind. Friends of mine spoke up from the first as COs. Other friends of mine went to 'Nam and one died there, others have died later from what I'd consider 'Nam-related causes. Other guys I know, like Kerry, changed their minds after going to 'Nam.

What I object to is hypocrisy in this matter.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Ebbie
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 05:32 PM

When Kennedy's body was returned to Washington and the coffin offloaded at the airbase, I suspect that few of us did NOT mourn. I was not a Kennedy supporter at the time but my very soul was grieved.

It was graphic but "prurient", Strick? How dare you.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Greg F.
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 09:35 PM

And, of course HIDING the dead and the coffins serves no "political purpose", right? Please- you guys are pathetic.

And Strick, as has been raised previously by others, you simply CANNOT post without mentioning Clinton, whether it has anything to do with the point under discussion or not, can you? Also pathetic.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Rapparee
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 09:59 PM

Hide them? No.

War causes death. But in the US most really whitewash it, do everything possible can to blot it out, whether it is death from old age, childbirth, auto wreck, war, or disease. While it shouldn't be dwelt upon (such as those 19th C. folks who picniced in cemeteries), we shouldn't shut it away.

Honor them? Yes. You betcha. Damned straight. And don't forget....


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 10:05 PM

Avoiding the war because you dislike war is fine. During Vietnam deferrments were an honorable and valuable tool that kept many young men in college in order to avoid going to war. Clinton was okay. And Clinton was not the son of a privileged family, he was just smart and figured out how to avoid going to war. But it appears Bush was a faker and a slacker. If he did join the organization, then he was obligated to follow the rules, and should be taken to task now if that slack behavior comes to light.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Strick
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 11:14 PM

"And Clinton was not the son of a privileged family, he was just smart and figured out how to avoid going to war."

Clinton used his connections with Senator Fulbright, a very heavy hitter of the time, to pressure the local draft board and the commandant of the University of Arkansas ROTC to put him in over other candidates when his deferments ran out. He lied about his intentions in regard to the ROTC during the interview and then refused to honor his commitment to them when the time came. No one pulled more strings to get out of Viet Nam than he did.

"And Strick, as has been raised previously by others, you simply CANNOT post without mentioning Clinton, whether it has anything to do with the point under discussion or not, can you?"

Greg, what I can't stand is people who rail about Bush doing something and ignore others they cherish doing the same thing. Again, it's either ignorace or hypocracy. I'm trying to assume ignorance. So far.

Rapaire made a comment where a direct comparison was completely appropriate. Where Bush may or may not have been hard to find for a period of time when the Guard knew the war was all but over for the US and didn't care, Clinton ducked out of his obligation during some of the heaviest fighting of the war. Clinton's behavior during Viet Nam is just a relevant to this thread as Bush's was.

Ebbie, how did I get from purient interest in Dale Earnhart's autopsy to anything to do with any Kennedy?


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: GUEST,guest from NW
Date: 24 Apr 04 - 02:05 AM

"Clinton's behavior during Viet Nam is just a relevant to this thread as Bush's was."

you just can't get this can you, strick? this thread is about george bush, a war he and his administration initiated, soldiers he sent to war, and a policy he is enforcing to keep any photographic depiction of the dead soldiers censored from the american public. if there is any discussion about his vietnam record it would be in relation to this discussion of his current practices as president. check the title and opening remarks.
in other words...NOTHING TO DO WITH BILL CLINTON for crissakes!!

"what I can't stand is people who rail about Bush doing something and ignore others they cherish doing the
same thing."

another ridiculous assumption...that anyone who criticizes GWB "cherishs" clinton. same kind of vacuous reasoning that gives us "if you criticize GWB you're helping the terrorists" or "if you're against the war you don't support our troops". HOGWASH!

FYI i criticized bill clinton too...back when he was president...didn't vote for him either...don't "cherish" him... but am capable of carrying on a political discussion on other subjects without injecting my opinion of him. show us you're not like the rest of the braindead GWB true believers.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Peter T.
Date: 24 Apr 04 - 09:25 AM

Glad to see people took up my challenge for a reasoned discussion.

Anyway, perhaps I am wrong. Perhaps soldiers and their families deserve privacy -- haven't they given enough in life for them to be left alone in death, to grieve? I note that there is an artist who has made a composite photograph of George W using the faces of all the dead soldiers to date. For some reason I find that more offensive than the photographing of coffins with American flags on them. An artist can, of course, do what he likes, but still, that worries me. But I don't know why. Of course, we are all conflicted where the expression or covering up of death is concerned....


yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Rapparee
Date: 24 Apr 04 - 10:25 AM

To get back to the fallen.

The deaths of these soldiers are not simply a loss to their families. They are a loss to the nation and the nation should share in the grief.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: Strick
Date: 24 Apr 04 - 10:36 AM

OK, GUEST,guest from NW, maybe I've become obsessive as a not quite lone voice on this forum. Regardless, it's a policy enforced by the last 7 presidents, each of whom had military killed as a result of their orders. Greg, it was worth the exchange just to offer the info to SRS who apparently missed what Clinton did to stay out of the war. Rapaire, I respect your consistency and your view. Forgive me for challenging you.

I do ask folks to remember this. Beyond Hillary, what are the odds that then next few Democrats nominated for president will have a Viet Nam record any different from Clinton or Gore? Some of us thought it was over when Clinton was elected and it wouldn't come up again. It's a little like claiming they did drugs in their youth. Were they teenagers in the 60s or early 70s? How many didn't?

Either way it's a little past time to put that war behind us and remember that the people we will choose our leaders from acted about like we did in those days.   A few fought and were abused when they came home. A few protested from the beginning and grew so bitter they said somethings they might not like to hear repeated now. Even fewer did both. Most of us did what we needed to do to stay out of it.


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Subject: RE: Hide The Dead Soldiers!
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Apr 04 - 10:54 AM

I don't believe the families have the right to keep all photographic images of the soldiers private, whether the soldier is being shown in the photograph alive and doing fine, wounded, or dead. I don't believe the families, or the government on behalf of the families, should dictate the terms of journalistic coverage of war scenes, to the press.

Strick asks a legitimate question when he says "Just be sure to be honest with why you want the photos."

Let me be honest, then. The war dead are treated with a tremendous amount of respect, so for me that isn't an issue.

However, to say that we shouldn't show disturbing images of wars that are currently happening because the showing of those images will influence the politics of waging that war, and possibly turn public sentiment against a continuation of the war as happened with Vietnam, is to give the politicans an authortarian advantage over the citizenry I am not willing to accept. Of course the politicians don't want us to see the images of the consequences of war. Because they know their rhetoric will no longer be believed by a duped citizenry. The reasons politicians have for sending our soldiers to war are rarely, if ever, the same reasons soldiers volunteer to serve in the military.

In our democratic republic at this time, we have citizen soldiers and professional soldiers, fighting wars on two major fronts: Afghanistan and Iraq, and in precarious positions in many others, like Kosovo, Korea, the Phillipines, etc.

War is the most political of all crises a nation faces, and we have a duty as citizens to know what the consequences of waging war are. It is imperative we see what is happening in war time, from all the angles, including the wounded, the dying, and the dead soldiers AND civilians.

A large reason why the Vietnam War was brought to an end when it was, is because the country turned against the war. Why? I believe it was in large part due to the fact that we had the war--including the up close soldiers' view of war, beamed into our living rooms every night. We saw graphic depictions of it.

I believe we should ALWAYS be shown those images when we are fighting a war. Always. They are sobering. They make us evaluate what it is we are doing in the war. It shows us the true cost of war. Our right to see those images supercedes the rights to privacy of the families of the dead soldiers.

Those images are no longer broadcasted in the US. They are now censored by the US military, or censored by the corporate moguls who rule the media, because Vietnam proved it is really impossible for a democratic nation to wage an unjust war against a nation which poses no security threat to us, when the citizenry sees the images of the consequences of that war. In the case of Vietnam, that included showing images of angry citizens showing their disgust for the war to the returning soldiers, as it should.

How many of you saw the reports on the treatment of the Japanese hostages taken and released in Iraq this week, on how they were treated when they returned home? They were treated as villains, pariahs, and were utterly condemned by Japanese society. The images shown in Japan? Of the hostages deeply bowing in apology to the nation, and asking forgiveness, which they likely won't be getting from most Japanese citizens. As citizens of democracies, we have the right to express ourselves in those ways, and to see the images of our actions mirrored back to us, however disturbing it is to us, and no matter how bad it makes us look.

A nation's citizenry that is "at war" has a duty to know what the consequences of being "at war" are--and what price it is that our side and the other side will pay in daily consequences of war. Being an informed citizenry in wartime requires we gain complex knowledge of what is happening on the ground, which can only be perceived from a distance through graphic, truthful images and graphic, truthful description. Once we start ignoring what our warriors are doing to their citizens, the inevitable happens: war crimes, crimes against humanity, crimes against the souls of the soldiers doing the fighting, and the citizens trying to survive what the soldiers are doing all around them, and their society being torn asunder.

Rwanda is ultimate example in recent memory, of what happens when we stop looking for and asking to see those horrific images.

Our media is not showing us any of those aspects of the war in Iraq. It is not showing us what Al Jazeera is showing it's viewers in the Middle East, which is the cost to the civilian population of the war. It isn't showing us what the BBC is showing it's constituents. Or what the AFP is showing to theirs. We should be seeing those images in the US too.

We need to find out why the rate of suicide among our soldiers is so high in Iraq, and domestic violence so extreme in their families upon their return. We need to see the wounded in battle and after it, screaming with pain, whether soldier or civilian. We need to see the images of how our occupation forces and the mercenaries and their employers, are living in Iraq, compared to how the average Iraqi is living. We aren't seeing any of that.

A truly free press acting as fourth estate cannot and should not be patriotic. I feel very strongly that patriotism and journalism, like church and state, should not mix.

Last night on NOW with Bill Moyers, he interviewed Greg Dyke, former Director General of the BBC, who was forced out of his job as a result of the Hutton inquiry into the intelligence scandal in the UK over WMD. In essence, he said what I am saying: journalism and patriotism is a very bad mix, and serves neither cause well.

The NOW website has an excellent gallery of photos and stories titled "After War". It can be viewed here:

"After War" gallery at NOW


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