The Dying Marine: America Revels In Its Disconnection From Reality

The Associated Press published a picture its embedded photographer took of a mortally injured Marine in Afghanistan, and America’s inner idiot exploded.

Professional opiners opined that it was disgraceful to publish such a picture: it disgraced the military, it dishonored the dying soldier, it was an evil plot by the socialists, it’s time to shoot Obama. And so on.

To quote Barney Frank, what planet have these people been living on?

What do they think this kid was doing over there? He was a goddammed Marine. His job was to rip people open with bullets, grenades, knives, his bare hands if need be. And the American soldiers have been very good at doing just that. Men, women, children, bloodied, smashed, shattered, turned to bloody paste and shattered bone by Americans wielding American weapons.

And American soldiers have been ripped in turn by Afghans and Iraqis and other fighters joining in what to them is the good fight to defend their beliefs and their lands.

Do Americans think that people die in war zones like they died in John Wayne movies, in war and crime movies of the Forties and Fifties? Fall down, don’t bleed, lay still. Maybe a dramatic, breathless little speech about something noble?

Do Americans think it’s okay to watch the violence on television and in Hollywood movies, where the deaths most nearly approximate reality, and then protest when the real thing shows up on their doorstep in the form of a photograph in the news? Do they think the people who created the stunningly realistic opening scenes from Saving Private Ryan were kidding?

Americans are responsible for the bloodbaths in Iraq and Afghanistan. Americans are responsible for their out-of-control leaders who invaded these countries, one an invasion based on stupidity, the other an invasion based on lies. Americans are responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths over there, for the torture and murder of prisoners and detainees, for the destruction of two nations.

But the only hue and cry they raise is about an honest and not particularly brutal photograph of a dying American soldier whose job it was to implement the brutality of American policy.

What in hell do these people think war is about? Are they stuck on John Wayne’s vision of war? He was a piece-of-crap actor who hid out in Hollywood making what amounted to propaganda movies for the government, getting rich and fat off the deaths of American soldiers.

The Marine in that photograph got blown up for a reason and there was nothing noble or pretty or uplifting about it. His death was as ugly as George Bush’s shriveled soul. He died for an illusion, for a delusion, for a pound of lies.

What is truly disgusting, truly dishonoring, truly nauseating, is for the airheads on television news to treat this controversy with empty-headed politeness and ignore the truth of the photograph, to ignore the reality of the wars.

The so-called news programs should be required, and should have been required for the past eight years, to show five minutes of photographs during every newscast of American soldiers and Iraqi and Afghani civilians torn up by weapons from both sides. No commentary from the dumb-as-rocks on-air ‘personalities’. Just photographs and silence. Five minutes an hour. No commercials on either side of that slot. Five minutes of the real war, or as close to real as tens of millions of pathetic, childish Americans can get. They should get a good look at what twelve billion dollars a month can buy. They should get a good look at what morally corrupt, power-hungry American politicians can do to children. They should have their faces shoved in the gore and death that they support and condone.

As for those who say the family’s privacy should be respected, fine, respect the family’s privacy. But that Marine signed up for the war. He belongs to the people of the United States. His death belongs to the people of the United States, and those people should get a good look at what they own.

His name was Joshua M. Bernard. He was a Lance Corporal in the United States Marine Corps, and he deserves better than to be fought over like a piece of meat tossed into a pit of politicians, pundits, and media personalities. But what happened to him should not be hidden from the people who are responsible, from ordinary Americans, and from the politicians, pundits, and media personalities who put him in harm’s way.

7 Responses

  1. You’re gorgeous when you’re angry. 😉

    Seriously, this is a good post. It’s too easy to take lightly a war that’s basically out-of-sight-out-of-mind most of the time. And, when we are aware of it, we ignore the brutality and stupidity of it because it seems, somehow, to be sort of okay as long as we’re “fighting them over there so that we won’t have to fight them here.”


  2. This is an example of one of those classic GL posts I (a right of center kind of guy) thinks he’s gonna hate but by the end is moved to say great post.
    I agree wholeheartedly but for the point that there really was no reason to name the Marine. The image was capable of speaking to whoever was open to listening and just maybe,maybe the loved ones could’ve been notified in a manner fitting the loss.


    • Thanks, Alfie. You’re still a highly perceptive reader of The Lion’s work. 🙂


  3. Americans are responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths over there, for the torture and murder of prisoners and detainees, for the destruction of two nations.

    It’s because we don’t publish pictures like that and put a name to the Marine that a sentence like the one quoted becomes as taken for granted and/or ignored as the sentence “Would you like fries with that?”

    “…hundreds of thousands of deaths” Write it a hundred times on the blackboard.


  4. Do not forget that there are a LOT of morons out there. Just like the one that you shredded on my blog about the compensation of health care executives.

    Nicely done, by the way. Here and there.


    • Thank you for the snack. 🙂


  5. Here’s another one:


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