THE DEAD KNOW
THE DYING KNOW
AND THE WOUNDED KNOW
When I was in my early 20s, our country was ensnared in the Viet Nam War. It was the war that changed our perception of war because it was the first war in our history that was fought on television.
What that meant was that every night, when we turned on the news, there were scenes from the battlefield depicting the horror of war. You see, one of the things that makes war palatable to the folks at home is that the vast majority of us have never been in combat. We read about it in the newspapers. We see the casualty tolls, but we don’t see the dead, the dying and the wounded.
During Nam, we saw the bodies carried out on stretchers. We saw the body bags. We knew that the blood was not stage blood, it was real. And each night, at the end of those newscasts, the names of those killed appeared on the television screens.
For the first time, we all understood the hell of war, and, as a country, we rejected the notion of fighting for a cause that made no sense.
We didn’t get involved in a major conflict again until George W. Bush took us into Iraq. By then, our collective memories had been stripped of the images of the Viet Nam dead, dying and wounded. We were being led by a president who, in the 1960s and 1970s would have been labeled a coward, at best, or a traitor. That label would not necessarily have come just from Democrats, but would also likely have come from the right, the jingoistic supporters of the war. Yet, this country, led by this coward, is at war nonetheless, a war that is tearing us apart.
Unlike Viet Nam, however, the war in Iraq is not fully shown on our television at night. The Bush Administration is micromanaging the news, and we are not seeing those images of the dead, the dying and the wounded. The government is not allowing the press into the hangers where the body bags are being deplaned. We are not even certain that the body counts we are receiving are accurate, and it seems the only place where the names of the dead are being revealed is on THIS WEEK WITH GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS.
They learned from Viet Nam that the less we know, the less we will object.
And so they are trying to keep a lid on things by hiding the truth.
But what they are missing is that we have learned too. We have learned from Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon that we cannot always trust our government to deliver the truth. We have learned from Lyndon Johnson and George W. Bush to be skeptical of the call to war that our presidents present to us. We have learned from them all that there are often other interests in play than the interests of the people of our country, and that those in power will lie, cheat and obfuscate in order to get their will.
One of the things that they did not take into consideration was the newest of all news sources, the internet. They either discounted it or were not tech savvy enough to get its impact. But that has all changed.
The blogs are now on their radar, and they aren’t happy about them. Writers like The Lib and me have caught the eye of the population of this country and are exposing the world to the things that Team Bush is seeking to hide.
And how is the Administration dealing with this?
In their usual illegal way, they have now limited the access of our overseas armed forces to certain websites that the Administration considers to be counter-productive to their continuing need to hide the truth about the dead, the dying and the wounded from us.
Members of our military serving overseas are no longer able to post their thoughts and pictures on You Tube and My Space. They have been blocked by our government in a raw attempt to hide the truth from us once again. They think that we will support them if we do not know. They are wrong. They may try to hide the truth from us, but we do know. They may try to take away our freedom of speech and the freedom of speech of our troops, but we know.
They can’t hide in plain sight from us. They just think they can.
The dead know.
The dying know.
And the wounded know.
And no amount of lying or cheating can hide it from us.
They have taken us into war for personal gain, not for just reasons.
We will not buy their stories anymore about WMDs or Democracy. None of it is true. None of it ever was.
They think that we do not know, but we do.
So do the dead.
So do the dying.
And so do the wounded.
And no amount of lying or cheating can ever hide it from us again.
HENRY A. HONIG – THE PUNDIT