Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Bringing the war theater home

Thirteen war on terror vets demonstrate the reality of occupation for a day. It was pure street theater. They patroled the streets, detained suspects, did vehicle searches, conducted re-con on in the streets of the Capitol. The game may have been staged, but the script came from their real life experiences. They were demonstrating what life in Baghdad is like every day.
"I don't know what they're doing, but they're in everybody's way," said Janet Ruck, a career counselor in Washington. Upon hearing an explanation, she said, "So they were intentionally getting in people's way. I don't think that people have lost touch or forgotten [about the war]. I don't think this is the way to get people to connect."
Ms. Ruck demonstrates just out of touch Americans are with the reality of the war and that was the whole point of the demonstration. Multiply the minor inconvenience she suffered by 10,000 and extend it to cover four years of time and she might have had an inkling of what the occupation is really like for our troops and the Iraqis who are living with the inconvenience every day, only the actors in their play are using real guns and when you're shaken down, you're taken away. Ms. Ruck and millions of Americans just don't get it.

I often hear the decline of morals blamed for the current incivility in our society but I've come to believe it's really simple lack of empathy. People are so wrapped up in their little worlds that they can't, or won't, put themselves in the other guy's shoes -- not even for a moment -- before they pass judgement.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

What an awesome post! I read the story and Emailed the link to those I thought would appreciate it.. or at least read it. I wish these men would take their war theater on the road. Maybe people would pay attention.

1:15:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

I thought it was a great idea for street theater also, LLL. Unfortunately, I fear there are all too many like Ms. Ruck who just don't "get" it.

3:08:00 PM  

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