Sunday, October 14, 2007

We don't need another hero

by Capt Fogg

The English language isn't what it used to be. It's not as much the expression of a culture but more and more a tool for manipulation. Take the word hero. It used to connote a doer of bold and noble deeds; someone favored by the divine, but as with most things these days, the requirements have been dumbed down and conferring the title of hero is a way to make the exploited seem, well, less exploited.

The guy who runs into a burning building to save someone else can fairly be called a hero but what about the guy who unwittingly holds the door for the guy who runs in to pillage the place before it all burns up? Is he a hero if he's killed so that others may steal during a fire that was set for the purpose? Most people wouldn't say so; they'd say he was a victim and the law would agree, but if we talk about soldiers and not firefighters, everyone is a hero now.

I was struck by an article in the Miami Herald this morning about Staff Sergeant Lillian Clamens, wife and mother of three, killed in Iraq by a missile. Lillian was a personnel clerk only three days away from coming home to her family. Her three children have already bought the costumes for the Halloween party planned to celebrate her return. Her husband, a logistics manager for the Army ROTC program seems stoic, or so the Herald plays the story. They're all heroes, you see and heroes don't cry and consequently neither should we. We should celebrate the heroism of another senseless death, another casualty of the Neo-con crusade to make the world free for exploitation by the rich and corporate; another destroyed family and three more orphans because of a colossally mismanaged power grab by a government that never sheds a tear unless it has to pay for some kid's medical insurance or old person's medicine.

Maybe it's OK to be stoic; to act as though it was important that men and women are dying, but it's not OK for us to pass by it all, to absolve ourselves by calling her a hero, to pretend her children aren't crying, because she's a hero, that we haven't lost one of our own forever, because she's a hero, because soldiers are warriors and warriors are heroes even if they die for someone else's ambitions, our arm chair patriotism and our apathy.

What have we done to ourselves if fathers and mothers, sons and daughters and husbands have to believe that our government hasn't got the blood of their families on their hands and in their wallets; what has become of a nation that it can't cry for someone's mother, someone's wife? What of a culture that has to hide contempt for what they know is wrong; hide grief for what they know is a tragedy behind the cult of Bush and the myth of the warrior hero?

Cross posted from Human Voices

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Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Gee whiz Fogg, I should have given you quote of the week for eloquence. Really well said, as always.

2:24:00 PM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

Thank you, but you're probably the only one who read it!

9:17:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Not at all. Don't let the lack of comments fool you. You simply left them nothing to disagree with.

12:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, Capt, she's not the only one who read it and she's right, sometimes there's nothing more to be said except "a poignant, eloquent post."

1:27:00 PM  
Blogger Sherman Wells said...

Lillian is my first cousin and I will miss her deeply and yes a I agree this war is sensless and Lilian was a teenager when she joined the army in 1990 for college for travel for oportunity not to die in a fight over oil and land and whatever other political mumbo jumbo involed I dont care what the media or any joe blow call her to me she is Cousin Lilly with the tomboyish ways and beautiful smile that I will never see again.!!!!!! now thats some bullshit!!!!!!!

10:20:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Oh Sherman. My deepest condolences for your loss.

11:45:00 AM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

Thanks for your comment Sherman. We need to remind everyone that these are real people with real families and real futures - not pawns in some patriotic game.

2:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I knew Lilian and her family. I am a soldier myself, I supported the war and even voted for Bush!! Her death really hit home for me. To actually know someone taken away from her family too soon woke me up. Now my family is being affected and will be leaving soon to serve time in Iraq in January. It is reality and I am afraid for them now more than ever. This war needs to end!!! I no longer support this war or Bush, it was not Lilians time to go. I know she would not have wanted to go this way. God bless her children and rest in peace Lilly.

My heart goes out to her family


2:09:00 PM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

I suspect that many in the military feel the same way. They keep telling us how patriotic you are while abusing your patriotism and I think it's disgusting.

The Bush administration and its cronies in the media have even resisted reading the names of the fallen because their war is more precious to them than your lives.

This invasion wasn't worth the life of even one of you.

9:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Talk about the Fog of War. Capt'n, I was very curious to read about the Bush supporters in the Media, please give one example from ABC, NBC, MSNBC, CBS, CNN, NTY, LA Times; surely these are the media.

12:05:00 AM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

You're replying to a year old post and demanding an analysis of media support for the War.

I'm not your professor - if you haven't read the overt, covert or tacit support by now, you haven't been awake and don't play cute games, your cynicism isn't worth a damn.

10:07:00 AM  

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