Monday, October 11, 2004

What's Not News Anymore

Deaths in Iraq. They no longer come up first on my Google news page. They are no longer discussed in any length on television or radio news, and you have to search the newspapers to find any mention unless the carnage was unusually large in numbers.

So you may not know that at least three American soldiers died today in Iraq, together with at least two Iraqi civilians.* These people are dead now, they won't talk to their loved ones again or breathe even one short breath of dusty air into the lungs. They will rot away soon.

This is one of the nasty faces of war, one of many, but a face that we rarely focus on: that it brutalizes all of us, even the ones like me who are sitting and typing thousands of miles away. Another forty bombed to smithereens! Well, I wonder what's for dinner. I'm not proud of this, I'm deeply ashamed of this, but that's what war does. It coarsens our consciences until we feel nothing at all unless some new record in cruelty has just been broken.

Time to stop and think about where we are going. High time.
*This link only refers to one American dead. The other two died in Baghdad, according to my NPR news.