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Thursday, September 09, 2004

They Are Never Coming Back Home

A thousand Americans will never be back from the war in Iraq. Tens of thousands have been wounded in that war.

Relative to the overall size of the population this is a small number. However, while the Bush Administration attempts to hide these deaths from us, we should not allow the Administration to succeed in that attempt. The Pentagon has issued an order banning media coverage of the flag-draped coffins as they arrive at the Dover Air Force Base. The stated reason was respect for the privacy of the dead and their families. Given that the coffins are identical and no personal information is displayed on them, it is beyond ridiculous to claim that a public display of anonymous coffins would violate anybody's privacy. In spite of all that, the Senate has joined in this shameful exercise in censorship.

The treatment of the wounded is in many ways similar. The US government certainly is not too keen to keep us well informed of their plight, and I believe in many ways we as a society have failed them. But we need to see pictures like these (wounded, coffins) and think of them, and never pretend they are not part of our reality.

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