Wednesday, September 9, 2009

YKW?!: i. LCpl Joshua Bernard

First in a series: "You know what?!"

So, here we have the latest teapot-tempest. My understanding is the following:

1. Someone working or contracting for the AP snaps this photo and AP decides it has journalistic merit. The photo depicts one Lance Corporal Joshua Bernard, a Marine, being tended to by fellow soldiers. He was mortally wounded when his unit was attacked by an rocket-propelled grenade wielded by one of it is we're trying to suppress in Afghanistan.

2. AP contacts LCpl Bernard's family, saying "Hey, we took this picture, let us know when you've buried him so we can publish this." Bernard's family said, "What?! Hey, please don't publish that!" AP replied, "We told you this as a courtesy, we don't need your permission."

3. Right-wing blogosphere and talk radio erupts in a cataclysm of foaming outrage. Defense Department erupts in mock outrage to keep right-wing blogosphere from TOTALLY losing its shit.

Now that we have the background, here it comes:

YOU KNOW WHAT? None of you right-wing motherfuckers or the government asked LCpl Bernard's family if it was OK to send their son into a sewer of pointless violence! Where were you then, you assholes? (For that matter, where was I? Hm.)

Yeah, sure, he signed up for that when he became a Marine. But, so what? Even Marines, traditionally the first to fight, are not pieces of shit to be splattered against the wall of anti-terrorism, hoping that they'll stick.

Did any of you clueless fucks ever stop to think that we're trying to occupy fucking AFGHANISTAN, a country the fucking SOVIET ARMY couldn't handle? The SOVIET ARMY. You know, the best organization in the history of the world at invading countries and occupying them--even better than the Roman Legion. Those guys sent in MILLIONS of troops and got their ASSES handed to them. And you idiots think if we send in a few Marines we can hold the country? Are you fucking stupid, or what? More on this in a couple of days--there's a certain annoying anniversary of something coming up that I'm really going to piss you off ranting about. But you can wait.

And, of course, President Obama seems to think we can clean up Afghanistan (and the border regions of Pakistan LOL LOL LOL). There is nothing that can be done about Iraq or Afghanistan. Anything we try to do will make the problems we face as Americans worse, not better. And, in the meantime, we grind up young hopefuls like LCpl Bernard like so much meat.

So, you claim you want to embargo pictures of dying Marines because you want to "respect the wishes of their families." You know, I think the Bernards would rather have Joshua alive, using his talents at something that actually helps America, perhaps also helping produce granchildren for them (or raising them if he already had a couple). Suppressing a photo doesn't really do them a solid, even though you've convinced them that you're actually concerned for them and Joshua.

No, I know the REAL reason you want to hush this photo--it makes people THINK about what is going on and if it's worth the price we are paying. And you can't handle this, because it thwarts your sick policy goals. And President Obama can't handle this, because too much heat from the anti-war crowd thwarts his political ambitions in other arenas.

And even the Associated Press doesn't care about any of this, really. They're just looking to make a fucking buck. But, aside from that, yeah, I am SO glad they published this picture. And I hope they publish every one of these they can. Because you pro-war assholes need to be shown for what you are.

So, while I can't imagine what the Bernards are going through losing Joshua, I CAN tell them this: Publishing this photo isn't going to make your pain any worse in the long run. Covering up Joshua's final battlefield experience isn't going to bring him back or make your sorrow any less. What it will do is enable the government and the pro-war crowd to grind up another family's young boy or girl WITHOUT critical scrutiny.

So, fuck that. Suck it up. Allow the world to see what you have lost and how you lost it. You might as well, because we don't really need your permission, anyway.

As for the rest of you assholes--I'm watching you, and I'm going to call you out on this stuff incessantly. And even though no one is listening yet, eventually they will start listening. And when they do, they'll start calling you out on it, too. And then there will be no place for you to hide.

(Edit: Clarified paragraph third from end.)

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