Monday, November 07, 2005



Someone in the Armed Forces public relations office announced on Monday that the 2000th American soldier had been killed in Iraq. It was treated as breaking news on CNN that morning when “Daybreak” anchor Carol Costello got the information in her earpiece.

It wasn’t, obviously, really a “breaking” story in the technical sense though, as the death of the 1,995th soldier days earlier served as a bold foreshadowing. The news upset me, but as I went through my day-- sleeping till three, deciding not to go to my one class, and then drinking cheap vodka until I passed out around 2 a.m.-- it also got me to thinking.
Now, before we progress here, a quick disclaimer. I’m an anit-war guy, and I might even own a Buck Fush t-shirt or some clever stuff like that. I’ve even protested and engaged in assorted messes of impotent dissent. But my theme here is universal and simple, free from the astounding complexities that surround this war and terrorism.

So I have some questions for you. Yeah, you. Put down the Chick-Filet you fat slob and read.

When you heard the news, about the dead soldiers, if you heard it all, how did you feel? I don’t care if you support The War or not; if you’re a vegan pacifist or a smug College Republican.

Did it hurt you?

Did it ruin your meal or upset your stomach?

Did it burn like when you got drunk at lunch and fell asleep in the sun last Spring Break? Like when there was no amount of aloe that could cool your skin and you started to sweat and shiver?

When you read the newspaper that morning (The Washington Post or Times, not the Diamondback, because, naturally, dead American teenagers is not a “campus issue”) did you notice the average age of the dead soldiers? If you’re a junior or senior, how did you feel when you saw that you were older than most of them?

If you are a supporter of the war, if you think that a nascent democracy in the middle east will serve as a catalyst for peace in the region, were you, like, vaguely embarrassed that you were in College Park and not Basra.

Were you ashamed that some kid like you, more than 1,000 of them more accurately, will never again get to do whatever it is you do? He can’t get stoned and giggle and watch Chappelle, or sleep with an ugly girl and then laugh about with his friends in the morning.

How did that feel? Did it feel like anything?


Post a Comment

<< Home