Monday, February 17, 2014

Squeamish Girl Nation

A gruesome photo.

“Did you hear the big news yesterday?”

“It depends on how you define ‘news’.”

“Apparently a Pentagon official ordered that the photos of Osama Bin Laden’s body be destroyed or handed over to the CIA for sakekeeping not two weeks after the Navy Seal raid.  I really hope they followed through; we definitely wouldn’t want such gruesome photos circulating around and causing trouble.”

“By ‘gruesome photo’ you mean…”

“They shot him in the head.  There’s a lot of blood and skull and brain matter and yucky parts.  Really graphic and gruesome.”

“Have you actually seen these gruesome images?”

“No, and I’m pretty sure I don’t want to.  I trust my political leaders that they are perfectly gruesome.”

“Why would you judge something you haven’t seen with your own eyes, let alone something that you have no proof even exists?  I thought Jesus tells us not to judge.”

“True, but these photos will only increase the United States’ judging pandemic, encouraging bigots to judge Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda to judge the United States.  And what do you mean I don’t have proof the photos exist?  Are you a right-wing conspiracy theorist?”

“If by ‘conspiracy theorist’ you refer to somebody who doesn’t unquestioningly believe everything he’s told, especially by corrupt and power-hungry politicians who’ve built a track record of lying to people for their own advancement, and who expects magnanimous claims to be supported with some hard evidence besides empty testimony, then Yes.”

“You’re crazy. Even a major Republican, Senator Lindsey Graham, confirmed that Osama Bin Laden is dead and declared we don’t need to verify it with tangible evidence because all the political leaders will vouch to its truth.”

“See, that’s where you make the error of assuming that all conservative-leaning Americans support all Republicans all of the time, when in reality we form our own judgments based on proof and logic instead of on what wussy, half-witted ‘moderates’ tell us to think.  I really do not like Lindsey… eh, what’s his name? Graham.  Don’t like Graham.”

“I agree.  His record is far from stirling.  But we also have pieces of paper saying that we killed someone with Osama Bin Laden’s DNA, and have you seen the Situation Room photo?”

“The one that was supposedly taken while Obama watched a live feed of the Seals’ infiltration which Leon Panetta later revealed not to have been live or very coherent because the footage blacked out for the 20-25 minutes during which the raid actually took place and the Seals actually shot bin Laden?”

“Yeah, that one.  Did you notice how Hilary Clinton was clutching her mouth in apparent shock at the events she was witnessing on screen?  Obviously the team must have been watching very gruesome and disturbing events to upset such a normally tough and composed model of feminine strength.”

“Clearly.  But we’ve gone on a rabbit trail.  Why are you acting so intimidated by pictures that merely acknowledge human mortality and preserve a historic moment in the War on Terror?  Does Osama Bin Laden’s dead corpse scare you?”

“I’m not scared at all.  I just don’t think these explicit photos are fit for public consumption.  We don’t need to glory in the fact that we’re cold-blooded killing machines by showing off gruesome images of our kills.”

“Whoa, whoa, whoa.  First of all, how does one ‘consume’ a still image of a wartime casualty, and secondly, you do believe in a woman’s freedom to choose whether or not she murders her offspring, don’t you?”

“Absolutely – the Supreme Court said it exists, so the debate is over, although my guilty, politically correct conscience prefers the term ‘fetus’.”

“To be clear, you support the fundamental, human right to ‘choose’ to slaughter a defenseless, innocent child, but you don’t support the right to choose to look at an inanimate, soulless picture of a fully matured, monstrous, mass-murdering jihadist who has already been slaughtered?”

“That’s a distortion of my argument.  What I’m saying is that demanding to see portraits of violence and bloodshed is really sick and pointless and, and, and mean.”

“Do you think Obama was being ‘mean’ or ‘sick’ when he ‘gave the order’ to take out Osama Bin Laden?”

“No, he was just doing what he had to do to keep our country safe and bring those behind 9/11 to justice.”

“So wannabe gung-ho cowboy Obama was neither mean nor sick when he directed his posse to shoot down without trial or warrant an unarmed noncombatant who posed no imminent threat, or when he told his professional video gamers in the C.I.A. drone division to Hellfire-blast U.S. citizens dining in cafes abroad, but anyone who requests indisputable proof that the president did indeed issue such directions to shoot is a sick and cruel pervert who disrespects human life and obsessively lusts after a kind of macho vengeance that would reaffirm his own manhood?”

“All I’m saying is that releasing indisputable proof of something we already know for certain helps nobody and would only please those needing to quench a sadistic thirst for gruesomeness.”

“How can you know something for certain without possessing indisputable proof of it?  How would we know that tens of thousands have died in the Syrian conflict if the news media refused to print ‘graphic’ pictures of those women and children bombed, shot, and sarin gassed into the dirt?  How would we know that millions of Jews were brutally exterminated in the Holocaust if contemporary journalists, investigators, soldiers, etc. burned, censored, and redacted their findings on the basis that they were too horrible and heart-wrenchingly ugly for the eyes of average people?  How could we point to any records of human history if those records were written entirely by weak-hearted, spineless utopians who run from humanity’s sinful, self-destructive nature and attempt in vain to cover up atrocities that offend their fragile sensibilities and effeminate aversion to the sight of violence?”

“Look, documenting the good and evil of history for our children’s children’s children is all well and good, but when it might cause the mistakes of history to repeat themselves, that’s not something we should encourage.  Gory photos of Osama Bin Laden’s bullet-riddled body would only inflame anti-American sentiment and motivate even more attacks against us by Islamic terrorists who just want to put old holy wars behind them and start getting along as citizens of one united world people.”

“Right, because the circumstances of Obama gunning down Osama within his home and gloating about his great military victory afterwards hardly ruffled Al-Qaeda’s successive leaders; what really infuriated them was that the American, capitalist demons snapped a couple profiles of bin Laden without permission, not that they blew his face to shreds and fed his remains to the fishes.”

“It doesn’t matter.  We should just take the word of our dear leaders for granted and stop indulging this archaic obsession with violence.  Everyone who has seen the photos that no one has seen agrees they’re too gruesome for the majority of grown Americans – too gruesome for you and me.”

“You are such a little girl.  Are you really allowed to cast votes that decide the fate of this free nation?”

“Afraid so.  Sorry, gotta go.  I have a movie to catch in an hour.  Machete 3 with Danny Trejo, Charlie Sheen, and Lady Gaga.  This one’s directed by Quentin Tarantino.  It’s gonna be AWESOME.”

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