{ An Autopsy of Democracy }

Sunday, May 21, 2006

How the Pentagon "Supports The Troops"

'Just World News' by Helena Cobban: ER documentary tells some truths about war

"HBO executives say that top Army officials expressed enthusiasm for the documentary in March, but that the Pentagon's support has waned. They believe the military is troubled by the film's unflinching look at the consequences of the war on American soldiers, and that it might diminish public support.

The documentary, shot over 2 1/2 months in mid-2005, contains graphic and disturbing footage of soldiers reeling from their wounds -- in some cases, dying of them -- as Army medical personnel try to save them. The film illustrates the compassion and dedication of the staff of the 86th Combat Support Hospital in Baghdad. But it also has many gruesome images, such as shots of soldiers' amputated limbs being dumped into trash bags, and pools of blood and viscera being mopped from a busy operating room floor. At one point, an Army chaplain, reciting last rites for a soldier, calls all the violence "senseless."

... The network screened the film in mid-March for senior Army officials, including Secretary of the Army Francis J. Harvey, and received an enthusiastic response, said Richard Plepler, HBO's executive vice president.

... Thereafter, Plepler said, the Army's support began to evaporate. The network's offer to co-sponsor a screening of the film this week at Fort Campbell, Ky., the home of the 86th, was turned down by the Pentagon without explanation. The Army wasn't an official sponsor of Monday's screening, and none of the service's highest-ranking officers or senior medical personnel attended, despite HBO's invitation.
. . . . . . . .

Reminds me of when one of the TV news networks did a feature on the 2000 dead U.S. troops (just the dead, mind you -- not the 18,000 or so additional U.S. casualties) -- basically putting a human face on each of them, and dedicating their hour-long show to mourning the soldiers' loss. Sounds pretty patriotic, right? Pretty propagandistic, even -- depending on your point of view (obviously no U.S. news organization is doing any special hour-long features showing pictures of all the 100,000+ Iraqis killed in an attempt to honor, mourn, and humanize them -- go figure).

And yet, what was the reaction of 99% of the right-wingers and war-mongers who are constantly braying and spitting "Support Our Troops! Support Our Troops!"? That's right -- they were adamantly opposed to the broadcast. They stripped themselves naked for the world to see, revealing their true nature: they don't give a rat's ass about the troops. The phrase is not even a euphemism, it's a sick Orwellian lie. "Support The Troops" -- if it means anything at all -- means simply "Fuck The Troops; Support The War". (Otherwise, of course, you're a coward or a traitor, or both, and should be hung or burned at the stake for your treason -- just like John Kerry and Max Cleland and John Murtha and Gore Vidal and Chalmers Johnson and probably Dwight D. Eisenhower and John Stockwell and Daniel Ellsberg and Howard Zinn and Joseph Heller and Kurt Vonnegut and even Collin Powell and Stan Goff and etc. etc. etc. etc. . . . . . . . .)

Everyone -- whether you're in favor of the war, against it, or somewhere in the middle -- NEEDS to see the reality of the war, on a constant basis. Those who support the war are of course far more responsible, and deserve to see images of the reality of the war every single hour of every single day. (And if you need that explained to you, you're either an infant or a sociopath.) But those who definitely, really, REALLY need to see it -- every single MINUTE, if possible -- are those responsible for the war. And when those people do not want the truth to be seen, you know they're nothing but corrupt lying spineless cowards who spit on the troops every single day -- while laughing at all of you war-supporters out there, at your gullibility, at your perfect ignorance, at your persistant masochism and self-delusion. . . .


I don't have HBO, so I couldn't watch this documentary. (**Note: in the previews, they're quick to point out that "It's not pro-war. It's not anti-war" . . . Because, you know, "fair and balanced" means that you're not allowed to be opposed to war -- you have to just not take a side one way or another. If you're opposed to the senseless murder of a couple hundred thousand people, then obviously you're just being "political" -- which, also, is inherently evil. [You're supposed to hate politics, remember?] Similarly, you can't show a documentary which asserts that "serial killers are bad" -- because others might have a different opinion. If you did that, you would be "partisan." You have to show both sides -- "well, Gary, some might say that killing lots of people needlessly is wrong. But our panel of experts disagrees. -- Now, these people out here on the street protesting mass murder -- who are they? Are they Hippies? Communists? Media Whores? Lazy Wellfare layabouts with nothing better to do? Do they even know what they're protesting? Are they simply America-Haters? -- Well, Jim, that seems to be the case . . .)


Who has a torrent file of "Baghdad ER"? Please link to it in the comments. I would appreciate it.

{ See also: "Baghdad ER" brings Iraqi horrors to US audience }

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