Archive for March, 2003

Of Lies, Liberation and American Self-Delusion: Reflections on the Dangers of National Self-Love

Published on ZNet, www.zmag.org, 3/27/03 Iraqis must think the American definition of liberation a strange one. First, we destroy all of the key government buildings that we can find in a search for Saddam Hussein. Then we relentlessly attack the Iraqi military, which of course counts among its troops, members of tens of thousands of [...]

The Moral Calculus of Killing: Precision Bombing and the American Definition of Innocence

Published on ZNet, www.zmag.org, 3/24/03 Imagine if you will that an enemy nation — for the sake of argument, let’s say North Korea, or China — were to attack the United States. And let’s say they launched missiles and dropped bombs specifically on Washington D.C., having targeted the White House, Capitol Building, and Pentagon, and [...]

We are all Collateral Damage Now: Reflections on War as Emotional Botox

Published on ZNet, www.zmag.org, 3/22/03 I remember the first time I ever visited inmates on Tennessee’s death row. What struck me about the experience was not so much the solemnity or the pall of pending execution that hung over the place, like a threatening storm cloud. Nor was it the incredible humanity and even decency [...]

No Ribbons, No Flags, No Fireworks: An Open Letter to Pro-War Americans

Published as a ZNet Commentary, 3/21/03 Dear Neighbor, Please spare me the lecture. Likewise, don’t bother asking why I refuse to tie a yellow ribbon around the tree in my yard, or put out a flag, or slather my Honda Civic with “Support the Troops” bumper stickers. I don’t feel like explaining it every time [...]

Fear, Loathing and Laura Bush: Reflections on the Functions of Mass Panic

Published as a ZNet Commentary, March 7, 2003 Laura Bush wants everyone to just relax; and more to the point, she wants the media to aid in the process of nerve-calming by restraining themselves from what she sees as a growing tendency to scare the public with stories of impending cataclysm. From repetitive coverage of [...]