Sunday, November 16, 2003

They're not body-bags anymore. They're "transfer tubes."

This is sick. And scary as hell. Someone thought this up. Someone, groping for a "polite" way of dealing with the dozens of corpses returning from a war that's already been labeled "victorious," actually came up with this. I'm guessing it was a he. Maybe some aging warhawk with slate-gray eyes and sagging jowls. Or maybe an up-and-coming defense bureaucrat possessed by a moment of grinning inspiration.

"Soft targets." "Combat fatigue." The modern battlefield is littered with condescending euphemisms designed for a population of armchair savants who can't stand the sight of blood unless it's conjured up by Industrial Light and Magic. The United States has become spineless, ineffectual, and nastily autistic. So we invent a new lexicon to protect us from the stark nightmare reality of mangled bodies arriving en masse from a war that never should have been.

We might as well get it over with. U.S. soldiers should be stripped of their human citizenship and rechristened "organic combat modules." Then we wouldn't feel nearly as bad when the next batch gets splattered all over the desert by a rocket-propelled grenade. And maybe we won't feel that pang of unpatriotic shame when another one of our troops puts a gun to his head or wanders off into the middle of nowhere to die.

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