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An interesting bit of news from Seattle
A military contractor has fired Tami Silicio, a Kuwait-based cargo worker whose photograph of flag-draped coffins of fallen U.S. soldiers was published in Sunday's edition of The Seattle Times.
Silicio was let go yesterday for violating U.S. government and company regulations, said William Silva, president of Maytag Aircraft, the contractor that employed Silicio at Kuwait International Airport.
"I feel like I was hit in the chest with a steel bar and got my wind knocked out. I have to admit I liked my job, and I liked what I did," Silicio said.
The photo accompanies the story, of course.
For my part, I can't comprehend the left's ghoulish fascination with photos of coffins. Since the military is certainly not keeping secret the number of casualties of war, another motive seems likely.
The left is desperate for someone fighting the War on Terror to turn and join their cause. As reported here earlier, lacking a wounded GI to do this they are currently fabricating them in comic strips.
The dead offer them an easier target. Like Dennis Kucinich's reprehensible abuse of America's fallen some months ago, an imaginary message from the dead to the living can be implied.
This is yet another right/wrong issue twisted into a right/left issue.
In the early part of the last century, many referred hopefully to World War One (back when it wasn't necessary to clarify it with "One") as the "War to end all Wars". George Santayana responded famously that "Only the dead have seen the end of war."
Perhaps some day that statement will be true.
I truly don't see the attraction, but I note at least one commenter below (see "enditem") confirms the whole "putting lies in the mouths of the dead" theory.
Update 2: The New York Times editors must read Mudville. Here's their April 23rd editorial on this issue (a day after the original here):
Fans of the cartoon strip "Doonesbury" have been following the travails of B. D., the football-helmeted Vietnam vet who somehow wound up back under fire in Iraq. In a series of strips that one Colorado paper decried as unnecessarily "graphic violent battlefield depictions," B. D. was wounded and lost his lower leg. Most of the response has apparently been far more positive than the Colorado newspaper's, but the strip's creator, Garry Trudeau, is lucky that he works with ink rather than film. In the real Middle East, an American worker in Kuwait was fired this week when a newspaper printed a photo she had taken of a cargo plane full of coffins draped in American flags.
They came oh so close to a moment of lucidity, then veered sharply away just short of acknowledging the imaginary status of their heroes. They conclude by playing both sides of the fence:
Since 1991, the Defense Department has prohibited taking photographs of the coffins of members of the armed services while they are being transported back to the United States. The reverent portrait Ms. Silicio produced demonstrates how irrational that policy is. The theory seems to be that the pictures are intrusive, or possibly hurtful, to bereaved families. But it seems far more likely that the Pentagon is concerned about the impact that photos of large numbers of flag-draped coffins may have on the American public's attitude toward the war.
That certainly underestimates the fortitude of average citizens, who are able to accept the cost of war whenever they are confident that the cause is right. American men and women are currently suffering danger, death and injury every day in Iraq. The least those of us back home can do is to bear witness to the sacrifice of the real soldiers as well as the fictional.
This is the same left, of course, that excreted a brick when the Bush campaign used a picture of the 9/11 scene.Posted by Walter Wallis at April 22, 2004 06:16 PM
Don't feel too sorry for Ms. Silicio, as Tim Blair also mentions (http://timblair.spleenville.com/archives/006528.php):
"On Wednesday Ms Silicio engaged an agent, who offered her photograph to newspaper outlets for $1400 for one-time, non-exclusive use."
Yours is the first story I've heard about her firing. And she now wants to profit. Despicable.Posted by mCrane at April 22, 2004 11:34 PM
As one of those leaning toward the left, I would like to extend some thoughts on this topic.
First, it is important to state that those who are serving in Iraq have my eternal gratitude and support. I have been in support of Ms. Silicio's work. Some of us may be questioning the rationale of the current situation in Iraq, but that does not equate to being a 'left winger' in the same way it did during the Vietnam era.
In fact, I beleive the solemnity of the photo helps remind all that there are men and women bravely putting their life on the line everyday for their government.
These youngsters deserve respect from their fellow citizens and should be given a true hero's welcome when they come home- whether you believe the U.S. should be in Iraq or not.
Hopefully, the photo is a poignant reminder of this idea.
I would think a daily picture or even two would
make the dems happy as the everyday count of
the losses do not seem to be enough for them.
There are probably good reasons why the forces
do not want pictures taken whenever the press
decides it wants to show them.
I do know this, the returning lost forces are
treated with respect and caring in every step
of the road, by the invaluable people whose job
it is to take care of them.
So, why pictures? This is not going to take away
any pain of the loss the families have suffered,
and so there is no need to be showing a daily
record of them. They deserve their privacy and
respect, not to be used in a political game.
We all know nobody cares more for the lost troops
than the president and the troops know that.
Quit the game, it is the usual farce of a fuss
from the media.
My thoughts on this photograph issue as a objector to the war and to Bush is that we all know Americans are being killed in Iraq, so why create mystery and secrecy by not showing the results of war. It seems Bush's objections is politically motivated to avoid the results of the Vietnam war pictures of body bags and what not. I care about our citizens being killed and injured; it is my reason for objecting to this war, Bush's war which I find was not justified as a preemptive war because Saddam did not present a clear and present (imminent)danger to the US. Those beautifully drapped coffins do not disclose whose remains might be contained.
I am not trying to be callous and unthoughtful of the families of our service people, but I think the pictures do remind all of us, much more so than words and figures, that real things are happening in Iraq, death and destruction, ordered by U.S. President Bush. President Bush cannot hide from the real consequences of his own decisions forever. He is solely responsible for all of the havoc taking in place in Iraq, the cost to all of American taxpayers and the long term effects on our country for the stupidity of his decsion to preemptively kick Saddam off his pisspot when Bush did not have to do.
The American people are able to assert their right to select a president they think is the best for the country in November. Bush's record and his decisions are fair game for debate, decsion and rejection. For the government to limit what is known, pictures and all, is outright censorship; for President Bush to to order it so as a political tool for re-election purposes is just another dirty trick to avoid letting the electorate know all there is to know about the results of his decision for war. His decision is political in its very nature. You guys that don't like the pictures being shown are in the most part just showing your partisanship. Quit your whinning. The American people should see all the results of the war president's thinking and decisions so the rest of us can make decisions of hard facts, not on what information Bush tries to feed the elctorate. Do WE want four more years of this? Not I.Posted by enditem at April 23, 2004 06:20 AM
Expecxt less traffic at the internet porn sites today as the lefties flock to the ghoul sites.
Maybe their problem is with the flags?Posted by David Blalock at April 23, 2004 12:23 PM
That certainly underestimates the fortitude of average citizens, who are able to accept the cost of war whenever they are confident that the cause is right.
That's true, only not in the way I think the Times means it. Photographs of flag draped coffins spreading like a virus through web sites will remind not only Americans, but the entire world that America has paid a price for freedom, a price they couldn't or wouldn't, to their everlasing shame. And Americans dont cut and run.Posted by Gunther at April 23, 2004 02:15 PM
If I get sent, I'm putting it in my will to SUE THE CRAP out of anyone using my photo for their campaign or for some anti-war crap.
The fired chick sued Haliburton and Cheney some years back.
There are no limits to how low the left will stoop to smear president Bush and to further their antiwar agenda. God bless our troops and their families. I don't know who said it, but, "all gave some, some gave all".Posted by Jack at April 24, 2004 05:16 AM
I do not know if anyone has blogged about this, but I was thinking about the (American) chasm between "HAWKS" and "doves" generationally. From all of the anti-war protest coverage and pics in America, coupled with the typical "Anybody But Bush" t-shirt wearers at Wal-Mart and Starbucks (personally seen by me). What I see in the "dove" groups are people that were either too young to serve in "Desert Storm I" and too old or out of shape to serve now (26-30) OR too young to have served in Vietnam and too old to have served in "Desert I". This is my own observation from a metropolis in Florida. I would safely say that Florida is pretty much a typical "American demographic" State. My conclusion to this observation is that the typical "dove" is one out of convenience...speaking from a "first amendment right" they demand, but have not done one DAMNED THING to defend it in time of war (other than parade around like hippies and expecting the "Freedom Fairy" (borrowed from Marine Mom - Lori) to "wave her Freedom Wand". These "old cowards" or "young fools" as they may be, are a blight to the common sense that is still breathing in America and 100 percent behind a President with a backbone. The "HAWKS" are from either the "warriors caste" (as me) or simply blessed with enough common sense to realize what keeps us free and are gratefully supportive. Every living creature has its' parasites...yes, America has hers, but she will live Tall and Strong as long as she has "the willing" at her feet and "leadership" at her head. Godspeed to the willing - victory certain. Strike Hard 2nd Brigade!Posted by J.Callihan,Jr. at April 24, 2004 10:08 PM Hide Comments | Show/Add Comments in Popup Window(11) | (Note: You must refresh main page to view newly posted comments here)