This is a six year old boy who was killed coming home from school. The woman is his mother.


"Look beyond the nationalist cant used to justify war. Look beyond the seduction of the weapons and the pornography of violence. Look beyond Barack Obama’s ridiculous rhetoric about finishing the job or fighting terror. Focus on the evil of war. War begins by calling for the annihilation of the others but ends ultimately in self-annihilation. It corrupts souls and mutilates bodies. It destroys homes and villages and murders children on their way to school. It grinds into the dirt all that is tender and beautiful and sacred. It empowers human deformities—warlords, Shiite death squads, Sunni insurgents, the Taliban, al-Qaida and our own killers—who can speak only in the despicable language of force. War is a scourge. It is a plague. It is industrial murder. And before you support war, especially the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, look into the hollow eyes of the men, women and children who know it."

Chris Hedges


  1. If I may comment on my own post (actually, Chris Hedges') - we have become so accustomed here in the United States to war we may assume it is a normal way of dealing with things. Tens of thousands of troops here, tens of thousands there. All fighting for us. For the good.

    A siege mentality may have taken hold. So many enemies in the world. People who hate us "for who we are." An attitude the neocons during Bush's time fostered. As if lowly Arabs and the like had no pride or pleasure in their own cultures? Speak of arrogance!

    At the press conference Napolitano and Brennan gave today Helen Thomas (bless her aged heart) asked if anyone knew "why" the Middle Eastern terrorists wanted to attack us? Brennan explained they are Muslim fundamentalist and extremists.... etc.

    I guess he simply didn't want to go into Lawrence of Arabia or any of that way back....... ?

    Which doesn't excuse them: the terrorists! No way! But Helen's 'bad attitude' may have revealed a certain fundamental skeptical inquisitiveness when honorable members of the press speak to power.

  2. Make no mistake. al Qaeda is a HUGE threat to the United States and the Western world. This is a cellular organization with tentacles all over the world. At present its leaders are hiding in Pakistan. Eventually they will be caught or killed. I prefer the latter.

  3. Thank you Paul. A tough but necessary photo for us Yanks to see, shielded as we are from such reality shows. I think of this devastating grief everyday, and wonder how I would react. Would the pain drive me to suicidal thoughts---wearing a bomb as I go?

    Coincidentally I was thinking of you yesterday as I dug out Bertolucci's sweeping epic, 1900, for Ilona to see. I hadn't watched in 20 years his presentation of class struggle during the first half of the 20th century in Italy. Back then I had enjoyed the multi-national cast of DeNiro, Depardieu, Burt Lancaster, Sterling Hayden...but this time, fresh from the Bushies, we all were riveted by Donald Sutherland's depiction of the local organizing Fascist blackshirt monster, Attila. The excuses by the landowners and the church for encouraging and funding him were amazingly familiar.

  4. More on Helen....

    I had a hunch someone would pick up on this. (See comment above regarding her question at the Napolitano Brennan press conference.) It just stood out too glaringly......

    Greenwald offers a good response. And let's not forget, attempting to understand the motives of terrorists is not the same as condoning the slaughter of innocents. Though the far neocon right apparently is afraid to open that door, for they do not want to to be influence by what they would see.

  5. "Far neocon right" was a wrong usage, though during the Bush years they came on strong with the "you're either with us or against us" stuff. It also applies to most of the Democratic Party, the mainstream media, pundits, and the "respectable" public establishment.