Sunday, December 17, 2006

Soul Searching

David Greene is quite the comedian this morning; he says, "The mood inside the Bush White House this month has been one of soul searching." Soul searching? Zounds! Yes, and one might suggest that the mood inside the Scrooge's counting house at the beginning of "A Christmas Carol" was charitable! Could there be a more soulless bunch of scoundrels than those currently occupying 1600 W. Pennsylvania Avenue? Who knows, maybe Greene actually did mean the statement as a kind of joke, like the yuk-yuk humor of Bush when he made his "Those WMDs gotta be somewhere" schtick back in 2004 (see picture).

Clearly searching for souls among the souless isn't limited to the White House. NPR reveals a heartless, crass attitude toward killing civilians in the rest of this piece which "examines" the use of body-counts in Vietnam and Iraq.

After airing Bush's desperate trumpeting how over 5000 of the "enemy" have been killed or captured in Iraq in the past three months, Greene tells us that since the Vietnam War, "public officials and military analysts have said the body count device was a mistake: giving out those numbers may have fed anti-American sentiment and angered civilians on the ground. The lesson was not forgotten." Then we get to hear Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman, Peter Pace remind us that the use of body-counts "can negatively impact the safety of our forces on the ground."

So the problem with body counts is not that its use leads to indiscriminate killings so that "adequate" kill-numbers can be reported, and the problem is not with the US killing and causing the deaths of hundreds of thousands (and in the case of Vietnam, millions) of civilians--no, the problem is that it creates "anti-American sentiment" and "negatively impacts the safety of our forces!" That is a soulless ethical calculus indeed.

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