Anguish of the Medes

May 24, 2007

What is private grief? Go off alone and cry? Hide it and tough it out, in private, within your own self? What, for hard-crap’s sake, is public grief?

This morning a very private, horrific heartbreak became public, which in turn, touched a sad, and increasingly-abhorrent nerve. Coffee ingestion was relocated to the back patio, out of eye and ear of the television in the living room. As the war grinds in Iraq, the public anguish of parents, wives, children, anyone remotely connected to the family of a killed GI, can get splattered all over the news. Parents do not like to see other parents in total grief over children. The pain and empathy can sometimes overwhelm, i.e., ‘Except for the Grace of the Lord, go I.’

On the Today show this morning was an interview with family of Pfc. Joseph Anzack, Jr., a 20-year-old kid from Torrance, Ca., whose body was recovered from the Euphrates River, about 20 miles south of Baghdad. He’s the first found of three soldiers missing now for nearly two weeks after an ambush wiped out an entire patrol. The media has been covering this story on the ground in Iraq – massive manhunt, film of US and Iraq soldiers jumping around, digging through trash, buildings, old cars, etc. –and now the shift is to grief.

In one of Woody Allen’s earlier films, Bannas, Howard Cosell interviews a dying South American dictator as he is prone on the steps of a courthouse. The dictator had just been victim to an assiassination and Cosell, in classic Wide World of Sports/Mohammad Ali interview, asks the shot leader how does it feel and what will he be doing next. Very funny, but an absurd glimpse into public grief.

What possible question could be asked of a grieving parent or relative? Or even a friend? How does it feel, what are you feeling? What are you going to do next?

You’ve got to be shitting me!

Since Vietnam, the first of the so-called television wars where conflict was pumped into the world’s living rooms, technology has more-than-rapidly increased since then and the dinner table has become a real-time open forum to events. And the grief. The media is everywhere: In the land of media everything is up for grabs. Feed the machine 24/7 and grief is just another story to be told.

On, is a couple of graphs which really shows the grief of what’s going on in the Middle East — Twenty-two-year-old Spc. Daniel Seitz of Pensacola, Fla., a friend of Anzack’s and on the ground in Iraq: “I just angers me that it’s just another friend I’ve got to lose and deal with, because I’ve already lost 13 friends since I’ve been here and I don’t know if I can take it.”

How long does the world have to take it? Don’t the cries of Anzack’s family and comrade-in-arms move any damn, sorry-assed sonofabitch in Washington. Shit no!

Yesterday, Decider George pulled out some old declassified Al-Qaeda intelligence in an attempt to give some credence to the shithole he’s created in Iraq. During some half-assed speech at the US Coast Guard Academy, he said off a two-year-old intel document Osama and his boys are scheming to come to the US and blow the shit out of us, and he’s doing it from Iraq. No, not exactly. Osama is supposedly somewhere in Pakistan, but Decider George wants to use the old 9/11, Osama Bin Laden scare to take the glare off the real reality of Iraq.

And today Decider George during a press conference retorted again that his little talk yesterday that the threat from Osma’s boys was real and worthy of confidence.

“I’m credible because I read the intelligence,” Decider George said.

This morning, however, on CBS New’s Early Show an analyst involved with an upcoming Senate Intelligence Committee report, said Decider George and his cronies were warned prior to the beginning of “shock and awe” in March 2003 that the US being in Iraq would actually increase terrorist effectiveness.

The analyst, Paul Kurtz, said: “Prior to our invasion of Iraq…Iraq was not a fertile ground for terrorist activity…” But Decider George’s hard-headed, hard-nose incompetence led to now “a safe haven in Iraq for terrorists.”

Why the shit didn’t Decider George read and heed that bit of intelligence?

And the storm is building even bigger. The “surge” has not only failed, but has made life on the killing grounds of Iraq even worse. This month there’s a 25 percent rise in combat deaths for US soldiers: 82 killed, which puts the rate at 3.5 GIs a day.

If more and more stories of grief, pouring from parents and families like those of young Pfc. Anzack, are exposed maybe the ship-of-course this nation is fast traveling will be altered. Don’t hold your freaking breath, though. Decider George and Dufus Dick Chaney are hard-nuts to crack. They don’t give a shit.

Maybe the medes of the media will turn on those sonofbitches and lay open the ugly innards, and the grief will rest in the House of Decider George forever.

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