#180: “What's happening to me?”

*** Now talking in #suburbansenshi
*** Topic is '-= Damnit =-' .
<FireFly_9> This is going to sound like an anti-war rant at one point, but it isn't.. It's an anti-me rant, if you can believe it.
<FireFly_9>
<FireFly_9> I'm scared of what's happening to me.
<FireFly_9>
<FireFly_9> Last night, from around 2-4 AM, I watched CNN with some interest... (I have been following the progress of the war on TV virtually non-stop... very rarely does history unfold around one like this) it was the first live, non-videophone transmission of an actual battle, filmed by a British Pool Reporter and his camera crew.
<FireFly_9>
<FireFly_9> I watched as some Marines were pinned down by some men with guns... they couldn't advance because they needed to eliminate the threat. So they tried tanks, and suppressive fire. But the men continued to resist, even after the building they were in was thoroughly shelled.
<FireFly_9>
<FireFly_9> I watched as numerous other stations picked up the feed. I saw as the Iraqi foreign minister tried to spin this as a symbol of Iraqi fortitude. He was crowing about how those men were single-handedly holding up the US advance.
<FireFly_9>
<FireFly_9> At this point I knew he had sealed those men's fate. I may not be fond of the war, but I am a pragmatist, and I knew that statement could not go unanswered by the US. Not with Iraq and the world watching. I predicted that an airstrike or a full frontal advance would be called in to publicly vaporize the resistance. Coldly, I knew that's what I would do if I was a general on the other side, in order to save face in the eyes of the enemy.
<FireFly_9>
<FireFly_9> So the fact that in the next few minutes, word of an airstrike was called did not surprise me. I expected it.
<FireFly_9>
<FireFly_9> I sat there, riveted to the screen, waiting for the inevitable bomb drop. Minutes ticked by. The planes arrived and began to circle. It was then that I realized something deep in the pit of my stomach. Something that made me sick.
<FireFly_9>
<FireFly_9> I, who was against the war because I was opposed to the needless killing involved (on both sides), was anxiously waiting-- with bated breath-- to see 2000 pound bombs drop from the sky and kill those Iraqi soldiers.
<FireFly_9>
<FireFly_9> As the seconds ticked by and I had followed the real-time battle, I had gone from a detached tactical interest, to an engaged observer, to an eager one. I WANTED to see the "BANG" of the explosion, the application of our military might. For the pyrotechnics, mind you--
<FireFly_9>
<FireFly_9> --caught up in the perverse excitement of the moment, I had utterly forgotten that the price of admission for the little show I was about to receive would be the real life death of two human beings. Combatants or not, these were people, who had lives and families, memories, hopes and concerns just like me. Maybe they were forced to fight. Maybe they were patriots. Maybe they were evil. The point is, they were living beings and I wanted to see something that would leave them dead. For a puff of smoke and an impressive display of GPS guidance, I was willing, even if it was only subconsciously, to see them DEAD.
<FireFly_9>
<FireFly_9> Looking back on it, I realize that the reality of the moment had not hit me. The news anchor had said, "this is not a movie... this is real." At the time I thought he was being facetious, but now I see, with all too chilling clarity, the need for those words. I had been treating the whole experience, despite my high-minded ideals, which I regularly seem to espouse these days, as a form of entertainment.
<FireFly_9>
<FireFly_9> I have never felt more ashamed. Whether one agrees or disagrees with the conflict, the repercussions of it must be treated with the utmost respect... for the first time, we as a world are privy to the horrors of war close up...we must not think of it as some kind of game. Ever.
<FireFly_9>
<FireFly_9> For that instant, I did-- and I was horrified.
<FireFly_9>
<FireFly_9> I fear this will only get worse as the real meat of the conflict begins and these encounters get more airtime. In the era of Shock and Reality TV, have our psyches actually come to terms with the fact that some televised actions have far graver consequences than the faux-tragedies of Survivor and Big Brother?
<FireFly_9>
<FireFly_9> Shamefully, apparently mine hasn't.
*** Disconnected