The Militarization of Empathy

Alberts, Rev. William

Publisher:  CounterPunch
Date Written:  09/05/2019
Year Published:  2019  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX23673

Surprise reunions between returning soldiers and their families are a major spectacle in US media. But these heartwarming scenes serve as a distraction from the activities of the soldiers while they are overseas.




The surprise military homecomings stir viewers' hearts, deflecting their attention from contrary realities created by the U.S. military. The soldier-father who surprises his second grade daughter at a school assembly, and brings cheers and tears to everyone's eyes, distances attention from the horrors created by former president George W., Bush's falsely-based, bipartisan-supported, criminal invasion of Iraq....

Television viewers repeatedly see American school children crying for joy over their military fathers' surprise homecoming school visits, but not Iraqi school children crying for grief over the loss of their schools – and especially sobbing over the countless deaths of, and injuring to, their fathers and mothers and other family members....

The contrasting realities are numerous. Sgt. Joseph P. Collette, A soldier killed in combat in Afghanistan, is memorialized at a church, after a motorcade carries his remains to his hometown, as "onlookers lined the streets to honor" him. In Afghanistan, memorializing a deceased loved one carries grave risk. A U.S. warplane was reported to have bombed a house, killing "four women and 10 children . . . as well as two men." According to "Mohammad Hashim Alokzai, a member of Parliament from Helmond, The next day, Friday, male relatives of the victims gathered for a mass funeral, and as they were burying their dead, they were caught by another American airstrike, Alokzai said, killing 13 men."
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