Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Heroes

Four members of a Christian Peacemaker Team were recently kidnapped in Iraq.

They put their faith into action and at enormous risk to their personal safety & worked against impossible odds to alleviate the cycle of violence.

For that, they deserve our enormous respect, prayers and support.

I was just thinking about the impact these people have made with their lives and actions, compared to what the mercenary fucks from Aegis and Blackwater are doing.

Staggering contrast, eh?

UPDATE: BBC has more information.

7 Thoughts:

Blogger Demotiki said...

Pawl,

Why do you hate America? Don't you know that "peace" is un-American? Go back and read Tacitus, we are the new Rome, get used to it.

Demo

Wednesday, November 30, 2005 11:04:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

I tend to dislike "heroes" as a term and notion, but what these people are is courageous -- they have the courage of their convictions, and, moreover, their convictions are right on.

As for the other American representatives you mentioned, well, the absolute monarchies of Europe used mercenaries; why should we be any different?

Wednesday, November 30, 2005 11:23:00 AM  
Blogger A.T. said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005 8:29:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Hi, Allen:

For someone whom I take is at least nominally anti-Nietzsche, I'm surprised you're surprised!

"Hero" is a woefully overused word that denotes a concept that's not all that healthy in my opinion. Heroes are for children, basically; they are godlike and superhuman, or at least are portrayed that way. Dig the original heroes in ancient literature -- most were divine or semi-divine. They are better than the "mere human." They transcend human constraints and the human condition. They're the aftertaste of a religious mindset, IMHO.

Eschewing heroes doesn't mean ignoring human excellence of whatever sort, of course. It's just that we, as a species, encompass many potentials, some obviously worthy of ire, others of deep respect.

Essentially, it's not only a "primitive" and antidemocratic term, but it's also falsely applied, even on it's own terms, to anyone unlucky enough to be either killed or generally in the wrong place at the wrong time. I don't see how that's "heroic" -- the people on that 9/11 flight who committed suicide to save others (if that indeed occurred) were acting heroically. Falling into a well, say, is not heroic.

In this case, had these folks not been kidnapped, would they have been any less courageous? Did heroism leap upon them through ill fortune? Since heroes are very close to or the same as "role models," I wonder whether we'd feel that these folks were heroic if, say, they were contractors working for Halliburton who got kidnapped.

That kind of thing. Like many terms, "hero" is a label slapped on someone we like. "Fanatic" or something like it would be the negative.

Thursday, December 01, 2005 5:41:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Update on these folks from DN!

Thursday, December 01, 2005 11:29:00 AM  
Blogger Demotiki said...

Doug,

Ditto.

Just look back to Jessica Lynch. She was proclaimed a "hero" for getting in a car accident after being shot at. She later stated that none of the stories of her killing enemies with her gun until it jammed and then fighting with a knife until subdued were all made up by wing-nuts and the producer of the Lynch propaganda video.

This case illustrates the corrosive effect this fictional category of human behavior has on political discourse. What real debate can there be between the views of a “hero” and a “non-hero?” Should Jessica Lynch’s High school Education and automobile accident in combat lend greater weight to her ideas about the Iraq war than senior civilian and military officials in the State Department? I don’t think so, and yet the press ate up her commitment to the war and promoted it ad nausium.

Demo

Thursday, December 01, 2005 12:25:00 PM  
Blogger pawlr said...

Yes definately not "heroes" because of the tragedy that has befallen them - heroes because of the work they did and hopefully will do again one day.

Friday, December 02, 2005 12:35:00 AM  

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