How our leaders speak of death and tragedy

“It’s a big loss” for the SEALs, one of the officials said. “The numbers are high.”

Reflecting on the sobering loss, President Barack Obama said the deaths were “a reminder of the extraordinary sacrifices made by the men and women of our military and their families, including all who have served in Afghanistan.”

There they go again. Every time there is a terrorist attempt or terrorist attack, every time a service member dies in combat, our leaders automatically and without fail speak of it as a “reminder” of something. “This is a reminder that the terrorist problem is still with us.” “This is a reminder that we still have much to do in Afghanistan.” It is a phrase permanently locked into our leaders’ brains and tongues. That they speak this way is itself a reminder of the abstracted, unreal, dehumanized mindset of the modern elite. In reality, the death of those men in Afganistan today was not a reminder of extraordinary sacrifices, it was itself the sacrifice. The “reminder” phrase weirdly distances us from the actual deaths of those men and turns the deaths into a mere mental note in our heads.

How would you like to have died in combat for your country, or to have been killed by a terrorist bomb, and on your tombstone it said:

John Smith
His death was a reminder.

- end of initial entry -

August 7

Michael S. writes:

Hey, at least his death wasn’t a “wake-up call.”

Posted by Lawrence Auster at August 06, 2011 10:49 PM | Send

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