Comments: Say It Ain't So

Yeah, it is. I can't remember the last time I thought we went into something militarily, prepared for the consequences, to our targets, our supporters or ourselves.

Posted by Jonathan Dresner at March 27, 2004 11:59 PM

Drives me nuts how the major news media essentially ignores stuff like this.

War has always been a lot uglier than the "man on the street" has been given to believe.

I sometimes think Vietnam hit our national psyche so hard not because of the issues at stake, but because it was the first time "middle America" was served up atrocities and body bags with its evening dinner night after night after night. I

I wonder if maybe the problem was that people didn't understand that all wars are like that, and that the "justice" or otherwise of your "cause" doesn't make any difference.

Although that's all a bit off the topic of the article, I know.

Posted by Anne at March 29, 2004 08:25 AM

Actually, I remember reading historians, around the time that Spielberg's slaughter-fest "Saving Private Ryan, but nobody else" came out, saying that the newsreels of WWII were actually quite explicit about violence and the aftermath, and the widespread participation in the war created expectations of reality in news that affected reporting and movies for a generation. But that had worn off by Vietnam, and that's interesting.

Posted by Jonathan Dresner at March 29, 2004 02:09 PM

Yeah, I remember the same thing, but seeing the black & white news reels was not, in my estimation, quite the same as watching color footage over the dinner table. I think WWII made an impact on our psyche because of the visuals, but I think the body bags and the blood of Vietnam were on a different order. (And I know I'm leaving Korea out.)

It's interesting, don't you think, how each war comes closer and closer to us?

WWII and the newsreels. Vietnam and live broadcasts, same-day footage. The Gulf War and almost instantaneous footage of 'bombs bursting in air'. Then the same thing with the invasion of Iraq but with the internet and the world o'blog to let those of us who care to view images and read coverage from both professionals and from amateurs on the ground and all over the world.

I wonder if our (meaning, the great unwashed public) reaction to war might change as those of us who have never experienced it grow to understand just how horrific it is in reality.

I had a thought there...I'll have to ponder on it before I figure out where I was going with that. :)

Posted by Anne at March 30, 2004 08:05 AM