September 08, 2004

Don't Look For Me On Japanese TV

Coming out of Grand Central Station this morning onto 42nd Street, I paused, stopped in my tracks by the fury of the rain. It was coming down so hard and so straight that I was shocked into momentary immobility, a condition not normally known to regular NY commuters. I suppose that was what attracted the nice young reporter, that here was an actual NYer not in motion. She approached me from the side, just barely in my peripheral vision, which I thought was odd and is really not the best way to initiate contact with any stranger in a big city. Then she excused herself and told me that she was a reporter for Japanese television, accompanied by a cameraman, waved a copy of this morning's Newsday in front of me, and asked me if I would comment on the 1000 dead American soldiers.

I stood there as the fury of the storm broke around us and I declined to share with her my thoughts. Firstly, why did she want to know? What was she going to do with my little interview? How was it going to be cut by her editors? What kind of television station was this? So, I politely declined. Don't look for me on Japanese television.

That I declined does not mean that I did not have an opinion. I do.

First, I recoil in horror from the size of the number of our soldiers and civilian defense dept. employees who have been killed in Iraq. The number is so large as to be difficult to wrap my mind around. One thousand. I assume that many of them had families. I assume many of them were reservists who have left a hole in their societies as the jobs they filled and functions they performed are empty and undone. This is horrid and my heart goes out to the families they left behind.

Yet, this is also war. We are engaged in a war with a ruthless and horrible enemy. An enemy who will not shirk from targeting children. An enemy who regards air planes as weapons of mass destruction, who thinks civilian commuter buses are legitimate targets, and who kills pregnant women. This war is being fought right now in Iraq. I think it is better fought there than in the streets of NY or the fields of Pennsylvania again. Right now, the terrorists are drawn to the cities of Iraq where they can fight our soldiers. I believe that our soldiers are taking the fight to the enemy. That is not a bad place, from my perspective, to fight this fight.

I am grateful for the service of our men and women. I respect them and I regularly stop men and women in uniform and thank them. I am grateful for the families they've left behind who have to hold it together while their partners are gone.

So, while I am horrified by the sheer number of soldiers who have died in this fight, I can't help but wonder how many other World Trade Centers they have averted.

I guess where I come out is here: these people have not died in vain, they have died to protect us.

I honor their memory here today, even if I was not inclined to do it on Japanese television.

Posted by Random Penseur at September 8, 2004 08:34 AM

War is not suppose to be pleseant or easy; it is sometimes necessary. We shouldn't run to war as to a beloved but neither should we shirk the necessary fight.

What Saddam was doing to his people was an evil, and that evil had to be stopped immediately before more innocent died. Those who went to war have given their lives for their sakes, for our sakes, and the sake of other free people in the world.

The fight takes place in the streets of most places in the world; and it could still take place in the streets of America. No matter where it takes place however, we must stop evil from growing; or we would not be fighting against evil we would be enslaved by it.

I agree with your sentiments.

Posted by: Rachel Ann at September 8, 2004 10:30 AM

*wipes a tear*

Posted by: Holly at September 8, 2004 12:07 PM

*ditto Holly's reaction*


Posted by: Amber at September 8, 2004 03:02 PM

What a great post. As well as interesting perspective. Amen.

Posted by: Mark D. Firestone at September 8, 2004 09:15 PM
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