zondag, mei 30, 2004

American "Hero" Killed By Fellow Americans

In an ironic twist to the story of America's poster child for the war on terrorism, it was concluded by an Army investigation that football player cum American hero terrorist fighter, Pat Tillman was killed by his own troops.

Last month, when the NFL was hungry for some positive PR during their annual draft, the Army helpfully reported that Tillman, 27, was killed April 22 while leading his team of Army Rangers up a remote southeastern Afghanistan hill to knock out enemy fire that had pinned down other U.S. soldiers. Of course, it takes some of the luster off of the icon of "hero" to note that he was killed by "friendly fire", not by blood thirsty terrorists who were out to destroy America.

For being killed by his own troops, the Army posthumously awarded Tillman the Silver Star, its third-highest award for combat valor, saying Tillman led his Ranger team that day "without regard for his own safety" and was shot and killed heroically trying to save his comrades. (from shooting themselves?) The Army said his actions helped the trapped soldiers maneuver to safety "without taking a single casualty." Hmmm. Doesn't being killed count as taking a casualty?

In any case, Bravo, brave American troops. You've gone out an killed your own hero, a well-intentioned patriot.



Adding fuel to the fires of confusion, manipulation and incompetence, the FBI issued an urgent terror alert to several cities Friday, warning of the prospect of an imminent terrorist attack, but then retracted it when it they realised that the voices Donald Rumsfeld thought he was hearing in his head was not Jesus Christ warning him out of concern for America, but John Ashcroft making promises he couldn't keep.

But this kind of fool-hearted paranoia is exactly not what the world needs. It is precisely this kind of Chicken Little warning which causes cataclysms in the "real" world of the pop music industry. It's bad enough to make false statements about terrorist attacks but when those kind of false statements cause stars like Missy Elliot to scrap her show in Jakarta, well, the disservice done to the population as a whole is immeasurable.

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