Nine murdered, runaway bride still running

So, nine American soldiers die in Iraq over the weekend. Not one of those soldiers will get a thousandth of the news attention that a woman who didn’t want to get married in Duluth, Georgia, has already received. Not that the press doesn’t support our troops, but really – these guys are so low income. Suckers. Downers. CNN spending time figuring out how these senseless deaths were caused by the manipulations of a brainless Prez? Please. No doubt, the military got busy right away cutting off benefits to the wives and kids. Money goes to the virtuous – to the stockholders of the weapons companies, the private military contractors, the consultants, and the wonderful, inbred round of retired legislatures and generals who sit on boards and hold down important positions in the Death industry and will devise ways to keep America, in big ways and small, a vicious and uncompanionable country. And the great deferrers who so bravely lead them have, stoically, kept a stiff upper lip. Rumsfeld’s automatic pen was busy. Wolfowitz, of course, is getting ready to sink his fangs into the World Bank. In fact, they are all so brave and true and busy that they haven’t given a thought or a shit about those nine deaths, and never will. Although we can always hope that Rumsfeld experiences a death scene much like the one in Richard III, when the King’s victims visit him:

"Let me sit heavy on thy soul to-morrow!
I, that was wash'd to death with fulsome wine,
Poor Clarence, by thy guile betrayed to death!
To-morrow in the battle think on me,
And fall thy edgeless sword: despair, and die!”

How many victims in the end? Two thousand Americans? one hundred thousand Iraqis?

So what are the headlines on Monday and today? 100 Iraqi insurgents die. Where did this wonderful death count come from? That totally trustworthy institution, the U.S. Military – which is to death counts as WorldComm was to accounting. How do we know that the Iraqis weren’t, say, wedding party guests, kids, and the numerous others that the U.S. military has an unfortunate tendency to eviscerate, scorch to death, disembowel, etc., in the course of its mission – helpin’ freedom loving Iraqis love perpetual subjugation? We can take that on trust. After all, we are getting information from embedded reporters, who pride themselves on not merely spewing out Yankee propaganda. No, they gild the propaganda with their own feeble artfulness.

LI unpatriotically suspects that somehow, the glorious U.S. press, which is always fiercely sniffing out the truth of things, might have lain down a little on the job this weekend. And of course, there is the U.S.’s love affair with imprisonment. Prison, in the age of Bush, is next to godliness and freedom loving. Which is why we are, unsurprisingly, gifting Iraq with our unique obsession:

BAGHDAD, May 9 -- The number of prisoners held in U.S. military detention centers in Iraq has risen without interruption since autumn, filling the centers to capacity and prompting commanders to embark on an unanticipated prison expansion plan.

As U.S. and Iraqi forces battle an entrenched insurgency, the detainee population surpassed 11,350 last week, a nearly 20 percent jump since Iraq's Jan. 30 elections. U.S. prisons now contain more than twice the number of people they did in early October, when aggressive raids began in a stepped-up effort to crush the insurgency before January's vote.”

Among the things we really ought to list in "America the Beautiful", right next to the purple mountain's majesty, is the the second greatest prison population in the world, much of it made up by that most dangerous of villains, the pot smoker. So isn't it natural we'd want to share with our little buddy, Iraq?