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View Diary: "They Did Not Die in Vain... Much" (28 comments)

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  •  I have always (13+ / 0-)

    had trouble with this phrase as well.  Particularly when I heard it in conjunction with those who died in Iraq.  The entire operation was in vain, therefore those who died did so defending a corporate and political agenda.

    The troops who were killed, died in vain.

    It may not be the polite thing to say to grieving widows and families, but it is accurate.

    •  The biggest problem (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      quarkstomper, Brecht, Ree Zen
      It may not be the polite thing to say to grieving widows and families, but it is accurate.
      And when told this they tend to get angry at the people saying it rather than the people responsibly for the situation.
      •  Getting Off the Subject A Little (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Brecht, Blue State 68, Mickquinas

        What grieving families need is not a magic platitude to make the owie go away and "poofers" set them at peace.  People often make that mistake and so they don't know what to say to the bereaved and wind up saying something well-intentioned but clumsy, and sometimes something which unintentionally hurts them more.

        More than the Perfect Word of Solace, grieving people need empathy and support, and the sense that their friends and family are there for them in their loss.

        It is difficult for a politician flying in to say a few words at a funeral to do this.  The closest they can come is to promise to try to make things right; to give them some kind of restitution, or to try to remedy the situation which led to the deaths.  And if the politician is unwilling or unable to do that, he pretty much has to fall back on the stock list of pieties.

        "All the World's a Stage and Everyone's a Critic." -- Mervyn Alquist

        by quarkstomper on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 01:14:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I was there for Shock and Awe. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      At the time, I thought it was easily the stupidest thing my country had done in my lifetime. I went back one more time, in 2006, and I still felt the same way. My brother-in-law has also gone over twice with his National Guard unit. This is not a subject he and I discuss because he is absolutely incapable of accepting that the friends he lost over there died in vain. He either conjures something like the chess metaphors we liberals sometimes apply to Obama, where Bush's "long game" has yet to bear its fruit and someday we'll see the wisdom, or he falls back on divine provenance and maintains that it's all part of God's larger plan, a little bit like in the appendix to Lord of the Rings, when Gandalf reminisces that the quest to retake Erebor kept the West from even greater losses during the later war against Sauron and wasn't that just swell.

      As a liberal and an atheist, I can find no comfort in such devices, but I've learned that sometimes people are in a place where logic and empiricism are of no avail. He knows it all has to be for something. He just knows it.

      "Forecast for tomorrow? A few sprinkles of genius with a chance of doom!" -Stewie Griffin

      by quillsinister on Sat Apr 27, 2013 at 02:01:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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