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What I Read in the Waiting Room of Hell


From the Tongues of Angels

Search And Destroy

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Member since 02/2005


November 25, 2005


Neil Shakespeare

"Proving that the U.S. military does much more than just kill people and break things."

Interesting promo line on that site. And here I thought that's what we paid them for. Not to denigrate this tragedy, mind you, but it wouldn't have happened if our military wasn't there 'handing out candy'. How many dead now from this candy handing?

And geez, didn't my mom say something about never taking candy from strangers...especially ones with machine guns? You know, the ones who shot your dad?

Grace Nearing

Intriguing and confusing. It's not unusual that some "facts" get scrambled when a news story first breaks. Were US troops handing out candy or was the bomber's car filled with candy to entice children to gather around it? It may take some time -- and numerous clarifications and retractions -- to sort it out. I think it's too early to ascribe bias here on either side.

FOXNews' insistent use of "homicide bomber" is both stupid and inaccurate (not a first for FOX). The term suicide bomber has a specific meaning: it means the guy willingly blew himself up along with his targets. A homicide bomber means not only that a different level of expertise was involved but also that the bomber is still alive and capable of striking numerous times. But FOX made its silly decision early on and is sticking to it.

Mister Snitch!

"Suicide" means you only kill yourself. "Homicide" means killing someone else. To the extent that a 'suicide' bomber is killing himself, the description is accurate. To the extent that a 'homicide' bomber is killing others, that description is EQUALLY accurate.

NEITHER description completely describes the act of killing others via the killing of one's self. However, your choice of 'suicide' slants the issue in favor of some sort of nobility of purpose (self-sacrifice). It might be fairly argued that the suicide bomber simply does not respect ANY life including his own, and that he is taking this action in hope of improving the lives of his family members. While the latter is certainly a commendable goal, and the former far from exemplary, I would argue that both POV's require serious cultural readjustment. There is nothing noble in holding life cheaply, and there need to be other alternatives for improving the lot of one's family besides annihalation.

Your insistence on 'suicide' bomber, when 'homicide' is equally accurate/inaccurate is, to use your word (not one I'd choose), "stupid". But I'm sure you made your silly decision early on and will stick to it.

The Heretik

One can hope people are open to new information, however it comes as "facts" or "news," because in an open mind is hope some greater truth may come. We so often find ourselves limited by the labels some apply to others, whether it is Fox's changing of AP suicide to homicide and leaving the AP tag on it or who does or does not have nobility. Somewhere in this is some humanity.

Nobility is word riven with class and used by some like me to class others either up or down. Whether this is the aristos of Plato or the natural aristocracy of Jefferson or the savage noble or Rousseau, some already know. If we remain always what we are, the world will always be as it was. Those who see this as for the best will see this as the better way. Those who seek change will see a world for the worse. Beyond the ideal of the mind where all is as we would most wish is a world real, made of flesh that bleeds. Somewhere in this is our humanity.

Language is how we convey both the ideal and the real when a smile or a tear won't do. The extent to which language is degraded in service to what is not real, to what is not true, offers opportunities fair and foul for tears and occasionally for a smile and a laugh. Oy. We are all the same, for better or worse, in our humanity.

Dave S

First of all, why do you find it so surprising that most media outlets refer to people who blow themselves up as "suicide bombers"? You kept saying things like "even Pravda calls them suicide bombers." Have you never heard the phrase before? It's what most news outlets call homicidal bombers who kill themselves.

I have to disagree with Mister Snitch, though. "Homicide bomber" is unquestionably a superior and more accurate term--the bomber's intent is to kill other people. Terrorists may be intellectual lightweights, but you don't see many of them go into an open space in the desert to blow themselves up. "Suicide bomber" is typically used by those who sympathize to some extent with terrorists, because it deemphasizes the majority of the lives lost and places emphasis on the single (and least significant/valuable) life of the bomber. There is no reasonable defense of the use of the word "suicide" over the more accurate "homicide". That is... unless someone can point to a single terrorist who has ever intentionally set out to an open space to blow up away from people. But, then again, that wouldn't be much of a terrorist, would it?

Also, there is nothing sinister about Fox changing the word from "suicide" to "homicide". News outlets edit the raw wire feeds all the time, sometimes omitting entire phrases, sentences, or paragraphs, which can substantially alter the meaning of the article by removing context. Fox didn't do that; they simply replaced one word with another, more accurate, word.

All I really took away from this post was that somebody has a grudge against Fox. I'm not really sure though, because--to be honest--this post was incoherent and didn't seem to have any real point or purpose. You keep referring to Camp Katrina's article as though you haven't read it... for example:

Did Camp Katrina in citing the Times use of “convoy” suggest that the Times was suggesting that the soldiers were merely passing by?

I don't know. Why don't you read the Camp Katrina article and see for yourself if it was suggesting that?

Grace Nearing

Dave S: I can't argue one way or another about whether "suicide bomber" connotes some sort of sympathy with the bomber and his cause. All I can say for sure is that for decades publications such as the World Political Almanac have classified as three distinct entities: "suicide bombings," such as the one discussed in this post;" military bombings"; and "bombings (terrorist, nonmilitary)," eg, the Oklahoma City bombing.

I remember the on-air FOXNews people explaining to viewers why they were going to call "homicide bombers" what just about everyone else called "suicide bombers." The on-air people have stuck to it, although occassionally the crawl info at the bottom of the screen uses the term "suicide bomber."

Hey, it was Fox's decision to make. I'm just saying it bucks decades of conventional usage.

The Heretik

Dave S, thanks for the lucid insights. I don't find it at all surprising that most media outlets refer to the "suicide bombers" as such. The list of outlets writing the AP feed as it was written was merely given to offer context to Fox which doesn't. And as far as editing of AP feeds go, it is accepted that editing takes place for space considerations, but just how often it happens in the lede I will leave to the more learned like yourself to honestly say. Your comment that the replacement, "more accurate" word "homicide" for "suicide" in the Fox piece reinforces my point that people see in the "news" a lot of what they bring to it.
In the end perhaps "bomber" is the best term to use. A bomb's a bomb that will go off, as certainly as a commenter who is fully charged, especially the kind with a fake e mail. Here's a salute to all those engaging in honest debate and healthy discussion. As indicated in the post and in my previous comments, those people are still dead. Damned media, damned blogs, damn us all, including damned condescending, unquestionably superior and more accurate commenters.

Scott Sanders


You're sick.

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