Tag Archive: Navy

Heroes and Victims

Cross-posted from deciminyan.

On the Alex Bennett radio program this morning, its eponymic host discussed the weekend’s latest “pants on fire” controversy, this one involving MSNBC talk show host Chris Hayes.

Hayes is a brilliant young man, editor of The Nation, and as progressive as they come.  He stuck his neck out with comments on his program on Sunday when he discussed the concept of heroism in the context of today’s wars:

“Why do I feel so uncomfortable about the word ‘hero’? I feel uncomfortable about the word ‘hero’ because it seems to me that it is so rhetorically proximate to justifications for more war.  I don’t want to obviously desecrate or disrespect the memory of anyone that’s fallen, and obviously there are individual circumstances in which there is genuine, tremendous heroism, you know, hail of gunfire, rescuing fellow soldiers and things like that. But it seems to me that we marshal this word in a way that is problematic. But maybe I’m wrong about that.”

(As an aside, when was the last time you heard a Fox “News” commentator use a turn of phrase as delightful as “rhetorically proximate”?)

During the weekend of barbecues and parades in commemoration of those who died in our endless wars, it was refreshing to read about a dose of reality. On Bennett’s show, he made the distinction between “heroes” and “victims.” Bennett got it right, too.