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August 15, 2005

The right to ventriloquize the dead...

Christopher Hitchens, writing in Slate, discusses Cindy Sheehan, and not in glowing terms. Money graf (but you should read the whole thing):

Finally, I think one must deny to anyone the right to ventriloquize the dead. Casey Sheehan joined up as a responsible adult volunteer. Are we so sure that he would have wanted to see his mother acquiring "a knack for P.R." and announcing that he was killed in a war for a Jewish cabal? This is just as objectionable, on logical as well as moral grounds, as the old pro-war argument that the dead "must not have died in vain." I distrust anyone who claims to speak for the fallen, and I distrust even more the hysterical noncombatants who exploit the grief of those who have to bury them.

I'm from a military family, I don't really think I'd have that problem... but I was prepared, nonetheless.

The few times I was ever sent to places where people might conceivably wish me harm... I left instructions for the family, left with my soldier father to be opened in the event of "The Visit".

In the event I have been captured or killed:

1. Please don't talk to the press.
2. If you must: Remember I was a soldier, and a volunteer. I went
willingly, eyes wide open.
3. I believed in the mission - even if you may not.
4. Do not put words in my mouth that I cannot refute: I forbid you that, above all else. Say what you will of your own opinion, but beyond 2 & 3, do not presume to speak for me. My actions say all that is needful.
5. Lastly, please don't be mad at me - I really *did* mean to zig, but apparently I should have zagged.

There was lots more sentimental stuff, depending on what my point in life was, but that was all that's applicable here.

Yeah, I really did think about picayune stuff like that, and tried to make people laugh from the grave. Hell, why not? It's not like I could have screwed up anything more than I already had by failing to zag, right?