Thursday, October 13, 2011

Killing without anesthesia

Here is an excerpt from In Evil Hour by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The setting: The 'lieutenant', an agent of a regime that has murdered and brutalized the people of town, has a painful tooth that is making his life hell. The town dentist is staunchly against the regime, so the desperate lieutenant raids the dentist's office with his men, and the tooth extraction proceeds under gunpoint:
The dentist located the sick molar, using his index finger to push aside the inflamed cheek and adjusting the movable lamp with the other hand, completely insensible to the patient's anxious breathing. Then he rolled his sleeve up to the elbow and got ready to pull the tooth. The lieutenant grabbed him by the wrist.

"Anesthesia," he said.

Their eyes met for the first time.

"You people kill without anesthesia," the dentist said softly.
Strangely familiar, isn't it? Even as half of Americans quibbles about namby pamby things like universal healthcare and the other half quibbles about namby pamby things like traditional social values, America's relentless warring machine rages on, abroad. Since Barrack Obama took charge of the machine, about 6,800 people have died in Iraq. Anywhere between 200-1000 people died in the US' uncalled-for bombing of Libya.

In the carefully constructed "fog of war", mistakes happen, brutalities happen, and even if they didn't, many kills are murders. For all the panty-wringing over inane issues at home, when abroad, things are easy. For native fucks, hope stops at the terminal end of a amputated limb, knowledge is distributed far and wide as brainmatter split open by a 50 cal litters a street, and everyone who avoids being blown up stays in the pink of health.  Without anesthesia.

Notice how, at 9:50, a van picking up the wounded is engaged. Without anesthesia.

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