Thursday, May 03, 2007

hey you sitting there watching TV in your underwear; quit thinking you're a civilian

I didn't realize Paul Harvey was still alive, but after hearing him complain about Afghani women and children being labeled as civilians I think it's fair to think he's a bit senile. First off, the actual quote is quite disjointed and delivered in a weird, somnambulent tone; it really does sound like he's broadcasting in his sleep. Second, it reveals a bizarre point of view. He's basically suggesting, as best I can tell, that referring to women and children as civilians is keeping NATO from killing more people, or something.

The most fascinating thing is his comment that there haven't been any civilians since the invention of the aerial bomb. He doesn't just say, there's no such thing as a Muslim civilian, or a dark-skinned civilian, which I think is what a lot of right-wingers say; he's saying there are no civilians anywhere. Which means the folks who died in the World Trade Center weren't civilians, people blown up by suicide bombers aren't civilians, and little babies laying in their cribs aren't civilians. (A civilian, according to the dictionary, is "a person who is not on active duty with a military, naval, police, or fire fighting organization.")

Someone needs to wake up Paul Harvey, tell him what a civilian is and send him to a retirement home where he can ramble incoherently without bothering too many people.

Here's what he said. Make sense of it as best you can. If you think this must be a typo because it's so confused, you can listen to this quote here.

And hear this please. In Western Afghanistan, where NATO forces are involved in some of the deadliest fighting since January, among the 136 dead this morning suspect Taliban. But there are others, 51 villagers, mostly women and children. Might not the news media put a stop to such pulled punches wars as this, if we would just desist from categorizing civilians. It was civilians, for goodness sake, who decapitated New York City. Since the invention of the aerial bomb five wars ago, there have been no civilians.

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