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June 24, 2004

Leading Photos: Superior Fighting Machine

This lead photo from Monday’s New York Times has been on my mind for a few days now. The caption reads:

Sgt. Luke Wilson, who lost a leg in Iraq, walks with a device known as a C-leg while technicians use a computer to monitor it at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. The center has fitted 100 soldiers with artificial arms and legs, including state-of-the-art devices unavailable to the public.

If you’ve been following my blog, you know that I’m interested in the political subtexts and unstated messages of these kinds of photos. Typically, I like to suggest a few possible readings:

a.) Gulf War II: No sacrifice required.

b.) There’s nothing America can’t fix if we just throw some technology at it.

c.) The American army is a superior fighting machine.

d.) If we don’t want to know about the dead, we certainly don’t want to know about the injured.

(image: nytimes.com)

  • http://moosehall.blogspot.com/ Mooser

    I wondered if maybe I was too cynical when the “subtext” you refer to became apparent
    to me, just after the beginning of the war.
    First, People Magazine did an article about the
    wounded soldiers at Walter Reed. The article stressed how high the morale was among amputees:”I can’t wait to get back to my unit”, the jokes they tell. My local paper had a front page story “Losing a Foot Doesn’t Mean Losing Your Job” about a local soldier. And of course, the photo of the vet with both hands missing saluting Reagan’s coffin. Yes, I do believe there is a subtext, and it goes back to “The Six Million Dollar Man”. ‘We can make you better than you were before. We Have the Technology!’
    Call me a wet blanket and beat me with a wooden leg, but the only subtext I can see is homeless, disabled vets, begging. Hoping for a handout from Compassionate Conservatives. And I’m sure the cost limit on treatment for disabled vets won’t be six million dollars. And as always, I hope I’m wrong.

  • http://www.wgoeshome.com Citizen J.

    Yes, and don’t forget the remarks of another right-winger about a woman who was mistakenly diagnosed and given a double mastectomy. He jeered her, saying that she would be better than before.
    Because it’s never them.

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  • jamie

    I think that this is ridiculous. How do you know that this guy wasn’t happy to lose his leg, fighting for a country he loves. And I don’t think you have any right denoting the exact force that protects you.

  • jamie

    I think that this is ridiculous. How do you know that this guy wasn’t happy to lose his leg, fighting for a country he loves. And I don’t think you have any right denoting the exact force that protects you.

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