Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Love in Iraq

Continuing the speculations on Zizek, Freud, and the evils of love, this photo was taken Mardi Gras day in Iraq.

The most benign formulation I can give for the current horrors in Iraq is that they emerged out of love. Love of country, love of family, love of god, love of freedom, love of peace. If it is true that love is always unjust and does evil by excluding others from the focus of our care and concern, then certainly the outpouring of love by the citizens of the United States in the wake of 9/11 finds no more spectacular expression than in the injustice and evil of the carnage in Iraq. Iraq is the place where love goes to die.

Love of country, love of freedom, love of the troops, and love for the victims of 9/11 becomes transformed into the injustice and evil of shock and awe, of Abu Ghraib, and of the hundreds of thousands dead in Iraq. This seems to fit well with both the experience and rhetoric of the war to date where noble sentiments and endless shit have marched hand in hand.

Evil as the result of a good heart is, of course, what makes for truly magnificent evil. It is much easier to avoid evil when it confronts us naked and undisguised. Evil expressed as love is much harder to resist, and much harder to stop. This is because resistance to expressions of such love may be portrayed as folks who do not love their country, their troops, their commander-in-chief, or their freedom.

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