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Samstag, 6. Oktober 2007

Mark Daily

In einem seiner letzten Briefe, bevor eine Bombe ihn tötete, schrieb Mark Daily, der sich als Freiwilliger bei der US Army gemeldet hatte, seiner Familie über ein Erlebnis im Nordirak:

I was having a conversation with a Kurdish man in the city of Dahok (by myself and completely safe) discussing whether or not the insurgents could be viewed as “freedom fighters” or “misguided anti-capitalists.” Shaking his head as I attempted to articulate what can only be described as pathetic apologetics, he cut me off and said “the difference between insurgents and American soldiers is that they get paid to take life—to murder, and you get paid to save lives.” He looked at me in such a way that made me feel like he was looking through me, into all the moral insecurity that living in a free nation will instill in you. He “oversimplified” the issue, or at least that is what college professors would accuse him of doing.

Christopher Hitchens, dessen Artikel unter anderem dazu beigetragen haben mögen, dass Daily sich für den für ihn tödlichen Irakeinsatz meldete, setzt dem Soldaten eine Art Denkmal und sich zugleich mit det Trauer der Hinterbliebenen auseinander. Für ihn ähneln sich Daily und Orwell, der einst für die Sache der spanischen Republik in Katalonien kämpfte:

It upsets and angers me more than I can safely say, when I reread Mark’s letters and poems and see that—as of course he would—he was magically able to find the noble element in all this, and take more comfort and inspiration from a few plain sentences uttered by a Kurdish man than from all the vapid speeches ever given. Orwell had the same experience when encountering a young volunteer in Barcelona, and realizing with a mixture of sadness and shock that for this kid all the tired old slogans about liberty and justice were actually real.

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