Monday, October 30, 2006

We honour their memory and everything they accomplished

Do the these names mean anything to you?
Lieutenant Colonel Du Zhaoyu, Jinan, People's Republic of China
Lieutenant-Commander Jarno Mäkinen, Kaarina, Finland.
Major Paeta Derek Hess-von Kruedener, Canada
Major Hans-Peter Lang, Styria, Austria

They had wives, ex-wives, former girlfriends or boyfriends, parents and children. They were trying to do an important job. Maybe they were idealists, maybe they were cynical realists, but they were far from home on a stated mission of fostering and maintaining peace around the world.

They were all part of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization in South Lebanon whose lives were tragically cut short on July 25.

One of my new best friends is from Canada, I have a real fondness for Canadians in general. The ones I know are funny, brave, smart and honorable. I didn't know Major Paeta Derek Hess-von Kruedener, but if he is anything like my Canadian friends I'd probably like him.

People who bash the UN seem to think people on those missions are some nameless faceless people in blue helmets. The same people who laugh at their death are quick to acknowledge how precious American soldiers are. Can't any of this concern for soldier's lives be extended to people who are on a mission of maintaining peace? Especially for soldiers who's job it is to go where humans have lost their humanity and turned on each other?

Is the UN perfect? No. But does that mean that it is hilarious to laugh at the deaths of their Peacekeepers? Should they become the punchline in a joke? If you knew Paeta Derek Hess-von Kruedener would it upset you if someone joked about his death to 100,000s of thousands of people over broadcast radio? Is it funny to joke about blowing up your home base?

On ABC Radio/Disney station KSFO 560 AM in SF on July 27th Ann Coulter was talking to Lee Rogers, Melanie Morgan and Tom Brenner (whose pseudonym is "Officer Vic") about the bombing in Southern Lebanon.

Ann Coulter: "On the bright side we hit a couple of UN peacekeepers."
Melanie Morgan: laughs
Officer Vic: "Look at those blue helmets go flyin'"
Coulter: "Somebody has to tell Israel about the installation on 42nd street."
(Audio link 1.01 clip, comment at 45 sec)

It is widely agreed that Ann Coulter says things that are repellent to decent humans. But when you LAUGH at her obnoxious comments, what does that say about YOUR character? If you were an advertiser would you really want to be associated with someone who says things like this or laughs at the deaths of Peacekeepers?

I'm no News Hour, but I'd like to offer a moment of silence in remembrance for these four men.
Thank you for your service.

( From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, with links to official confirmation documents)
Lieutenant Colonel Du Zhaoyu , 34, from Jinan, People's Republic of China. He had served as secretary to the military attache in the Chinese Embassy in India. He is survived by his wife and a one-year-old son.[8]

Lieutenant-Commander Jarno Mäkinen, 29, from Kaarina, Finland. Lt Cdr Mäkinen was a former unit commander in the Uusimaa Brigade. He was transferred to the UNTSO in November 2005.[9]
Major Paeta Derek Hess-von Kruedener, a member of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry. He had previously served in Cyprus, Bosnia and Congo before serving in UNTSO from October 2005.[10]
Major Hans-Peter Lang, 44, from Styria, Austria.[11] He is survived by an 11-year-old son and his 70-year old mother.


ellroon said...

That is breathtaking, both in your honoring these people and the announcers' utterly depraved and ugly laughter at their deaths.

Commandeered your post. Excellent work.

9:34 AM  

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