I presume it was not the intent of your publication to use a grotesque irony for the title of last week's cover story, but that is, indeed, what you did [“Collateral Damage,” Aug. 21 Xpress]. The term "collateral damage" is used to describe, specifically, the innocent noncombatants who are killed during war.
These victims, who are often women and children, get very little acknowledgment in our press, our political rhetoric or our daily conversation. As our empire (and the rest of the aggressive military states in the world) bombs its way around the world, the only recognition these innocent victims — who no doubt would have preferred a little consideration of their own rights to life and the pursuit of happiness — get is occasional mention in the press as "collateral damage.”
Note that when someone bombs us and kills our people, that phrase is never used. It's reserved strictly for other people's families and children — the ones this "Christian nation" doesn't care enough about to even refer to as "dead people.”
I'm on board with the notion that our country's treatment of its soldiers, post-campaign, has been pretty shabby and disgraceful over the past few decades, but that's a separate issue. To take away the only acknowledgment these innocent victims ever get, and most egregiously of all, reassign it to the people who are dropping the bombs and firing the weapons, is evil and hideous.
Shame on your editorial staff for not vetting that title a little more thoughtfully before tossing it out there.
— Jon Dana