Injured or wounded?

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Fri Aug 1 10:56:55 MDT 2003

Counterpunch, August 1, 2003

The Missing Wounded
Injury and Decorum in Iraq

There are no longer any American troops being wounded in Iraq.

Now they are "injured." Listen closely to the news and you will be hard
pressed to hear the word "wounded." "Wounded" conjures up a different
image than "injured," and here we see yet again the invertebrate nature
of the American press. Yesterday, while preparing some onions and
butternut squash, I got carried away with the knife and injured myself.
That injury was treated with cold running water and a band aid that I'm
not even using today.

On the other hand, if I had been hit in the same hand in my kitchen with
a 7.62 X 39mm bullet traveling in excess of 700 meters per second, I
would have lost several fingers and possibly my whole hand. That's the
difference between being injured and wounded. Contrary to what Hollywood
would have us believe, being hit by bullets and shrapnel and secondary
missiles from high explosives seldom causes something that might be
dismissed as a "flesh wound." Tearing and cavitation of tissue, the
shattering of bone, the severance of vessels and tendons, not to mention
the absolute septic filth of these insults to the human body are
anything but "just" a flesh wound. This is not the image the Department
of Defense and the US press want us to carry around inside our heads. We
might lose our stomach for war, just as most of these "injured" troops
do the very moment they are confronted with bleeding deformities,
disfiguring burns, amputations, shock and pain, and often permanent

Now you have your leg. Now you don't. Get your head around that, and
you've got your head around war.


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