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A Death in the Family: A worthwhile Vanity Fair piece on an admirable young soldier, killed in Iraq [View All]

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gauguin57 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-07-07 01:42 PM
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A Death in the Family: A worthwhile Vanity Fair piece on an admirable young soldier, killed in Iraq
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Edited on Sun Oct-07-07 01:43 PM by gauguin57
Yes, the piece is by Christopher Hitchens, whom I really started to hate over his cheerleading about the Iraq War. But read it even if you hate him ... I found it very worthwhile to get to know the young man described in this piece. And Hitchens actually seems to do a tiny bit of soul-searching (TINY) about his early words on Iraq.

http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2007/11/hit...

A Death in the Family

Having volunteered for Iraq, Mark Daily was killed in January by an I.E.D. Dismayed to learn that his pro-war articles helped persuade Daily to enlist, the author measures his words against a family's grief and a young man's sacrifice.

By Christopher Hitchens
Vanity Fair
November 2007

... The attached item turned out to be a very well-written story by Teresa Watanabe of the Los Angeles Times. It described the death, in Mosul, Iraq, of a young soldier from Irvine, California, named Mark Jennings Daily, and the unusual degree of emotion that his community was undergoing as a consequence. The emotion derived from a very moving statement that the boy had left behind, stating his reasons for having become a volunteer and bravely facing the prospect that his words might have to be read posthumously. In a way, the story was almost too perfect: this handsome lad had been born on the Fourth of July, was a registered Democrat and self-described agnostic, a U.C.L.A. honors graduate, and during his college days had fairly decided reservations about the war in Iraq. I read on, and actually printed the story out, and was turning a page when I saw the following:

"Somewhere along the way, he changed his mind. His family says there was no epiphany. Writings by author and columnist Christopher Hitchens on the moral case for war deeply influenced him "

I don't exaggerate by much when I say that I froze. I certainly felt a very deep pang of cold dismay. I had just returned from a visit to Iraq with my own son (who is 23, as was young Mr. Daily) and had found myself in a deeply pessimistic frame of mind about the war. Was it possible that I had helped persuade someone I had never met to place himself in the path of an I.E.D.? ...
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