I’ve just finished reading through the Oz article about the death of Trooper David Pearce in Afghanistan. Without any doubt, a life-rending occasion for his family, and so very far from home.
I have a problem, however, with the rhetoric used by the journalist, Sarah Elks, in her headlining of the article. “Digger taken from family by evil”. No he wasn’t. He was killed by a high explosive device designed as a booby trap by forces opposing multi-national forces in Afghanistan. He was a part of reconstruction efforts on behalf of those multi-national military forces in a country which sought and has been granted assistance from nations across the globe in a fight against a religiously-oriented ideological insurgency against that nation’s government.
So, where is the ‘evil’? Is it embodied in the explosive device? Is it embodied in the acts of Trooper Pearce’s military superiors in stationing him in Afghanistan? Perhaps it’s embodied in the decisions of the Australian government to have ADF personnel in Afghanistan. Of course, the implication is that ‘evil’ equates to whomever planted the improvised explosive device, ie; Taliban militia. Then why not say so, Sarah Elks, instead of indulging in emotive flights of fancy by invoking this nameless, faceless, timeless phenomenon? To engender a contra form of hatred here at home against whatever ‘evil’ is meant to embody in Afghanistan? To lower emotive resistance in those who oppose Australian involvement in Afghanistan? Is that the real aim in using these nonsense nouns in a deliberate and subjective manner?
Irresponsible journalism of this kind irritates me intensely. All manner of consequences flow from such seemingly random use of poetic licence when doing so is entirely un-necessary. Trooper Pearce is dead. He died as a part of a just cause. His death is terrible and somehow belittled by idiot journalism designed, on the face, to simply sell copy.