Personal and academic blog. Explores the borderlands between rhetoric, politics and intelligence.


Don't shout if you can nag

You can use your voice for quite a number of things. A platoon of Danish soldiers used theirs for talking about how they shot up Taliban fighters and shouting Oh-Yeahs when an aircraft bombed the Taliban position.

The press officers immediately put their voice in unsecure, yet grave modes and assured the public that this was professional as well as human use of the vocal cords as venting off.

The cacophony of Danish free press (as in, you get a paper showed into your hand whereever you go, fuelled by advertising - Denmark has at least 4 of these daily news-for-nothing outlets) uses their voices to probe the Army officials unsecurity - and raise the voice like a tattle-tale kindergarden boy "Now, he just said that this might be offensive to some. DID YOU HEAR THAT?!"

The resulting chatter of various voices in the blogosphere and the news-cycle that feeds off this essential non-story does the job: illustrates how the Danish public (opinion) is basically unprepared for sending people in to combat. The Danish Strategic Culture is risk adverse (as it probably should be), the perception of this in the media is solely focusing on the possible sensation of the story and the rest of us are forced to discuss whether it is okay to shout of joy whenever you kill someone your government sent you to kill, or if we should put our faces in somber moods.

It just leaves me with a whispering, nagging thought: This idea, that it might be offensive that Danish soldiers shout when they win, is in reality a sign of how we underestimate the Taliban, see them as inferior. The "public opinion" seems to say: "Don't be happy when you off them, they can't help it and they're a backward, poor bunch that we should kill with dignity and compassion". And I'm pretty sure both the Taliban as well as their adversaries in Helmand Province would laugh at that interpretation.


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