Lara Logan, Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent for CBS News, held forth at some length on the Charlie Rose show on Tuesday night. And in doing so, she deprived me of sleep. Her starry-eyed warmonger vibe was terribly disturbing, her bloodthirsty ranting and raving reminding me of General Jack D. Ripper in Dr Strangelove.
Dear God, I thought, I hope nobody else is watching this.
We must, she insisted, finish this war. More troops! (When pressed, she said at least 40,000.) She was adamant that we must track the terrorists into Pakistan and kill them all.
Logan clearly relishes repeating the word "kill"; she didn't use any of the new and improved euphemisms for warfare. I almost expected her to lick her lips in anticipation. I have rarely seen someone so exultant at the prospect of more war, of expanded war. And I realize, she startled me because she is a woman and I have seen advanced war-fever in women so very rarely.
Logan is beautiful, blond and South African. When she speaks of terrorist attacks on convoys, her eyes sparkle with vengeance. She reminds me of the character of Jane in VS Naipaul's novel Guerrillas, a beautiful British woman who also enjoyed being where the action is:
She was without consistency or even without coherence. She knew only what she was and what she had been born to; to this knowledge she was tethered; it was her stability, enabling her to adventure in security. Adventuring, she was indifferent, perhaps blind, to the contradiction between what she said and what she was so secure of being; and this indifference or blindness, this absence of the sense of the absurd, was part of her unassailability.And this is what is so thoroughly hypnotic about Lara Logan: unassailability. Like Robert Duvall waving away the pesky incoming enemy fire in Apocalypse Now, one intuitively knows Logan will emerge intact, eyes gleaming, from any war she covers... possibly holding some executed terrorist's head aloft, as Judith brandished the head of Holofernes.
On some level, I am stunned that such an openly pro-war political partisan is considered an objective journalist. (If anyone still believes in "journalistic objectivity"--Lara will talk you right out of it.) Then again, it is entirely logical that this is the type of person who wants to charge right into the thick of it. Do we expect anti-war journalists to choose the wartime beat? (Ed Bradley was an exception, may his soul rest in peace.)
Undoubtedly, Lara Logan is a gal who loves her work.
Investigating, I see that Logan is married to a federal defense contractor from Texas whom she met in Iraq. (Well of course she is.) But then I find a series of cool stories on HuffPo about her. Our Lara is a homewrecker! The defense contractor already belonged to someone else when she met him. (And I can tell you right now, speaking of guided missiles, that dude didn't know what hit him.)
Keep your eye on her. She is our very own Tokyo Rose, threatening Al-Qaeda over the airwaves, pumping up the reputation of the US military and encouraging the never-ending storm of war-death to continue. She is a collaborator with the war, and takes a proprietary interest. She unabashedly loves it.
I expect her to enter politics. I predict she will go very far.
My wonderful blog post title comes courtesy of the late Susan Sontag.