Reading Baghdad Burning (in book form) makes me feel many things: depressed, angry, fascinated, moved… but one entry in particular made me incredulous. Riverbend’s entry on 10/1/03 mentioned her reading a blog post in which Malcom Lagauche described a toy called the Forward Command Center. While I have been unable to find the aformentioned post (Lagauche’s archives only go back to 2006), I came up with a Snopes article (Yes, they really did make them), as well as a different blog post and a message board thread discussing it.
I don’t know what it is about the toy that so incenses me. Perhaps it’s the insensitivity– though that isn’t nearly strong enough a word– of selling a life-like depiction of a bombed-out, bullet-ridden shell of a home as a child’s plaything. Perhaps it’s the jingoistic audacity of the triumphant soldier included with the scene as if he belonged there (America, fuck yeah!). Perhaps it’s the fact that the logical scenario to play out with such a thing is “killin’ I-rack-ees”.
I challenge you to read through the comments on this page without your blood boiling.
Obviously, this isn’t nearly the most heinous thing riverbend writes about. It’s just adding more insult to the injury, you know?