Saturday, July 09, 2005

Another Air Raid Drill, or How to Secure the Barn After the Animals Escape

I am depressed. The War on Terra has resulted in civilian casualties again. Anyone who went through the Second World War, or any of the other atrocities too numerous to mention might think, “Sad, but insignificant” about the casualties in London this week. This might be true, if you look at this as an isolated incident. To me, it is just the latest addition to a vast number of unnecessary and undeserved killings. Notice I didn’t say “senseless”. They made some kind of sense to somebody, or the acts would not have been rationalized and executed. “Senseless” is just another tool in the propaganda arsenal of divisiveness. Their acts are “senseless”, our acts are “unfortunate, but necessary”. We will get all the details that our news services can glean about the deaths in London, but the civilian casualties in Iraq will be reduced to a raw number; 3,000 estimated, or maybe 3,200. Nice round number. If you happen to be number 3,205, I guess you don’t get counted at all. My point is, we have a decent chance of having our emotions run up and down the scale of outrage by reading or hearing about Mr. Whitehead, who was killed on his commute to work and leaves behind a desolated family. We will not hear about 7 year old Aamaed Mustafa Hameed, who probably wanted to play with his friends and go to school and grow up, but was blown up instead.

I am depressed because I have no realistic answers for this problem. The terrorists did not start this. The US government did not start this. Neither did the British, the Germans, the Dutch, the Crusaders, nor the Turks, nor the Mongols, nor the Romans, nor the Lubas, nor any of the tribes whose names are lost to history. This killing began in pre-history, when ordinary men and women allowed a pattern to be established. We, as the human race, allowed our leaders to fill our heads with irrational beliefs that separated us from our neighbors. Apparently, we still don’t know any better.