Monday, April 23, 2007

Some Perspective on an Isolated Tragedy

While the record-setting killing spree at Virginia Tech is horrible beyond belief, a little perspective is in order.

The day before, six bombs exploded across Bagdad and killed 160 people. That's more than five times the number killed in Virginia, but the slaughter in Virginia gets the headlines.

The week before, coincidentally, 33 Americans were also killed in Iraq. No headlines there, either. Just the slaughter in Virginia.

That's because it's an isolated tragedy. The 160 dead in Bagdad, the 33 dead Americans in Iraq, well, that's just another day on the street for life during wartime. Scaling our population to theirs (we're roughly 10X their figure), if the US had a death toll similar to Iraq's, we would have to lose 1600 people.

Sadly we've gotten inured to the continuing violence in the Iraq Illegal Occupation because it doesn't really touch us in any significant way. It's just an irritant to be dealth with dismissively. It's like the way we build up calluses on our toes. A constant but basically unnoticed irritation creates a hard shell to protect our skin.

Now, after four years of war, we hardly take note of the latest victims of our continuing folly of bringing "democracy" to the Middle East at the point of a gun. But let that gun show up in the hands of a deranged young man and the media is all over it.

Back in my day as an aspiring hack reporter, we had a saying that was only half a joke: "It it bleeds, it leads."


Anonymous said...

Caring about what happens in Iraq would imply that people would know something about the country in the first place.

When a substantial portion of high-schoolers can't even FIND the country of Iraq on the might be safe to say that knowing anything about the country would be a stretch. A BIG one. When kids in school are being taught to "go with what you are told" or "what you can get from the first page of a Google search" instead of researching for themselves, it is clear the capitalist oligarchy elite wants the US populace to be little more than cattle.

And to be honest, they don't have to do much.

Could this ignorance be a product of the US' refusal to acknowledge its own mistakes since Afghanistan in the 80's, and earlier? Knowing information about the countries the US has committed numerous war crimes against would certainly make it clear that the politicians are lying. It would also get more people to stand up against the war crimes being committed. Speaking of war crimes and the next likely dumbass to lead this country, McClueless has this to say:

One only has to wonder if he was similarly as stupid about Vietnam. And this clueless blunder is running for 2008 Presidency? Now I can't wait for him to come up with an even dumber Presidential quote than monkeyboy.

The US presence hasn't done anything to help the region. In fact, it just turned Iraq into Afghanistan. For me, that puts a sourness in my stomach at how appalling it became. Tell that to any high-schooler now and they'll look at you dumbly, without a clue of what it means. Yet our kids are dying because of this, while still ignorant.

To the average American, "they're just towelheads." That is what they will apparently mean to McCain's son, as they currently mean to the troops enforcing the White House's planned war profiteering through wholesale urination upon the Geneva Conventions.

As someone who knows the people a bit, has seen the country before it was turned into another fundamentalist breeding ground like Afghanistan...

I would have to say that "The Average American" is clueless, stupid, and would rather hold their iPod in higher regard than anything happening in Iraq. Well, unless they knew the troop killed. And still don't see anything wrong with that picture, because it's the happy little Picasso of Ignorance that Darth Cheney and Company painted for them.

Fear keeps people from trusting one another and working together, and that is what the Offal Office seems to desire of the US populace - a bunch of stupid, panicky cattle willing to go fight to make the capitalist oligarchy even more money by invading a sovereign nation to essentially steal its resources.

There isn't an idealism behind the campaign like with Vietnam and against Communism (heh, and people think Capitalism is so good, despite it being in the hands of Darth Cheney). Well, there's the "War on Terror", and Osama hasn't been puppetted around since the US couldn't find anything to plunder but opium fields in Afghanistan. So they used the famous American Ignorance and made a straw man out of Hussein when there are FAR worse people in the same region. Many of which the US deals with happily while those countries attempt secular extermination.

Expecting ignorant people to care has been one of the highlights of veteran frustration since the cover-ups around Vietnam.

The common cattle...err, person, doesn't have a reason to care about Iraq unless it's for whatever propaganda the Offal Office squats out. After all, they bought the "WMDs in Iraq" line when the US had already decimated most of Iraq's ground forces in war crimes (The Highway of Death to name a big one, and the US bombing of Iraq oil fields with napalm so of course private contractors have to come in and clean up the mess, take over the land, start drilling for themselves...), failed to do anything in Afghanistan but make a parking lot of Afghanistan (AGAIN), and Kim gets ignored despite his missile tests. He probably was getting envious of the attention Iraq was getting.

Sorry, Kim, you don't have the oil Darth Cheney wants.

I've been reading your blog for awhile, and sorry to get carried away here, but it is great to find another veteran who takes up the pen after having to give the rifle a rest. A lot of your points are...inspiring.

Anonymous said...

URL got cut, here's the original.

Farnsworth68 said...

Well put, APOV, and welcome to the show.
Thanks for reading, and thanks for posting.
You are very articulate and you have the fire. Have you started your own blog yet?
Let me know and I'll be glad to post a link to it.
The F Man.

Anonymous said...

I have been meaning to start a blog, but it's a matter of where to start. So many things to cover, but where to start? I will find somewhere and let you know once it gets started.