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Welcome to the musings and notes of a Cadillac, Michigan based writer named Micah Holmquist, who is bothered by his own sarcasm.
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Thursday, July 25, 2002
What was it Malcolm X said?
I am getting really sick of people who whine about "civilian casualties." Maybe I'm a hard-hearted guy, but when I see in the newspapers that civilians in Afghanistan or the West Bank were killed by American or Israeli troops, I don't really care. In fact, I would rather that the good guys use the Air Force to kill the bad guys, even if that means some civilians get killed along the way. One American soldier is worth far more than an Afghan civilian.Yep, this atitude perfectly sums up the war on a noun. American lives are worth more than the "scum" in other countries. The United States can kill millions of innocent people around the world and that's no big deal but when a few thousands Americans die, everthing has changed, many become convinced the world is going to end and the President says the U.S. has the right to attack anybody so long as he deems it necessary.
Is it any wonder that those in other countries view the U.S. as arrogant?
Also note how Shapiro conflates the U.S. and Israel. Arguably this is a fair comparison since the two countries are very similar in both good -both are very liberal and relatively democratic societies- and bad -both were founded on the forced removal of others and continue to deem themselves as above considering the humanity of others- ways. Still it is odd since the two countries aren't exactly one nation.
Shapiro gets even more interesting when he says the U.S. should treat all Afghans as combatents:
The New York Times and other news services call both Afghan "non-combatants" and American "non-combatants" civilians. This is disingenuous. American civilians are people who go about their daily lives without providing cover for terrorists or giving them money. Afghan civilians are not...Leaving aside Shapiro's pig headed belief of American superiority, there is a certain degree of internal logic to this but it would follow that each individual American is at least as responsible for the actions of their governement as any Afghan is for the actions of their government since the U.S. has a far more democratic political process. Hence, under this logic, each individual American, including Shapiro, is responsible for U.S. support of Saudi Arabia, which Shapiro opposes. Now since one of the things Osama bin Laden and company are most angry at America about is the presence of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia, it figures that Shapiro is directly responsible for a large part of why bin Laden and company attacked and killed Americans on September 11. Does Shapiro take responsibility for this?
Furthermore, if every single individual American is responsible for U.S. giving military aid to Israel, why shouldn't Palestinians cheer when Americans die? If every single individual American is responsible for the U.S. enforcing sanctions that have killed what are likely millions of people in Iraq, why shouldn't Iraq want to use weapons of mass destruction on the U.S. as a means of retaliation? These are hard questions that just about nobody seems to think deserve consideration.
I'm just a singer of simple songsThese lyrics more or less sum up the reactions of many Americans to the September 11 attacks and that is the problem. The U.S. has a long history of involvement with both Iran and Iraq and, by Shapiro's logic, each individual American is responsible for these policies. And so if individual Americans see no shame in not being able to distinguish between two countries that are at least as different as Canada and the U.S., why the hell should a member of al Qaeda care if the Americans they kill are civilains or soldiers? And why should any person of conscious care about Americans dieing anywhere?
What was it Malcolm X said?