Bang. Bang.

Oh well, that's all right, then

One wonders whether the good citizens of Boston will now feel a little more sympathetic toward their fellow-innocents in Afghanistan.

Naah. Dream on.

Obie’s first response, of course, was to assure us that someone somewhere would certainly be punished. Golly, that makes me feel a lot better. You?

It’s always difficult to explain, to normal people, my heartless response to events like this. It’s a kind of pedantry, really. I don’t lose any sleep over the thirty killed with My Tax Dollars(tm) today in Afghanistan; I would be a better person if I did; but I don’t. And yet I have enough respect for our common humanity that I won’t lose any more over the casualties in Boston.

Nobody seems to have any idea yet who perpetrated the Boston massacrette; the one thing that’s fairly certain is that it was not the result of a US drone strike. There would have been a lot more dead if it were.

Unrelated, you say? Dragged in by the heels? I think not. Maybe it’s blowback — which is certainly related — or maybe it’s just another instance of domestic homicidal craziness, like Oklahoma City. But either way it goes to the heart of who we are as a people. On the one hand: You mess with people, you gotta be ready for them to strike back. And on the other hand, if we’re that crazy — and we certainly are — what made us that way?

9 thoughts on “Bang. Bang.

  1. I’m afraid I may have gotten used, over the last decade or so, to the idea of civilians randomly being murdered, to the point where seeing everyone on Facebook sending out their condolences to the victims seems pious and somehow unaware. It’s not that it’s not horrible, but just that it now seems somehow to be expected. Of course it’s bad, so there’s no need to say much else.

    This numbness worries me a bit.

    I wonder how people in Iraq or Afghanistan or Yemen act in these situations. Surely it’s not breaking news anymore over there. Is it headline news? What does it look like to be accustomed to this sort of thing?

  2. When it’s somebody you *know* — when it’s a personal loss — then that’s one thing. When it’s not, then I recommend a rigid heartless even-handedness as between Bostonians and Afghanis.

  3. By the way the Mail story is missdated for some odd reason, and otherwise lifted hook, line and sinker from the Guardian original, this particular wedding bombing happened in 2002: A Facebook comrade pointed this out. Not that it affects the point, of course. And some major causalities in Iraq, which CBS reckons were the work of al Qaeda–of course, even if so the context in which the bombings took place–viz US military occupation–is missing to say the least.

  4. My reaction was exactly the same.. I knew this would be one spot where I could find a like-minded individual! 19 civilians were killed (12 children) just last week in Afghanistan, financed as you say by our tax dollars. I didn’t even have to cherry-pick the news for that, I just saw the Boston thing and typed in “Afghanistan civilians death” into google and ah there we go.. Probably 10 or 20 more this week or the next, yet no one will shed a tear, no front page articles, no condemnations. Hypocrisy of the highest order. The George Carlin skit about bad news came to mind.

    A comment similar to the one I just put here won’t even make it through the fascist, big-brother type filter over at NYTimes by the way, which is of course a good sign that I’m digging in the right place. “All the news that’s fit to keep the sheep at their desks”.

  5. MJS, I think you’re basically expressing what many people feel — or rather don’t feel, as the case may be — and are simply saying what others won’t acknowledge. I’ve already had a few conversations of this nature since yesterday afternoon.

  6. I agree with the sentiments expressed by MJS but want to add something else. Looking at all the news stories, responses, social media, etc. I have one thing to say. God this is a stupid country.

    Or perhaps the internet and the free flow of information just reveals how much stupidity was always there to begin with. Not sure which.

    • For some reason I don’t like the stupidity trope. After all, some of the most intelligent and highly educated people I know are completely muddled on every topic except their own profession. We are to be sure a highly propagandized people, and like all people, rather depraved. I expect most folks have a not-quite-conscious sense that being Top Country somehow benefits them, so they want to keep it that way, and yet at the same time have some bad conscience about it, which produces some of this hysteria and hatred.

      • Perhaps, but it comes off as stupidity. I can tell you that’s what some people I know overseas see it as. Dumbass Americans.

        I’m sure there are many complex explanations one could come up with to explain it.

  7. —————————-Perhaps, but it comes off as stupidity.——————————-

    It surely does.

    U.S. citizens = humans

    Everyone else [unless upper one percent] = non-human

    My buddy, MJS right in respect to ‘whats new’ but there seems a qualitative change which makes me recall a test given U of Miami geography students…Blank world map and majority could not locate London [thirty percent could not make an ‘X’ on Miami’s location]

    The Obama administration does not intend to send a witness to testify at a Senate hearing next week on the legality of the U.S. targeted killing program,” McClatchy reports the White House as saying Wednesday.

    The decision illustrates the limits of President Barack Obama’s pledge in his State of the Union speech on Feb. 12 to provide greater transparency into top-secret drone operations that have killed thousands of suspected terrorists in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen.

    …“We do not currently plan to send a witness to this hearing and have remained in close contact with the committee about how we can best provide them the information they require,” Caitlin Hayden, a National Security Council spokeswoman, wrote in an email to McClatchy.

    The spokeswoman then declined to say why the President refuses to defend the legality of his drone war in a Senate hearing.

    The administration’s intransigent refusal here emphasizes yet again that not only is the drone war itself secret, but it’s legal rationale is secret too. As Judge Napolitano put it bluntly, “How could a legal argument be classified?”

    There isn’t any conceivable reason to believe making the legal rationale for the drone war public would unduly “reveal sources and methods.” Publicizing it could not possibly harm “national security.” Indeed, not even the National Security Council spokeswoman would openly make this argument; she simply refused to explain why the White House won’t testify to the drone war’s legality.

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