Sunday, April 04, 2004
I suppose it would be considered lacking in nuance to nuke the Sunni Triangle.
But so goes the unanimous vote around my household - and I'm betting millions of others - in the aftermath of what forevermore will be remembered simply as "Fallujah."
Wouldn't it be lovely were justice so available and so simple? If we were but creatures like those zoo animals we witnessed gleefully jumping up and down after stomping, dragging, dismembering and hanging the charred remains of American civilians whose only crime was to try to help them
Four people were killed in Fallujah. Four. As Atrios points out, nuking the Sunni Triangle would kill hundreds of thousands.
Four... vs. hundreds of thousands. As Noam Chomsky once said -- and I'm paraphrasing -- even to ask the question strips us of our humanity.
The article, of course, is about the wrongness of pursuing such a course of action; I don't mean to imply that Ms. Parker is actually suggesting we do this. But I do get awfully tired of being called "unpatriotic" and "cowardly," being condemned for every criticism and resistant statement I make, by people who write about mass slaughter as retribution for four unfortunate, but not at all unforseeable deaths. Ms. Parker and her kind go on and on about revenge and the taming of "zoo animals," never pausing to consider the echoes from other times, when other people -- Jews, blacks, Asians, women -- were considered less than human and treated accordingly. And they certainly never reflect on where those attitudes, and the impulses that accompanied them -- the exact same attitudes and impulses that the American right so often proudly, vociferously espouse now -- took their proclaimers in history: holocaust, slavery, brutal colonization, and institutionalized injustice.
The American right needs to stop looking at the people of Iraq as animals, savages, wild children in need of a strong, patriarchal influence, and starting speaking and listening to them as our equals. Only then will we even begin to make the human connections that can lead us out of this pit of despair.
PS: How many of those "zoo animals" do you think have gotten to see their own loved ones maimed and killed during this whole bloody conflict? How many charred Iraqi corpses do you think the average Sunni Triangle resident has had to see during a year of war? D'ya think Ms. Parker has even considered that question? |