Wake Up Call: May 28, 2012
Your Tax Dollars at Work
In addition to boating and picnics, Memorial Day is typically devoted to honoring our military. This Memorial Day, though, my attention is on two other, deeply tragic news items, both from yesterday, Sunday, May 27, 2012.
So what’s the difference? Children were killed in both attacks, though in differing numbers. The biggest differences, though, are (a) who did the killing, and (b) how the two stories were handled by politicians and the media.
(1) On Monday the Syria story was still developing in the media, with the intensity of coverage fueled in part by graphic images and video of dead, mangled bodies, including rows of children. The U.N. took the lead in orchestrating international outrage, and U.S. Deputy Ambassador Rosemary DiCarlo was quoted in both the Star and the AP: “everyone is absolutely appalled at the atrocities that took place” (emphasis added).
(2) In contrast, the NATO strike drew no statements of outrage from U.S., U.N., or NATO. The NATO strike closely resembled countless other recent U.S. and allied drone strikes, which often target unknown individuals. According to reports, the target in this case was a bakery. The LA Times identified the victims as “Mohammed Shafi, his wife and his six children,” and cited statements from officials on the ground that there was absolutely no evidence that Shafi was a Taliban insurgent or linked with Al Qaeda.
Interestingly, though it happened the same day, the NATO strike got comparatively little coverage in the mainstream, so-called liberal media. True, it was smaller. But U.S. drone warfare in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen, among other places, though similarly indiscriminate, dwarfs the Syria story, in terms of “collateral damage,” i.e. women, children – and from time to time, U.S. citizens – killed. Drone warfare is not only indiscriminate, though, despite official statements to the contrary; it’s also kept pretty much under wraps.
The human (political?) capacity for hypocrisy, rationalization, and denial seems limitless. Let’s just be honest, and call the NATO strike an atrocity. Killing children should be called an atrocity, no matter where it happens, in what numbers, or by whom. It’s also immoral, and it even used to be criminal.
One might even risk everything, and call such attacks on civilians by the dreaded T-word: terrorism. That’s surely what it looks like today to what’s left of the family of Mohammed Shafi. Terrorism.
Oh. Wait. They’re Muslim. And they live over there. Never mind.
*Please note: the GeneseeSun.com does not endorse any of the opinions of our columnist section. We provide a forum for the expression of a diversity of opinions. If you would like to be a guest columnist please email firstname.lastname@example.org.