My view of terrorism stems from the way I think about my kids. I don’t think the love of an Afghan father is any greater or lesser than that of an American father, but we as a country don’t give a damn about Afghan kids.
Assume you live in a country that doesn’t possess our infrastructure, and you have to send your kids out to collect firewood every day.
One day, they don’t come back. You later learn they were picked up by US agents and sent to a torture chamber or they were hit by a drone missile and blown into several smaller parts.. The commanding officer in charge of that bombing calls it ‘a mistake’ and says he’s sorry, and then offers you blood money as compensation. (Though I figure after the hundreds of incidents of documented civilian bombings, that we know of, as well as our nation’s history in war, it’s a little stupid to give the US military the benefit of the doubt.)
Basically, I don’t see any difference between a civilian setting off a bomb at the Boston Marathon and a US soldier detonating a missile on an eight year-old’s head using a joystick, and both actions are sickening to me. I think of how I’d feel if someone did that to one of my babies, and I wouldn’t figure the people who elected the folks that ultimately killed my kids to be innocent victims when something happens to them.
But what sickens me more is the hypocrisy and this notion of American exceptionalism, because as we’ve proven time and time again in this world, we are barbarians. George Bush, like Henry Kissinger, refuses to travel to several countries for fear of arrest over torture and war crimes, and one day Obama will be in the same boat, yet we as a country like to think of ourselves as innocent victims when something happens to us despite the fact that we collectively support state-sponsored terrorism against others. Hell, we elected both of these men twice, despite knowing that they are war criminals.
I just wish that the kind of empathy we see out of people in the wake of a tragedy like the Boston bombings existed when we hear about eight year-old kids being bombed in Afghanistan. If we had that kind of conscientiousness, we might one day be able to put a stop to it. Also, I don’t think we stand any chance of eliminating terrorism until we stop dehumanizing the victims of the terrorism our military perpetrates.
But I won’t hold my breath.
That’s why you don’t see me participating in the knee-jerk reactions following an incident of terrorism in the US. It just makes me sad.