[lit-ideas] Re: the bombing blues

  • From: Robert Paul <robert.paul@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 08 Jul 2005 12:15:47 -0700

John McCreery sent us a piece by W. Pitt Rivers, from Truthout:

William Rivers Pitt writes on Truthout (www.truthout.com)

In Iraq, they call events like this "Tuesday."

Tens of thousands of people have been killed and wounded in Iraq by way of deadly bombings that have been taking place every single day. These Iraqi people are no different from the Londoners who perished today. Their skin is darker perhaps, and they pray to a different God, but they have families and children and dreams and they die just as horribly as their British counterparts. Yet they earn perhaps a few sentences on the back page of the paper, and virtually no comment from the members of the international community which ginned up the invasion of Iraq in the first place.

This the kind of bizarre reasoning one often encounters on the part of those for whom no vicious act is without its patronizing 'moral' lesson. Its premises are seldom stated but insofar as it has any, they would seem to be these: what happened in London, yesterday, isn't really worth getting upset about because similar things happen daily elsewhere and nobody gets very excited about them (except the people in those far away places about which we know little who are immediately effected). Such reasoning has exactly the same form as: You shouldn't carry on so about your child's having been killed by a drunk driver because it happens almost every day (somewhere), and the people in your family and neighborhood don't carry on about that, now do they?

Has Pitt Rivers actually managed to look at the faces in the images from London, and seen nothing but 'skin' lighter than the 'skin' of Iraqis? And on what grounds does he irrelevantly say that the people in Iraq 'pray to a different God,' from 'their British counterparts'? This happened in London, not Salt Lake City, e.g., not that it would not have been equally terrible had it happened in that relatively 'pale' and religiously homogeneous city.

What illogical, unfeeling crap.

Robert Paul
Reed College

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