[lit-ideas] Re: the bombing blues

  • From: "Andy Amago" <aamago@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "lit-ideas" <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 9 Jul 2005 11:01:31 -0400

> [Original Message]
> From: Eric Yost <Mr.Eric.Yost@xxxxxxxxx>
> To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> Date: 7/9/2005 3:10:34 AM
> Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: the bombing blues
>   In any case, it doesn't change that there's an enormous outpouring of 
> sympathy and outrage for one act of terror in London, and none, count 
> 'em, none, for the years of daily terror that Iraqis have endured 
> because Bush fired at the wrong target for the wrong reason.
> ___
> You express a classic "post hoc ergo prompter hoc" fallacy.
> Bush started a poorly-executed and disastrously followed-up war based on 
> faulty intelligence, and then lied about his motives. That set the stage 
> for a geopolitical struggle in which innocent people's lives were 
> factors of little account, but where their deaths were used as important 
> tallies in the struggle.
> However, if, for example,Iranian-financed insurgents try to murder 
> Ayatollah Sistani, you want to trace that to Bush. That's just plain 
> loony. Bush may have provided the preconditions for the geopolitical 
> terror game as it is now played, but the blame is with the individuals 
> who commit the various atrocities and on the various powers who fund and 
> train those who kill Egyptians, Iraqis, Americans, Japanese, Brits, etc.

A.A.  I said nothing like the above.  My point was that there is little,
usually no, mention in the non-blog media of the extreme daily terrorism
going on in Iraq.  When it is discussed by pundits, it's defended as either
necessary for the march to freedom, or as being not caused by Americans,
etc.  There are rationalizations, explanations, justifications, but no
sympathy or empathy.  Not only is no one bringing Bush to task for setting
the stage for global mayhem, he is overtly defended by people in red states
(Marlena's post, among other sources) as having done the right thing to
bring the war "over there".  There is no coverage in the media of Iraqi
misery.  Since the media is driven by what sells, the conclusion is that
Americans and others don't want to hear it.  In the meantime, one incident
in London draws extraordinary attention.  I would argue too that terrorists
do what they do in large part to get attention.  The media has been
historically very accommodating of them in that regard. 

Regarding attempts to murder Sistani, shit happens with or without Bush. 
But, Bush is responsible for turning a smoldering campfire into an out of
control conflagration.  He did it intentionally and willfully and without a
thought to consequences.  We call it Pandora's Box because Pandora was
responsible for opening it against warnings not to.  This is Bush's war for
which he is directly, 100% responsible.  

BTW, if the insurgency could place an ad in the NYT, it might read
something like "Looking to learn terrorism?  Come to Iraq!  We offer hands
on training, certification, practice in all aspects of terrorism.  Real
live experience in bomb making, infiltration and everything a terrorist
needs to know for use in your application.  No need to call or write folks,
just walk on in, you'll find us very accommodating.  Remember, you'll walk
in disaffected ... you'll walk out, a Terrorist."  Is it not disingenuous
to hold insurgents responsible for their actions while letting off Bush and
his administration off the hook for their actions?  

> By your reasoning, the man who assassinated the Archduke Ferdinand was 
> responsible for every life lost in World War I.

A.A. Not at all.  WWI was a powder keg waiting for a match, a bunch of
belligerent nations itching to rumble.  The invasion of Iraq was done
against worldwide protests, by barely scraping together a "coalition";
against the advice of the very army that was to do the invading.  My
reasoning is more like blaming King George for his arrogance and obtuseness
in dealing with the American colonies.  The 13 American colonies were a
bunch of ill equipped, untrained rag tag insurgents who against all odds
stood up to and defeated the best trained, most powerful army in the world
of arguably the most powerful nation in the world.

> Even that aside, what makes you think there is no sympathy for the 
> suffering of Iraqis? There's plenty of sympathy on this list, in this 
> country, in Europe, and also among the US and UK soldiers who daily face 
> IED blasts while attempting to prop up the civil order in Iraq. Or do 
> you have a vested interest in only citing counterexamples?

A.A. For starters, there is virtually no mention of it on television.  If
anything, there was a film in the making supposedly shot by Iraqis
themselves that was to show that things are good there.  I don't know what
happened to that film.  Plus all the hype and back patting about the war
being "over there", as if "over there" is some unpopulated virtual place. 
Do you see sympathy in that?  When the report came out that there were
100,000 civilian casualties since the invasion, some groups maintained that
it was anti-American propaganda.  Now it turns out that Bush & Co. may even
be downplaying American casualties.  If there are displays of sympathy or
empathy, they are meager and/or closely held.  Certainly nothing like what
London received.

Andy Amago

> Best,
> Eric
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