Saturday, July 22, 2006

"They would've grown up to become terrorists anyway"

Recommended at Daily Kos, Booman Tribune and My Left Wing

I'm embarrassed. And disgusted.

Embarrassed and disgusted to know people (and even be related to people) that have taken this twisted point of view to justify the killing of innocent children in Iraq. Or innocent Palestinian children. Or any innocent children for that matter.

How does someone that otherwise can be so sane and rational turn to such a hateful, bigoted, racist person when it comes to this? How can anyone EVER justify killing innocent people, especially children? This is something that should be so basic, so fundamental to someone that once those eight words are uttered to me, the conversation is over and my view of these people (and unfortunately a good level of respect for people that I otherwise held in pretty high regard) is shot to shit.

And the worse thing about all this is that I have been seeing and hearing this line of crap way too many times lately.

Now, to step back from any discussion of who is right and who is not right, I think that no matter which side is doing the killing, it is inexcusable. This has nothing to do with "us or them". This has nothing to do with "pre-emptive strikes". This has nothing to do with "protecting America", "self-defense" or "spreading freedom and democracy". And it certainly has nothing to do with "winning the hearts and minds".

"War is hell. They would have grown up to become terrorists anyway."

It was a few weeks ago when I first heard that statement when discussing little Ricky's pathetic announcement of the "discovery" of all them WMDs, the firebombing of Fallujah with illegal chemical weapons ordered right after the 2004 election, the bombings of wedding ceremonies and Rumsfeld's de facto ordering of torture of many in Iraq and Afghanistan who certainly weren't associated with ANYTHING terrorist related. I'm too embarrassed to even say who the conversation was with but suffice to say that it was someone I have known my entire life, am otherwise very close with (short of our political leanings) and had the utmost respect for.

"Screw them. They want to kill Jews so they probably would have grown up to be a suicide bomber anyway."

A friend of mine who is around 15 years older than I am (I am 35), Jewish (as am I) and unlike me, is a blindly staunch supporter of Israel and its' policies towards Palestinians as well as Iran, Lebanon and Syria said that to me around a year ago. He was talking about the Israel/Palestine violence around the same time that Ahmadinejad said that Israel should be wiped off the map.

In one situation, I ended the discussion entirely and had to write an email a few days later to explain why I did so, and have this comment stuck in the back of my head. In the other situation, I just sat quietly until my train arrived and haven't really spoken to him all that much since.

Which, frankly really sucks.

What floors me the most about these statements isn't even the disgust that I felt at the time I heard those words. It is the fact that this is quite possibly the most ass-backward line of thinking when it comes to talking about ways to achieve some acceptable level peace and security in the Middle East.

How the fuck, any way you look at it, would killing innocent children lead to anything other than royally pissing off those associated with and affected by these victims? And don't you think they would want to take revenge? Or not see your cause in a favorable light? An eye for an eye, right? Payback. Just like Team America did after 9/11, right?

I expect this talk from lunatic wingnuts. I expect this talk from people who are clearly unstable. I expect a statement like the following from foaming-at-the-mouth right wing talking meatsticks:

In Iran, lovely television shows directed at small children teach these children that it is a joy to become a suicide bomber in defense of Islam. The children are taught that Allah will be pleased with them if only they die killing the enemies of Islam.

But I would never expect that talk from someone who, before "9/11 changed everything" would have been just as disgusted with that statement as I am. Or someone with any real understanding of the way that people interact, and who is otherwise intelligent and compassionate.

As much as I don't want to believe it, is it really getting to the point where any sense of rational thought is completely thrown out the window? Have we really gotten to where horrific acts and murdering innocent people, hell, innocent children are being brushed aside and justified with callous, thoughtless dismissals? Or could it get even worse if the violence continues to escalate in the Middle East, in Iraq and once again in Afghanistan, which a UK General now says is "close to anarchy"?

Because that is a very dangerous way to think.


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