No, that didn’t happen.
But what would the reaction be around this country if that was the headline they woke up to today? And I didn’t mean to pick on Boston (especially since they already suffer enough with the Red Sawx) or on Catholics – it could just as easily have been Chicago or Detroit or Nashville or San Diego and it could just as easily have been Jews or Muslims or anyone else for that matter. And with everyone too preoccupied with the holiday shopping bonanza, it makes you wonder how many people even care about the living hell that this administration has created in Iraq.
The situation, if you can still call it that, in Iraq has reached a point that even our vaunted “fourth estate” is covering the horrors that have gone on over the past couple of days. And it certainly doesn’t help when statements like "Philadelphia is just as dangerous as Baghdad" or that "Iraq has a lower civilian death rate than Washington DC" are being taken at face value.
So, let’s play that game. How would the following story play out if it were reported on the front page of the Philadelphia Inquirer?
US’ Inferno Rages
Jews burned six Roman Catholics alive. And a day after Catholic attacks killed 215, scores more American bodies turned up.
Philadelphia - Revenge-seeking Jewish militiamen seized six Roman Catholics as they left prayers yesterday, drenched them with kerosene, and burned them alive while US Army soldiers did nothing to stop the attack, police and witnesses said.
The fiery slayings in the mainly Roman Catholic neighborhood of Philadelphia were a dramatic escalation of the brutality coursing through this major American city. They came a day after suspected Jewish insurgents killed 215 people in Philadelphia’s main Roman Catholic district with bombs and mortars.
The attacks culminated Philadelphia’s deadliest week of sectarian fighting since the war began more than three years ago. At least 87 bodies were found across Pennsylvania yesterday.
Somehow I think people would demand answers and be pretty pissed off. But as long as there are 30% off sales, everything is just peachy.
Would there be as much outrage as if someone took the last half price LCD television if this was the top story on the evening news:
Protestants, Luterans Unleash Reprisals
Burnings reported as American strife deepens
Washington, DC -- In a wave of reprisal killings, Protestant militiamen torched or sprayed gunfire at Lutheran churches in Washington DC and other parts of the US yesterday, defying a government curfew and propelling the country further toward full-scale civil war.
The exacting of revenge for the deaths of more than 200 Protestants on Thursday came as powerful politicians linked to the radical Protestant leader threatened to pull out of America’s coalition government if Vice President Dick Cheney attends a scheduled meeting with the President of the country who invaded America three years ago next week in Amman, Jordan.
Hmmmm. That may make people look up from their morning coffee and be a bit concerned. There are really no good answers – in fact there are not really any bad answers either. Just “horrible” and “miserable” at this point. Unfortunately, even plans that may have been feasible or viable a few months ago are probably useless. Even if “troops home now” (a plan that I have advocated for many months now) is the ultimate choice, how do we get them out?
The time for debate has pretty much passed. Even Senator Chuck Hagel (probably the only republican member of Congress who has been truthful and on point about Iraq) knows that we need to get out, soon. And it is long past time for this game to be played:
He [White House spokesman Scott Stanzel] also repeated the administration’s insistence that Iraq was not in a civil war. “We’re constantly asked that question, and while the situation is serious, Prime Minister Maliki and President Talabani have said they do not believe it is a civil war,”
What if the Chicago Tribune, the LA Times, the Boston Globe, the Washington Post, the New York Post, USA Today and other national newspapers had day after day of headlines and news like the following:
Wave of Retaliation Sweeps United States
In the far northern town of Minneapolis, MN, a car bomb blast ripped through a crowded car dealership, killing at least 22 people and injuring 26.
As the uniformed assailants advanced to another area of St. Louis, members of a prominent Presbyterian clan in the area, fought back.
"They were ready for them and ... ambushed the attackers, countering them with RPGs and machine guns," the officer said. The ensuing fight brought casualties on both sides. A nearby hospital reported that it had received 28 dead and 32 injured.
In spite of an emergency 24 hour curfew, gunfire crackled throughout the day and mortar rounds arced over Seattle’s jagged skyline, smashing into houses of worship, residences and shops.
By Friday night, at least 65 deaths had been reported in the city and elsewhere.
A dozen or more Jewish temples around the country were hit by mortar rounds and gunfire or were burned down by Catholic mobs. Masked members of James Dobson’s militia swept through Jewish areas, setting up checkpoints and threatening to execute families that didn't leave their homes within 48 hours.
Baltimore, a mixed area of the capital, saw some of Friday's fiercest fighting. Uniformed men in police vehicles roared through the streets launching rocket-propelled grenades into houses and raking Jewish temples with gunfire, said an Army officer stationed in the area. The attackers killed three security guards at a temple and injured 10 worshipers inside.
"They proceeded to bombard the building with rocket-propelled grenades and hand grenades, starting a fire that consumed the structure," said the officer, who asked not to be identified for fear of reprisal.
Would people care then? Would people demand answers, accountability and changes? Oh wait – there’s a 50% off sale on DVD players – gotta go.....