I was looking at Sunday morning TV the other day and watching that George Stephanopoulos bit where they show a list of our soldiers who’ve died in Iraq the past seven days.
Like I do every week, I looked at their ages – 20, 21, 22, 23 – and I had tears in my eyes as I thought of young lives snuffed out for some mad-as-a-hatter con by two oil men in the White House that’s causing all these deaths while enriching Halliburton, the company formerly run by one of these men.
And then I thought: do I shed tears for the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi deaths caused by our war? Do I have the same empathy for the four million Iraqis displaced by the war?
No, I realized, I have no feeling whatsoever for them. It’s not that I don’t give a damn. I just have no feeling about them one way or another. The media haven’t figured out a way to dramatize Iraqi suffering for me, nor will they ever even try, because such programming won’t sell fast food or dog food or beer or whatever else TV is there to do.
So I was trying to think of an analogy for this – good analogies often being the very stuff of thought – and up in my mind popped the most over-used and odious analogy of our time: those damn Nazis.
And here’s what I thought: we in America have become like the good Germans who did nothing even when they knew something.
I know we march and complain about the war, and that the Democrats have been making anti-war noises ever since they figured it could help them win elections, but few of us are actually taking time out to do something about the fact that most of our tax dollars are being used to kill Arabs who never bothered us about anything except they had the bad luck to be born with a lot of oil under them.
This is what is happening in Iraq: Iraqis are killing each other, we are killing Iraqis, and Iraqis are killing us, and all because a bunch of neo-cons convinced George Bush to invade and occupy Iraq for reasons nobody cops to.