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Civilian Deaths

July 13, 2009

I’m completely amazed at American cognitive dissonance when it comes to civilian deaths. I was having a conversation with someone just the other day about American military activity since 9/11. He made it clear that killing 3,000 to 4,000 civilians made Osama bin Laden an evil, evil man. When I brought up how many civilians the American military has killed worldwide in the last 10 years, he made some offhand comment about how that’s just part of the costs of war.

This is like talking to someone who thinks 2 + 2 = 4 and that 2 + 2 = 5.

There is really no rationale response to be made when faced with others who are completely unable to reflect critically on their own position.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Jake N. permalink
    July 13, 2009 11:49 pm

    Killing an Othered person is not the same as killing a privileged Westerner.

    That’s the American point of view.

    That’s why the death of one American in whatever bombing will make front page news, but the bombing of however many Palestinians/Afghanis/whatever non-Western group will hardly make the ticker on the bottom of CNN.

  2. July 15, 2009 1:22 pm

    American jingoism is as blind as Russian jingoism. And yet when the Russians do it I find it funny, but when the Americans do it I find it scary.

  3. Tawny permalink
    December 19, 2009 11:47 am

    It’s Weber’s Monopoly on Violence at work. When an individual kills people, it’s immoral and terrorism. When the state does it, it is not inherently immoral because it was “necessary.”

    I’m sure you knew that, but I just recently came across the idea and had an “a-ha!” moment. =)

    p.s.- great blog. I’ve been reading back through your entries for several days, and I’m learning a lot.

  4. missivesfrommarx permalink*
    December 19, 2009 12:31 pm

    Thanks for your comment Tawny! Glad you’re enjoying the blog!

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