“By definition if you shoot people who pose no threat to you, strangers, you have a troubled mind.” – President Obama in response to the Dallas police shooting
Either I’m crazy or Americans should not be surprised when we kill each other. Nothing about quick-to-shoot police officers or the murders of police in Dallas or Baton Rouge is shocking. We are, after all, a nation that is obsessed with waging war. We love war. We are always at war and war is an integral part of our culture. As long as this culture persists, Americans should stop acting naive and surprised when Americans resort to violence. Violence is what we do. Heck, violence is what we do on a global scale.
We Just Killed More Than Were Killed in Nice: The terror attack in Nice recently killed 84 people. The world was shocked. A few days later, US airstrikes killed 85 civilians in Syria. In contrast to the media coverage of Nice, this story went largely unnoticed. Why? Yes it is embarrassing and damaging but also because let’s be honest, the US killing of civilians, especially civilians in the Middle East, either intentionally or accidentally, is hardly new. Killing 85 innocent people has become routine to our news cycle.
And if the US does not directly do the killing, we feel free to use tax money to hire rebels / terrorist who do things such as behead children. On video. And cheer while doing it.
We Are Always At War: The United States has existed since 1776. Of these 240 years, we have been involved in war for 223 years. This great article itemizes each of these years: America Has Been At War 93% of the Time. In case you think to yourself “But some of those are just Indian Wars” I took the liberty of providing this first person account from the Sandy Creek Massacre. It was like the Sandy Hook shooting but unfortunately actually worse.
I tell you Ned it was hard to see little children on their knees have their brains beat out by men professing to be civilized. One squaw was wounded and a fellow took a hatchet to finish her, and he cut one arm off, and held the other with one hand and dashed the hatchet through her brain. One squaw with her two children, were on their knees, begging for their lives…They were all scalped, and as high as half a dozen taken from one head. They were all horribly mutilated. You would think it impossible for white men to butcher and mutilate human beings as they did.
The full account of the massacre can be found here. Can a country that is always at war, especially wars of choice, even pretend that is does not love war?
We Want to Bomb Agrabah: A survey asked Americans the simple question of if should the US bomb Agrabah. And if your Disney is a bit rusty, Agrabah is the city from Aladdin. And if you’re really out of it, Aladdin is a cartoon. Not surprisingly, 25% of respondents said yes, we should bomb Agrabah. Did they mean to suggest we should literally bomb a cartoon? No. But Agrabah does sound Muslim-ish. So sure. What the hell. Why not? We are already bombing 6 countries (can you name them? I listed them at the bottom) so why not just add 1 more. And this is my point. We are so obsessed with war, so in love with war, so accustomed to war that the thought of spending billions to kill other people for no apparent reason (obviously given it doesn’t even exist) makes sense to us.
War is Part of our Culture: I believe there may be 2 competing flashlight commercials on TV right now. They both claim to be “tactical” and “military grade.” Similarly, truck commercials brag about their military grade aluminum, and Boeing commercials featuring bombers often air. War is such a part of who we are that we use it to sell products. War is good. Product is good.
We frame everything we do in terms of war. War on Crime. War on Drugs. War on AIDS. War on Cancer. War on Poverty. Kids with no food…and we come up with war. As an aside, if we funded some of the above ‘wars’ the same way we fund actual wars, poverty would cease to exist.
Stopped Being Surprised: Why are Americans surprised that police shoot people? Why are people surprised that people shoot back as means of revenge? We have been engaged in largely wars of choice, and preemptive wars, for over a decade. Police think a person may have a gun, sure, shoot them. The country went to war just in case Saddam had scary weapons after all. Preemptive shoot first and ask questions later is our foreign policy. Of course it will be part of our domestic policy.
President Obama said that if you kill strangers who pose no threat to you that you have a troubled mind. Mmm. Did Obama know everyone before he decided to bomb Libya? What was the threat? Did Obama know everybody when he decided to bomb Syria? What was the threat that led the US to foment and stage a fake civil war in order to remove Assad?
Look America. The shootings of people by police officers and the shooting of police officers are horrific and tragic. But until our elected leaders (hell, Obama has a Noble Peace Prize) stop waging war around the world for dubious reasons, don’t expect Americans to not resort to violence. It is just what we are used to.
These are the 6 countries we are currently spending billions to bomb: Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya.