I can imagine the Afghans in Kabul saying:‘Get a small taste of your drones’ , as they look at the images of the Boston bombings on television. In their minds, the marathon maybe the equivalent of the Afghan wedding celebrations that gets bombed, the perpetrators were targeting American terrorists hiding among civilians thus inflicted collateral damage. If you want to know how others feel, put yourself in their shoes is the proverb. It is amusing to see the frenzied Americans pouncing on anyone who remotely looks like an Arab or a Muslim as a suspect. A Saudi national was already identified by the media mob, who in reality turned to be one of the victims; the lessons of Oslo and Oklahoma have already become distant memories.
You hear the media scream “innocent civilians”! The crusader brigades led by the likes of Mr Erik Rush at Fox News have already pronounced the contradictory edict: “Muslims are evil, kill them all”. Isn’t the act of killing everyone, which would include women and children, the epitome of evil? If Mr Erik Rush was intelligent enough to prod, he would see that many fellow conservatives around Fox News privately view him with a level of disdain, due to his mixed racial heritage; but coolies are useful as colonial British found out in India. His tweeter feeds are full of expletives, a male version of Pam Geller, spewing out hate and zero content; this reflects the crass nature of the American conservatives wrapped up in ignorance.
If the outrage is caused by the innocence of civilians, then lets us be frank and ask: “are the American civilians genuinely innocent or are they collateral damage like the Afghans?” If it is the latter then there is no grounds to register any complaints; otherwise, one has to compare their innocence with the innocence of Afghan civilians. And unlike the elected drone-killer, Obama, the Afghans did not elect the Taliban, nor did they invite the Americans. It is only fair to hold the civilians complicit, in relation to their role of electing and authorising the actions of their respected governments. No contest here, the Americans being a democracy wins! They continue to elect leaders and permit them to pursue illegal wars, extra-judicial killings, and victims often include women and children; surely the American civilians should understand and expect that there will be similar retaliation in kind.
Those making the leap and issuing selective condemnations and selective condolences are partly pretentious, and partly seeking to be in the good books of the Emperor of the New World Order; it’s primarily political. If the sympathy expressed was genuine, then a greater reaction would have surfaced for the numerous occasions, when the US as the perpetrator takes much larger number of victims. A day earlier, 42 were killed in Iraq, and a week earlier 12 Afghan civilians including 11 children were killed by US forces; there was not even a tiny fraction of the anger expressed by the masses towards the US or sympathy towards the innocent victims, in comparison to the reaction over the Boston bombings. Just compare the figures, which are often dismissed as largely Muslims killing Muslims, but even if this is partially true, who set that in motion. Were there sectarian killings during the ear of Saddam Hussein for example?
What do the Americans expect from the rest of the world? A chorus of condemnation against the perpetrators, ample sympathy for the victims, but most important demand is, no questions asked about the motive. The world should blindly adopt the American narrative: an innocent victim, attacked without provocation by hate-filled terrorists. When a nation is confined to its borders and keeps good relations with its neighbours or one with an altruistic foreign policy that is not driven by material gains or lies can claim the status of innocent. The US cannot remotely qualify as innocent with its bloody track record and its military might.
And the US narrative continues along the lines that its military might is only used in self-defence or proactively to uphold justice. It is hard to recollect the last occasion when the US fought to defend its borders from an invading force, a genuine act of self-defence, oh yes the US did ‘defend’ itself in another continent, against Saddam Hussein, armed with mythical WMDs. Yet the US is hardly rattled by nuclear North Korea, led by Mr Oddjob who is pronouncing actual threats almost on a daily basis.
As for justice, the US is very selective; it is ready to defend Israel at any cost, concurrently it is happy to give friendly ‘warnings’ whilst watching Israel making the Palestinians extinct like the Dodos. Similarly, they moved to save the oil-rich Kuwaitis and ignored the killing fields or Rwanda; forget actions, not even a word of sympathy for mass killing of defenceless civilians by unruly mobs in Burma taking place at this moment.
Indeed, the Boston bombing is a crime according to the domestic law; the identity of the perpetrators and their precise motive remains unknown. However, one can speculate that it is political, because one cannot see any material gains from the incident; a crime usually takes place for some personal gains, thus there is never any discussion of the motive of a bank robber or thief.
The political nature of the motive would be revealed by the identity of the perpetrators, and the usual suspects are Muslims, obviously because they are born terrorists, full of hate and that is the usual ‘intellectual’ analysis of CNN and Fox News! If you want the truth, then step outside the media matrix and ask the orphans, widows, and the grieving parents and relatives in various places around the world, who have lost their loved ones from the US-led wars! Or is it state-terrorism? There are other suspects, like the far right, or the lone individual with a deranged mind and the truth may come out in due course.
I wonder how the US media would react, if the identity of the perpetrators turns out to be relatives of the victims killed by US drones. Naturally, the US is not interested to hear about motives. The domination of the Western media has subsided to some extent with the growth of the internet, and in particular social media and YouTube, where individuals and groups can challenge the narratives of the corporate media. Even the dozy apolitical person understands that America may be the victim in Boston, but on most occasions it is the perpetrator, a thug and a bully. And handing out selective condemnation for the anti-US perpetrators with selective sympathy for the American victims, only rewards and encourages America to continue with its criminal activity around the world. The nations need to come together and take a stance that is balanced and fair, offer sympathy consistently to all the victims, and issue condemnation according to the magnitude of the crime and take into account if it is a just measured response or a disproportionate act of vengeance.
Yamin Zakaria ( firstname.lastname@example.org)
Published on 18/04/2013