Saturday 14 January, 2012
No Need to be Shocked
Hameed Abdul Karim
The media is awash with the pictures of US marines urinating on dead Taliban fighters and commentators and anchor personnel use the word ‘shocking’ to describe this stomach turning act of US barbarism. But judging by past exposures of Americans’ cruelty and sadism from My Lai in Vietnam to Nicaragua in South America to Abu Graib in Iraq this should not come as shock or surprise.
What can you say of a nation that has been at war with one country or another for the last hundred years at least, killing millions, maiming many more and destroying property worth billions when its apologists come out with statements like ‘this is not consistent with America’s core values’ and to trivialise the latest scandal to hit the empire as an aberration and not the altruism the empire stands for?
Prior to this we had Der Spiegel showing pictures of US soldiers posing with the bloodied corpse of an Afghan boy they had killed in cold blood. There were other such trophy photos showing US soldiers pose for snap shots with corpses of Taliban fighters at their feet.
Here we have a president who thinks he’s doing the morally right thing when he orders the murder of a US citizen violating his own constitution in the process and then goes on a bragging spree when the evil deed is done. I am talking of Anwar Awlaki who the Americans killed, along with another US citizen, in a drone attack in Yemen with the support of the empire’s henchman president Abdullah Saleh. We had Barack Obama ordering and then watching the murder of Osama bin Laden in the White House with his top aides. Again we had his usual gloating, propelling mass hysteria in the US. In both instances his ratings went up. If their president can behave in such an uncouth manner, what do you expect of US marines even if they were an elite sniper corps battalion as was in this case?
To the Americans Awalaki was a ‘terrorist’ to thousands of Muslims the world over he was a much loved and respected scholar of their faith. Were the TV anchors or the news readers shocked when they reported this extra judicial killing? Or was Awalaki’s murder acceptable because he was a Muslim? Or was he, like millions of other America’s victims, a victim who deserved to die? Bear in mind we have only the empire’s tales to go by in assessing the merits of the atrocities that America commits as a matter of routine. No mainstream media outlet ever gives us the narrative of the empire’s perceived enemies. So in a sense we are living in a one way street, never mind the hoary claims of globalisation and all that jazz.
If you listening to the stories about the latest inhuman act coming from the empire’s apologists you might be brainwashed to think that this urinating business is actually an unconventional behavior of a few rowdy elements. But should we be not wondering about the culture that could produce such disgusting behavior? A culture that always talks about ‘us’ being the good guys and the ‘other’ as ‘injuns’, as demonstrated in movies produced in Hollywood?
And whilst you watch pictures of US army personnel urinating on dead fighters, spare a thought for little children who were bombed to bits when reveling at wedding parties or as they played in the open fields like your children or mine or the tiny tots smashed to smithereens as they slept in their cots when the Americans and the British bombed their homes hoping to kill their parents or elders whom they suspected of being Taliban fighters or sympathisers. Ask yourself ‘which should shock me more’. The answer will expose the empire’s evil face in all its horror.
As you probe your minds ask yourself if you will be shocked if you get to know that behind the cameras and the print presses there will be guys laughing their guts out and patting each other on their back paraphrasing the urinating US marine saying ‘have a nice day, pal’. Well, don’t be. There’s no need to be shocked. Such are the ways of the empire.