The reason we get for being at war in Iraq and Afghanistan (and – in a different way – in dozens of other countries) is because we were attacked on 9/11 by a bunch of terrorists who targeted civilians. People were shocked and outraged because this group of crazies had the audacity to kill thousands of unarmed, so-called innocent people. We couldn’t just sit around and do nothing, we had to fight back; we had to start a global War On Terror. Had they attacked a base or killed some of our soldiers in a firefight, we wouldn’t have had to be so extreme, but those bastards killed innocent civilians. This is not widely disputed; even among those who know that this war started long before 9/11 it is still true that the reason why we were so up in arms was because of the civilian thing. Tom Friedman was one of the (millions of) people who were demanding revenge for the brutal slaughter of innocent USers. One of the major reasons why people (including Tom Friedman) are supporting Israel’s actions (and I don’t just mean the past few weeks) is because groups like Hamas target civilians. I am not pro-war, in fact I cannot really think of any situation where all out war is completely necessary. However, I can see a difference between soldiers fighting soldiers and people killing random civilians. The thing that bothers me the most (and thanks for Glenn Greenwald for leading me to the Friedman article) is that we respond to the murder of innocent civilians by killing ten times as many innocent civilians. I take that back- that isn’t what bothers me the most, what bothers me the most is that people can’t see what’s happening. People get up in arms that Al Qaeda and Hamas kill innocent people, but turn away and close their eyes when the US or her allies to the exact same thing, only with bigger and badder weapons.
Tom Friedman actually claims that the killing of civilians is a good strategy (when done by the side he is on anyway). He – and many others – claims that it is not what they would choose, but that it gets the job done. His theory is that killing mass amounts of civilians (especially women and children?) will get people angry at groups like Hamas or Al Qaeda, thereby capturing hearts and minds. Of course this is true; when Al Qaeda attacked the World Trade Center I remember all the USers being up in arms over the terrorist policies of the US government. The people revolted and took down the system, thereby creating peace throughout the world. Right? When Hamas and other organizations began firing rockets into Israel and blowing themselves up in markets, Israeli citizens realized the error of their ways, overthrew their government, and opened up all borders. Didn’t they? Of course not! All the so-called patriotism of USers rose to the top, people joined the military in record numbers, and hardly anyone batted an eye when we started bombing countries that have similar looking people to those who bombed us. Israeli’s became an even more tightly knit group and blindly stood behind their Defense Force when it began dropping bombs on Lebanon and now Palestine. Wouldn’t it make sense that Afghans, Iraqis, Palestinians, Lebanese, and other effected people would get angry at the countries killing their brothers and sisters? Isn’t it obvious that killing civilians only increases animosity towards the killers, which we can see by the fact Al Qaeda has grown ten-fold since the fist bomb was dropped in Afghanistan. I don’t understand how someone spewing this bullshit could be considered a serious reporter for a top-notch newspaper. Do they have the audacity to put this out there because we are such a stupid country or are we such a stupid country because garbage like this is out there?
I want to close by linking to an article in the Socialist Worker; it won’t blow and minds or solve and problems, but you can see the growing number of people who think what’s going on is wrong and aren’t afraid to stand up against it.