What if a Terrorist had Murdered Women and Children in the United States?

Image courtesy CNN

Written by K. Mason for practicaldoubt.com

We’ve all heard the tragic news of a U.S. soldier going from house to house in Afghanistan and killing entire families, including children. It’s not that children dying at the hands of foreign troops is a new development in Afghanistan, but the fact that a soldier shot them while they were asleep in their beds should cause, at the very least, an uncomfortable chill in even the loudest of war supporters.

We can say, however, that it’s like Orwell said so many years ago, that the nationalist does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side (if he even hears about them). What can be said about the hypocritical nature of some, mostly right-wing, reactions to the news of this killing spree and the subsequent news that the Taliban would “take revenge” for it? There’s a range of, “Oh, that’s terrible, this soldier needs help,” to, “This is Obama’s fault,” to, “We should just go ahead and nuke them all.”

So many commenters invoked a line about 9/11 and the 3,000 people killed that day as a way to excuse the wrong from their side-to leave the United States blameless. Do they not realize how many more Afghans and Iraqis and U.S. soldiers have been killed as a result of the U.S. invasion? Was that not an attack of revenge? Was that not the United States’s answer of how to stop a tragedy like 9/11 from happening again?

Many other commenters had ideas about how the alleged murderer should be dealt with, and many scolded commenters who suggested that we allow the Afghans to hold their own trial. Do we not convict (or simply murder) those suspected of attacks against America? If an Afghan had come to the United States and done this, would we allow him to be sent back to Afghanistan for trial? Even among fighting in the Middle East, what would the right-wing reaction be to a Gazan murdering sleeping Israeli children compared to the reaction of an Israeli soldier murdering sleeping Gazan children? We all know that, due to bias and nationalism, excuses would be made for one but not the other. One, in fact, would require “revenge” (retaliation) but the other would be cast as militant, extreme, or evil if it were to retaliate against such an attack.

I don’t claim to know the solution to the situation. It is a mess. It is a reason that I am against the wars we’re currently engaged in. The toll on innocent and important human life, health, and happiness is too high. Anyone, however, who would seek to trivialize the incident or point fingers, to remove responsibility from the murder to the sitting president or to the victims themselves, is quite frankly a smear on the human race who needs to discover empathy and love.