What is a Human Being Worth? An “American” versus an Afghanistan Citizen

June 15, 2009

On Sunday, June 14, I read an article in the Sunday Times Online (UK), “Afghan Villagers Slain As They Took Cover,” describing the results of a 2,000-pound bomb dropped by a US B1 bomber in Afghanistan’s Farah Province on May 4. Estimates of number of civilians killed (murdered) range from Afghan officials’ figure of 140 to US officials’ acknowledgment of no more than 30. Whatever the number, the article reported that in Iraq during the Bush Administration, 30 civilian deaths (murders) were considered acceptable for each attack on a “high-value” target, but that under the Obama Administration the acceptable number has dropped to a single digit. Well, isn’t that wonderful!

I have not eaten in the 24 hours since I read the article, as I temporarily lost my appetite. The audacity, the arrogance, the insensitivity, the stupidity, the criminality, the barbarity of US Americans knows no limits. And that applies to every member of the Obama administration, including the President himself, to every member of the House of Representatives and the US Senate, and to every US citizen that can ignore these murders and continue on with their lives, business as usual.

That such behavior will sooner or later blow back into our own faces is just not conceived. And that the people murdered in this bombing, or any bombing, are just as precious and sacred as you or I is not felt, not even seriously considered. In trying to make sense of this, I have to keep in mind that this has been the US cultural ethos since our country’s origins. After all, we slaughtered native Indigenous peoples in great numbers in order to steal their land — this is what US historian Richard Drinnon describes as the “defining and enabling experience of the republic.”

We are overdue for an authentic “American Revolution” that directly confronts the Eurocentric class structure based on oligarchy and plutocracy and institutes real justice as a basis for sustainable security for everyone. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “An injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Unfortunately, it seems that our addiction to money and power absolutely precludes justice, and therefore absolutely prevents peace. The US political economy thrives on war, and so this is where we are stuck. It need not be this way; a revolution of our national consciousness can create a new ethos.


One Comment

  1. Posted October 5, 2018 at 9:16 am | Permalink

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