On April 19 John Horgan wrote a very good piece titled How Can We Condemn Boston Murders but Excuse U.S. Bombing of Civilians? in the Scientific American magazine. I think the reason why I liked it is because, among the things Horgan raises, I’ve been thinking about why do we not care about civilian losses elsewhere in the world. It made me think of whether or not people value some lives over others. . .
I personally posted more about the Boston marathon bombing last week than about violence in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Palestine, Nigeria, Mali, Ghana, Pakistan, etc. I was carried away for one: as bad as it sounds, violence in the mentioned countries happens so regularly that it has become mere background noise (and no you’re not more Iraqi than I am so don’t go crazy about the last sentence); and two: in a developed, democratic, country which ensures the safety and well-being of its citizens this kind of violence is unseen. I firmly believe that all lives equally matter. But as one of my twitter friends noted, “Not all lives are of equal weight or importance in this country (and other countries).”
Another Facebook friend who I hold in high regard notes: “… So much of the misery inflicted upon the innocent stems from the inhumane notion that some lives are worth less than others. Distance does not make death any less tragic.”
“…consider this irony: We treat child killers here in the U.S. with more care than we treat children in Afghanistan and other war zones. We excuse the killing of civilians by U.S. troops by saying that in war bad things happen–as if war is like a plague or natural disaster, for which we are not responsible. Killing innocent people is inexcusable, whether they live in Boston or in Afghanistan. Terrorists and criminals and deranged maniacs kill civilians. A civilized nation doesn’t. Or shouldn’t. Ever.”
Something to consider. . .