As I’ve been reading the accounts from Boston, I’m finding the fear, the bloodshed, the carnage is a bit surreal.
Seeing the outrage that someone would do this and the fact-less claims and insinuations that it’s some Middle Eastern Al-Qaeda related attack. I’m reminded of the fact that when we engage another country, like Iraq or Afghanistan in our recent history, this is what we do to their people. This is the carnage we cause to other civilians who happen to be in the crossfire. The pain, the anger, the fear…
Can we not take a step back and realize we, as a nation, cause those same emotions when we “liberate” or “retaliate” in other countries?
Can we not use that understanding, seeing it happening in our own yards and relate? This is a time to reflect and adjust our outlooks accordingly.
I can’t believe I’ve seen news articles with exclamations like ,“They’re evil. Let’s kill them all.” In the light of less than one percent of one percent of our country’s population being killed or injured and with no idea who did it, we can see news correspondents demanding genocide of an entire religion. This passes as news coverage.
How does this differ from a video of Middle Eastern men saying America is evil and must be stopped?
1. the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.
2. the state of fear and submission produced by terrorism or terrorization.
3. a terroristic method of governing or of resisting a government.
In Iraq alone, the death tolls from 2004-2009 stands like this; 109,032 deaths including 66,081 civilian deaths. Sixty-six thousand civilian deaths. It’s unacceptable that we as a nation cause that—just like it’s unacceptable for any one in our country or outside of it to cause the comparatively minor damage of yesterday.
Can we be outraged at what happens on our soil when we’re not outraged about it happening elsewhere by our hands? Do those 66,000 people not have families to support? Children? Spouses?
An awful thing happened and I’m not trying to detract from it I’m trying to let it do some good and open up our eyes to see that others feel this same pain day in and day and our great nation is pulling the trigger. It’s not acceptable for us to do it anymore than it is acceptable for it to happen to us.
Civilians are civilians whether they are Iraqi citizens, Afghan citizens or American citizens competing in a marathon. All deserve life, respect, compassion and safety.
The list can go on and on with deaths this nation has caused elsewhere. We can debate till the end of time about whether it was warranted or not. The point here is not to discuss merit of the various conflicts but to reflect on the outcomes, the loss of life—the terrorism to those innocent bystanders in all countries. Find the connections and find the compassion to see each death as if it was on our own soil. Extend patriotism beyond the boundaries of our immediate country and be patriots for humankind. To connect the feelings we have as a people regarding 9/11, Boston, Oklahoma City, etc. to what we endorse outside of our boarders. Sometimes it may appear easy look at another country, judge them on the faults the media presents, and say, “Fuck them, they had it coming.”
Well, if that’s the case then I guess we also have it coming.
Andrew Paciocco is not a writer. He’s a project manager for a small local company in Virginia. He’s a technology geek on a budget. He’s a gambler and at home in any dingy pool hall or card room. He’s equally at home on the couch reading or riding his bike on the Greenway. He thinks you’d be hard pressed to find any animal he doesn’t love. He does the best he can and admires those who are able to be open and raw with the world.
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Ed: Brianna Bemel