Sunday, November 19, 2006

I've got mine - who cares about yours?

Entry for Sunday, 11 September, 2005

Here's a copy of a letter to the editor that I penned this weekend after one
of my classes was disturbed by a
bunch of immature college students screeching
and yelling incoherent nonsense against our soldiers in Iraq.
I thought since today is the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks
against the United States, it would be fitting to point out that while
fighting terrorism is certainly a noble cause, there are other causes
that are just as noble being addressed by our current military activities.

Of course I in no way wish to denigrate the war against terror, which
I believe is a necessary war. I am just pointing out that if perhaps
some of the other issues in the letter below had been addressed before
now, perhaps there would now be no need for a war.

Dear Editor,

Concerning the anti-war rally Thursday, I can't help but notice that the
fact that these students can do this without the gestapo breaking in their
doors and hauling them off to prison, or sending them to a permanent
vacation in Siberia or a mass grave in the desert, is only because about
230 years ago a war was fought and people were killed in it. The purpose
of this war was to secure basic human rights for the colonists, and yes,
incidentally to protect the economic well-being of the colonies. Because
those people fought and died, we enjoy basic legal human rights today -
including the right to make rear-ends of ourselves in public.

I am especially amazed that there should be any women in the anti-war
camp. How would they like to be dropped into Taliban controlled
Afghanistan, or Saddam controlled Iraq, or Saudi Arabia, perhaps, where
it's illegal to believe in any religion other than Islam - and where
women are property who can be bought and sold
and forced into concubinage or murdered with nary a glance from the
authorities? Forced marriages, child marriages, honor killings - the
list goes on. I presume they don't care about the rights of women in
other countries, as long as they have theirs.

Or is it a deep pervasive racism - somehow non-white peoples, male or
female, don't deserve to be freed from oppression and fear? If an evil
murdering dictator took over Great Britain or Canada and started
slaughtering the white population, I doubt you'd be seeing this type of
rally. I also didn't notice anyone saying "it's not our problem" when
the Soviet Union was oppressing white political dissidents. Rather it
was widely acknowledged that those actions were evil and that any and
all help should be given to those trying to escape. The genocide in
Darfur, however, got no such sympathy. Forced abortions in China - who
cares? Tibet wiped off the map? Old news. Drug lords terrorizing native
South Americans? Boring. Arabs blowing up busloads of old ladies and
school kids - well, it's just Jews. Anyone notice a pattern here?

Or is it just arrogance and selfishness? American soldiers are fighting
and dying to uproot terrorism, free oppressed peoples, and yes,
incidentally to protect the economic well-being of Americans who even as
I write this are complaining about the price of gasoline being too high
and how it's hurting their standard of living. Spoiled brats - insisting
that there is some sort of amorphous moral obligation that the universe
make sure Americans live in comfort, peace, and rule of law - and expect
the rest of the world to sacrifice their natural resources to make it so
- but aren't willing to make any sacrifice at all for the rights of those
same people to have comfort or peace or rule of law.

Whichever it is, it's disgusting. So was the rally.

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