We’ve had a horrible tragedy back here in the United States. Thirty-three students are dead at Virginia Tech, with many others wounded.
Our papers are going to spill a lot of ink on this story, as they should.
But on the other side of the world, multitudes of innocent civilians are dying each and every day in Iraq. For the Iraqi civilians, it’s as though they’ve been going through a Virginia Tech massacre every day for four years. But how often do we feel any deep empathy for those innocent Iraqi victims? How hard do we have to look to find even one microscopic story buried in the back pages of the newspaper about the grief felt by the parents of a recently murdered Iraqi child?
The Virginia Tech episode reminds us how horrible it is to be hunted down by people with weapons. To be hunted like rabbits. To have people trying to kick down doors to kill you and people you care about the most. It has happened far too often as a result of American weapons. It has happened more than I can bear to think about, even judging by the estimates of those who count dead Iraqi bodies conservatively.
There’s not really a lesson here, merely an observation. When people die in great numbers, it’s not a big deal to us, unless the dead people are Americans.