I beamed with nationalistic pride when I learned of our country’s impressive evolution: our nation’s government is so practiced in “apologizing for carnage” that it’s becoming a perfected art. This pride become particularly bountiful when I heard NPR’s Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep yesterday talk to The Washington Post‘s Rajiv Chandrasekaran about the same topic and I learned how much worse the Afghans are by comparison (h/t dubo6254). First, Chandrasekaran observed that the level of anger in Afghanistan over their dead civilians isn’t nearly as intense and widespread as it is among Americans.
You’ll rarely see Greenwald sounding more infuriated with American complacency:
Unlike in Afghanistan, where they really don’t seem to mind, almost every American city was engulfed this week by turmoil and disruption as infuriated Americans took to the streets to rail against the ongoing slaughter by their government of civilians in Afghanistan. Indeed, “people’s sense of revulsion at this act” in civilized, life-cherishing America is “far greater” than in Afghanistan: Americans are just up in arms about it, besides themselves with rage, just like they always are when their government yet again extinguishes the lives of innocent civilians. The unrest sweeping America this week over this incident is probably the most tumultuous since that dark week of frightening protests back in December, 2009, when violent anti-war marches broke out in American cities over Obama’s cluster bomb and Tomahawk missile attack in Yemen that killed dozens of women and children. Kevin Drum this week accurately recalled the levels of American rage over the ending of that innocent human life.
Based on conversations I’ve been hearing on the street, I sense that Americans care 100 times more about the NCAA basketball tournament than they do about the fact that, for the past 10 years, the U.S. has been slaughtering civilians in Afghanistan and blithely writing it up as collateral damage. Listen to what people are talking about in your own life and let me know if there is any way to conclude differently.
Based on the shocking lack of engagement by the American media and the American public, I’ve created a new category at DI: Complacency. I’m afraid that I’m going to need to use it often.