Virginia Tech and The War on Terror
I was at the gym talking to a guy this morning who was commenting to me about the senselessness of the shooting at Virginia Tech this past Monday. The guy shook his head and wondered aloud what the world was coming to. I made a comment to him about how people are so angry and compartmentalized into so many different segments that no one feels a part of the population as a whole anymore. If the Virginia Tech shooter felt like he was part of his community then he’d have no reason to shoot up his own neighborhood.
The guy agreed with me and started his own philosophy. He explained to me that if everyone would stick together for a common purpose the world would be so much better than what it is now. It doesn’t matter if you’re black or white, Christian or Jew or any other religion, it doesn’t matter your political party, we need to put all that aside so we can come together and help each other out.
But then my conversation partner started to deviate from his tracks and started to crash his train of thought. You know these politicians, all of them are scary. Al Gore with his global warming, I just can’t buy into it. And that Hillary Clinton, imagine what would happen if she got into office. If that fiasco she did with universal health back when Bill took office was any indication she’s not good for anybody.
But wouldn’t universal health care be good for the community?
Not the way she wanted to do it. We can’t afford to insure everybody.
Well I don’t have healthcare so I think it would be a good idea.
But we can’t afford to insure everybody. I had to get prostate surgery a couple of weeks ago and then last month I had a herniated disc I had to have operated on and between those two surgeries I had to pay eight hundred dollars. If I didn’t have a health plan with my job it would’ve cost me about eighteen thousand dollars.
That’s a very good plan. I had to pay to have a tooth extracted and it cost me nearly two hundred dollars.
Well that’s my point. If everybody was getting eighteen thousand dollars in services and only paying eight hundred then the system would go broke.
All kinds of alarms started going off in my brain as my internal idiot detection system reached critical mass overload. The guy didn’t have a clue about the discrepancy in his own thought patterns. Everybody should work for the common good of his welfare.
Like a lot of people here in America my gym acquaintance isn’t bothered by incoherent thought and refuses to examine social or political issues any further than what Katie Couric and Brian Williams tells him to. He believes he can solve America’s problems by focusing only on what’s good for his little world and not for the community at large
This wasn’t the first time I was subjected to his small thought patterns.
A few months ago we were in the gym watching the news on the tube about Iraq. The news anchor had just announced that the death toll for American soldiers in the War on Terror had just pegged the three thousand mark. The guy shook his head.
You know we need to get out of there. America doesn’t have to stay there. We should pull our military out of Iraq but tell them if they ever bomb us again…well they didn’t bomb us the first time so I guess that wouldn’t be right. But we should let them know that if they ever think about bombing us we’ll nuke them back to the stone age.
But we already attacked a country that had nothing to do with any bombing. Don’t we owe them something?
I think after three thousand dead soldiers we’ve paid our debt.
But they have over 650,000 dead because we attacked them.
Those numbers are so inflated. It’s only about fifty thousand or so.
Okay…they have fifty thousand dead because of America. That’s civilian men, women, and children.
The guy shrugs and says, well…these things happen. It isn’t right. It’s unfortunate. But there’s nothing we can do about that right now but leave.
To me this guy doesn’t think any further than he absolutely has to. His adjusted number of fifty thousand dead Iraqis doesn’t even register in his brain. He has absolutely no connection to the people of Iraq and doesn’t even see them as human. Yet thirty-three students die in Virginia and he’s consumed with remorse enough to kick his brain into half-assed thinking.
I wonder what would he have said if I simply shrugged my shoulders and said that these things happen. It’s unfortunate. But there’s nothing we can do about that right now. I’m sure my friend would think I was callous and unfeeling. Probably would report me as a member of a terrorist cell. Regardless we need to keep a perspective of what’s happening not only here in America, but in what America is doing around the world.
It is horrible to the American psyche that thirty-three students died on a college campus. That number of people is dying everyday in Iraq. For every person that died at Virginia Tech Monday, nearly twenty thousand Iraqis have died in this war on terror according to some estimates. If you choose the more conservative number that some people pull out their ass it’s a ratio of nearly seventeen hundred to one.
The President feels it’s necessary to make an appearance at the school for those thirty-two kids shot by the gunman who then killed himself. But that’s the number dying in Iraq everyday because of his decision to invade a country to pillage its resources. The President would have to setup residence in Iraq if he showed the country of Iraq a fraction of the remorse he showed Tuesday during the Virginia Tech memorial.
Let’s forget about the Iraqi people like so many Americans would like to do. How about the nearly thirty-three hundred American soldiers that have lost their lives. That’s a ratio of nearly one hundred soldiers for every student shot Monday. Doesn’t anybody else see this?
If Virginia Tech was an all black school I’m sure my gym associate would have a totally different perspective of the entire incident. More than likely he would make an offhanded and pert near racist remark about how there’s so much violence in black communities and how Jesse Jackson needs to do something about it. I’m sure he’d shrug his shoulders and simply say that these things happen.
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