i just viewed something that has me a bit disturbed. the government of israel, through its ministry of foreign affairs has, for the first time posted video of the aftermath of a suicide bombing. (if you follow the links to this video, be warned that it is graphic).
the video is disturbing, of course. although, having grown up in a faces of death culture, and having received images of suicide bombing victims via email in the past, i find myself somewhat less affected than i probably should be. (as a younger man i think i might have been unable to watch the footage without nausea forcing me to stop).
i think the truly disturbing thing to me is why this tape was posted on the site. because it was put there as a “we told you so” message to domestic and international critics of the security wall that sharon is building. the conclusion is that this carnage and murder would be prevented by the completion of the fence. and photos of the brutally murdered are being used to justify a highly questionable solution to a much larger problem. i was fortunate enough to take a tour of israel (and egypt) in august 2000 with my mother. we had our own tourguide/driver for over a week, and saw much of the country and its people, and i think i have at least a sense of the issues at hand here, as well as a fairly good comprehension of the lay of the land. and i know something of history. building a big wall around a country HAS NEVER WORKED IN THE PAST AND WILL NEVER WORK IN THE FUTURE. but it will, in my estimation, dramatically increase the resolve of people wanting to do harm to the state of israel, by creating, at the very least, huge inconveniences in the lives of palestinians, and thereby strengthening overall public support for those calling for extreme measures to evoke change.
i guess this is why i am disturbed, and why i have been disturbed since 9/11. terrorist acts are seized upon in this country and elsewhere as justification for measures that themselves seem destined to perpetuate the underlying root problems that gave rise to peoples’ willingness to commit the acts in the first place. my basic nature is to attempt to walk the mile in another’s shoes, to attempt to empathize and see things from the point of view that i might disagree with. and in the past couple of years, it has been increasingly difficult for me to do that. because i just don’t see where the stated objectives of the war on terrorism and the actions to achieve them connect. mostly, it seems that extremists, opportunists, and war-profiteers on all sides are hijacking democratic and political processes through these actions of terror and fear, and fabricating justifications for territorial and economic greed that are so outrageous that my mind reels when they are not questioned.
terrorism creates confusion and hysteria and human misery, and in the past couple of years i have felt that the confusion and hysteria and suffering are being coldly and calculatedly manipulated by the people charged with the responsibility of fighting it.
awwwwwww, fuck it. i’m gonna go kill some terrorists on the xbox……