America is a broad country with a limited imagination.
At the same time every two-bit carny huckster grinding out his or her three-year contract on respectively obscure local news affiliates was working up increasingly hysterical tears in the hope of out-emoting peers regarding one admittedly unpleasant punch, nary an individual paused to mention the outrageously pathetic spectacle of an entire populace fretting over a single blow at the same time it scrupulously ignored collectively blundering into more warzones than can be numbered on an open hand. Such selective empathy would be ridiculous were it not so tragically absurd.
This year alone the United States had already bombed five nations. It is now six as Obama and McCain realize their plot to attack Syria. It is debatable whether American-enabled Nazis whose Kiev Coup was abetted from Washington count as committing "bombings" per se, however that is semantics if your dwelling has been otherwise obliterated in a likewise manner.
Whatever number sequel we have reached in the ongoing Gulf War Saga it is clear the conflict with ISIS is but part and parcel of the whole. Air strikes have continued for weeks throughout a wide swath of territory and if there is one thing we can be certain of it is that more than a few noncombatants shall suffer the fate of being casualties.
In Syria particularly it is the al-Assad regime, whatever else one thinks of it, which has stood between radicalism and secularism; or in practical terms between Alawites, Christians, apostates, and anyone else not subscribing verse and letter to the "rebel" interpretation of Islam. In this balance of death the United States has placed its thumb firmly on the scale of more devastation for the civilian populations of the region rather than less. The outlook for most in Damascus as of this writing is eventual Western-sponsored flight, religious conversion, damage collateralization or outright martyrdom.
Thus far Russia has seen over 800,000 refugees enter from Ukraine, a crisis largely the result of American agent provocateurs. Many of these displaced persons arrived with nothing but the clothes on their backs or at best a small satchel of provisions. As is frequently the case in such tragedies its victims hoped the trouble would soon pass and did not consider its lasting repercussions. Not only do many now lack homes but the garb they wore into exile reflected the season. Winter comes quickly and hard in that part of the world and even a few weeks makes an enormous difference in the temperature. Currently there are massive coat-drives underway.
Yet none of this destruction is seemingly as important as a non-lethal elevator incident, at least according to the public arbiters of American outrage.
Far from "respecting women" it seems awfully disingenuous to the thoughtful observer this fortnight of genuflections have been made over a woman who willingly wed her abuser while virtually no consideration is ever made of the hundreds of women who are routinely killed by the United States in missile strikes or drone attacks.
In point of fact, it would not be amiss to state these scores upon scores of women are being murdered as they have neither been convicted of nor often even accused of crimes. These women, though suffering the obvious character fault of not being wealthy or Western, merely have the misfortune of being distantly related to someone we want to eradicate…or happen to live in the same village…or on occasion simply look suspicious by virtue of attending a family reunion or wedding party.
Incidentally, that is only the women. For the sake of focusing the discussion we’ll not mention the innumerable men and children also slaughtered throughout the world because they are among the 10 or 20 innocents who happen to be nearby the 1 or 2 legitimate terrorists we target.
Coups, civil wars, military engagements and unannounced bombardment from above have all been instigated in the past twelve months alone. There absolutely exists a so-called War on Women; but it only exists to the extent you are an Afghan woman, a Yemeni woman, a Syrian woman or a Ukrainian woman.
So please forgive me if I stifle a rueful laugh when the Hannah Storms spanning from ESPN to our local newspapers are racked with guilt explaining to their daughters "why that man did that." Whatever Ray Rice or any other football player does is no responsibility of mine. He and they act for themselves.
Not so for the U.S. government, who acts in my name. With my tax dollars. Engendering hatred and wrath across the globe against myself and every other fellow American. For that, to the magnitude I contribute a penny, I am responsible. As are you. Much as it would be comforting to pretend otherwise the blood of all those innocents covers our hands and, for we who have souls, our hearts.
Guy Somerset writes from somewhere in America. He is a lawyer by profession.