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Tuesday, November 16, 2004


war crimes

an american soldier caught on tape has sparked some strange faux soul-searching.

it seems bizarre to me that this incident would be remarkable for any reason at all. american war crimes in iraq are undeniable, in my opinion -- a simple fact of our being there. scads of evidence -- anecdotal and statistical -- is accruing in favor of that view. so many larger crimes on the level of policy decisions have occurred that to make a big deal of this one strikes me as almost diversionary.

and this administration is far from the first. just a few weeks ago henry kissinger (the most laughably ironic nobel peace prize winner) had his status as a war criminal reinforced over the last month with yet more declassified evidence revealing his support for muderous right-wing dictatorships.

what is fascinating to me is not that war crimes are occurring -- indeed, i think it virtually impossible for an army and government of western individualists, confronted with modern warfare, to behave in any other way regardless of how abhorrently amoral such behavior is. the shocking and appalling is de rigueur.

it is the dimness of the people here at home, who somehow manage to ignore everything that goes on and believe blindly in some noble conception of gentlemanly warfare that died in the 19th century.

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