Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Roadkill

(WARNING: Potentially insensitive analogy ahead)

While here in South Carolina, I saw both a dead cat and a dead dog on the side of the road (not at the same time). It's a sad sight to begin with, and then I think about how that that cat and that dog were probably someone's pets, and some unfortunate family is just devastated because their four-legged family member got hit by a car, and that makes it even sadder.

Now imagine that it's someone's mom or dad or grandma or brother or son, and they got shot or blown up for no good reason other than that they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Now imagine that there's hundreds of thousands of them.

20 comments:

shoephone said...

You brought that one home, Eli.

Speechless.

kyklops said...

Hold on a sec... are you implying that some foreign people in some foreign country should mean more to me than my precious Fido and Tinkerbell? Are you a fucking communist or something?

Eli said...

I know you're kidding, I'd be willing to bet that most of 'em mean a lot more to their families than your pets do to you. But unfortunately, we only seem to be able to weigh tragedy in terms of what it means to us, and the idea that an Iraqi, or any foreign non-caucasian person is as important and valuable as we are is just inconceivable to us.

op99 said...

I wonder how much sooner the country would have turned against this invasion if we had been shown the images of "roadkill" of civilians, including babies, every night on TV, the same as al Jazeera's and al Arabiya's audiences have.

Eli said...

I'm not sure how much of a difference it would have made, to be honest. I don't think the problem is that Americans didn't know Iraqis were dying - I think the problem is that Americans don't think of Iraqis as real people.

four legs good said...

I don't have to imagine it, because I know it's already happened.

The horror over there isn't shown enough, but the pictures that do make the papers here are awful enough.

I don't understand why people aren't moved by the image. I just don't get it.

Sanjay said...

Well if it did not happen to you, it does not matter? Lack of empathy?

Anonymous said...

I have a sneaking suspicion that I care about my pets considerably more than the average Muslim man cares about his wife/sister/other female relative.

I'm pretty sure I treat my pets better, too. For example, I am not going to beat my dog to death for bringing shame to my family.

So, while yes it's always bad - very very bad and wrong - to have civilian casualties, we are talking about a culture that treats its women REPREHENSIBLY.

I am talking about people who sell their female children into marriage (slavery?!) to much older men. People who control every aspect of their womens' lives. Forgive me for not feeling sorry for them.

op99 said...

I don't think the problem is that Americans didn't know Iraqis were dying - I think the problem is that Americans don't think of Iraqis as real people.

While that is certainly true of a segment of the population, I believe there is a distracted, low information slice that does respond viscerally to visuals of dead babies (even "brown" ones), and to visuals of soldiers' coffins. Such images were deliberately censored to prop up support of the war. If such images were in our faces 24/7 instead of missing white women, we would be abusing President Kerry today for his conduct of this occupation, and he would be getting out.

op99 said...

Forgive me for not feeling sorry for them.

No. You are not deserving of forgiveness for such a racist, callous, and inhumane attitude.

Eli said...

I don't understand why people aren't moved by the image. I just don't get it.

They're *other*. It doesn't count. There's definitely a sense of "Oh, how sad, what a shame", but I don't think most people have that sense of context, that each dead body is more than "just" a dead body.


I believe there is a distracted, low information slice that does respond viscerally to visuals of dead babies (even "brown" ones), and to visuals of soldiers' coffins.

I dunno. Remember the pictures from Abu Ghraib? In the grand scheme of things, they had barely any impact at all. Although I do wonder what would have happened if people had seen that truly ghastly picture of the tiny baby in its jammies, with its head completely blown off. That was one of the most truly horrible things I've ever seen.

There was also the picture of that little crying Iraqi girl, with her dead parents' blood all over her, which I think did get published, and it didn't seem to have much effect either.

Anonymous said...

No. You are not deserving of forgiveness for such a racist, callous, and inhumane attitude.

And it's not racist when a muslim man assumes that I'm an immoral whore because I'm an American non-muslim woman?

It's not inhumane when a man beats (or kills) his twelve year old daughter because she doesn't want to get married?

If being disgusted by these peoples' lifestyle makes me callous, then I am proud to be callous. It's sick that you can be so dismissive of what goes on.

op99 said...

And it's not racist when a muslim man assumes that I'm an immoral whore because I'm an American non-muslim woman?

It's not inhumane when a man beats (or kills) his twelve year old daughter because she doesn't want to get married?


Yes, a) is racist and b) is inhumane. Aren't you proud of matching those attitudes tit-for-tat?

Buckeye, Dealer of Rare Coins said...

t's not inhumane when a man beats (or kills) his twelve year old daughter because she doesn't want to get married?

If being disgusted by these peoples' lifestyle makes me callous, then I am proud to be callous. It's sick that you can be so dismissive of what goes on.

12/21/2006 11:04 AM


You're being dismissive of an ongoing near-genocide in what was one of the most seculur ME countries and yet you accuse us of being dissmissive?

Being aware of the treatment of women worldwide (including the US is one thing). Being dismissive of the vitims of a civil war because of your attitude is another. Try not to be a Grinch.

Jingo said...

This is to anonymous: To you it may seem inhumane and immoral, to them it is the norm. And the women accept it.

There are a lot of things that seem immoral and inhumane that would make a muslim sick, but you wouldn't think twice of it.

And you are referring to all muslims as if are all extremists and you go by the stupid stereotypes. That's very ignorant of you.

Elmo said...

Bring back the draft and more people can see the carnage for themselves first hand.

But I guess that would put a damper on Christmas, too secular progressive for America...

And as long as we're stereotyping, all anonymous poster have little dicks.

Jenny from the Blog said...

Gee, Anonymous, people all over the world can pick up one of our local newspapers and read about rape and murder in our prisons, parents torturing their children to death, a foster care system that almost guarantees the most horrific abuse to the helpless young ones entrusted to the care of insane maniacs.

They can read about the death of Matthew Shepard, the good christian fundamentalists who do god-knows-what to their children and leave them emotionally crippled for life from the abuse, both mental and physical... and should I go on?

Get real.

Interrobang said...

You know, funny thing, I went to high school with girls whose fathers regularly beat the crap out of them for "bringing shame on the family," more or less. I went to high school with people who used their religious book to justify all kinds of bizarre, inhumane, deranged things. I even went to high school with people who believed that women should be covered neck-to-ankles and that anyone who didn't dress that way was "bad."

I was born and raised in Canada, and all those people would tell you they were Christians. As far as I'm concerned, they are, too. I don't buy the argument that "real" Christians don't do that kind of thing; some Christians do, some Christians don't. Ditto Muslims. Ditto Jews. Ditto any other religion you want to name.

The bigoted, misogynist, son-of-a-bitch faction comes in all shapes, sizes, creeds, and colours.

Eli said...

I don't hate Muslims, or Christians.


I hate fundamentalists.

Nancy said...

Well done, friend.