How relentlessly the newscasts droned on all around America on 9/11/2006 as Americans wallowed in self-pity and pity for the victims of one day of terror in the homeland. All the victims as a class and as individuals were mourned as fully innocent victims of terror. The grief was real; just as real as the terror of that day five years ago. The pain was still fresh and the mourning was sincere. But it was also a symptom of typical American self-absorption.
Why is it that the recent victims of Israeli terrorism in Lebanon were not to be pitied or mourned during weeks and weeks of relentless terrorism? Apparently, the fact that they were neighbors or even victims of Hezbollah meant they were unworthy of pity by the majority of Americans and the American media.
The Palestinians whose lives have been touched by relentless, ongoing, brutal and thorough Zionist terror since the 1940’s are completely ignored as subjects of American pity. Their very existence as a people is under constant threat. Their children live lives of horror, witnessing the daily slaughter and suffering of an entire people. But Americans are far too absorbed in massive self-pity to care about Palestinians.
Palestinians and Lebanese are considered guilty by association with Hamas and Hezbollah, though both of those organizations were part of democratically-elected governments. The American Federal government under George Bush is a distortion of democracy, not even bothering to disguise the machinations of the Karl Rove – led Republican Party that sought to gain office through nullifying democracy, denying votes to qualified citizens by chicanery that is unknown in Palestine and Lebanon.
The occupants of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were never considered by American to be guilty by association of the storm troopers of the American Empire in business and in the military. Even though America’s corporations and military have plundered the world of its natural resources, have massacred indigenous peoples and propped up dictators favorable to American corporate interests, the American people remain pure as the driven snow in the minds and consciences of the American public. But the Palestinians and the Lebanese are treated completely differently.
If Americans had a sense of justice and a sense of proportion, the suffering of Americans would be recognized and mourned, but not exclusively. The victims of American hegemony, the victims of American empire, the victims of American injustice, which number in the many millions of innocents whose blood has nurtured the American economy should be accounted for. Apologies should be made and reparations extended.
But this has not occurred and will not likely occur, since Americans are self-absorbed and totally manipulated by a media that promotes the interests of the corporate/military/government elite. Thus, we will see again at another time more evidences of ugly, distasteful, self-pitying America. More blowback against American misadventures and injustice will occur, and more Americans will become victimized by victims of our own policies and misdeeds. America continues to send its military all around the world with the role of fulfilling the corporate agenda at the cost of uncounted and uncountable numbers of human lives.