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"America's Hierarchy of Human Life"

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posted on Sep, 13 2012 @ 09:58 PM

It is understandable that the senseless killing of an ambassador is bigger news than the senseless killing of an unknown, obscure Yemeni or Pakistani child. But it's anything but understandable to regard the former as more tragic than the latter. Yet there's no denying that the same people today most vocally condemning the Benghazi killings are quick and eager to find justification when the killing of innocents is done by their government, rather than aimed at it.

It's as though there are two types of crimes: killing, and then the killing of Americans. The way in which that latter phrase is so often invoked, with such intensity, emotion and scorn, reveals that it is viewed as the supreme crime: this is not just the tragic deaths of individuals, but a blow against the Empire; it therefore sparks particular offense. It is redolent of those in conquered lands being told they will be severely punished because they have raised their hand against a citizen of Rome.

Just compare the way in which the deaths of Americans on 9/11, even more than a decade later, are commemorated with borderline religious solemnity, as opposed to the deaths of the hundreds of thousands of foreign Muslims caused by the US, which are barely ever acknowledged. There is a clear hierarchy of human life being constantly reinforced by this mentality, and it is deeply consequential.

This is a vital process for enabling and justifying endless aggression. It is a way of dehumanizing those who are killed by the US while venerating American lives above all others. As the media watchdog group Media Lens put it today:

"A crucial task is to perceive how our compassion is channeled towards some and away from others. It's the foundation of all mass violence."

The death of Ambassador Stevens and the three Americans who died with him is as tragic as the constant killing of innocent people by the US, but not more so.

He's absolutely right.

It's seems so hypocritical to have such outrage over the killings of paid political operatives - who accept the dangers of their jobs - when innocent citizens, many just children, in Islamic countries are considered collateral damage in the so-called War on Terror.

Of course it's only natural to have a sense of connection to our own countrymen, but to discount the impact that the other deaths have on our enemies or even our allied countries is obtuse and, indeed, sociopathic.

Maybe it's this lack of empathy that has us in this very predicament?

I'm interested in what ATS might have to say about Greenwald's observations.

Also, I just find him to be so smart and, really, kind of fascinating.

He is a Constitutional lawyer, a politically independent Gay American, living in Brazil because his partner has been denied entry into the U.S. He is an ardent supporter of Bradley Manning and wrote extensively about his Draconian prison conditions.

He speaks convincingly on so many issues, particularly about the slow descent of the U.S. into a Police State... Maybe the distance gives him some clarity?

posted on Sep, 14 2012 @ 04:43 AM
The truth of this is so obvious, that to state it seems superfluous. But it is not just America in which this attitude is being put forward as a prefered cultural convention. Britain is guilty of it also. We report every single British death in Afghanistan, but we do not report the deaths of the hundreds of innocent non combatants a year, that die as an incidental result of prosecuting a war against a terror cell, dug into a civillian location.

We justify these things to ourselves, nationally, rationalising murder as a matter of national security, defending our own position claiming that the terrorists should not bed down in built up areas, that it is THIER fault. This is bull. If we WANTED the civillians to be safe, we would have sent intelligence agency hit squads, not whole armies. To deny it is to fool yourself. For all our pontificating about safety and freedom for Afghans, about liberating them from the Taleban, the truth of the matter, is that we simply do not give enough of a crap to do a more accurate and clinical job.

posted on Sep, 14 2012 @ 05:14 AM
So true. I noticed this when I started paying attention to war propaganda, starting with the first Iraq war. They made more noise about dead soldiers then, but now they won't even show a casket coming home for some reason.

Thanks for the Roman Empire comparison, I didn't see that for some reason. Starred and flagged for that part.

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