The sound quality is much better here than in episode 1. There are still some wind gusts audible. I’ve build a windshield for the microphone. Hopefully sound quality will continue to improve. Thanks for bearing with me.
This bikecast might also be labelled a rantcast. The show notes are less supporting documentation and more a collection of supplemental thoughts I had while editing the bikecast.
I surround myself with people and media* who/which have no illusions about murder and who have healthy empathetic responses to people being butchered. Sometimes I’m caught off-guard by attempts to “reframe” murder as something that is entirely just–so long as it takes place under the appropriate circumstances.
An acquaintance of mine posted the wikileak’d footage on Facebook, which I admired, with a comment along the lines of, “It isn’t unamerican to be ashamed of this . . .”
The comment section was a reminder of the mainstream opinions that surround state sanctioned murder. Thankfully, it was largely left-of-center commentary, so I was spared tirades about how the editors of wikileaks should be shot as traitors. On the other hand, it was depressing to witness the headspace of the nominal left.
We will know when we’ve reached a state that can be called “civilized,” when:
1. An event like this could never take place–it probably cost a few million dollars to execute those villagers and journalists–only a state with a central bank and a currency monopoly could ever hope to spend that much money to slaughter civilians.
2. If such an event *did* occur, the response would be immediate revulsion and expulsion of the murderers (and their leaders, and their financiers) from civilized society.
What could be a better definition of ‘evil’ than indiscriminate murder of strangers.
Is it possible to adjust someone’s framework, even temporarily, so that their mind isn’t compelled immediately to defend murder? The clarity of the racism involved becomes clear when one recalls the lack of defense of the 9/11 attackers (or the japanese at pearl harbor, or the vietnamese at the gulf of tonkin, etc.)
The inability to understand the suffering of other “unfamiliar” people to the that degree demonstrated by responses to this, and similar, events demonstrates a psychotic lack of empathy.
Thank you to those of you who provide me with my non-sociopathic bubble.
* Here are some samples of relevant blog posts belonging to sane humans:
Chris Floyd’s Empire Burlesque is an absolute must-read in general. Here he predicts, with equal parts accuracy and sarcasm, the complete indifference of the citizenry to the news that people are being slaughtered by “their” troops half a world away.
Also predicting no pause in the killing, Mike Gogulski:
The whole goddamned thing will be swept under the rug and forgotten, much like the carpet-bombing and napalming of Vietnamese and Burmese families two generations ago. Much like the firebombing of Dresden. Much like Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Much like the massacres in the Philippines. Oh, I could go on…
der Blaustrumpf points out that this event is unusual only in that it involved journalists, a category of people that you can’t butcher with *complete* indifference.
Blaustrumpf’s article points to Glenn Greenwald. Also indispensible and the highest profile sane person I’m aware of.
The people on the ground were no threat to the American people whatever. Even if they were a threat to the U.S. military, that is only because it is occupying Iraq. There’s a simple way to end any such threat — withdraw.
This last response is especially interesting, it’s from Josh Stieber who was, at one time, in the same company with the ground forces that were present in the wikileak’d footage.