Friday, February 01, 2008

Hearts and minds

I imagine that those who are inclined to believe that people in certain other countries don't, in the words of General Westmoreland, "put the same high price on life as does a Westerner" are even more so inclined after today's bombings in 2 Baghdad pet markets.

Numbers of dead are varying wildly, but it sounds like at least 50-75 people, many of them children, with possibly another 100 wounded. Also, those numbers do not count the fish, birds, rabbits, cats & dogs that were also killed.

It is being reported that the bombings were carried out by two women with Down's syndrome, and that the bombs were hidden in bird cages that at least one woman encouraged customers to gather around prior to detonation. It has also been reported that the bombs were detonated by remote control. The US is attributing both crimes to Al-Qaeda in Iraq.

It's all too horrible for words. And of course I have to wonder if Al-Qaeda would even be able to recruit members in Iraq if the US got the fuck out. Also, it's hard for me to hear such news without thinking of what it would be like if a bomb went off in the middle of my own Burbank farmer's market. Luckily, my market is just a stone's throw from Burbank's nice new police and fire headquarters, so the emergency response time would be good, but of course the proximity of responders could not stop a bomb from wiping out the elderly gentleman who sells avocados from the back of his vintage 60s wagon, nor the aging California blonde flower merchant who wears short shorts every single day, no matter the weather, nor the tubby brothers who purvey 10 different kinds of peppers, nor the stoner hydroponic lettuce twins, nor the Japanese apple seller with the withered arm.

The bombings themselves are horrible enough. The fact that a human being could be persuaded that any cause could justify carnage is horrible enough. Common enough as well, if you consider the history of religious zealotry, but also horrible.

What I want to ask is, can we not, oh pundits of the airwaves, make the focus of this story about how the bombers were retarded? Can we not speculate endlessly as to their level of understanding of the crimes they were about to commit?

Because we here in the United States of Glass Houses are not above juicing a few retards. Just in case ya forgot.


Larry Jones said...

This is awful. But that's war. The rich old chickenhawks who always start these things never have to deal with the horror face-to-face.

Your link to the 2000 George Bush executing retards article was chilling in light of the bellicose ignorance on display at the recent Republican debate. Now, as then, I find myself shaking my head and saying "Nobody's stupid enough to vote for that asshole. Are they?"

Grant Miller said...

If a bomb went off anywhere in the US, regardless of the carnage, it would top the day's headlines. A bomb goes off in Baghdad and barely receives a blip.


Anonymous said...

If a bomb goes off in an American abortion clinic, does it make a sound?

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GETkristiLOVE said...

Is there a significance to both women having Down syndrome?

Distributorcap said...

this is so sad --- what we have done in Iraq is something that will never will be able to be corrected or forgiven ---- a pet market -- people going out to take their kids to see the dogs.

every time i hear another douchebag Republican say the surge is working i want to puke -- how is working -- just enough so you can say it is -- tell the 70 or so people killed today and the 20 last week and the unknown amount over the past year that it is working.

george w bush and dick cheney are the two most despicable asswipes ever --- he year cant go fast enough and their crimes cant be prosecuted fast enough.

and the pundits...... how about we start a new country and exclude Tweety and Coulter

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Well said. Well done. This post was, well, great.

Pinky said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pinky said...

Your cluster map is amazing! Big question for you though - any idea what those two little dots west of North America are? Wildly absent during my 1960s geography edumacation.

vikkitikkitavi said...

Larry: This is why McCain scares me so. 100 years in Iraq? That should be on the header on every Democratic press release between now and the election.

Grant & Kirby: It's impossible to respond to one comment without referencing the other. It's not that white right-wing American terrorists aren't prosecuted, because they are, it's just that they are also worshiped and called patriots by the same meatheads who can't stop talking about towelheads.

Barb: Stop it, or I will reinstitute the dreaded word verification system for comments.

GKL: I'm not ever sure if it's true, however, everyone sure seemed anxious to leap on that as the key feature of the story, you know, the whole "will they stop at nothing?" angle.

DCap: When people say the surge is "working" I always think of the words of Inigo Montoya: "I do not think that word means what you think it means."

Dr.MVM: Danke, Monkey.

Pinky: Well, one is a Hawaiian island (Aloha, Bells On reader! King Kamehameha sure got a raw deal, right?), and the other one is like Pitcairn Island or something. I've always been big with mutinous traitors.

dguzman said...

Great post on a really sad and terrible story. Yeah, that surge is really working.