Thursday, November 01, 2007

Colonial Values

Did anyone else find yesterday evening's Dina Temple-Raston report on the FBI's investigation of Blackwater kind of disturbing?

There seems to be no dispute that at least 17 Iraqi civilians were gunned down by Blackwater operatives on September 16th (even NPR cites that figure at the beginning of this report). Now I don't know about you, but I really wouldn't care if one or two or even ten shots were fired at some military/police guards in the center of my city if the result was that they went on a rampage killing 17 civilians nearby! Think about it, seventeen human beings who were just standing/driving/running in the wrong place.

But Temple-Raston focuses on only one issue. She says,
"To find out one key thing - and that's whether or not the Blackwater team actually took fire before they started firing their guns...."
"Well again the key issue is whether Blackwater contractors started the shooting in this square in western Baghdad or whether they were fired on. So they're going through all this ballistic evidence now looking for casings of bullets that perhaps weren't Blackwater guns, weren't Blackwater bullets. That would give some indication that maybe there was a shooting beforehand."
So you see, if the FBI can find any evidence that even one ounce of precious American flesh was targeted in any way, then 17 dead Iraqis is a reasonable price to pay for protecting it.


Anonymous said...

As I listened, trying to give her report a chance, I swear I could hear a smile on her face as she talked about the FBI buying the burned out cars from the incident. She seemed so taken buy this point - like it was such a "neat" thing that the FBI would go to so much trouble. Forgotten in her tone was the fact that these cars were essentially coffins....people died in them. Yes, overall she was much too "cheerful" for me in her delivery. The fact that 17 people died seemed a minor aside to the Mr. Wizard things the investigators were doing.
Keep up the good work with NPR Check. But man, it is getting almost impossible to listen to ME and ATC anymore. It will make you crazy.

Porter Melmoth said...

Speaking of colonial values, this particular Blackwater horror (and NPR's 'reporting' of it) is reminiscent of the Amritsar, India massacre of 1919, when the British open fired on a peaceful crowd and over 1000 civilians were killed. The commanding officer, Gen. Dyer, was actually acquitted. In a British court, of course.

Imperialism inevitably involves conflict between the conquering force, which parades itself as 'good guys' and the anonymous, faceless victims of the conquered, who often happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and in numbers that render them en masse as virtually 'expendable'. Life becomes especially cheap when it is anonymous. So, the less the US knows about these victims, the better for the neocons and their ilk. Imperialism has very little to do with humanity.

America's nouveau dabbling in Empire is not only a complete failure, it puts much of the world at toxic risk. If the US embraced a benevolence (or at the very least, respect) instead of bellicoseness, other nations would not be compelled to seek out so-called weapons of mass destruction. We are driving various nations into this posture, but that's what the neocons want, so as to justify their insane agenda.

Anonymous said...

I noticed that I heaved an involuntary groan as they were leading into this 'steaming pile.' Ol' Temple-rastin' the Jellicle (sp?) Cat AND Missy Blockhead, the one person who can take any topic- no matter how dour- and make it sound like Wee Ones Storybook Time at the public library. Gather 'round, kiddies...