All governments lie, kill and misuse public funds, but these calculated habits are amplified manifold during wars. We’re in two now, aiming for a third. Japan, whose land we’re still occupying 65 years after Hiroshima, has just announced sanctions against Iran beyond what the U.N. mandated. South Korea swiftly followed suit. It’s surprising to see these two countries so in sync, until one remembers that they have become American cheerleaders for decades. Rah, rah, bomb Tehran! A murderous chorus is rising, yet again. Countries that aren’t our client states can be counted with two hands, even those missing fingers from an exploding grenade.
Universal outrage has been drummed up over the case of an Iranian woman about to be stoned to death for adultery. She’s also implicated in the murder of her husband, for which she may be hanged. This second, more serious crime has been left out of many news stories. America also executes, but it doesn’t stone, especially for a bit of ticklish fun on the side. We inject, electrocute, gas, hang and shoot our condemned. We’re more humane that way. Forever bureaucratic, we pay attention to procedural niceties.
Our objection, then, is not to capital punishment, but to certain methods. Stoning is barbaric. We don’t stone, period, except during one of our serial wars, where we will stone entire communities back to the Stone Age. But that’s war, buddy. We also use phosphorous and cluster bombs, plant landmines that will last generations. To rectify and avenge the stoning of one woman, someone we don’t really care about, whose name we can’t even pronounce, we’ll flatten Iran, maybe by Thanksgiving.
The United States is concerned about women worldwide. It is touched and outraged by one Afghan woman, Aisha, whose nose was sliced off by her Taliban husband. To defend her honor, it has killed hundreds of thousands of her brothers and sisters. To protect her, it has destroyed her country. It’s the principle that matters. We care about the individual, at least those who are useful to our agendas. It’s the masses we don’t give a flying whoopee about. How can we not raise our voices, for example, when an imprisoned prostitute — hardly a criminal, really, even less so than adulterer — is left in a cage, to be baked to death for at least four hours in 107-degree heat? Her captors ignored her pleas for water. They wouldn’t even allow her to use the bathroom, so she soiled herself before passing out. She was still alive, however, when finally taken to the hospital, where doctors allowed her to die. Incredibly, no charges have been filed. Such barbarity and judicial callousness deserve our fullest condemnations, except that hardly anyone has heard of Marcia Powell, 48, who died in an Arizona prison in May of 2009. The mainstream media ignore her, because her abject death cannot be exploited for political purposes. We’re not trying to bomb Arizona.
Needing to kill, a government will lie before, during and after splattering blood. Eschewing subtlety, it prefers to speak in slogans and clipped, cartoonish sentences. They hate us for who we are. We must fight them over there, so we don’t have to fight them over here. We’re trying to root out the bad guys. Adopting this lingo, many Americans are dubbing the community center and mosque near Ground Zero a “jihad mosque” or a “victory mosque.” In Lower Manhattan last week, I saw a man carrying a sign, “EVERYTHING I EVER NEEDED TO KNOW ABOUT ISLAM I LEARNED ON 9/11.”
Another displayed a caricature of “IMAM OBAMA.” There was an effigy of a tied up Palestinian, complete with keffiyeh, with this placard, “OBAMA: With a name like HUSSAIN we understand. Bloomberg: what the f@&k is your excuse?”