Hobgoblin of Small Minds Etc
This is another political entry. Sorry. It can't be helped. I should warn readers that the punch line of this piece - the first live link, there in the third paragraph - is a link that could contain some triggering images: not pictures, just words, but the sort of stuff that can give you nightmares.
Remember right before the invasion of Iraq - or the attack on it, or the occupation, whatever you want to call it, I'm not particular. Remember the run-up, anyhow? The whole point of striking Iraq was presented as, first, the liberation of a people under the yoke of tyranny, and, second, as a way of denying the tyrant in question the leeway to train up terrorists who might later attack us on our own soil. It's generally conceded that the second point was nonsense; Al-Qaeda's in Iraq now, but they most likely didn't move in until we'd unseated Saddam Hussein and destabilized his government. Who wants to try to get things organized under a tyrant, anyhow? It's rough work. Much easier to do in a place where chaos reigns.
The first point, though - I mean, we can't be expected to be, in Phil Ochs's memorable phrase, "the cops of the world," but when something cries out to the heavens for justice, how can a people of conscience sit idly by? And yet it seems that many countries in which the most horrific, wholesale butchery of innocents takes place daily can rest easy, confident that they won't even turn up on the U.S.'s radar as long as they're not sitting on an enormous oil reserve or the wrong end of a grudge. Case in point: the Congo. Of course, the case might still be maintained that the issue is terrorism - that the stability or instability of the region isn't as crucial in defeating Al Qaeda as is that of Iraq, often described by the administration as "a key front in the war on terror," but to this imagined response one can only say: oh, really?
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