Thursday, April 18, 2013

There is no "collateral damage" at the Boston Marathon!!

None of the high profile coverage of the Boston Marathon Bombing even think about calling it collateral damage, nor do I think they should. Kevin Cullen went on TV and asked a rhetorical question when considering how the bomber might respond to a question about what he did during the war and he might say, "I killed an eight year old kid." This is of course outrageous as it should be. But the obvious question is why shouldn't this logic apply to all examples where children were killed. During the same appearance they mentioned the belief that the bomber knew what he was doing clearly implying that he would have known he was killing innocent people to accomplish his goals what ever those goals might be.

Why is there little or no effort to consider the same thing about the victims of the drone attacks that have dramatically escalated under Obama including many children? The Bureau of Investigative Journalism has listed 175 children that have been killed by US drones; and as far as I know neither Kevin Cullen or any other commentator with access to the commercial media have expressed the same outrage.

Typically the way they address this involves declining to address it at all if they can get away with it. Occasionally they are forced to do so and when they happens they have a history of referring to them as "collateral damage," or finding some other way of downplaying it.

This shouldn't be limited to drone attacks which are much newer than many of the other attacks that are being made on children or adults for that matter. Many of these other forms of "collateral damage" continue to go on but it has become so routine that we don't pay attention to it anymore. This could and probably should also include concern for the many people including children that are dying for other reasons like the sweat shop fires that happen from time to time including the one last fall in Bangladesh, the large number of people that are dying because of environmental destruction or lack of health care and many other things. This is much worse in most parts of the world but it is happening here in the US as well. Many people in the West Virginia area are dying as a result of the damage being done by Massey Coal; others are dying because of pollution caused by Fracking done by the energy companies as well.

The list could go on much longer.

Banks are looting this country blind; oil companies are destroying the environment; corporations have consolidated and no longer provide real competition but the workers now have to compete with people half way around the world.

Politically connected people committing massive crimes are unaccountable. A Wal-Mart worker eating a few Oreo cookies is prosecuted to the full extent of the law at tax payer expense. Shoplifting incidents involving the theft of sandpaper or underwear are turning into shootings. A hostage incident happened to get the power company to turn the power back on. A sixty something year old man is tasered and bean bagged into submission for wielding a knife by at least half a dozen if not a dozen or more police on camera.

The massive corporate corruption is creating a terrorist breeding ground and there are peaceful protests by well informed people every week but the commercial media only provides sporadic coverage of them as isolated incidents.

Cenk Uygur recently asked how we can call our selves a democracy based on the Guantanamo activity if you add all these other inequities the answer is obvious. If you want to be honest we can't.

I don't know why this happened but it is just one of many problems with this country and we aren't trying to address any of them in a rational manner. The political system and the commercial media is controlled by a very narrow segment of our society and this seems to have provided them with yet another opportunity to create an enormous amount of hype about one of many issues that can be blamed on someone besides the most powerful people in this country that continue to do much more damage.

When the attack Sandy Hook took place many people around the world including some children in Pakistan expressed condolences; in our country at the grass roots level this might not be that uncommon either among those who are reasonably well informed but the commercial media and the political establishment isn't even trying to keep the public informed about many if any of the most important issues, presumably because they seem to be primarily concerned with advancing the agenda of a small percentage of the public that have a very narrow ideology that seems to focus almost entirely on short term profit and control of power.

photo source

Now there is another explosion that seems to be as bad if not worse in Texas and it is still to early to know for certain what caused it but some of the most credible information seems to imply that the most likely cause may have been safety violations and I wouldn't be surprised if this turns out to be an accident that might have been a result in inadequate precautions as a result of cuts to increase profits.

We have enough knowledge about most if not all of the most important issues that need to be addressed in this county to dramatically improve them but the entire media and political establishment is very selective about what views they will allow to be presented to the majority of the public and the result is that we wind up expressing an enormous amount of outrage over a relatively small percentage of the public and ignore the vast majority of the others that have also faced serious consequences. The truth is that if we had been addressing these problems properly for the past few decades it is much less likely that either the Boston Bombings or the Texas explosion or for that matter the Sandy Hook shootings would have happened.

This outrage didn't stop the last 8 year old innocent child from being killed nor will it stop the next; however if we allow a more even handed reporting that covers all the issues in a much more balanced manner that enables people to obtain the information they need to make decisions then the next one could be prevented.

Going through the same old rituals of mourning and glorifying a hero here and there didn't work before and it won't work now.

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