Friday, November 06, 2009



As regrettable and senseless as are the murders at Ft. Hood yesterday, we ask: When a Hellfire missile kills 12 innocent people in Afghanistan why are we not equally as indignant and outraged?

Both events can/could have been prevented. Nothing good can be gained by any of these deaths. When this happens in theatre we and they are issued an apology by a public affairs officer over the regrettable loss of life. Yesterday, the American people were told that former president George Bush and wife, and President Obama, were all praying for the victims and their families.

Apologies and prayers are not sufficient, even when presidentially-mandated.

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Anonymous barcalounger said...

" When a Hellfire missile kills 12 innocent people in Afghanistan why are we not equally as indignant and outraged?"

You bring up a good point Lisa. Since we're not in a declared war, can U.S. forces be charged with war crimes for the killing of civilians under the rules of Land Warfare?

Friday, November 6, 2009 at 6:57:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Publius said...

Lisa, I would say that the only, and significant difference is that the Fort Hood massacre represents betrayal. Realistically, whether we like it or not, innocents will die in a theater of war. If we're at all versed in these things, we know this will happen, like it or not.

What's not expected or predicted is a US Army officer opening fire on his own. This is man bites dog.

It's more important from a news standpoint because it brings the conflict home; it also informs us about the belief in Islam on the part of some. WRT the latter point, American Muslims, overwhelmingly patriotic Americans, cannot be happy.

To your credit, you're striving for equivalency, but the unfortunate fact is that not all deaths are equal.

Saturday, November 7, 2009 at 12:37:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

It goes beyond your stated position.
This event shows the fragility of the Army program to treat trauma. For gods sake this guy was a helper and was supposed to help alleviate stress.
I will not accept that all deaths are not equal. If this is true then we are not democratic nor are we christian. The entire basis of western philosophy contradicts your viewpoint.

Saturday, November 7, 2009 at 8:58:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


You are arguing that the deaths are contextually different; that is so. But on an absolute level, all lives are equivalent, as are all deaths.

In our society, the loss of brilliant banking minds in the events of 9-11 is counted a terrific loss; those of shotgun-shack dwelling residents of the 9th Ward in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina, not so much so. We can see this is the response drawn after the respective deaths. Outrage after the first event, more at disgust, after the second.

This viewpoint is repellent to me.

Saturday, November 7, 2009 at 12:36:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Ghost Dansing said...

maybe i'm just blind.....

When your education X-Ray
Cannot see under my skin
I won't tell you a damn thing
That I could not tell my friends
Roaming through this darkness
I'm alive but I'm alone
Part of me is fighting this
But part of me is gone....

three doors down

Saturday, November 7, 2009 at 5:27:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it's easier not to think about things too much. feeling real compassion for others is too much of a bummer and messes with people's good time. we have a right to be happy right? that's the point of the united states right? to be happy all the time. isn't that in the constitution and stuff, like, "you have the right to be happy at any costs" or something like that. it's not my fault people around the world can't get a clue and be awesome like us. we are so awesome and brilliant and good looking and fashionable. those jerks are just jealous of us. why don't you write about real issues like gay marriage and how we all need to have more sex.

Saturday, November 7, 2009 at 11:38:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Ghost Dansing said...

we could discuss varieties of beer for example.... and professional sports.... like how the Yankees won the world series.... baseball

Sunday, November 8, 2009 at 7:50:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Yes, happier topics. Great vid on baseball in the internment camps, thanks.

Sunday, November 8, 2009 at 10:37:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Publius said...

Anon: "it's not my fault people around the world can't get a clue and be awesome like us. we are so awesome and brilliant and good looking and fashionable."

Anon, I like your post very much. Come out of the closet and tell us who you are. And keep it up.

Ranger and Lisa: Of course all deaths are equal. Dead is dead. What's the old thing about the sparrow falling?

As Lisa points out, it is, however, often contextual, which is really all I was trying to say. No, we should never promote one dead person over another, but it's oftentimes important to find the "why" behind the death.

Sunday, November 8, 2009 at 4:02:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous CholoAzul said...

I'm worried that the 'why' behind Ft. Hood, and the spate of other 'renegade shooter' incidents is that Durkheim may just have been right.

Monday, November 9, 2009 at 12:35:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

why worry? if he was right, then what's happening is a necessary "mirror" to negatives that already exist. not that i'm convinced that's what's happening. please explain, holmes.

Monday, November 9, 2009 at 2:50:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous CholoAzul said...


Just me, but I think it is called 'suicide by cop' for a good reason... and that those particular incidents are but a drop in a larger wave of suicides.
The search for reasons may settle too easily on outward appearances wrapped up in the hyperbole attendant to tragedies.

Or maye I'm wrong and killing ourselves off is a societal norm.

Monday, November 9, 2009 at 8:15:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Grung_e_Gene said...

All Human lives are equal, that we focus on Fort Hood is merely because the Government learned the lessons of Vietnam from Basil Fawlty, "Don't Mention the War!"

Out of Sight, Out of Mind...

Monday, November 9, 2009 at 1:01:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Labrys said...

Who says some of us are not as outraged?

Monday, November 9, 2009 at 1:29:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Suicide-by-cop may be a very old phenomenon.

Perhaps not dissonant is your "killing ourselves off is a societal norm." Maybe so (if not quite so overtly), for what is overeating and every other overindulgence, and our stasis before our forms of entertainment and computer screens?

Are we a culture which worships death, or life? If one went strictly on the basis of many religions, one would guess one's reward comes only in the the unproven afterlife.

Monday, November 9, 2009 at 3:22:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't mean to seem so clinical about the "why worry" thing on durkheim's observations. i was pretty drunk. what i meant was if durkheim was right than society should correct itself by "finally" realizing that these aggressions are only symptoms to grander societal negatives. i would worry more about our culture having evolved/mutated into something more sinister than Durkheim could have imagined.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009 at 9:25:00 PM GMT-5  

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