A little context, please?

November 18, 2004

I had planned to talk about this when the Abu Ghraib prison abuse story was being blown out of proportion and just never got around to it. It all came rushing back when I started to see this video of one of our Marines shooting a terrorist in Fallujah. Why do we so often get these stories completely out of context?

You know why. We're supposed to think that Americans are a bunch of blood-thirsty cock-bites who go around shooting unarmed men and abusing poor helpless prisoners. Were they to report all the questionable behavior of US soldiers in context, it wouldn't even be worth reporting. For example, the guy that was shot in Fallujah was a terrorist who

  1. was shooting at our Marines only a few minutes earlier
  2. may have already been dead, or if not…
  3. may have been about to spring a trap on the soldiers present

Let's compare our culture of evil callous bastards to the culture of those poor victims we're committing these awful crimes against.

Americans Our Enemies
The Crime We make men wear dog leashes and play naked Twister and shoot at people that might be about to blow us up They fly planes into crowded office buildings and saw people's heads off in front of a camera
Chosen Victim Violent criminals and terrorists that were very recently trying to kill us any way they could Innocent people that were simply going to work
Public Reaction We demand investigations and court marshals and end the careers of the perpetrators They celebrate their murderers in the streets

Remind me again what we're supposed to feel guilty about? This goes way beyond a simple double standard. The Arab world responds with either praise or silence to people who behave like animals, yet they criticize us for being human. I think all coverage of these stories should be done in a split screen, laid out similar to the table above, showing footage of all the events — not just the ones that make us look bad.

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