Wednesday, March 29, 2006


Hear that sound?

What sound you ask?

All right -- you got me. There is no sound. Not a fucking pip yelp cry or scream from any of the bigger libloggers concerning recent reports about US troops massacring Iraqi civilians, among them children. I spent this morning searching through various liblogs, and unless I totally missed it, there was no mention, much less condemnation, of the killings in Haditha and Balad. And now we have reports that US troops may have killed some 20 worshippers at the Mustafa Husayniyah in Baghdad -- but don't tell this to the online libs. You might distract them from anticipating the final results of the all-important Koufax Awards.

So here we are, entering the fourth year of this bloody madness, with reports of Americans committing war crimes, and stateside liberals remain mostly silent, preferring to tell us how much more virtuous they are compared to Republicans. I recently caught a clip, via Crooks and Liars, of Markos Moulitsas, Mr. Daily Kos himself, appearing on CNN's laughably-titled "Reliable Sources"; and Kos beautifully played the smug, self-absorbed liblogger that is more common than not on his side of the Web patch. He spoke about wanting a liberal Noise Machine to counter the right's endless propaganda. And I wondered what exactly would Kos and his friends do with a Noise Machine -- pimp for Dems? Well, duh. What else? Well, whatever they choose to blast from the thing, it sure won't have much to do with mass murder in Iraq. If libloggers can't get angry over images like this --

Then what the fuck are they supposedly doing online?

To be fair, it seems that the majority of the American public, while expressing misgivings about this whole Iraq thing (without fully knowing the history that led up to this disaster), really couldn't be bothered to care about more dead Iraqis, much less what is happening in that region. So perhaps American liberals are merely playing the mainstream card. A crude generalization? When was the last time you and a neighbor, or a co-worker, or a relative, had a serious discussion about the war? I don't mean trading Isn't-it-awfuls -- I'm talking about a real, heartfelt exchange. Do you hear or see anyone in public mentioning it, pro or con, apart from Support The Troops yellow ribbon magnets on their mini-vans? When, while standing in a check-out line, you are forced to listen to another person's cell phone conversation, how often is the war a topic? As I said last year, whenever I tried to bring up the war with other parents at my son's school, they wanted nothing to do with it, averting their eyes while changing the subject. Too depressing, they whispered. Yeah. Too depressing. Imagine that.

Fact is, unless we are somehow directly affected by this madness, like those countless thousands of Americans who've lost loved ones or have seen them come home minus limbs or peaceful minds, the bulk of the US will go to great lengths to ignore what's happening in Iraq. As Justin Raimondo recently put it:

"Today, Americans look on the Iraq war as little more than a form of entertainment, a series of flickering images darting across their television screens, disturbing but no more real than the latest horror movie. Although we are not quite as bad as the Romans – yet – in that no one seems to be enjoying the show all that much (save, perhaps, for Max Boot and Michael 'Creative Destruction' Ledeen), we are inured, like our Roman antecedents, to the moral meaning of what we are seeing, numbed by our own powerlessness and a paralyzing indifference. Infantilized by a culture of narcissism and insulated by our enormous wealth, we place a comfortable distance between the actions of our rulers and ourselves. The atrocity stories coming out of Iraq seem unreal, as if they are happening in another dimension, and certainly we bear no personal responsibility for the crimes being committed in our name.

"Or do we?"

Good question. And I think the answer is obvious.