Miami Herald columnist Carl Hiaasen says that the “human race is de-evolving…we are moving backward on the evolutionary scale. The sort of thing that used to happen only in fiction can hardly compare to what’s in the news today.”
Now, when I read Hiaasen’s remarks, it helps me calm down and feel that I’m not losing my mind when I read our local daily papers. I have become locked in on following and writing about the Middle East and now North Africa, and what I see in the papers is unreal.
Okay, NATO attacks Libya to “protect civilians”; at the very same time they do this, Pakistan pulled out of talks with NATO’s leader, the U.S., because the U.S. had killed so many Pakistani civilians. Then a senior Obama official warns the Libyan rebels, who NATO is supporting and is allied with, “…not to attack civilians. NATO has told the rebels that if they endanger civilians they will not be shielded from bombardment by NATO, just as Qaddafi forces have been.”
NATO is currently attacking homes in Afghanistan: Their latest strike killed five girls, seven boys, and two women…and NATO is currently attacking Libyan forces to protect civilians. So, if the Libyan rebels fight like NATO does in Afghanistan and Pakistan, NATO will attack them…to protect civilians. There is only one logical thing left to do: NATO needs to attack itself. It’s scary to see who’s running the world.
Why do all the White-man militaries — the U.S., Britain, France, Canada — get the freedom to fight in a manner that endangers or kills civilians, but then when a fighting unit of people of color like the rebels in Libya endanger civilians, the White militaries threaten to attack them, even when the Whites in power see their violent cause as just? This is racist.
Whites believe only they have the right to fight in a way that endangers civilians, that White military violence is the most important, and that people of color and their fight is not on the same level as Whites’ and does not merit the same freedoms, like killing civilians as “collateral damage.” Racism creeps into everything; it is apparent racism plays into how NATO is treating the Libyan rebels.
Maybe we are not de-evolving; maybe we never have evolved in the first place. At the beginning of the gang-up-on-Libya party, the international coalition, which included the United States, “hesitated to strike inside urban areas for fear of killing civilians.” But the U.S. blasted Baghdad, an urban area, in 2003 with “shock and awe” — why no hesitation before attacking Iraq about killing civilians? It appears to me, because Iraq was a White man’s “war,” that is why there was no hesitation. White men get to kill civilians in their “wars.”
The Libyan conflict is one between people of color, and the White man is overseeing it, setting “the rules” and making sure nobody fights like he does.
And the French, who led global opposition to the U.S. attacking Iraq in 2003, why didn’t they form a “coalition” back then to attack U.S. forces to “protect civilians” in Iraq, as they are now part of in attacking Libya? Just like the Brits and Americans, the French will only attack small, outdated military forces that cannot harm them…and then claim they are in a conflict.
Frank Erickson lives in Minneapolis.