Wednesday, October 10, 2012

How To Build Yourself An Enemy

You may have heard a few weeks ago about how some idiot made a crappy movie on youtube that insulted the prophet Muhammed. And then in reaction to that, a bunch of people in Libya rioted, attacked an embassy, and killed several people.

All over a crappy youtube movie. What savages.

Except that narrative is utter and complete bullshit.

You see, if you pay attention to the date the attacks occurred, you might notice a date of some import. September 11th, to be exact. You know, a day which has been used a justification for the on-going slaughter of now in the millions of people in the Middle East. It's been used to justify killing people in Iraq (not at all responsible for the 9/11 attacks), Pakistan (not at all responsible for the 9/11 attacks), Syria (not at al responsible for the 9/11 attacks), Libya (not at al responsible for the 9/11 attacks), and  Afghanistan (marginally responsible for the 9/11 attacks at best).

Do you notice a theme there? Now suppose you lived in one of those nations. Do you think that maybe you might be a little upset over how the 9/11 attacks are being used as justification to murder and terrorize you, your family, your friends, and your countrymen? Especially since, you know, neither you, anyone you know, or even your government was in any way responsible for those attacks.

But this is a narrative that doesn't work in America. Because to understand this version of events (you know, the actual version of events), you have to be willing to admit that maybe, just maybe, the United States is in the wrong here. You'd have to admit that maybe, just maybe, people are right to be upset about seeing their families murdered and terrorized for no reason.

But this is something we absolutely cannot acknowledge in America, because America is right about everything ever all the time. So instead we desperately search for a why? Why could anyone be mad at us, the lovable dictator of the world?!? Everyone loves someone who constantly tells them do what to do and threatens to kill them (or actually does) for no particular reason, right? Right?!?

So we search for some proximal cause, no matter how ridiculous it is. So instead of being upset over the decade plus of terror, death, and destruction wrought by the war on terror, these savage idiots are upset over a movie.

Ha! What backward savages! They have no real complaints, they're just all blood-thirsty murderers who can't be reasoned with! 

Thus even people who normally don't care for murder or war will throw up their hands and say "what can you do? We need to fight them, because if they're insane enough to kill people over a movie, obviously they're too insane to be reasoned with."

Now, granted, the Obama administration has finally come clear, somewhat admitting they made up the whole story. But it doesn't matter, because the narrative is already out there, and we all know how effective back-page retractions are at pushing a good narrative out of the public imagination...

So, in case you missed it, a nice reminder that We're the good guys who have peace and reason on our side and are regrettably sometimes drawn into fighting because ignorant savages can't be reason with. They, on the other hand, are such ignorant savages that they kill people over an internet movie. Good riddance.

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