Our Fatal Flaw?
I truly believe that our fatal flaw as Americans will be our inability to see beyond our own borders. Bombing Iraq is a fairly painless proposition for most Americans to get their heads around because most of us cannot even locate the country on a map, let alone conceive that there are real humans there who are really no different from us. The notion of Iraq is so abstract to most of us, it could be Mars. How easy was it for the prez to convince the American people that Saddam was now somehow the one responsible for 9/11? It was a piece of cake. Because to so many Americans, Iraq and Afghanistan are the same difference -- a strange desert land filled with godless savages somewhere across the ocean. Bombs away!
How different would things be if each of us had friends or family in Iraq? I think things would be radically different. I think we would be a great deal more careful about declaring war. All it takes is to know someone. Period.
Of course, our news media doesn't help. International news stories don't grab ratings over here like Paris Hilton. Americans want to be entertained, not informed -- or so the networks think. Therefore, we get more complete coverage of J-Lo's eighth honeymoon than of the 10,000 Iraqis and 900 Americans killed in "Operation Iraqi Freedom." We've got our heads pretty far up our asses.
Heck, even the president himself isn't very well-traveled. Guess how many times he visited Iraq before waging war? Zero. Isn't that something? I recently heard that most members of Congress don't even have passports. Don't quote me on that, but would it surprise you?
It may just be human nature to equate "different" with "hostile." The less you know about your "opponent," the easier it is to open fire on him. And that's the way the president and Fox News want to keep it.