the chen essay was hard to read, though he admits in the first paragraph what he’s written is a collection of scattered thoughts, and kind of lost me for good at ‘Let’s take one metric of public opinion: Facebook’.
the cicero essay immediately made me want to stop reading at ‘It is made up, a beautiful noble lie for the masses, to distract them from the fact that gas rose 30 cents today.’
seems like I think calling osama a “leader” in the same way that jefferson davis, kaiser wilhelm, and hirohito are called “leaders” is mistaken
seems like the civil war losers were all americans, so – seems like – assassinating or executing their american-again “leader” would have been problematic for americans in a way that killing al-qaeda’s “leader” and throwing his body into the ocean has not yet proven to be
seems like kaiser wilhelm’s soldiers killed american soldiers – on battlefields – who had joined the war effort against kaiser wilhelm’s soldiers almost three years after that war effort had begun
seems like hirohito was known by americans to have been a figurehead, americans who had scant problems executing prominent japanese military figures they considered to be war criminals
(seems like americans were so piqued by what they considered to be japan’s collective responsibility (for the ‘hirohito’ war) that they compared-and-contrasted two different kinds of atom bomb on japanese citizens towards the end of the ‘hirohito’ war)
seems like some indian “leaders” were killed by american authorities; some uppity or convenient negroes, too
– some murderers and rapists, too, and people with bad or no lawyers who looked like murderers and rapists
seems like every year 10 x 9/11 americans are killed by other americans
seems like, for americans (I think: not uniquely), “protocol” involves contradictory priorities and urges – like for ‘mercy’ and for ‘revenge’ – working themselves out contradictorily
seems like killing somebody and throwing her or his body into the ocean is pro to col
There are times when Chen makes a decent point: “After all, anti-Muslim hate crimes happen when regular citizens cannot imagine a more sophisticated moral vocabulary than good and evil.” I think that sentence is beautifully written, and brings up an issue that transcends anti-muslim sentiment. It really gets to the core of what is potentially so fucked up in foreign policy and general nationalistic attitudes in this country.
Even if we agree without equivocation to every assertion made in these essays, and even if we agree without dithering to every other point made elsewhere condemning this action, its causes, results, and response, the troubling fact of the matter is that once war is declared by either a group or sovereign nation, you are in a place where you cannot underestimate those who intend to kill you.
I’d add only that an “[un]sophisticated moral vocabulary” that consists only of “good and evil” is not at the core of just American nationalism; that’s not a bad thumbnail definition of ‘nation’ – at least, ‘nation’ in its fucked-up decadence. I actually agree with part of the point American flag-wavers make when they ask (rhetorically) whether most other nations, had they the power America has, would do as much damage as America does.