Not all middle-easterners hate Americans, and not all Americans hate them. While more of them hate us than vice-versa, imagine the shit that would hit the fan if a bunch of americans televised a saudi man who’d lived here for ten years being beheaded. The guy they killed wasn’t part of any invading force, he lived there. Yes, he worked on helicopters, probably because he, like everyone else, needs a magical thing called ‘money’ to get by. Notice that nobody brings up the suicide bombings forced on Iraqi civilians, yet American troops, who are likewise doing what they’re told, are seen as an evil army.
The whole point of Russian Roullette is to bet on the next guy who pulls the trigger on a loaded chamber. They are willingly risking suicide for no reason other than money. They are not following orders, or not promoting any cause. There is no comparison.
I’m not saying the people as a whole are barbarians, only the ones killing in such gruesome methods. Even so, it is more than likely that they, too, are following orders. We can all rant and rave all over these boards, but the truth is that nobody here truly knows what’s true and what’s not in this war. The only thing I know for certain is that it shouldn’t have been started in the first place.
We’ve also been meddling in their affairs much more than they’ve been meddling in ours, and we’ve been causing much more destruction in their part of the world than they have been causing in ours. Also, perception is involved heavily here - many people in Middle Eastern countries think that because our government is a democracy, everything it does can only happen if most of us wholeheartedly approve of it. That is, they think that we hate them. We have a similar thought process.
I think what he was trying to say is that the man knew the circumstances, and considered it an acceptable risk to go into enemy territory unprotected, and therefor shouldn’t be surprised if someone came along with a big knife and removed that thing sticking out of his neck. His actions were interpreted by the enemy as an invitation to kill him, and that’s why he “had it coming.”
“The murder of Paul shows the evil nature of the enemy we face. … We must pursue these people and bring them to justice before they hurt other Americans.”
As if Bush is fit to determine who’s evil and who isn’t. The militants killed a man who worked in an Apache helicopter that probably killed many of them. They’ve done some bad things? So has Bush. His blind aggressiveness has left many people who were more innocent than Paul Johnson dead. Yeah, beheading is a brutal way to die. So is being hit by a U.S. air-to-ground missile. At least Paul Johnson was involved in the war.
Bush mentions “the evil nature of the enemy we face”. How can he conclude from one murder that “the enemy” is evil, when so recently our soldiers were humiliating and abusing many prisoners? Isn’t it obvious that Al Qaeda is saying the same thing as Bush - that the enemy humiliates and abuses them, and therefore is evil?
It’s not good and evil that separate Bush from Al Qaeda; it’s different perspectives. The things each party is doing to the other are only justified by an assumption that the other is evil. If Bush would step back and consider his “enemies” as people with good motives on par with his, only coming from a different perspective, he couldn’t in good conscience talk about them like this. They’re people, not forces of evil. So is Bush, if Al Qaeda could ever realize it.
Bush also says, “We must pursue these people and bring them to justice.” What is justice, in this context? Doing the same thing back to the beheaders? Justice is sanctioned revenge. Justice is taking an American who helped out on a helicopter that was killing your people, and cutting off his head. If both sides received justice, a lot of people would just die. Why “must” our aim be to “bring them to justice”? That just means, punish and kill a lot of them without letting them do the same back. We can win over them, yeah; but wouldn’t we rather win them over? We can, you know. The money we’re spending maintaining our war effort could rebuild Iraq and Afghanistan. Right now we can count on being targetted by terrorists; wouldn’t we rather count on having friends we’ve helped out, on whom we can rely for future help? We helped Germany massively after WWII, even though they’d done far more to us than Iraq and Afghanistan; and we ended up with a powerful, long-term ally.
Bush finishes, “. . .before they hurt other Americans.” Is hurting Americans worse than us hurting other people? Militants killed an American; so we have to “bring them to justice” by sending many soldiers to their deaths. Bush wants to keep Americans in a fearful enough state to continue blindly supporting war. If the fear of terrorism lets up for awhile, people will start thinking about other things than killing people, where Bush hasn’t shined so well.
Right, his actions. Which were, according to the article:
*Living peacefully in Saudi Arabia for ten years
*Working for Lockheed Martin, maintaining the Apache helicopters there
I mean, he’s NOT in “enemy territory.” He’s been there for ten years and not once in ten years has Saudi Arabia been “enemy territory” in relation to the U.S., and not until recently were we at war with any nation even NEAR Saudi Arabia. It’s be like an American living in, say, Mexico, just getting kidnapped and beheaded out of the blue - nobody in their right mind would expect that to happen, and it’s terrible, horrible, disgusting. It’s okay to be angry at the terrorists for being brutal assholes, and still be against the U.S.'s actions. It’s really not hypocritical.
I guess I should mention that the US State Dept. issued a warning to all American civilians in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and so on, to get out, like months ago or something (quite a while ago is all I’m sure of).
That doesn’t make what happened right, but even though this sorta looks like I’m contradicting what I said earlier, it makes me wonder what Johnson was thinking. I can’t imagine me being there while all this shit is happening.
Your point is well taken. While I can’t speak for that guy, yes I’d definately get the hell out unless there was something I cared for more than my job tying me down. After what happened to the first hostage, I don’t think I’d wait around, you know?
I do think Saudi Arabia is “enemy territory” in certain ways. I know some people from there who live here in Brazil. Ever since I was a little kid there was this boy in my school who would say that “the world would only be a better place after every american had been hanged or burned to ashes”. That goes farther than a decade ago. Also, if you took the time to read some news, you would see that this was not the first hostility against americans in Saudi Arabia. There have been dozens more in the last two years.