Monday, July 23, 2012

Are Uniformed Lives More Valuable Than Those of Civilians?

"If a neighbor or an assuming [sic] pedestrian would have walked in that door or, God forbid, a first responder, they would have sustained significant injuries and/or lost their life," said FBI special agent Jim Yacone of the "30 explosive devices found in the apartment of suspect James Holmes" — Search Continues For Clues In Shooting Aftermath.

I was taken a bit aback when I heard that on National(ist) Public Radio the other day. Were I a law enforcement officer, I would have begun, "If a first responder would have walked in that door or, God forbid, a neighbor or an unassuming pedestrian..." Isn't it the job description of a "first responder" to take risks to protect us everyday people?

I've noticed this trend in Imperial America. It seems the media encourages us to mourn more for the uniformed who die in the line of duty than for innocent civilians. Maybe it started on 9/11. Yes, the NYFD's loss was that day terrible, but it was also honorable and heroic in that that died line of duty. The deaths of workers slaughtered that day was more horrifying because it was utterly senseless.

The trend either started or continues in our foreign wars. The Praetorian Guard are now heroes to a man (and a women - and don't you dare say heroine). I've heard collateral damage, i.e. the slaughter of innocent civilians, explained away as necessary so as not to put our beloved "troops" in any more danger than they are already in. Wait, weren't Operation Enduring Freedom and the Iraq War, if not about protecting our freedoms at home (which no one with a triple-digit IQ could ever believe), at least about bringing freedoms to long-oppressed peoples? In that case, weren't our beloved "troops" there to protect and serve innocent Iraqis and Afghans? Shouldn't they have been more than willing to put their own uniformed lives on the line so that innocent men, women, and children be spared?

Now that would have been heroic. (It would be natural in a war fought on the home front against an invading force, the only surely just war. If enemy Canadian invaders were holed up in your neighbor's home and you suspected his wife and children were there, you wouldn't call in an airstrike. You'd wait it out, even if it meant placing yourself in more danger.) But such heroism can hardly be expected at home or abroad in a regimented America that has melted at the sight of a man in uniform.

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4 Comments:

Blogger Schultz said...

It happened long before 9/11. I remember it in the mid-80s when I started to become socially aware.

July 24, 2012 at 10:12 AM  
Blogger Iosue Andreas Sartorius said...

Good to hear from you after all this time, Schultz, if you are indeed the Schultz I remember. Have you, too, repatriated?

July 24, 2012 at 11:17 PM  
Blogger Will S. said...

Spot on. Cops especially seem to get bent out of shape when one of their own gets killed, acting angry all out of proportion, I've noticed.

July 25, 2012 at 8:31 AM  
Blogger Schultz said...

Yep, it's the same Schultz. I fell off the blogosphere some time back and when I started reading again, I was surprised to see you back in NY! Welcome home! I've been enjoying the new blog very much.

July 25, 2012 at 9:28 AM  

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