Are Uniformed Lives More Valuable Than Those of Civilians?
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.