Saturday, June 03, 2006

Is America--are Americans--better, kinder, gentler?

With the revelation of Marine massacre and others atrocities by our troops in Iraq, we now engage in self-analysis. Is this the tip of the iceberg? Have all those uncounted Iraqi bodies remained uncounted because so many were our victims? Are we, as invaders and occupiers, any different from previous invader/occupiers?

Surely, we're not Nazis. But aren't we comparable to the French or the English or the Romans? If we concede that, we become just another empire, capable--indeed effectuating--similar disdain for occupied territory and conquered peoples. And that, ladies and gents, means My Lai and Haditha and abu Ghraib--and many other, yet-unnamed outrages.

It's time Americans understood this: We're just another nation, with the same quality of folks as previous nations. We're not "special," not "God-blessed," not better, not worse. Just another nation, warring and winning, and eventually declining because of it.

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