Trump World Grab-Bag--A Collection

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Bombing Agrabah

I can't get too smug about 30% of Republicans wanting to bomb the fictional city of Agrabah from Disney's Aladdin when 19% of Democrats questioned felt the same wayI think I'd feel a lot better if there were more people who answered "I don't know" on both sides. I'd like people to have the sense to ask "What did the Agrabans ever do to me?" before they discussed whether they should be blown up.

It just seems like too many people are in a rush to "bomb Agrabah". It's like a mental shorthand I think I'll use for things like when a Sikh youngster is arrested because some other kid claims he has a bomb in his backpack, and then is held for three days. Maybe checking what's in his bag and calling his parents first thing is what you'd actually want to do in that situation--not bombing Agrabah. Maybe when a class lesson involves copying Arabian calligraphy, shutting down school in the whole county is kind of like "bombing Agrabah".  Maybe firing a teacher for showing a movie about Nobel prize-winner Malala is making a decision to "bomb Agrabah".

Maybe it would make sense if people stopped to ask questions before coming to snap conclusions before they see the big picture. Like maybe asking who is liable to become an extremist and how they get radicalized, anyway. It would be a good start.

1 comment:

mikey said...

You're far more charitable than I would be. The simple fact is that a very large portion of Americans are fearful, tribal, hateful, violent bigots. In many ways they represent America much more than you and I do, and to many peoples around the world our wealthy, lazy, greedy, technologically advance, highly militarized bloodthirsty nation is a grave threat to the future of the entire planet. (For the record, I not only agree with them, I'm convinced they lack the ability to truly understand the brutal, sectarian, violent hatred that many, perhaps most Americans hold for any number of people who are not white christians.) A nation that collectively loves its guns, worships its military, is anxious to give up any and all liberal values in pursuit of a war, even a genocide against others, that has a massive nuclear stockpile and a history of supporting the worst brutal authoritarian regimes against their desperate populations, that routinely rejects scientific advancement for fifth century theocratic certainty, is a nation that holds in its sweaty hands the seeds of horror and suffering impossible to imagine.

I'd also mention that I'm less sanguine about the eye popping 57% that answered 'Not Sure' to the question of bombing a vaguely Arab sounding imaginary country. To me, knowing nothing about the place, the people or their perceived transgressions isn't enough to definitively rule out killing them on an industrial scale. There are fat, safe, wealthy people who have never been bombed and are unlikely to ever know what it's like. But in Europe, in Asia, in Africa, in many parts of Latin America, throughout the middle east, people have been bombed, slaughtered and murdered in conflicts large and small. We're disgusting in how cavalier we are about the death, disease and suffering of the civilian populations in these conflicts...