Value Life Like We Do! Or Else!
By Jack Perry
I overheard a somewhat interesting if disturbing conversation this weekend. A career U.S. military man was telling these folks at a coffee shop that “we” need to go into the Middle East and “mean business this time”. As in, you know, kill them all and let Allah sort them out. Now, I’ve heard all of this before so I wasn’t especially astonished. This is standard-issue manure that gets doled out via government propaganda outlets we call “talk radio” and “television talk shows”. But what he said next is what I found astonishing: “They don’t value life like we do!” What?! Excuse me, but, what?!
Right, “they” don’t value life like we do. And we’ll teach them to value life like we do by killing every last one of them! Then they’ll learn about the sanctity of human life, by jingo! I considered this point of view and wondered if this guy was a bomber pilot since that was the branch of the military he hailed from. Not to mention that is the branch of the military in control of the thermonuclear curtain-closers that the United States would use to pull off an award-winning finale to the human race if we needed to fully demonstrate how much we value life.
“They” don’t value life like we do. Pardon me, but who is “they”, hmmm? Oh, right, the Middle East! I agree. Look what happened when they got a hold of nuclear weapons. They no sooner got a hold of them and they nuked two cities and vaporized a couple hundred thousand human beings. Oh, wait, that was us that did that. Oops! Sorry, my bad. Didn’t “they” kill about three million people in the Vietnam War? Oh, sorry, that was us again. Gosh, I suppose now is not the time to mention that our Civil War dwarfs the current Syrian Civil War in terms of the hundreds of thousands of dead. We’re still not sure how many died. Could be 400,000 or it could be 600,000 or it could be 750,000 depending on the latest figures. That means we just shoveled them into mass graves and we still don’t know where those are. Yeah, they found Saddam’s mass graves, but the ones from our Civil War, meh, who cares? We value life. It must have made good fertilizer for corn.
We have an epidemic of murder and violence in our society because the government leads people by example. But because we value life, we don’t care to admit it and blame the guns instead. As if the guns just get up all by themselves and open fire. Pardon me, but the guns that wind up in the wrong hands are usually the ones the government issues. I bet we don’t even know how many people our government has killed over bizarre foreign policy objectives, incoherent ideologies, and centuries-old ideas about political institutions. The idea of “democracy” has already killed more people in the Middle East than the “dictators” we were trying to or did replace. Right, they don’t value life like we do. And if we have to murder everybody in the Middle East to prove that, then so be it, sayeth the United States government.
Because we value life, we lock up many lives in prisons for such horrific crimes as possessing a plant. We have more people in our prisons per capita than all of those Middle Eastern nations do per capita. That shows how much we value life. We value it so much, we’re willing to lock it away behind bars. What’s more, our commitment to providing greater opportunities for private prisons and private military contractors demonstrates our overwhelming resolve to value life. I’m sure the price-point-per-life appears on their spreadsheets when they bill the government for jailing one or removing one from the equation. Can’t all you Middle Eastern people see how much we value life over here?!
If you people don’t learn to value life, we’ll carpet-bomb your countries and reduce thousand-year-old cities to rubble until you do. We’ll station troops in your cities and barge into your homes to cart your sons off to jail where they will be taught how to value life using electric shock, waterboarding, and vicious dogs. The CIA just announced they won’t waterboard people anymore. Meaning they probably changed the name to “Life Valuation Training” because that’s how the government rolls. When the United States runs concentration camps, they call them “resettlement camps” or “reservations”. Just change the name and it all looks snazzy. That’s why we can call state-sponsored genocide “valuing life” and all that crap.
Gosh, I sure am glad I live in a country that values life. That must be why the cops have tanks now, too. How can you affirm life without tanks, I ask you? I mean, armored personnel carriers are nice, but nothing says “I love you” like a tank does, right? Just paint a happy face on the turret and it’s all good. Indeed, “they” don’t value life like we do. They don’t love their children, cry when their mothers die, fall in love, enjoy pizza, or smile to one another. Because if we knew that and had to admit that to ourselves, we might see that the government is lying to us about these wars. And that we, not “they”, are the ones who do not value life.
If we knew that these are human beings who want to live as much as we do, we might be compelled to make a decision: Do we value life—or not? We can’t keep blaming “them” for this violence anymore. Not when we’re part of the world that is responsible for both world wars and will probably be part of the coalition which begins the third one. Not when the United States eggs on the violence over there like it’s a mixed-martial arts cage match. “They” don’t value life like we do? Huh. Do tell.