Sunday, February 17, 2002

Can you imagine how unlucky you'd have to be to: 1) be born in Afghanistan in absolute poverty; 2) grow up in a country subject to a cold war proxy battle between the Soviet Union and the United States, leaving the country run by a group of religious fanatics; 3) be in a country attacked not because of its wealth but because it is a good place for a pipeline; 4) have bombs dropped on you, though you've done nothing wrong and don't even know why the bombs are being dropped; 5) due to your extreme poverty, have to make money by gathering the metal scrap from the bombs that have been dropped on you; 6) die when in the process of collecting the metal scrap somebody thinks you may be someone else and decides to blow you up on the slight chance (one of the victims had the misfortune to be a dead ringer for bin Laden in that he was - um - tall) you might be that someone else? Some people just have bad luck (and, hey, it's not like they're human beings or anything). These unlucky bastards were perhaps luckier than the anti-Taliban village that was attacked by the Americans as they thought it was a Taliban village. Then when the villagers had the temerity to defend themselves by firing back, the Americans got really mad, captured the village, handcuffed some of the villagers and then shot them (can you say 'war crime'?), and tortured the rest (but, hey, it's not like they were human beings or anything). The U. S. military denies everything. Now the Americans are simultaneously quibbling about whether they've murdered 3000 or only 300 innocent civilians in order to allow some very rich people to build an oil pipeline, and wondering why so many people in the world hate them.