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Now that Timothy McVeigh has been put to death, and some people's need for revenge or
punishment may be satisfied, we can begin to think calmly of how he learned his twisted sense of
right and wrong from the government that executed him.
No one with an ounce of moral understanding can justify the bombing of a building which resulted
in the deaths of 168 people. But McVeigh didn't have to look far to find that the United States
government had done just that, but on a larger scale. In the war against Iraq, of which McVeigh
was a decorated veteran, on February 15, 1991, the U.S. Air Force dropped a bomb on an air
raid shelter in Baghdad, killing over 600 people, many of them women and children.
There had been many bombings, of buses, trains, highways, hospials, neighborhoods, in which
civilians were killed, and where the government described them as accidents. Of course, they
were not quiteaccidents, because if you drop huge numbers of bombs on a city, it is inevitable that
innocent people will die.
However, in the case of the air raid shelter, the United States conceded that the bombing was
deliberate. and justified this by the claim that the air raid shelter was a "communications" site.
Reporters going into the rubble immediately after the bombing found not the slightest evidence of
that. And even if it were, would that justify a massacre (there's no other name for it) of hundreds of
men, women and children?
If McVeigh had not been in the infantry but in the Air Force, and had dropped that bomb, killing
more than twice the number he killed in Oklahoma, he would be alive and perhaps have another
medal pinned to his chest.
In defending his bombing of the federal building, with all those dead and wounded, McVeigh used
the term "collateral damage", exactly the words used by our government to describe the deaths of
civilians in our bombing of various countries, whether Iraq or Panama or Yugoslavia. My Webster's
Collegiate Dictionary defines "collateral" as "accompanying or related, but secondary or
subordinate". Both McVeigh and the leaders of the United States government considered the toll
of human life secondary to whatever else was destroyed, and therefore acceptable.
McVeigh is no longer able to let his demented notion of morality lead to any more deaths. The
United States government, on the other hand, is very much alive, and capable of more and more
bombings-- like the ones taking place, unreported, almost every day in Iraq-- and the civilian
deaths will be justified once more as "collateral" damage.
The day after Timothy McVeigh's execution, the BOSTON HERALD ran a banner headline on its
front page: IT'S OVER! But it is not over. Terrorism is the killing of innocent people in order "to
send a message" (those are McVeigh's words and also the words of government spokesmen
when our planes have bombed some foreign city). So long as our government engages in
terrorism, claiming always that it is done for "democracy" or "freedom" or "to send a message" to
some other government, there will be more Timothy McVeighs, following the example.
No, it is not over. Individual instances of terrorism will continue - and that will be called - rightly -
fanaticism. Government terrorism, on a much larger scale, will continue, and will be called "foreign
policy". That is the perverted sense of morality which now rules and will go on ruling, until
Americans decide that all terrorism is wrong and will not be tolerated.
"I've killed more people than the Unabomber because I've paid more taxes than he has." ~ Oprah Winfrey
That is why I consider myself pretty "immoral". There is no goverment or social standard that will tell me what is good or wrong. If there was some moral out there, I would deffinitally obey it. But under these cirmustances assholes can just ask "why is this society going so morally off road?".
And afterall you voted for Bush :) It is kind of depresing thing when that so called majority is giving ME standards. Blah
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