The American Bully

I woke up to the news about something happening in Boston. I wasn’t even aware what… just that my FB Page was filled with people praying for others and hoping everyone was okay. 

It took me about 2 hours to finally get to the story. Hours later, I’m no clearer about what happened, except for the fact that there were two blasts and a 3 people are dead and several others injured.

The loss of life in such a condition is always sad. But as I continued to scroll through all the news channels, with of one of those reports saying the Pope was “deeply grieved”, I wondered where was the balance? 

Last week, a suicide bomber killed almost 50 people in the US. Yet, news reports only talk about the 5 Americans killed in the attack. I had to scroll through several reports to find out how many ‘others’ were killed in this attack. Is this because the news is written mainly for the Western world, or the people who care about the world are more interested in Americans than Afghans? 

I cannot argue that the value of life is better in the US than in Afghanistan, or for that matter, even India. I know that the value of life is far less in India. We ignore beggars on street corners and traffic lights. We do not always stop to help someone who met with an accident. We don’t spare a second glance to anyone who is in trouble on the street. We are so focussed on preserving ourselves and staying out of trouble that simple compassion is going out of the window. Or it is perhaps the simple fact that the government acknowledges people in the US more than the Indian government does for its citizens. What if one dies? There are a million more where that came from. Sorry, a billion more.

I remember the fear and the hushed whispers that followed the 9/11 attacks. Osama did what everyone thought was impossible. He attacked the US on their homeground. I’m not in intelligence, so I couldn’t tell you if this was a military victory. But for long, we had thought the US was unassailable. The truth was nobody wanted to particularly go near that bully because it was pulling various other strings. So was it that Osama decided it wasn’t worth being pulled around anymore? He was a product of the US after all. 

No other attacks have happened on the US soil since. I’m sure it isn’t because it can’t be done. It is more to the effect of nobody wants to anymore. They proved their point. And sadly, the rest of the world paid the price for that. 

Americans have a stronghold in the oil-rich countries. They took hold there claiming to help. That’s how they entered Afghanistan too, didn’t they? And now they claim that the troops are suffering in Afghanistan. Pull them back. Let the Afghans ask for help when they need it. Stop supplying the wrong countries with weapons. Even better, turn off those nuclear reactors and maybe the rest of the world will too. 

US is the only country to have used nuclear weapons in war. They are supposedly one of the 5 countries ‘permitted’ to have nuclear weapons. They ‘imposed’ economic sanctions on India and Pakistan because the duo went ahead and developed nuclear weapons anyway. And then they lifted the sanctions cuz US needed their help.

Does anyone see a pattern here? And who gets to allow the US to have weapons? Does this reek of dictatorship?

But the US doesn’t see anything wrong in what it is doing. The welfare of its citizens is its utmost concern. Hence, the hue and cry over the deaths of 3 people, while their armies continue to bomb innocent countries and kill people who had nothing to do with war in the first place. Why are these lives any less precious? Because they do not hold an US passport?

I do not blame the people of US for this. I’ve close friends who are Americans and they are some of the most empathetic, wonderful people I’ve met. And they respect all cultures equally. So where lies the problem? The governments? Perhaps. Or perhaps it is the sheer arrogance of a nation made of several people who have never really paid attention to any other culture simply because they do not think anything un-American is worthy of its attention.

The death of the three people in Boston is tragic. Lives were cut short because of someone else’s arrogance. The question is – whose arrogance?

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