Children of a lesser god
Half of the United States of America is in mourning; the other half is beating the drums of war.
We have seen this before, most gruesomely after the September 11, 2001 deaths in America: while others cry, others get the nation ready for war against an unknown enemy.
Up to now, al-Qaeda has not taken responsibility for 9/11. And knowing how these groups rush to claim responsibility for such mortal blows to America and empire, it should be cause for concern that no one is questioning the claim that Osama bin Laden was indeed responsible for 9/11.
But no one in America will question that. Instead, they will railroad the country into war and bomb every shadow back into the Stone Age.
Take for instance Fox News commentator Erik Rush’s response to the Boston bombings on April 15.
Now, we all know that Fox News is a rightwing rag so steeped in hard-line absurdities that you cannot tell its head from its ass. But it must be taken seriously because it has already proved (with 9/11), that it can drum up support for war like the best in the business.
Erik Rush says Muslims are responsible for the Boston bombings and that “they’re evil”, adding “let’s kill them all”.
Evidently, Muslims ‑ like all other non-Americans and non-Europeans ‑ have lesser rights than anyone else and deserve to die for whatever real and perceived crimes they commit.
As Earth First News Wire put it, “To murder several runners using bombs at a sporting event is terrorism. To murder 175 children using military drones is US policy. We should accept neither. We should fight against both.”
But that will not happen. Because if you are not from Europe or America, you are the child of a lesser god and your life is not worth spit.
How many of us are aware that on April 15, when the media started giving us the never-ending images from Boston and Erik Rush got onto his high horse, at least 75 Iraqis were killed and more than 350 were injured in a series of bomb and gun attacks across that country?
How many of us are aware of the number of people who died in Afghanistan, in Yemen, in the DRC, in Somalia, in the Central African Republic, in Mali and in many other places in the world where Western countries have meddled in local affairs so much that we no longer know who the real enemy is?
The lives lost in all those places do not matter as much as the few who were murdered in Boston, because we are children of a lesser god.
It was Lord Tennyson who gave us that line on a lesser god in his epic on King Arthur back in the 19th century.
In the poems titled “Idylls of the King”, a dying King Arthur laments: “But in His ways with men I find Him not. I waged His wars, and now I pass and die… As if some lesser god had made the world. But had not force to shape it as he would…”
The millions who have died as a direct and indirect result of the actions of America and its allies in just the last three decades alone must, like King Arthur, believe that a lesser god is in charge and has no control over the excesses of an empire whose thirst for blood and oil cannot be quenched.
The many millions more who have been impoverished and stripped of their dignity must wonder what lesser god it is that allows such injustice to grow and thrive.
What lesser god is it that allows the lives of Third World peoples to be of less significance than a couple of Bostonians?
I saw a campaign on the Internet the other day that was titled “We are all Boston”.
We are all supposed to be grieving for the lives lost in Boston, we are all supposed to be in a fit of righteous anger, ready to lash out with whatever weapons that are at our disposal against the children of a lesser god.
But we are not all Boston.
No, we are all Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, the DRC, Mali and every other God-forsaken place and nationality on this Earth that has to endure the misfortune of being the child of a lesser god.