May 10, 2004

Humanity, Humility and Arrogance

Before I launch into my tirade, here is something which seems to aptly illustrate what I was talking about in my entry yesterday – men seem to have way too much fun out of life … at least the ones I know of :p

I’ve been trying to keep away from the news and from thinking or commenting about what is going on in the world today because it is just so depressing. Plus, it would probably sound a lot like another "Islamic" attack on the US in most cases :p However, the latest turn of events in Iraq especially makes me want to say something really badly and so I decided to go ahead and write this after having had these thoughts percolating through my brain for about a week.

The first thought that came to my mind when the furore broke out over the torture of Iraqi prisoners by coalition forces was the fact how everybody seemed to be shocked by the fact that it was the *US* soldiers who did it. It seemed to be as if that everybody expected the US to act better than everybody else and it was shocking that the US soldiers would prove to be as human as the rest of us. All I can say is that everybody should have expected this. While I like to believe in the capacity for greatness in humanity, all we mostly see is humanity descending to the lowest levels when opportunity is presented to them and given all that, why should anybody have expected the situation in Iraq to be any different? Basically, the US soldiers are as human (and in this case, I use the term in the most negative context) as any of the rest of the world. Given that they find themselves in a position of power over others who they’d been told wanted to destroy their country, their way of life etc. (and here, I blame the propaganda by the US government but then again that too is not something just specific to the US – it is something that everybody is guilty of …), it is no surprise that they decide to humiliate this "enemy" that they now find within their power. All too human. And all so depressing when you consider what it says about humanity as a whole.

I don’t blame the US as a nation for what happened in Iraq because were the situations reversed, probably much the same would have happened. I do find the rest of the world seeming to think that it suddenly is a heinous thing because the "US" did this as opposed to somebody else. Wake up people! This sort of things happens everyday in the world!

I however do think that the attitude of the US government had at least some influence in bringing about this situation and I find their attitude even in the face of the current situation quite disturbing. From what I could gather from the news reports, US president George Bush wouldn’t say that he was sorry about what happened. Yes, maybe I could be accused of being contradictory here in that I said that this sort of thing happened everyday and it was not special as far as the US was concerned and then I turn around and say that Bush should apologize. But what I meant here was that I find Bush’s refusal to apologize very arrogant. I realize that he has since apologized several times but at first, he wouldn’t apologize at all and then when he first mentioned the word "sorry" he actually said it along the lines of "I told King Abdullah (of Jordan) that I was sorry" and not a direct "I am sorry for what has been done by my country men". I find that extremely arrogant on the part of the US president – but then again, that seems to have been the most consistent attitude that he has displayed throughout his presidency. Let’s hope his successors learn a little humility. When one is the leader of supposedly the greatest nation on earth (so they keep on saying :p) – one must learn to be a little humble. Or perhaps I am hoping for something that isn’t possible in this world we live in?

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Tags: Politics, Reflections
Posted by Fahim at 8:55 am   Comments (2)