Perspective

Thoughts of a Catholic convert

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Monday, October 19, 2009

A basic lack of empathy

Today I saw a post at Salon.com by Glenn Greenwald about the account by The New York Times' David Rohde on his stint as a Taliban hostage .... David Rohde on the "why do they hate us?" question. Here's a bit of it .....

[...] Note, too, the vast gap between how Americans perceive of their actions [secret prisons, torture, civilian casualties, etc.] (mere "aberrations") and how so much of the rest of the world perceives of it, especially those in the targeted regions. So much of this disparity is explained by a basic lack of empathy: imagine if every American spent just a day contemplating how they'd react if some foreign army from a Muslim nation invaded and bombed the U.S., occupied the country for the next several years with 60,000 soldiers, killed tens of thousands of citizens here, set up secret prisons where they disappeared Americans for years without charges or even contact with the outside world, imposed sanctions that blockaded food and medicine and killed countless children, invaded and ransacked our homes at will, abducted Americans and shipped them halfway around the world to island-prisons, instituted a worldwide torture regime, armed their allies for attacks on other Western nations, and threatened still other invasions. Do you think Americans might be seething with rage about that, wanting to kill as many of the people from that country as possible? ....


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