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30 November 2004

Why are we silent?

Riverbend, in Baghdad Burning, asks us all the question I have been asking myself - why are we all so silent about Fallujah? My own reaction on seeing the city after the "fighting" was over was also, like hers, a feeling of being in the wrong time somehow. Riverbend says how, with all our communications, e-mail, mobile phones with cameras, how can the world not say anything about Fallujah? I thought not that this was out of the earlier 20th century, before we had all this techie stuff to make the world intimate, but that it was medieval; it was like the massacre of the Cathars, or even earlier, like the razing of Carthage, the obliteration of Troy. The Nazis did this to small villages in Poland, but Fallujah was no small village. This was not pacification, not flushing out insurgents, it was collective punishment on a grand scale, like My Lai times a thousand, like an Israeli retaliation against Palestinians, but on steroids.
I want to protest with a massed gathering, I want to join a movement - and there is no movement. And I am ashamed to say I don't know how to start one. This is my cry in the wilderness. Blogosphere of the left, do you really not care? Are all these American issues with voting systems, all this petty in-fighting, anywhere near as important as forcing the empire to look at itself in the mirror and confess what it - what we - have done and have become?

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