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Mass Murder Hypocrisy In The US – OpEd

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It isn’t clear when presidents were suddenly expected to appear at the scene of every disaster taking place in the nation. George W. Bush may be responsible for this dreadful trend, after he was criticized for flying over the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina on the Gulf coast in 2005. If he actually had a functioning emergency response system and rescued stranded hurricane victims, no one would have cared that he flew over without touching down. But the wrong lesson was learned.

Barack Obama is taking no chances. He shows up for every disaster. A tornado can’t touch down, flood waters can’t rise, and wildfires can’t spread without the president and his team creating new photo ops with unlucky citizens temporarily thrilled to see the president despite the fact that they have survived some sort of calamity.

US President Obama
US President Obama

Now even man made disasters aren’t exempt from presidential overkill. When a Colorado man shot more than 70 people in a movie theater, the media hype went into over drive, and the president who presides over his own “kill list” was front and center as he dished out heaps of sympathy.

Despite the hours of airtime spent on the story of the former graduate student who over-identified with characters in the latest Batman movie, there really isn’t that much to say about this incident. America is a country full of very crazy people who unfortunately also have access to large amounts of firepower. It is a bad combination, and the mass shooting has long ago lost its ability to shock.

The place of mass murder may be a post office, college campus, high school, congressional town meeting, or in this case a movie theater, but the story is the same. A person thought to be deeply disturbed proves himself to be just that. Survivors and grieving families are interviewed, reporters compete with one another to see who can be more melodramatic, and we all wait for the next massacre.

It is unseemly for any president to use a domestic murder scene for political purposes, but as the United States becomes more and more firmly entrenched as the world’s bully, it is insulting in the extreme for Obama to act the part of comforter-in-chief.

Barack Obama not only assassinated American citizen Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen, but also made the decision to kill his 16 year-old son. The Awlaki family certainly grieved for their loved ones, just as the families of the Aurora, Colorado shooting victims did. But we aren’t supposed to think about the Awlakis or the nameless families of drone victims in Afghanistan or Pakistan. Nor are we supposed to think about how the United States has made common cause with jihadists to overthrow the Syrian government, and in the process killed thousands of men, women and children.

Barack Obama is good at being president, which means that he is good at masking the acts of evil he commits. He may instruct his minions to tell the world that he personally peruses his kill list and determines who should die. He then doesn’t hesitate to act like the leader of a grieving nation and visit shooting victims in their hospital beds.

The hypocrisy is open, sickening and blatant, but Obama always goes where his predecessors dared not. It is also important to point out that the president is not alone in hypocrisy. He is supported by millions of Americans as he overthrows governments and kills human beings. Americans still see themselves as good people, and their political leaders as the arbiters of what is right and wrong in the world.

Obama is correct in assuming that very few Americans will see his expressions of sympathy for what they are, a level of amorality that can only be achieved by someone who aspires to the highest office in the country. His words are either laughable or chilling, depending upon ones mood at the moment of reading them. “Now, even as we learn how this happened, and who’s responsible, we may never understand what leads anybody to terrorize their fellow human beings like this. Such violence, such evil is senseless. It’s beyond reason.” Perhaps it does take one to know one.

The president has moved on from the scene of the crime committed by the certifiably crazy person. Unlike powerful world leaders, the shooters’ act of evil will be scorned by millions of people. Too bad he didn’t have a high office and a fleet of drones at his command. If he had that kind of power, he just might win a nobel peace prize, no matter how many people he killed.



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Margaret Kimberley

Margaret Kimberley

Margaret Kimberley's Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR (http://www.blackagendareport.com), and is widely reprinted elsewhere. She maintains a frequently updated blog as well as at http://freedomrider.blogspot.com. Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgandaReport.com.

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