|A Palestinian youth wears a bandoleer of cartridge casings left by the Israeli army next to his destroyed home in Beit Hanoun, Gaza Strip, earlier this month|
Our terror is delivered to the wretched of the earth with industrial weapons. It is, to us, invisible. . . . willfully ignorant, we do not understand our own complicity. We self-righteously condemn the killers as subhuman savages who deserve more of the violence that created them. This is a recipe for endless terror.He then spends several paragraphs explaining how in war, we dehumanize the enemy and anything connected with him, how easy it is to bring people to kill, and how no one is exempt from these debasing processes. This is the final paragraph of the piece. Powerful.
Our failure to understand the psychological mechanisms involved means that the brutality we inflict, and that is inflicted upon us, will continue in a deadly and self-defeating cycle in the Middle East as well as within poor urban areas of the United States. To break this cycle we have to examine ourselves and halt the indiscriminate violence that sustains our occupations. But examining ourselves instead of choosing the easy route of nationalist self-exaltation is hard and painful. These killings will stop only when we accept that the killers who should terrify us most are ourselves.