On the Atlantic site, regular contributor Jeffrey Goldberg posts this incontrovertible evidence of the wickedness of America’s foes in “The Real Meaning of 9/11.” Money quote:
Imagine, for a moment, you are Marwan al-Shehhi, the lead hijacker of Flight 175. You see Christine Hanson among the passengers on the plane you had just hijacked — a two-year-old child, seated on her father's lap — and you fly the plane carrying this child into the South Tower of the World Trade Center anyway.
A precious lisping little toddler, slain by a murderous Islamist who has determined to carry out an act of war (as Marwan al-Shehhi certainly perceived it—specialists in international law may certainly contend the question)…is that not just dreadful? And he actually might have seen her precious little pudgy cheeks, pictured above, and still gone ahead and killed scores of scores of innocents.
Christine Hanson’s face serves as well to represent the many hundreds of children done to death by American ordnance in Afghanistan and Iraq in the ten years since “Nine-Eleven.” They were as beloved by their parents; they deserved as little to die; they were wept over by their surviving kin; they were murdered as cold-bloodedly as Christine, little as our cheerleading polyester proletariat cares to acknowledge this.
As moral counterweight to the pitiless character of Marwan al-Shehhi we have Brad Broadshoulders, who pilots a Stealth bomber, Peter Pureheart, who controls a Predator drone from Langley, Steve Strongsinew, who programs cruise missiles, and Dirk Granite, who calls in airstrikes upon suspected Taliban positions in the Korangal Valley. Not a single one of these sterling characters has ever knowingly slain a toddler. But guess what: the toll of children killed by the 9/11 hijackers is negligible measured against the number exterminated or maimed by our brave technocrats during the past ten years, deaths that have sown dragons' seeds of bitter foes. Can anyone really imagine that, just because our side kills infants wholesale without actually seeing them first, we are somehow rendered more virtuous than the monsters who might have glimpsed the darling little visages of our wee bairn? Cripes.
Asymmetrical warfare always looks unfair to the side that has the cruise missiles.
This has long been a sore point with me, how the good old U S of A imagines that it can kill any number of children and noncombatants without any moral obloquy attending these murders because, of course, they’re merely collateral damage and not intended, and accordingly a hundred brown children killed by a cruise missile count as nothing beside the truncated life of an American infant vaporized by a bestial hijacker, which crime by contrast cries to heaven. Give me a fucking break.