I’ve been in the Army for a while now. Almost 9 years. In those 9 years no one I’ve personally known has ever been killed in the wars. Until now.
Maybe you’ve seen the news, maybe you haven’t, but on Saturday two U.S. officers were shot and killed inside Afghanistan’s secure Ministry of the Interior. I deployed to Kosovo with one of those men. I didn’t know him well, but I knew him. We were still part of the same family, bound together by the same unit patch and the shared experience of a 16 month mobilization. He was killed, according to the Taliban, in retaliation for the recent burning of copies of the Qur’an by American forces.
I’m so angry. Livid, even. I’m mad that someone, somewhere made the decision to burn copies of the Qur’an in the first place. I’m mad that in 10 years of war we still haven’t figured out how to respectfully conduct ourselves. I’m mad that dumb shit presidential candidates have the gall to come out and condemn President Obama for apologizing for the Qur’an burning. I’m mad that this person, this man I served with, didn’t have a chance to fight, that some brainwashed fuck with absolutely no concept of the true principles of Islam crept into an office and shot two American heros in the back of the head. I’m mad because this shouldn’t have happened.
Some 30 people have been killed as a result of the Qur’an burning. 30 people. 30 lives. 30 families.
How do people rationalize their ideas that apologies are bad? How do people look at the number of lives taken and continue to cheer the burning of another religion’s holy book? How do they watch people die, mourn the loss and yet still continue to fan the flames of violence with their ignorant ravings ? How have we still not learned the basic tenet of respect?
I just don’t understand. I don’t understand the world we live in. I don’t understand how a religion so beautiful has been so perverted. I don’t understand how this man was killed, or why. I don’t understand why empathy isn’t present in daily discourse. I don’t understand the inability of so many to step outside themselves and look at the world through another’s eyes.
I just don’t understand.