Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Hinges of History: America's Obsession With Killing

Historian and author Thomas Cahill was featured on Bill Moyer's Journal last evening. He was speaking of his latest book, the Hinges of History, and made this remarkable statement:

"All societies have a dream and a nightmare. And our nightmare has been, I think, our racism. We practically committed genocide on the people who were here, the Native Americans. We enslaved another race of people, the Africans. And then we dropped the atom bomb on Asians. We would have never dropped that bomb in Europe in my view. And I think that's what proves the racism of it. That's the nightmare of America."

Although his book is titled, How the Irish Saved Civilization, this remark about America stuck in my brain as did another about how Texas loves to execute people:

"I think throughout the country but especially in the state of Texas, there is a kind of collusion among lawyers whether they're prosecutors or defenders, and judges, and an awful lot of horrible things happen in order to get as many people as possible executed."

Enter the former governor of that state. The governor who has killed at least a half-million Arabs. A governor whose compassion has been overshadowed by his penchant for killing. A majority of Americans cheered the man, hooting and hollering: in shock and awe.

Civilization. The Roman Colosseum is the number one tourist attraction in the world. A place of killing. Why? asked Cahill. Apparently we have something inside of us as humans that has some sort of attraction to killing.

Attraction to killing.


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