Wednesday, March 27, 2013

When the Bell Tolls for No One

A new program has appeared in American schools whose purpose seems to be teaching objectivity. While this may be a noble goal it is focused on a peculiar event: 911. The gist of the particular course episode seems to be to show some understanding of the 911 terrorists and their mindset. One of the sections raises the question of how the Americans are perceived internationally and how American policies might engender antagonism in other nations. This is an effort to make the 911 atrocity understandable.

This is very dangerous ground.

Open-mindedness. Parallax. Seeing things in context. It all sounds commendable. For years it has been used to explain differences among peoples, particularly differences in the success of cultures. But seeing the better side of atrocity is no virtue. Strangely, seeing an action as the product of many fused factors, usually social and economic, never seems to include elements of immorality, savagery or evil.

Should we really argue that the strains of World War 1, an unfair Treaty of Versailles and inflation led to the Holocaust?

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