Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Callousness and evil: made, not born

So it turns out that when the military sends home the bodies of fallen soldiers from Iraq, they come home as freight. Nice.

And meanwhile, Bush gives out an Iraqi civilian casualty number that is too low by tens of thousands, and then makes a little joke about it. Because that's how little it matters to him, how many innocent farmers and tradespeople and mothers and babies we've killed over there.

Lately I keep wondering: how is it that anyone can get to the point where they can be so callous about something like this? How do you go from being a child filled with malice towards no one, to an adult so twisted that the reality of this horror bounces off the surface of your mind without making the slightest impression?

The Peanut started doing something a few months ago that truly surprised us. At first it was subtle, but then it was unmistakable: she started dancing. Once she could stand upright, whenever she heard music on the radio, or coming from one of her toys, she would bounce up and down in time to the beat, bending her little knees and grinning. Then it moved on to a more elaborate move, where she would shake her shoulders and waggle her hips from side to side. Sometimes, lately, she dances on the run, as she motors from one room to another at a speed that never fails to astonish us. Nobody taught her to do this. It's just an organic thing. The Peanut is so in love with the world around her that she occasionally has a little outburst of spontaneous joy and starts to dance.

Weren't the neocons kids once too? How does somebody go from being a dancing toddler to being the unrepentant architect of an unnecessary war?

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