Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Kayla Mueller

So Cenk Uygur does a great job of succinctly destroying the arguments of certain bloggers who would paint Kayla Mueller, American humanitarian executed by ISIS, as an "enemy of the Jews."

Because all Muslims are the same, and that totally isn't a big reason we've been having so much trouble with our embroilment in the Middle East post-9/11, right?

So rather than simply paraphrase his argument, I'll advance my position as one that is in opposition to a great deal guessed it, FACEBOOK COMMENTS that are to the intended detriment of Kayla's character.

I don't know anything about Kayla Mueller apart from the fact that she was an outgoing woman who wanted to help people who are suffering.

This has led many people to express the (ever persistent victim-blaming) mentality that she had it coming; she deserved to die at the hands of extremists.

I noticed this attitude when James Foley was killed. To paraphrase, "you shouldn't go to the Middle East unless you're a soldier with a gun."

Really? James Foley was a journalist. Do you think you're entitled to information about what is occurring beyond our borders? Do you think it just magically falls out of the fucking sky onto your network news channel/website of choice?

Of course not. Someone has to go there and figure it out for the rest of us. The insinuation that he was just doing his job for a paycheck is most likely a projection on the part of whoever expresses this belief. No, you don't necessarily have to have any sympathy for him, but you should at least have the wherewithal to shut your damn mouth.

And this brings me to Kayla. God damn it, she's another victim of the ISIS regime, monster, evil, etc. Some insinuate that maybe, because she's a twenty-six year old woman, she might not have fully comprehended the risks of the situation that, yes, she put herself in. Is that not just a little condescending? What purpose does that serve? I'm not going to say she fully understood those risks, and I won't posit that I do either. But how dare you detract from her obviously benevolent intentions? There is a little sexism there, too. We don't want to acknowledge that a woman could be strong enough to act on her (apparently deadly) convictions. Well, fuck us then. Maybe we don't deserve her.

And that brings us to our other argument. Again, to paraphrase, "she should have stayed home and helped Americans. Plenty of Americans need help."

Sure. Fine. What are you up to, anyway? What have you done for your fellow Americans? What, exactly, should she have done differently?

It's almost as if journalists and humanitarians being killed in the Middle East is forcing us to acknowledge the inherent complexities of modern warfare. God forbid. And perhaps this is why some of us would absolutely prefer soldiers (and no one else) die in the Middle East.

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