The Blue Wren has a long and brilliant, evocative, must-read post that casts a trip to the neat German villages of Bergen and Belsen in the light of current horrors. Here's a taste, but please go read the entire article and leave comments - very well worth it:
America, my country, feels that this horror, this atrocity, this mass murder at a distance, is necessary for a “new Middle East.”
Whatever that is.
America holds prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba without trial or hope of release. We continue to enable and perpetuate a bloodbath in Iraq and stand by as that country collapses into a civil war we perpetuated. We shrug and turn our backs on poor, war-ravaged Afghanistan and we shake our heads, not very sadly, over the sad fact that hundreds of civilians dying horrific, violent deaths in Lebanon and Israel.
After all, there’s really nothing we can do about it. After all, most of the people who are dying are ragheads and Hadjis. They’re not really people.
The Nazis had a universal word for them. “Untermenschen.” Subhuman.
Really, we’re not responsible. We’re uninformed.
We go to work, we shop and play,we talk with our friends, we make love and we live our daily lives as if we have no personal accountability for what the leaders of our country are doing in our names. Never mind that like the good people of those little towns in Northern Germany, Bergen and Belsen, we have to hold our noses and breathe through our mouths to avoid smelling the stench.