The Virginia Tech
massacre is a tragedy of epic proportions for those
involved, and my heartfelt sympathies are with them. I
cannot imagine the pain of losing loved ones in this
fashion, and it serves as a constant reminder of the
fragility of life.
All over America
on that day, people rushed to express their grief. Air
Force One flew in not more than 24 hours after the event
(where was Bush when Katrina hit?), and grown
newscasters broke down crying during their reports.
Please, people, a
First of all,
this was an act of domestic terrorism by a U.S. resident
destined to do harm. Planning, plotting, waiting a month to
get another gun--this was no spontaneous rage.
But as I sat and
viewed the aftermath, all I envisioned was a university
in Baghdad. CNN's Kyra Phillips recently interviewed
an Iraqi instructor (one of the few remaining
professors at the university) and his students. As she
did, she flinched, because a bomb went off in the
background. The students and teachers didn't
move a muscle.
them about their composure, and they said, We hear bombs
every day, and pray they don't get too
close--when they hit, we wonder, did our
families get hurt? Will I return home to find someone I love
dead? Will my house be there?
Every day they go
through this, walking by what could be improvised
explosive devices on the way to class, listening to
explosions as they study, going home to uncertainty.
There are no bomb threats; there are bombs.
There's no lone gunman; there is a vast array of
statistics, Iraq can expect at least 40 civilians to be
massacred on any given day. After a massacre, no
schools are closed for a day of mourning. No
businesses shut down; no politicians stop their campaigns.
What gives me
greater pause is that we are aiding this violence, in Iraq
and stateside, yet we want so desperately to point the
finger at someone else. On the news I hear contempt
for the Virginia gunman and the anger in the
parents' voices. I wonder what those voices sound
like in Iraq--all the parents mourning for their
children and looking for answers.
Yes, the Virginia
Tech massacre was a horrible incident. But imagine that
scenario every day. That is the life we have given the
Iraqis, and we wonder why they want us out. Imagine
hearing on the news each day about a Virginia Tech.
Each day, 40 or more dead. And then imagine it for four
My heart goes out
to the families of the Virginia Tech victims, but a
large piece of it goes out to those in Iraq as well. And I
bear the shame as a financier of some of the killing
in Iraq, just as I bear the shame of living in a
country that legalizes human-hunting devices. May future
generations forgive us for creating such deplorable