|Iraqi Citizens Executed by ISIL Terrorists (06/2014)|
There's No Place Else Like This
:: By: Larry Walker II ::
Reminiscent of Secretary of State Kerry's now infamous speech in Mexico, in which he erroneously declared that temperatures in Europe and in Vietnam were at “unprecedented” levels, and had broken "every record that's ever been seen", last week, referring to the latest school shooting in Oregon, Potus 44 proclaimed, "We're the only developed country on Earth where this happens. And it happens now once a week. And it's a one-day story. There's no place else like this."
Really? Are we the only developed country on Earth where school and mass shootings occur? Well, I guess that depends on ones definition of the word "developed", as well as upon which Earth one happens to reside (i.e. apparently there is more than one). Granted the term "developed" would exclude the entire Middle-East, where mass killings are interwoven with religious dogma and thus a way of life, whenever I hear code words like "every", or "only", they generally precede a gross exaggeration, mass deception or an outright lie.
Ironically, in this case, at nearly the very moment Potus attempted to twist our emotions, over what seemed like a rash of public-school kids losing their minds (at the hand of the US Department of Education), the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) resumed its deadly drone attacks in Pakistan, perhaps encouraging the next mass killer. US drone strikes hit houses in Dande Darpa Khel village in Pakistan’s North Waziristan on Wednesday and early Thursday, leaving at least 16 people dead. But I guess that's okay, because after all we're at war with Pakistan, right? And, war always involves covertly firing missiles into the personal residences of one’s enemy, regardless of whether school-aged children are present.
Coincidentally, earlier this month, a Wall Street Journal report said that during secret negotiations over the release of Bowe Bergdahl, the Taliban warned Washington that its drone attacks had come close to killing him on several occasions. Thus, the CIA halted attacks for around 6 months, resuming immediately after his release. Well what do you know; maybe the poor fella's life really was in danger. Now here's the Catch-22.
US drone strikes have killed hundreds of civilians in several Muslim countries including Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. And, according to Ben Emmerson, a UN human rights investigator, the death toll of civilians in US drone strikes in Afghanistan and Yemen continues to rise. So although I feel Potus 44's concern over 12-year-olds flipping out in government-run schools, rather than his preoccupation with upending US laws, currently protecting more people than they harm, perhaps he should focus on his own murderous policies.
Granted that none of the above are considered "developed" countries, as implied by Potus 44, and thus really don't matter all that much, it's pretty far from okay when the very dude responsible for mass killings around the globe tries to convince the rest of us that we are the problem.
Potus 44 continued, “The United States does not have a monopoly on crazy people.” Well, you got that right. “And yet we kill each other in these mass shootings at rates that are exponentially higher than any place else." Wait! We kill each other? Hmmm, well that's kind of a tough sale. And we do so at rates exponentially higher than any place else? Where’s the backup?
Following is a non-exhaustive list of school and mass shootings in developed and semi-developed countries beyond the borders of Potus 44's America. It excludes places like Syria, where the death toll in its three-year conflict has climbed past 160,000 (averaging 146 a day), and Iraq, where 603 civilians were killed just last month, and hundreds more continue to be slaughtered daily.
March 13, 1996 - Dunblane, Scotland - 16 children and one teacher killed at Dunblane Primary School by Thomas Hamilton, who then killed himself. 10 others wounded in attack.
March 1997 - Sanaa, Yemen - Eight people (six students and two others) at two schools killed by Mohammad Ahman al-Naziri.
April 28, 1999 - Taber, Alberta, Canada - One student killed, one wounded at W. R. Myers High School in first fatal high school shooting in Canada in 20 years. The suspect, a 14-year-old boy, had dropped out of school after he was severely ostracized by his classmates.
Dec. 7, 1999 - Veghel, Netherlands - One teacher and three students wounded by a 17-year-old student.
March 2000 - Branneburg, Germany - One teacher killed by a 15-year-old student, who then shot himself. The shooter has been in a coma ever since.
Jan. 18, 2001 - Jan, Sweden - One student killed by two boys, ages 17 and 19.
Feb. 19, 2002 - Freising, Germany - Two killed in Eching by a man at the factory from which he had been fired; he then traveled to Freising and killed the headmaster of the technical school from which he had been expelled. He also wounded another teacher before killing himself.
April 26, 2002 - Erfurt, Germany - 13 teachers, two students, and one policeman killed, ten wounded by Robert Steinhaeuser, 19, at the Johann Gutenberg secondary school. Steinhaeuser then killed himself.
April 29, 2002 - Vlasenica, Bosnia-Herzegovina - One teacher killed, one wounded by Dragoslav Petkovic, 17, who then killed himself.
Sept. 28, 2004 - Carmen de Patagones, Argentina - Three students killed and 6 wounded by a 15-year-old Argentinian student in a town 620 miles south of Buenos Aires.
Sept. 13, 2006 - Montreal, Canada - Kimveer Gill, 25, opened fire with a semiautomatic weapon at Dawson College. Anastasia De Sousa, 18, died and more than a dozen students and faculty were wounded before Gill killed himself.
Nov. 7, 2007 - Tuusula, Finland - An 18-year-old student in southern Finland shot and killed five boys, two girls, and the female principal at Jokela High School. At least 10 others were injured. The gunman shot himself and died from his wounds in the hospital.
March 11, 2009 - Winnenden, Germany - Fifteen people were shot and killed at Albertville Technical High School in southwestern Germany by a 17-year-old boy who attended the same school.
April 30, 2009 - Azerbaijan, Baku - A Georgian citizen of Azerbaijani descent killed 12 students and staff at Azerbaijan State Oil Academy. Several others were wounded.
April 7, 2011 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - A 23-year-old former student returned to his public elementary school in Rio de Janeiro and began firing, killing 12 children and seriously wounding more than a dozen others, before shooting himself in the head. While Brazil has seen gang-related violence in urban areas, this was the worst school shooting the country has ever seen.
July 22, 2011 - Tyrifjorden, Buskerud, Norway - A gunman disguised as a policeman opened fire at a camp for young political activists on the island of Utoya. The gunman kills 68 campers, including personal friends of Prime Minister Stoltenberg. Police arrested Anders Behring Breivik, a 32-year-old Norwegian who had been linked to an anti-Islamic group.
March 19, 2012 - Toulouse, France - Mohammed Merah, a French man of Algerian descent, shot and killed a rabbi, two of his children, and another child at a Jewish school. Police believe he had earlier shot and killed three paratroopers. Merah said he was a member of Al Qaeda and that he was seeking revenge for the killing of Palestinian children.
September 21, 2013 - Nairobi, Kenya - Shabab militants, who are based in Somalia, attacked an upscale mall, killing nearly 70 people and wounding about 175. The siege lasted for three days, with persistent fighting between government troops and militants. The attack was meticulously planned, and the militants proved to be challenging for the government to dislodge from the Westgate mall.
There's no place else like this?