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Why Do Only Some Lives Matter?

Why Do Only Some Lives Matter?

Robert C. Koehler

What would it take for everyone’s life to matter as much as Jamal Khashoggi’s?

I ask this question over at the edge of the news, looking for a doorway into the human conscience.


“The U.S. sold a total of $55.6 billion of weapons worldwide in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30 — up 33 percent from the previous fiscal year, and a near record. In 2017, the U.S. cleared some $18 billion in new Saudi arms deals.”


Excellent question, Mr. Koehler. But the answer is simple.

Certain lives matter more than others when they can be politically milked like hormone-bloated cows.

The follow-up question is: Why do they want to milk this killing so much more than the ongoing mass murder of Yemenis?

I don’t know the answer. But I can guess that the Western power elite has decided to side with the faction of the Saudi power elite that Khashoggi was allied with: i.e., the one ousted by Mohammed Bin Sultan.

Why that would be, I can’t say. But what I can say is that they should all be fodder for the guillotine. Both factions, and their American, European, and Israeli allies.

The Yemenis, meanwhile, are mere “collateral damage.”


Kashoggi’s clan represented the old shared-power arrangement of the Saudi crown that the US loved because it was largely docile. MbS craves a more prominent, independent, and unilateral role for the house, and that’s not going to be popular with the American establishment. The Sauds are useful only inasmuch as they stay on the leash. bin Salman threatens that arrangement, combined with sociopathic recklessness bordering on suicidal.

Honestly, I think the US winds up icing him unless he dramatically alters his behavior. This is his warning shot across the bow.

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Why do only some lives matter?

during last night’s news we heard about the powerful hurricane headed toward coastal tourist areas of mexico. then the newscaster explained, “we don’t know if any americans are in the area.”

i don’t know why some lives matter more than others. maybe it’s the “news” presentations that decides what captures our attention. i’d say clovis and drone1066 are right about the kashoggie murder and all-out media attention. politics!

just today i heard a discussion about the huge caravan headed for our southern border. both parties are using these migrants to catch more midterm votes. politics!

perhaps if i had a twitter account i have a better idea of what jane and john q public really think? maybe we have better standards than the politicians. politics!

well, neither corporately owned political parties nor the government are people. they’re institutions. i guess if we want to see more love and caring in the world it’s up to us!
~ :heart: ~ ~ :heart: ~ ~ :heart: ~

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It isn’t that any lives matter. The coverage of any particular incident or event is mere distraction from more significant issues.

While the media focuses their coverage on this, or any other item, they avoid any meaningful discussion of the larger picture.

This worked with the Kavanaugh circus, while congress passed another tax give away for the uber wealthy.

It’s working now, with Khashoggi, as the Yemen situation remains unaddressed.

No matter who or what, they are simply a convenient cover for a while. Their lives, or the principle, do not, in fact, matter.


Humans tend to group the world into Us, the people with whom one shares ethical relationships that involve trusting in some certain amount of give and take; and Them, the people and things with whom was does not.

We each individually configure our sense of this by working out who we are willing to trust. Depending on experience and training, people give or withhold trust based on race, creed, gender, age, nationality, mode of dress, accent in speech, or any of a wide range of affiliations. Trust may also be given or withheld according to circumstances. An antisemite may wish to hire a “smart Jew lawyer,” and a white nationalist may feel that Hispanics or Blacks do fine as cannon fodder–“at least the good ones.”

A standard con when manipulating large populations is to play off of misconceived and inauthentic differences to “divide and conquer.”

This is easy to spot with regard to the traditional racisms. But it is just as present when passing a beggar on the freeway offramp who is “not my problem.” or turning away a refugee whose difficulties “I did not cause.” The judgment in both cases involves identifying the victims as “not my people,” in some way, and hence one of “them.”

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And would Khashoggi’s life and death matter had he been an actual opposition figure, and not a disaffected courtier who worked for WaPo?

“Children died in”…(often without a death count for their moms, dads, uncles, aunts and grandparents.
“Children are still detained”…well, adults are also still detained.

In recent decades, family members of victims are allowed to testify in court regarding the importance of the dead person to them. Evidently killing a deeply loved breadwinner will bring a bigger sentence than killing a unattached indigent.