We humans seem very good at using our our emotions to decide what is good or bad. This emotional gut instinct or “common sense” is often based on large identifiable events or occurrences, rather than daily, incremental occurrences.
Take the attack on the USA on September 11, 2001. On that day a little over 3,000 people died. It was a tragic day, but in the ensuing wars that have followed we have lost over 4,500 of our soldiers. We justify the deaths of our soldiers (more people) based on one single day. (I’m not even counting the tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi’s and Afghans that have lost their lives in those conflicts.)
In Rwanda at least 800,000 people died due to the Hutu government organized a mass killing of Tutsi rebels.
In Darfur at least 20,000 people were killed because of political violence and upwards of 200,000 plus have died because they were forced to live in unsanitary conditions, yet the United States did not intervene.
In Libya, a crazy dictator, Muammar al-Gaddafi, that the US has suffered for over 40 years has killed his own people in a rebel uprising. Now we are sending more bombs? Why now, why him? Why don’t we bomb Yemen who has sheltered terrorists for decades, or Bahrain which has also killed their own revolutionaries?
Let’s face it, the US gets on board with bombing Libya’s Muammar al-Gaddafi because we have an emotional dislike because he killed out servicemen in 1986 and has harbored the man who brought down Pan Am flight 106 over Lockerbie Scotland.
Just as all purchasing decisions are emotional, so are our reasons for going to war. If a terrible event in the world does not affect the general American emotional psyche, we will not see it on the news, and we will not do anything about it.