Skip to main content

View Diary: Bald white man, dressed in a white T-shirt and black pants, with a 9/11 tattoo on one arm (141 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  "We love your President Bush!" (8+ / 0-)

    "Because he wants to kill Muslims.  And we want to kill Muslims!"

    These were the words of a Sikh lieutenant aboard an Indian Navy destroyer participating in MALABAREX, a joint India-U.S. naval exercise.  It was still Dubya's first term, and I had the pleasure of being just about as far away from him as geographically possible.  I was an exchange officer representing a certain U.S. Navy cruiser, and was mostly treating it as an excuse not to stand watch for a few days and also to eat a lot of Indian food.  Under these circumstances, it is best to avoid political discussions, especially since I was never what you might call a fan of our former President, but this man wanted to make it clear that, as a Sikh from Punjab, it was not only his calling but also his distinct pleasure to train for killing Muslims.  That quote was relayed with a big grin.  Bloodlust aside, I really liked that guy.  All of them, really.  That exercise still ranks among my favorite experiences in the Navy.  I returned to my own ship much wiser about the Sikhs, and very fond of them.

    So, every time I hear about some moron vandalizing a Sikh temple or otherwise harming Sikhs out of some misplaced anti-Muslim sentiment, after I get angry about the sheer dickishness of it, I also can't help but think how ironic it is.

    •  So this guy (0+ / 0-)

      was a representative of Sikhs? Is that what you are saying?

      One boy against the Stock Market all Wall Street ascream. --Allen Ginsberg, "Elegy Ché Guévara"

      by Anak on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 11:58:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not sure quite where you got that impression, (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fiddlingnero, Timaeus, annecros, timewarp

        but there is a long and bloody history between Sikhs and Muslims in that part of the world, and given the strife between them even today over the Kashmir Mountains, in whose shadow Punjab lies, that history is still very much an unfolding story.  That is part of what has defined them over the centuries, and it is no accident that the kit carried by Sikhs is mostly military gear in vestigial form.

        Obviously, the Sikhs at the temple near where I grew up in California will have a different outlook; I'm just saying that it's ironic that a person seeking to harm followers of Islam would attack members of a group historically even less favorably disposed towards Islam than even the most xenophobic American redneck.

        •  On the same day that peaceful, innocent (0+ / 0-)

          Sikhs were massacred in Wisconsin in the United States, I found it insensitive to post a comment that very same day, that begins with a quote of Sikh guy calling for murder.

          (And I'll leave aside the fact that you "liked him" in spite of what he said.)

          Also, the American Sikhs who appeared on TV yesterday, went to great lengths to characterize their people as peaceful and egalitarian. They said they welcomed people of all faiths--including Mulsims--to their food offerings. So, I dunno, maybe you weren't watching the TV last night, but your comment seemed rude and insensitive to me in it's US context. In other words, what does your experience over there have to do with Sikhs here in the US? Especially the same day as a horrible tragedy?

          As for your reply: How do you know the shooter shot them because he thought they were Muslim?  What if he did it just because they were a racial minority, as I am? In other words, maybe it is not ironic at all.

          And again, I thought it out of place to mention in the very day of the tragedy. Who cares if it is ironic when even right now victims are trying to survive.

          If you didn't mean it like that, ok. But what you wrote and why you wrote it at particular time seemed odd to me.

          One boy against the Stock Market all Wall Street ascream. --Allen Ginsberg, "Elegy Ché Guévara"

          by Anak on Mon Aug 06, 2012 at 07:07:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I think the point is that there is some irony (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        in the fact that, IIRC, Sikh's make up a disproportionately large % of the Indian armed forces...who are not there to fight Australia.

        No, the man does not speak for all Sikh, least likely the ones living and working in the US.

    •  Ironic in a very bad way (0+ / 0-)

      The bloodlust you describe (and thanks for the anecdote -- I don't see you making any generalizations about all Sikhs sharing that opintion in your post) is actually very much the kind of thing that was encouraged in the US after 9/11.

      Bush mistakenly attacked the wrong group of people after 9/11, and this shooter is basically just applying this "Bush Doctrine" on a local level. All the collateral damage to civilians was justified by the "nobility" of the mission. The problem is that we never punished anyone for Bush's colossal stupidity. And so you get copycats.

      Going in, guns a blazin', without really thinking about it, is a dangerous ideal to celebrate for years and years and then never repudiate. There are a lot of people who still think that bloodlust is noble.

      "Stare at the monster: remark/ How difficult it is to define just what/ Amounts to monstrosity in that/ Very ordinary appearance." - Ted Hughes

      by MarkC on Mon Aug 06, 2012 at 04:24:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not quite that simple. (0+ / 0-)

        Punjab lies in the shadow of the Kashmir Mountains, which divide India from Pakistan.  Those mountains are sometimes hotly contested even today.  Bush did attack the wrong group of people after 9/11, but in this case, my friend was genuinely interested in defending his homeland from what he saw as a clear and present threat.  He just happened to have a religion with strong ties to that precise area and a pretty solid track record of fighting to keep certain other people out of it.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site