What will it take?

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I was startled to hear this week that the German government was thrown on the defensive by public and parliamentary outrage about the killing of Afghan civilians in a bombing of oil tankers ordered by a German NATO commander.  No outrage here, even tho the actual bombing was done by Americans.  Killing civilians, as long as it is described as “accidental,” is taken as a matter of course among US imperial circles — can’t imagine any of them getting upset about it.
 
What accounts for the difference?  Here’s some food for thought posted recently on Daily Kos:
 
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“We got off easy in the World Wars.

 

“America will never learn until it gets beaten to a pulp in a long hard war against those it deems inferior.  The French, Germans and British 100 years ago were as arrogant, religious, worshipful of inequality and class, racist, and imperialist as we are now.  Although they were ahead of us in at least having Socialist parties that were the only ones to even mildly criticize these pathologies.

“World War I convinced most of them, and most neutral observers, that their ruling elites, clergy, military and business alike, were insane.  Ordinary Americans didn’t see the war up close in large enough numbers.

“Unfortunately, one beating wasn’t enough for Germany, which gave them an advantage in fanaticism against the more skeptical democracies.  But the 2nd beating sure brought them in line.

“The fate of empires seems to be to waste their resources on war until they ruin each other or they learn together to dismantle the institutions that require empire.  America is way behind, and I tremble to think of the size of the Armageddon it would require to destroy American exceptionalism.”

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