The DNA of Evildoers

The DNA of Evildoers October 23, 2011

The most ghoulish scene Americans will see this season has absolutely nothing to do with Halloween.

While parents across this nation bicker over whether children ought to be allowed to dress up as vampires or witches, the bloated face of Muammar Gaddafi has been shown in full-color on the early shows, the late shows and nearly every news or entertainment show between.

Yes. The face of our enemy, battered and bruised, blue and bloodied, has Americans in both red states and blue ones fist-bumping one another.

We should know better.

We should do better.

But 10 years of warring has made us forget that need to retch we felt when we saw those men hold up the head of Daniel Pearl and dangle it there before us, mocking all that was the best of us.



Or perhaps we didn’t forget. Maybe it’s a bitter seed of memory that rooted deep inside of us and grew into the thing that we once abhorred, turning us into evil-doers, too.

They say that a person doesn’t become evil overnight. Those who study this sort of thing say it’s like walking into a dark basement. You don’t know how dark it is until you are so far down you can’t find your way back out.

Now we are the ones holding up the heads of the dead guys, and doing the victory cheer: Looky-see. Ha! We’re winning. Heads are rolling.

And so is the video.

First Saddam.

Now Gaddafi.

We have grown nearly unrecognizable in our quest for revenge. If not for our enemies, we might not know who we are at all. But as it turns out, we look a lot like them.

We share the DNA of evildoers it seems.




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  • Donnat.

    thank you, Karen.

  • Jane

    Well said as always, Karen. Once upon a time we could be proud of our country for how we treated our enemies. It makes me so sad to see my fellow citizens celebrating the death of anyone. We should be better than that.

  • I noticed this first when Bin laden was killed earlier this year. I was disgusted by the reaction of many Americans, including professing Christians, and I said so. I got pummeled for it on Facebook, even by family members, but I stand by it. Bin laden, Saddam Hussein, and Gaddafi are men who did terrible things, but they were, at one time, someone’s baby boy, made in God’s image, and we should never, ever rejoice in death.

  • After seeing the first news footage of the killing of Gaddafi, I’ve avoided watching the news. That was truly disturbing.

  • Ian

    Yes, Karen! And thank you for saying so.