Why do we ignore the civilians killed in American wars? By John Tirman. Washington Post, January 6, 2012.
Where were the smiles, the flowers? We’d expected, in a modest way, to be greeted as liberators.
Why the American silence on our wars’ main victims? Our self-image, based on what cultural historian Richard Slotkin calls “the frontier myth” — in which righteous violence is used to subdue or annihilate the savages of whatever land we’re trying to conquer — plays a large role. For hundreds of years, the frontier myth has been one of America’s sturdiest national narratives.