September 14, 2004
A Foolish Inconsistency |
BUZZFLASH READER CONTRIBUTION
Emerson spoke of a "foolish consistency" in his famous quote. Consistency grounded on logic and established moral principles is not foolish. Inconsistency in the face of logic or established moral principles can certainly be foolish.
Today, I read AP and NYT headlines describing carnage in Iraq, indicating the deaths of numerous innocent women, children and other civilians. The headlines filled me with anger against the immorality of Iraqi insurgents for killing so many innocents. But, on reading the stories under the headlines, I see that most deaths of innocents were caused by U.S. air and artillery bombardments of Falluja, intended to hit an insurgent meeting place, and by air strikes against a crowd surrounding a damaged Bradley vehicle in Baghdad.
Rules of engagement for the U.S. include the concept of accepting some level of civilian casualties, which are balanced against the benefit of military action.
In the instance of Falluja, it would appear that a ratio of about one-to-one for killing insurgents and civilians is acceptable to the military commanders in the field, and by extension, to their Commander-in-Chief, George W. Bush. In other actions, for example the attempts to "decapitate" Iraq by killing Saddam Hussein at the outset, substantially higher amounts of civilian casualties were accepted.
Using the Orwellian euphemism of "Collateral Damage" we have killed thousands or tens of thousands (nobody is officially counting) for the compensating benefit of imagined risk reduction or the fuzzier-edged idea of "spreading democracy and freedom".
All of this is certainly open to debate along a continuum extending from the pacifist position that all war is immoral to the extreme view that we should just kill them all and let God sort it out.
However, my bewilderment is about the Foolish Inconsistency of regarding the lives of thousands of innocent mothers, fathers and children as OK "Collateral Damage", while the use of fertilized eggs scheduled for destruction to alleviate the suffering of children with juvenile diabetes, suffers of Parkinson's and other diseases is NOT acceptable, but rather regarded as tantamount to murder.
Anybody else find this dog's breakfast hodgepodge of moral "reasoning" disturbing?
A BUZZFLASH READER CONTRIBUTION
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