Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Devaluation of life and misdirection

I tried to post these comments to someone else's blog, but couldn't get through. Maybe it's a sign not to argue with them on their turf. So I'll just post it here. This was in response to this entry and it's comments:

bryan said:

Well, then does that mean we're also guilty of the genocide of the Iraq people?

Not any more than we are responsible for the death of millions of Jews in World War II. You make the call.

..since when did two wrongs make a right?

Since our nation was founded by warring against Brits for our independence. But that idea is misleading. When a tyrant murders, the tyrant has forfeited his right to life - or citizens and governments have the right to end his life to prevent the threat he poses to other lives.

Punishing a child for breaking a window is no comparison to punishing a tyrant for murdering civilians. To really even compare the two you have gone far off the deep end. Honestly. Comparing murdered civilians to a broken window? Poor allegory at best. A window is dead. A civilian is alive. Or these ones were. You don't care.

And if we needed to punish Sadamm so bad, why didn't we do it when he actually killed the Kurds?

We should have.

Your last paragraph there distracts from the point I made. You are focusing on the Iraqi lives that have been negatively affected by the US invasion (guess what? In any fight for freedom, people get hurt). The sufferings you list are far, far less than the hundreds of thousands Saddam Killed. But ultimately, it wouldn't have mattered if Saddam retaliated against his civilians when we invaded - because when we were done ousting him, he wouldn't have any opportunity to do it more, and since none can prove whether he would or would not have turned against his civilians again in any circumstance, the reality of the risk he posed should be acknowledged - and we should all be all for ousting him and getting Iraq the freedoms they deserve and the self-governance that every nation needs. Saddam didn't govern. He brutalized.

green jenni said:

If we are going to kill thousands and thousands of people to punish a guy, we're not any better.

Misleading in the same way bryan's last paragraph was.

If we're going to punish evil dictators that are killing their own people we have a lot of work to do, but I don't see Georgie boy going after anyone other than Saddam and Osama.

It does not matter how much work it takes to defend innocent people from genocide. No matter what it takes on our part, and even if it requires risking our own lives, it is worth it, it is RIGHT - it is wrong to shirk from it. After World War II the UN signed a convention to prevent and punish genocide. So much for that! The world didn't follow its resolve, and its learing the same lessons again - except that too many aren't.

If we are going to punish evil dictators that are killing their own people, we better stop putting them in power over the democratically elected leaders -- can you say Pinochet?

I'm unfamiliar with Pinochet. However, not putting dictators in power sounds like a good idea - if misleading I think.. some would argue the U.S. "put" Saddam in power, but if that's a bad idea, then let's throw down the tyrant!

Why not punish the evil dictators that kill their own people when they are doing it? Why reward them and build alliances and then 20 years after the fact come after them to punish?

Also good ideas - let's do the former and not do the latter. You must realize you are actually providing the very answers I think sound good. We should have gotten rid of Saddam long ago - and he never should have come to power. At this point I became so confused by the similarity of your rhetoric to bryans that I actually had to double-check that I was talking to different people.

Sounds nice, but doesn't make it through careful scrutiny.

Your scrutiny is glibly uncareful.

Again, your closing paragraph misleads in the same way bryan's did - focusing on the far less damage we have caused preventing Saddam from any further of the far more damage he caused. Defending the life of a peasant in another land from a tyrant (and the terrorists who have flocked to the state proving they had an affinity and vested interest in Saddam's machinations) is courage. Complaining about what we have lost doing so is cowardice. It's a noble cause. Your misdirected attentions detract from that.


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