Thursday, November 22, 2007

Ignoring the Innocent

I am in the mood for a holiday rant, so take it for what it is worth. I am not writing anything that’s particularly elegant or well-constructed.


Duncan Maxwell Anderson has some interesting statistics on the Iraq war and casualties. Aside from the recent drop in civilian and military deaths (down 50%) Saddam is estimated by the French organization ATF (no friend of the Iraq war) to have killed about 300,000 people during his 23 years in power (this does not include the 500,000 Iraqi soldier who died during his military forays against Iran, etc). That is 13,043 people a year, 1,086 per month or 36 people a day. If these numbers are correct then despite the more gruesome coverage of war causalities, it is safer from a mortality perspective to be an Iraqi under US occupation than under Saddam’s reign. Now this cannot compare to the peace and tranquility that Iraqis enjoyed under Saddam but Saddam’s methods would also be completely unacceptable to the New Left, which is doing most of the complaining about the war in Iraq.

What I find so annoying about critics of the Iraq war is that, generally speaking, unless white people are dying they could care less about deaths that don’t involve them. Witness Clinton’s dithering in Rwanda where 500,000 Africans were butchered and nobody lifted a finger. Clinton was by no means alone in his abdication of concern for the deaths of the innocent but there is a curious tendency in the West not to be overly concerned as long as our tribal members are not being butchered. Liberals in this respect appear to have far less species loyalty than do Republicans. They reserve their outrage for Republicans who haven’t found a cure for AIDS (a largely preventable disease for those practicing sexual self-restraint), who oppose homosexual unions and who have the audacity not to want women to butcher their own infants whenever they feel like it. It was this same “unconcerned about others” element that ignored the plight of the Jews during WW II, and in more recent history, the Cambodians. Personally, I think that in later years, the moral sanctioning of abortion makes people even less sensitive to innocent deaths and perhaps more interested in the path of least resistance in regards to all moral issues that may involve the innocent.

If you add in the number of soldiers killed during Saddam’s wars to the civilian deaths you arrive at the incredible figure of 34,782 people a year for 23 years killed under Saddam.

Has anything really changed? One could argue that people were better off under Saddam than at present and I would not disagree. One can argue that the war was prosecuted on thin evidence; one can argue (as I have) that we should arrest and jail leaders who abuse the interests of a nation’s people and let them decide what they want to do. If they are too stupid or inept to choose what is best for them, then let them fall by the wayside. One can lead a horse to water, so to speak, but you can’t make them drink. I often think of the North Koreans in this vein. Just go in and take out Kim il Jong and his leadership and see what happens.

One can argue that there may be better ways to fight evildoers than with outright aggression and I don’t disagree but standing up for principles (however misconceived) and taking a stand, right or wrong, is a far more honorable activity than the turning of backs on the innocent and then pretending that neutrality is some sort of high moral ground. Ignoring the plight of the innocent or the undefended against the depredations of the evil and the strong is, as far as I am concerned, one of the most despicable fruits of the decoupling of cause and effect that has been ongoing since the enlightenment. What began with a confused cleric’s nailing of complaints against an ossified church in the 1500s has resulted in a wholesale abandonment of the moral, spiritual values and intellectual values that were built upon the teachings of Christ. What we return to is not some golden age of reason but an advanced form of intellectual and moral devolution that may yet result in a savagery that even Rome could not imagine.

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