Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The anti-war left's unkindness

I don't want to call this "hypocrisy", but it's knocking on the door. Michael Cohen is saying that there's an "inability and unwillingness to even consider the arguments of their opponents" among anti-war folks, and proceeds to be unwilling and unable to consider the arguments of his opponents.

Look, I understand that people have been speaking stupidly and evilly about war, as if it was a policy decision akin to which part of the infrastructure is most in need of repairs and upgrades. I understand that a lot of people don't have a gut-level understanding that war is about killing people, and that you can't kill people without stronger justification that vague fears about what might be, someday.

Supporting the deaths of innocent people without justification is vile; a person who supports such a thing should be reviled. Michael Cohen would rather we be gentle, that we not push the issue, that we ignore tens of thousands - probably hundreds of thousands - of innocent deaths.

Mr. Cohen, if you should stumble upon these words, think about that. Think about hundreds of thousands of people dead, and thus, millions of people mourning, and angry. Think about living your life in a war zone. Think about seeing huge number of people flee, and the sick feeling that, with each person who leaves, a little hope is lost, and with one less person to intimidate, the local bosses are that much more effective on the remainder.

Think hard about the things that we have done to these people... people whose only crime was to be born in a nation ruled by a brutal dictator.

Now remember that the war was sold based upon lies. Remember that there are nations ruled by equally nasty, or worse, men than Saddam, and we don't try to intervene because common sense tells us that intervention is likely to cause exactly this kind of mess.

Now remember what cost there has been to those who pushed for this war. Remember what price has been paid. Are they considered murderers? No. Are they considered reckless people whose foolishness caused the deaths of probably hundreds of thousands of people? No. Are they considered idiots who shouldn't be in charge of distributing paper towels in the public restrooms of your local fast food joint? No.

They've made horrible mistakes, mistakes that were easily foreseeable, mistakes that have killed countless people, and brought suffering to millions. But heaven help us, we should not be upset with them, we should not speak unkindly of them... we certainly should not hold them responsible for their mistakes.

And how many of them have admitted to the enormity of those mistakes? I don't mean "how many have said 'oopsie, I was wrong,' because that's not enough when your mistakes kill innocent people. I mean, who has come forward and accepted responsibility for their part in the deaths of innocent people?

Try to consider this argument, if you've got the moral courage to do so. Then maybe you can tell me if a rant about schoolchildren spitting on a photograph is unjustified.

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