Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Look! Elections!

I've seen people point to Iraqi elections, with only a few bombs going off, killing only a few dozen people, as a reason to decide that, gosh darn it, George W. Bush might have been right.

There's part of me that imagines - purely as a thought experiment! - one of those war mongers[1] having problems with gallstones, getting conked over the head, dragged to the hospital, given gall bladder surgery against their will, and maybe end up with a finger and a few toes amputated, and then suffer through endless, painful, but not ultimately harmful, medical procedures - maybe exploratory chest surgery! Slice open that chest, crack that ribcage! before being given intense physical therapy and fed a nutritious diet, and have their eventual basic healthiness (except for possible PTSD) trumpeted as proof that the kidnapping, aggravated assault, and assorted pains and indignities were the right thing to do.

I hope it's clear that would be a hideously evil thing for people to do. You don't hurt other people, not even if, someday, you'll be able to point to some basic healthiness that may or may not have happened without your intervention, as an excuse for your behavior.

This isn't really difficult reasoning when applied to a person. Why does it change when applied to a lot of people?

[1] a monger is a seller - war monger is, in fact, an accurate term in this instance

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