Monday, January 26, 2009

Unremarkable Hypocrisy

Regular readers will have figured out by now that I'm hardly a pacifist, and even that I think pacifism in some contexts is an intellectual cop-out and a moral disgrace. I even posted a theoretical disquisition on the subject a while back. So it should come as no surprise that I'm a supporter of the War on Terror or whatever it will now be renamed, so long as it carries on the campaign against the truly horrific Islamists who seek the destruction of the free world. I also assume, given what I know about history, that the American, British or Nato forces engaged in it are, generally speaking, reasonably fastidious in their attempts to limit the unnecessary ravages of war. Perhaps they could do better than they do - that's generally a sure thing in any human endeavor - but I'm not out to halt their important efforts by hampering them to distraction and total inefficiency.

Having said that, I was intrigued to read today that over the past year they have killed some 4,000 civilians in Afghanistan. Not in urban warfare, mind you. I'm not hearing all the sermons about proportionality, ratios of casualties, international law, genocidal campaigns, interventions by the Security Council, shocked outrage by the UN Secretary General, large demonstrations in European cities, and so-on.

Yes, of course I'm saying what you think I'm saying.


Anonymous said...

another conflict where none of the usuals clamours about civilian deaths and I would guess that also due to that silence nobody there is even remotely as careful as the IDF was not to harm civilians. Of course I believe the IDF like any intelligent army does not need the screamers to make it careful and considerate because nowadays it is not only the humane but probably also the smart thing to do
And what about Kashmir - where are the demonstrations about civilian suffering in that unlucky area ... and ... and ... and ...

Anonymous said...

Yaacov, of course you are right in saying what both of us know you're saying, but wouldn't the CNN bureau chief respond that the Afghanistan War is conducted under the blessing of UN Resolution and thus, sadly it's all in a good cause; while the Israeli operation in Gaza is just unilateral aggressive adventurism and the horrors of this war are not therefore justified by the greater good?