Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Lots of Wars, Many Standards, Endless Hypocrisy

Warfare is a permanent part of the human story, unfortunately, and while it ebbs and flows in specific places and even continents, it's not about to disappear. A quick glance through the New York Times, which is only plausibly efficient at registering such things, tells today of wars in Iraq (worsening); Afghanistan (worsening); Sri Lanka (horrendous, in this bout, for about two years already); and of course Pakistan, where a mega-horror is developing, with well more than a million refugees so far. You won't find any speculation of the numbers of Pakistani civilians being killed by the Pakistani government in its war on (mostly) Pakistani terrorists, but if you read between the lines, they've got to be large. Neither fighting side is being even remotely scrupulous in its use of force.

As a matter of fact, none of the fighting sides in any of these wars - none - even dream of using their weapons with the care Israel routinely uses; I'd hazard to say none of them, not even the Americans, are even trying to learn as they go how best to be effective while limiting harm to non-combatants. And why should any of them? Beyond a feeble groan here and there, no-one's demanding it of them, and they obviously don't have the need to do so for their own sake.

No comments: