Collateral Damage Isn’t Murder No Matter What The Daily Kos Says
Over at the Daily Kos, a diarist by the name of Michael Boldin takes the left’s rhetoric about civilians in war time to its logical conclusion. Here’s part of what he wrote:
“Collateral damage is nothing more than a euphemism for state-sponsored mass murder. It is the term given to people killed in military actions who were “not intentionally targeted.” In reality, this is pure propaganda. It has always been morally just to protect innocent people against aggressors. But, on the other hand, it has never been moral, nor has it ever been necessary, to bomb cities filled with innocent people.
…Apologists for American soldiers killing people in Iraq would like us to believe that their killings are justifiable because they’re done in “self-defense.” The awful truth is that most killing in the course of this or any war is simply murder disguised as self defense.
…It should be quite self-evident by this point in history, that anyone who claims to believe in freedom and equality could never use the phrase “collateral damage” without being an utter hypocrite. Such hubris must not continue forever. The murder of innocent people is murder, period.
Yes, it is true that innocents die when war is waged. Yes, innocent people will always die when their cities are bombed and their homes are invaded. This is all the reason that should be needed to vehemently oppose every aggressive war that our government engages in!”
If killing civilians accidentally is murder, pure and simple, does that mean our troops deserve to be jailed?
Does this mean Boldin and his other pals at the Daily Kos oppose the Revolutionary War, WW2, and the war in Afghanistan because civilians were
accidentally killed murdered?
If, “Collateral damage is nothing more than a euphemism for state-sponsored mass murder,” then isn’t the obvious implication that we should never fight a war for any reason (Incidentally, that seems to be the default position for a lot of liberals, even though they hate to admit it)?
Another key question would seem to be, “What happens when you run up against enemies who don’t share your beliefs about civilian causalities, like say Hamas, Hezbollah, and Al-Qaeda?” How many American lives are these liberals willing to sacrifice rather than risk accidentally killing civilians in retaliation? 100? 1000? 10,000? A million? More?
One of the greatest mistakes we in the West in general, and liberals in particular, make is holding our own side up to nearly impossible to meet standards while holding our enemies to no standard whatsoever. It’s almost as if some of these people live by that old maxim, “It doesn’t matter whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game.” When it comes to warfare, that’s pure horsecrap. Once a war has started, winning, preferably with as little lost life and inconvenience on your side as possible, is everything and, “how you play the game,” is of little consequence.
That doesn’t mean you start immediately launching nuclear bombs, torturing your enemies, or willfully killing civilians just for the heck of it, but it does mean that winning the war is paramount and the ethics debates should be secondary issues.
We don’t tend to do that because we’ve gotten too cocky, too sure of ourselves, too convinced that we’re invincible. People look back at 9/11 and say, “That was a one time thing.” They look at less than 2600 soldiers KIA in Iraq, which is an extremely low casualty rate historically, and they can’t think of anything worth losing that many troops over. It’s 1930’s Europe all over again and unfortunately, if we keep going down this path, we may, like the Europeans back then, pay a higher price for our folly than we ever truly realized was possible when our enemies fully take advantage of our reluctance to act.