Immoralities of War
(November 25, 2010)
A Priest and Rabbi were sitting at a bar discussing the war in Afghanistan. The Priest asked “Did you hear that a bomb killed 3000 Afghans and a pretty American woman?” The bartender who had been listening asked in a perplexed manner, “Why did they kill the pretty blonde woman?”
The carpet bombing of the hills in Afghanistan, 3 weeks after 9/11, was responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians in revenge for the actions of 19 men from other countries. We can only guess how many pregnant women we performed abortions on; not by their choice. We should also be aware that many children are slain or maimed or left as orphans as this immorality is still in progress.
We live in a world of comforting illusions that the politicians and media contrives by diverting and omitting important facts and using inciting words so we have the misconception we are living in Camelot where truth and goodness and beauty reign and we can do no wrong. The national media has yet to explore or inform the public of real reasons behind our quick decision for military actions in these two small countries with possible devastating results.
This could be labeled as thought control which became more prevalent since TV and the internet. Thought control has been enhanced by politicians and media to manipulate the populous. Freedom, liberty, security, national interests etc are key words in justifying any action by our leaders. These words are used loosely by pseudo patriotic citizens while wrapping themselves in the flag.
There are two definitions of terrorism; an attack on civilians of our country is called terrorism while killing civilians in another country is called collateral damage. In September, 2001 the first attack we’ve had on American soil since The War of 1812 is called terrorism while the millions of innocent civilians our country has killed in haste since are just numbers. Every day the media ran heartwarming vignettes of the victims of the Trade Center tragedy, but little about Afghan victims, American parents and wives receiving folded flags or thousands of veterans with lifelong mental and physical disabilities.
This number would increase substantially if we included the thousands of civilian deaths in Iraq. Historian Howard Zinn states; “there is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people. War in our time is always indiscriminate, a war against innocents, a war against children.”
A journalist with ‘The Boston Globe” wrote from a hospital in Jalabad-“In one bed lay Noor Mohammad,10, who was a bundle of bandages. He lost his eyes and hands to a bomb hitting his house after Sunday dinner. The hospital director shook his head at the boy’s wounds and said “The United States must be thinking he is Osama, if not, then why would they do this.”
“The highways of death are two Kuwaiti roadways, littered with remains of 2,000 mangled Iraqi military vehicles, and charred and dismembered bodies of tens of thousands of Iraqi soldiers, who were withdrawing from Kuwait on February 26th and 27th 1991 in compliance with UN resolutions.” These are just two of many uncalled for atrocities that may have been reasons for terrorists hating us.
The causes of terrorism are easy to identify such as attacking Kuwait for oil and stationing of troops in Saudi Arabia, the site of the most holy of Moslem shrines. The bombing of Iraq and Kuwait with smart bombs that often weren’t too smart. Ten years of sanctions against Iraq resulted in the deaths of thousands of children. These and Clinton’s administration bombings Iraq and Sudan are just a few of our antagonizing relations with the Moslem countries.
Congresswoman Barbara Lee was the only member of congress to vote against the 2001 “Authorization for the use of Military Force.” The rest of congress and majority of the public were caught up in frenzy with flags and bumper stickers on their cars. This act was approved 3 days after 9/11 with little or no study of the culture, history and possible results of a military response. We are now wondering if these costs are worth sending 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan or 50,000 troops remaining in Iraq. Philosopher Immanuel Kant said that war is bad in that it begets more evil than it kills.
Right to Life advocates and religious patrons remain silent while these transgressions take place. After many years of watching wars and being taught to kill while in the military, I have come to the conclusion that civilization and religion are just remote ideals.