Thursday, June 08, 2006

Why the Likes of Zarqawi Must Die

Per the AP:

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the most-wanted terrorist in Iraq who waged a bloody campaign of beheadings and suicide bombings, was killed when U.S. warplanes dropped 500-pound bombs on his isolated safehouse, officials said Thursday.

A bunch of his bad-guy associates are dead too.

We, with gentle reader Guy Named Courtney plus billions of other human beings, are glad. We congratulate the US military and intelligence personnel who managed this signal accomplishment. And we wish them the best in their ongoing efforts to hunt down and kill major bad guys.

Why should someone who believes the gospel of Jesus celebrate the violent death of anyone?

Because some people kill other people who shouldn't be killed, and they will keep doing it unless they are killed themselves. That's the reality of a sinful world.

In the past we have stated that pacifism is more deadly than the prosecution of just wars. We believe that this event epitomizes that reality.

Let's anticipate a rejoinder or two:

  • But the killings in Iraq will go on. Yes, probably so. But these guys won't be doing it. And perhaps some others will gather a clue from their remains and knock off the wanton murder.
  • It was our warlike policies that drove them to it. If that's true, we still have to respond. But in this case, we believe that the recent events regarding Canada and Russia indicate otherwise.
  • The injuries to innocent civilians in a just war are worse than the evil done by the people against whom just war is made. Stipulating that hindsight reveals a number of steps by which the administration might have lessened the present chaos in Iraq, we will dispute that assertion on statistical grounds: by the most generously anti-American estimates, Saddam killed more people per year than this war has.


Anonymous said...

On the topic of just wars, just curious what SWNID thinks about this statement: The New Republic's recent cover story scorned the UN and lamented the lack of any real Western help in Darfur. Many reasons/excuses were suggested for why Bush was unwilling to commit forces: the cost and domestic tolerance for more warfare, many of our current soldiers are on their 3rd tour of duty (broken, as Murtha has said), we'd be fighting in yet another Muslim land, and Sudan once hosted OBL so strategically, in the WOT, it would not behoove us to stir that hornet's nest. In fact, our CIA lavishly welcomed their intelligence director recently (for WOT intelligence) even though he is said to be the architect of the genocide (now upwards of 400,000).

So at what point does the value and quantity of human life supercede strategic national interests? Which course of actoin is more just?

Jon A. Alfred E. Michael J. Wile E. SWNID said...

On the specific matter of Darfur, I know my limits. There's no way that I can assess the ability of the US military to act in Darfur, given current commitments. I lack the information and the expertise.

I wouldn't be happy making nice with a genocidal Somolian just for a brief strategic advantage in fighting the Islamofascists, if such actually happened. It seems that any advantage would be small compared to the moral and political disadvantages.

Part of the difficulty of political and military decisions is the limitations of the answers that they provide. Seldom, if ever, has a nation committed its blood and treasure to fight a war for purely humanitarian reasons. It is the intersection of national interest and human interest that make war feasible in this fallen world populated by miserable sinners.

It would be more noble (I don't know whether more "just") to undertake an action to save Darfur than, say, to apprehend bin Laden. But is it possible? Only if a nation were willing to make such a commitment. If any nation on earth would, it would be the US. But the US probably won't, because the action would lack an appeal to national interest.

As per your report the New Republic apparently accepts, the UN is even more impotent in such matters. But this is not because we need a better international organization. It is, as Baroness Thatcher aptly observed, that only nation states can command the loyalty of citizens in such a way that they will agree to fight and perhaps to die.

Such is life and death in a world full of selfish people who retain some ability to rise above their selfishness. But this does not mean that wars should never be fought.

Jon A. Alfred E. Michael J. Wile E. SWNID said...
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Jon A. Alfred E. Michael J. Wile E. SWNID said...
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