Monday, April 30, 2012

The Huffington Posters Confront Civilian Deaths in War

The Huffington Post recently shared the remarks of John Brennan, the president's national counterterrorism adviser. Mr. Brennan made some strange comment such as that the US had no information about a single civilian death in the past few years of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan but what made the headlines was the following statement:
 But, he added, "unfortunately in war there are casualties, including among the civilian population." He said "sometimes you have to take life to save lives."
I think every intelligent person who read the article would probably agree with him: The days of two armies lining up in a field and shooting each other with muskets or hitting each other with swords are over and as the battlefield moves into populated areas civilian casualties are simply going to happen. It has become impossible in the modern era to fight insurgents or terrorists and not kill civilians. Period. This is something that America and Israel have been dealing with for years and it is likely that other countries will have to deal with them as well.

So then the problem becomes: Is it worth inflicting civilian casualties in order to pursue whatever political and military goals that got you into that situation in the first place? My thought is pretty simple: if you don't want civilian casualties then don't go to war in the first place. But if our government decides that this is something that we must do (and hopefully every war would be something we must do) then hopefully they will have judged whether or not those casualties are "worth it."

Unfortunately, most of the Huffington Posters didn't appear to give this issue much thought, instead choosing to fall back on the standard left-wing talking points: all war is bad and America is a terrorist. There were also shots at Christians and a popular Nazi-comparison. And of course there were the inevitable complaining about the military-industrial complex. I didn't disagree with everything that they had to say, I just would have liked a little more in the way of nuance in their discussion. Which I know is asking a lot for the internet.

Oh, and here's one more comment to share. Be sure to note the response:

Feel free to interpret that one however you like.

1 comment:

  1. There's very little difference between the posts of HP readers and those of Stormfront. This is statement of fact easily verified by comparing them side by side.


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