this should not be even thinkable

This should not even be… thinkable. Link by way of Teresa Nielson Hayden, and Long Story, Short Pier, both of whom are more eloquent on the subject than I could hope to be.

The opening of the article:

800 missiles to hit Iraq in first 48 hours

The US intends to shatter Iraq “physically, emotionally and psychologically” by raining down on its people as many as 800 cruise missiles in two days.

The Pentagon battle plan aims not only to crush Iraqi troops, but also wipe out power and water supplies in the capital, Baghdad.

It is based on a strategy known as “Shock and Awe”, conceived at the National Defense University in Washington, in which between 300 and 400 cruise missiles would fall on Iraq each day for two consecutive days. It would be more than twice the number of missiles launched during the entire 40 days of the 1991 GulfWar.

“There will not be a safe place in Baghdad,” a Pentagon official told America’s CBS News after a briefing on the plan.

I cannot concieve of how any reasoning, thinking human being could intend to perpetrate such a plan without even the appearance of a moral quandry. I cannot concieve of how any reasoning, thinking human being could not see that this is insanity. That this is genocide. Where is the rightness in this behavior? There is none.

Killing people is a terrible way to change their minds. God, why can people not see that! Killing people doesn’t change anyone’s minds. At the best it might change behavior for a short period of time, but even the briefest glimpse of history should prove that. Ireland. Croatia. Israel. Killing people doesn’t change minds. It barely even proves your military might. Like it’d be any surprise to anyone in the world that the US could pulverize virtually any nation’s military and civilian populations into mud?

Do the people in our goverment have no concept of martyrdom? Of overkill? Of extremist behavior? Do they have no care of the world’s perception of our country? God, I can’t stand this!

And the worst thing is, I don’t know how to stop it.

6 thoughts on “this should not be even thinkable

  1. God. No, it shouldn’t be thinkable. I’ve seen this before somewhere, maybe on Teresa’s blog.

    Unfortunately, I think that our government falls into the trap of ‘because we are the biggest and the best (yes, by somewhat subjective definitions) we have to continue to be so, no matter the cost. Piss in our wheaties, we will stomp through your house, break every dish in your cabinet, and set fire to your cereal boxes gleefully. Then maybe you’ll think twice about trying to piss in our wheaties again.

    Unfortunately, as you state, it doesn’t work that way. But there’s a particular mentality (I live with someone who subscribes to this) that if you beat the snot out of someone, eventually they’re going to be *unable* to strike back. And if you happen to kill them in the process, well, that’s one less upstart you have to worry about.

    I hate it. I *despise* it. I don’t know what to do either.

  2. I don’t know that we can stop it, but I know we need to try.
    Send public opinion messages to your congressmen. Demonstrate
    when there’s a peace rally or march. I believe that
    only the weight of public opinion will have any sway with the
    powers that be. Assure your representatives that you will NOT
    vote for them if they support mass murder. And make damned sure
    that you get out and vote every chance you get.

    “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is
    that good men do nothing.” – Edmund Burke

  3. So, here’s a question: would a quick overwhelming display such as is contemplated here kill more people or fewer people than a war conducted in some other more traditional manner?

    Frankly, I don’t see how a war which kills 20,000 people over a month is better than one that kills 10,000 people in 48 hours. If the sudden approach makes the overall war less bloody, then, assuming that the war is moral at all, the Shock and Awe approach is clearly the moral choice.

  4. I suppose, then, that the next question would be: Is this war moral?

    Which, in my mind, is always followed closely by: Is any war moral? And, if so, under what circumstances?

    And, somewhere in there, my brain seizes upon the question: Is it moral to murder the citizens of a country whose leader has offended you? (on which, given the phrasing I’ve chosen, my opinion ought to be fairly obvious)

    Returning to the initial assumption, though – Is it indeed more moral to kill a shitload of people in a single day, assuming that there will be no further killing after that, than it is to kill a smaller number of people on that single day, hoping that there will be no further killing after that.

    And. I should stop talking, now, as I seem to have a lot more to say on the subject.

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