Sunday, August 20, 2006

Murder's what you want...

Well, then murder’s what you’ll get, duh. And probably a whole lot more of it than you bargained for.

But our “leadership” has lost sight of that oh-so-basic fact of life. Today’s example is an article in the NY Times that reports Israel’s goal of killing Sheik Hassan Nasrallah. The Israelis do not even argue that killing this man will solve any problems. It is for revenge, nothing else.

“There’s only one solution for him,” said an Israeli representative, “This man must die.”

Well, no, there is another solution. If there is reason to believe he has committed crimes, he could be arrested and tried in a court of law. That’s how civilized societies handle these things.

And there is a reason for that. The act of murder as a tool of revenge is worse than ineffective, it is counter-productive.

I know it’s difficult for the idiots running our country and their lapdogs in the so-called opposition party or the media to understand, much more so for their followers, but if it’s okay to murder other people’s leaders who are involved in military operations then it is okay for them to kill yours. The same principle holds for torture. If it’s okay for our country to use torture on another’s soldiers, then it’s okay for another country to torture our soldiers.

But murder and torture are not okay. Not for us, not for anybody. Fortunately, there is a very easy way to stop this insane cycle of violence. Just stop. That’s all we need to do. At any moment, we can simply stop it. Nobody is making us create these crimes. Many people say that it would be impossible to stop, but that’s not true. It would be just as easy as it was starting it, possibly easier since historically we have been more about the rule-of-law than wantonly violent and counter-productive retribution.

But alas, we have no opposition party or independent media willing to make such an obvious argument. Instead, we are told that revenge and murder are a good thing, a means to a good end. Many people who write on the internets are already advocating a “final solution” for those who oppose us (and their families, neighbors, countrymen, And some of these people even make it onto television or get quoted in what were formally respectable publications.

When a society’s discourse begins to plumb these moral depths, the bad things they so ardently wish for are likely to happen. Historically, when societies go insane with bloodlust they only see the errors of their ways when they end up on the receiving end. And if we don’t change our ways, the receiving end is where we’ll be. Whether it’s in two hundred years or 10, that kind of blow back is inevitable.