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Ok then

Al Qaeda is pretty obviously a bad group of people, but do they barbecue children and feed them to their parents? I’m with Wulfgar; that’s a bit sketchy. Yon’s reporting is from an anonymous Iraqi official who apparently heard it from someone else. Not much more than a rumor in a region filled with vile rumors.

There’s a stranger part in Andy’s post, however:

This, along with their (al Qaeda) beheadings and Saddam’s evil atrocities is not reason enough to wipe these monsters out? I’m sure most of the Soldiers, Marines, Sailors and Pilots fighting in Iraq right now would love to kill one of these al Qaedas.

Who’s saying we shouldn’t wipe out al Qaeda? I don’t think there’s a lack of will here. It always perplexes me when people are roused to fierce denunciations of groups like al Qaeda and claim they should be wiped out. Don’t we sort of already know this? The problem is the how, not the why. There isn’t some magic policy that we can just implement and starting wiping these people out without bringing death and destruction to lots of people who don’t deserve it (and who we’re ostensibly trying to protect).

It’s curious to me.

Categories: Iraq
  1. July 11, 2007 at 8:36 pm

    Oh come now; they’re swarthy terrorists, not characters in an Eli Roth movie. This strikes me as a clear case of myth, but goodness knows I’ll read about it in an e-mail forward within a month now.

  2. July 12, 2007 at 6:28 pm

    Oh come on – we’ve done a whole lot more killing of innocent people than Al Qaeda. Someone should wipe us out.

    Look in the mirror for once.

  3. July 12, 2007 at 6:54 pm

    Who’s “we?”

  4. July 13, 2007 at 4:44 pm

    The USA – 655,000 innocent civilians killed in Iraq. Even if that number is overstated by a factor of four (and I don’t believe it is), that’s more innocent people killed than any “al Qaeda” guy ever wet dreamed about.

    When they get pissed, scores of people die. When we get pissed, hundreds of thousands die.

    Good grief! Who’s we? Think I’m gonna puke.

  5. July 13, 2007 at 7:41 pm

    Your moral righteousness would have more of an effect if you could actually cite that number correctly.

    Are you still having difficulty differentiating actions based the intent of the actor?

    Do you think I don’t believe the war in Iraq was completely wrongheaded and completely indefensible at this point? Your outrage is misplaced. I was explicitly denying the fact that this country could go wipe out al Qaeda and maintain any sort of moral high ground. I believe I used the same reason (civilian deaths) you’re using to criticize me. That doesn’t change the fact that members (with all necessary caveats about how loosely defined that can be) of al Qaeda are terrorists who have done things that are morally indefensible and killing them for it is hardly unjust. I’m sorry, but as bad as collateral damage is, it’s not the same by any reasonable moral standard as terrorism that intentionally targets civilians.

  6. July 14, 2007 at 10:03 am

    I get a little worked up. Sorry.

    One, you’re assuming that all of the civilians we have killed were unintentional. You cede the moral high ground. If Vietnam is any guide, these civilians we kill are likely targeted. After all, the Iraqi resistance depends on popular support to survive. That was the rationale for targeting civilians in Vietnam, the origin of the free fire zones.

    Secondly, you give a free pass for callous disregard for civilians. It’s no different than outright targeting, and also identical in outcome. Even if tehy don’t intend to kill civilians, the fact that they don’t care if they do gives them no moral high ground.

    Third, you presume to know that civilians killed by the other side are not “collateral damage” as well. Generally, they are targeting Iraq police, who they regard as Quislings. If some civilians die in the process … so what? That’s the American way.

    All in all, I think your argument fails in many ways.

  7. July 14, 2007 at 4:22 pm

    One, you’re assuming that all of the civilians we have killed were unintentional. You cede the moral high ground. If Vietnam is any guide, these civilians we kill are likely targeted. After all, the Iraqi resistance depends on popular support to survive. That was the rationale for targeting civilians in Vietnam, the origin of the free fire zones.

    I’m assuming that intentional targeting is not the norm. I don’t see how what you’re saying is a rationale for targeting civilians. It’s hard to cover up and our military is not given the benefit of the doubt by Iraqis. So I don’t think it’s useful tactic and I haven’t seen any evidence supporting your claim.

    Secondly, you give a free pass for callous disregard for civilians. It’s no different than outright targeting, and also identical in outcome. Even if they don’t intend to kill civilians, the fact that they don’t care if they do gives them no moral high ground.

    First off, it is different (just take a look at how our justice system deals with it). Second, I’m not giving them a free pass, you’re simply assuming that every civilian death is due to callous disregard. I would say our leaders are making a trade off (they believe their goals will justify the deaths, which they don’t believe are as high as we believe, by the way) that is completely immoral. If they were given the opportunity to complete their goals without civilian deaths, they would take it. Al Qaeda would not, since their goals in these situations is the death of civilians. That doesn’t justify our leaders’ actions, but I think it does make them different from the actions of al Qaeda.

    Third, you presume to know that civilians killed by the other side are not “collateral damage” as well. Generally, they are targeting Iraq police, who they regard as Quislings. If some civilians die in the process … so what? That’s the American way.

    No, I’m simply taking those who intentionally target civilians at their word. I’m also talking about al Qaeda, not Iraqi insurgents.

    I have to say, I’m not even sure why we’re having this argument. Neither of us approve of al Qaeda. Neither of us think causing the deaths of 655,000 Iraqis is a justifiable way to do it.

  8. July 14, 2007 at 8:30 pm

    I don’t stand for much moral high-groundin’. We ain’t got much to hold us up.

  1. July 12, 2007 at 7:01 pm

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