Are there any ethics in war? In death?
9, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 574
The Ethics Of Death
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News
GROUND ZERO, New York City, Apr. 9-- Watching the news churns my
I’ve had indigestion ever since the war broke out.
Maybe it’s because of the Ethics of Death.
justified in War?
In many ways, the word Ethics and Death seem to have little to
do with one another. One word involves the evolution of the human
condition and the other the termination of it.
Yet there is a struggle today to justify death, and to make
death “more” or “less ethical.” The process wages war on my
Example: killing journalists.
On one side of the coin, the journalists are saying there was no
sniper fire and the American tank wantonly fired on the Palestine
Hotel. The result—two deaths, a number of wounded. They claim the
deaths were the result of unethical actions—shooting at a known
sanctuary of journalists.
The Pentagon says the Rules of War allow instant decisions to be
made to return fire from enemy forces. The tank commander was within
the ethical boundaries when he returned fire—assuming he was fired
The squabble is over the ethics of death.
When is death justified, just, right?
On the O’Reilly Factor aired on Fox News, there was a debate
between the host and a Princeton University professor last night over
the ethics of killing Iraqi civilians. The professor’s point was
America is paying much more attention to U.S. casualties and very
little to Iraqi civilian victims of war. His point underscored that
America was “unethical” in giving priority to its dead and wounded
while virtually ignoring the number of civilian deaths.
debates a Princeton Professor on the "equality of death"
Bill O’Reilly, host of the show, dodged the question by
presenting another: “How many civilian lives are being saved by the
U.S. versus all the lives Saddam Hussein has taken during his years of
Estimates of Hussein’s brutality, including gassing
civilians, range upwards of a half-million. However, the Princeton
professor would not be deterred. He kept bringing up the “equality
of death” factor, the formula where one life of an Iraqi deserves
equal attention in the press and media to the life of an American,
British, Australian or journalist. The absence of reporting on such
deaths, the professor said, was a sign of “ethical inequality.”
War’s ugliness brings down the walls of ethics. It corrodes
and crumbles them and fogs any glasses that one might have thought
impervious to such violations. Human blood splattering against the
eyeballs shifts the vision from ethics to utter horror, especially
when it is blood of your own, or your kin, or to those whom you feel
Is war ethical?
Can it ever be?
I doubt it.
|Can the evil of
War turn the Sentinel of Vigilance into the Beast of Terror?
Even when waged
against the most brutal of all monsters, the death and destruction
that comes with war seems to dwarf its original mission--to rid the
world of evil.
Hawk of War
But often the evil
of war itself overpowers the evil it sets to right, making the act of
eliminating the evil, evil, corrupting the good seeking to destroy the
bad, turning the Sentinel of Vigilance into the Beast of Terror it
Dove of Peace
it does mean that the left and right, the war hawks and doves, all
shout fruitlessly. In the midst of war itself, the cry
should be to end the war so that Vigilance can rule rather than
War, and all its
ugly unethical nature, is the result of a nation and nations of
Complacency, who allow Terrorism to rise in temperature until the
Beast of Terror cannot be constrained.
Only Vigilance will
will squash War
But in the middle of it, there can be no ethics.
We should ban the words "right" and "wrong"
during a war.
They mean nothing except when wars are over.
Baghdad Bob--Will We Cry?
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