March 14, 2012
Schizophrenic morality part 2
An outrageous act most certainly, but once again I need to ask: what do you expect when the government of the soldier is itself killing an enormous amount of people. It often does so indirectly through the calamities, poverty and hunger that is a consequence of long lasting war but it most certainly also does so in a very direct way for example by the use of drones (Pakistani authorities released statistics earlier this year indicating that between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2009, U.S. Predator and Reaper drone strikes have killed over 700 innocent civilians.*)
So the soldier will be tried - and justly so - but who will put his government in court?
And while I'm at it, might I perhaps propose a comparison? If it is constantly implied that the injustices of the Afghan society (like the suppression of women and violent terrorism) are supposedly direct effects of their Islamic believes, could these killings of innocent people perhaps be a direct effect of Christian capitalism?
Does this sound ridiculous to some? The latter certainly isn't more absurd than the former. So let's perhaps leave every absurd and simplistic analysis behind. Of course it isn't ideology or religion itself that brings people to killing innocent people. It isn't Islam as such that makes people become terrorists, neither is it capitalism as such that makes people violent - but both can lead to atrocities when there is some gain - be it power or money - in it for enough people.
It is time therefore, that we recognize the real culprit in Afghanistan: the economics of war - the profit gained from sustaining violence is the true underlying 'cause. I'm not just saying 'oil' or 'gaspipes' or 'contracts', etc. but I'm pointing at the very fabric of the economics of war: a series of interconnected financial profits that stem from continued violence and war. Those profits, be it from weapons, resources, politics, or any other element, are beneficial to a few, but ruin the lives of many. Yet as long as we continue such economics, we will have incidents in which innocent people are killed. Simply because that is of no concern to the eventual economic profit or loss.
So to justify the economics of war while at the same time asking soldiers not to use violence is asking for moral schizophrenia. And as such, our own society needs as much treatment as those soldiers.