Thursday, March 27, 2003

What's on my mind?

Well, of course war is on my mind -- I've thought about it a lot, the wherefores and the why's, and here we are in the middle of it. And what side do I come down on? Well, the pro-war side. Not that I'm a big fan of killing people, especially innocents, but more because the good reasons to go to war in this case out-weigh the good reasons not to (and there are always good reasons not to). I'm sure I'll do a lot more talking about that in the future... but today's rant is going to be on the bombing in the Shaab district where unfortunately somewhere between 14 and 20 people apparently died. I won't dispute that the fact that they died is a Very Bad Thing -- regardless of who caused it, but I have a couple of things to point out.

The US-led coalition has a huge incentive NOT to cause civilian casualties. We know it, and the Iraqi regime knows it. No decent person in the world wants to see it, and that includes George W. . Hussein's (if he is still alive) biggest weapon in this war is propaganda -- the propaganda of dead people. The more dead people on either side, the more anti-war pressure there will be. Everybody knows that all the way up to George W. And the regime leaders know that.

Therefore, if this tragedy was caused by a coalition bomb, it was indeed by some huge accident. Nobody is saying that a coalition bomb DIDN'T cause it, but to accept this as the most likely cause outright is highly unreasonable. The Iraqi regime has shown over the last 34 years a ruthlessness toward it's own people that has certainly been equaled in history but probably not surpassed. Is it so tough to believe that this regime might stage such an explosion during an air-raid as a huge propaganda tool? Or is it such a stretch to believe that it was Iraqi weapons that went awry? If it were a propaganda tool, it certainly could only have worked better if more people died.

Not only do civilian deaths not gain the coalition anything, they have a huge negative impact on the coalition war effort and the necessary good-will after the war is over that it will need. Why, then, would anyone be so eager to believe and accept the Iraqi explanation? Could it be because they are pre-disposed to blame America for all that is wrong in the world? It certainly isn't out of a spirit of fair-mindedness.