David Aaronovitch writes:
Or, to put it another way, where was the Muslim Association of Great Britain’s picture of the victims of Saddam, circulated some time during the long years of his oppression? What might we have demanded to be done in Congo if only it were safe enough for film crews to get pictures back of the horrors there? Mr Damazer, I worry about what happens when we believe that what we see is all there actually is, about what you might call TV-solipsism. The undiscovered boys in the Bosnian graves are every bit as dead as the photographed Iraqi boy.
This argument is not an attempt to drum up support for the invasion of Iraq, or the future invasion of anywhere else. In almost all cases, talking, negotiating and compromising are better than the unpredictable and extreme violence of war. In almost all. But just as there are armchair warriors, who run none of the risks that they recommend for others, so there are armchair pacifists whose commitment isn’t tested by the threat to family or friends. Just other peoples’ families and friends.
We still depend, even in the days of Trisha and trauma counselling, on men and women who will, if necessary, die on our behalf. And I must express my astonishment and gratitude that they will.
1 thought on “War: How to Frame the Tradeoffs”
While Aaronovitch seems like a decent fellow, what I find amazing is that he seems only to have recently realized that there are things in the world so bad they should be fought against. The history of his own country has many examples. Why anyone things there is anything special about our day and age which changes this fact has always been a mystery to me.
And he is right, we will depend on men and women (these days) willing to go into danger to protect our countries and our lives. Disciplined, law-abiding armies are the bedrock of civilization. The alternative is not a group choral rendition of the works of Joan Baez, but bloody-handed anarchy.
Happy Veterans day. God bless all our veterans, living and dead. Unlike Aaronovitch I am perfectly sure that they live on hereafter. But this only mitigates their loss in small part to those of us who remain here.
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