Friday, August 8, 2014

the militant in the mirror

I was having lunch, and the TVs in the restaurant were fixed on CNN, where monotonal Wolf Blitzer was droning on and the "Breaking news" caption at the bottom of the screen was something to the effect of "U.S. Dropping Bombs on Militants in Iraq".

We're doing airstrikes against the awful ISIS rebels, and nobody here will shed many tears for them (unless we are dropping bombs on innocents like Israel is doing in Gaza), but the word I get hung up on is "militants", which is now arbitrarily used as a synonym for "terrorists" or "the bad guys".

Definition of "militant": combative and aggressive in support of a political or social cause, and typically favoring extreme, violent, or confrontational methods.

So here is my question:  When the United States in 2003 invaded Iraq -- a country that had not provoked war but which had a nasty dictator who annoyed us -- were we the militants?

Incidentally, as it happened, that invasion and occupation made things even worse for the Iraqis and led directly to the formation of this ISIS mess.  Violence leads to more violence, does it not?
Tomorrow marks the 69th anniversary of the day that the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan, killing 60,000-80,000 people, three days after dropping the bomb on Hiroshima, an act that had probably already ended  World War II, making the Nagasaki bombing punitive -- and thus terroristic or just overly militant?

My pacifist thoughts for the day.

No comments: