Though it isn’t the kind of thing you bring up in polite company, I’ve often though that if western nations were a little less moral about killing terrorists, let’s say willing to set off a few suicide bombers themselves, then terrorism itself wouldn’t be quite as effective as it is. Terrorists depend on our view of the sanctity of life, combined with our tolerance of others.
Many including the media seem to apologize on behalf of terrorists, suggesting that they are merely fighting with the only tools at their disposal. Yet their intend targets are frequently civilians rather than the military, but that doesn’t seem to change the opinions of the apologists. But let a Western nation accidentally kill one or two people, and the hue and cry goes on for days, surely boosting the morale and drive of the terrorists.
How can accidental death be the same as intentional killing? How can anyone justify such an irrational double standard?
Update: It seems that Andrew over at Bound By Gravity is thinking along the same lines:
Thus, from the perspective of the media, yet another atrocity by the Islamist terrorists in Iraq, while certainly revolting, is not surprising enough to justify wall-to-wall coverage for days. However, you can be sure that if an American soldier did something even a fraction as bad it would be in the limelight.
That, by the way, is the one point of similarity between the jihad and conventional terrorist movements like the IRA or ETA. Terror groups persist because of a lack of confidence on the part of their targets: The IRA, for example, calculated correctly that the British had the capability to smash them totally but not the will. So they knew that while they could never win militarily, they also could never be defeated. The Islamists have figured similarly. The only difference is that most terrorist wars are highly localized. We now have the first truly global terrorist insurgency because the Islamists view the whole world the way the IRA view the bogs of Fermanagh: They want it, and they’ve calculated that our entire civilization lacks the will to see them off.
Uppestdate: Captain’s Quarters has something to say about the Taliban using women and children as human shields:
This has two purposes for the Taliban. First, it keeps Western forces from firing on them, as they know that Coalition troops will try to protect civilians where possible. Secondly as just as importantly from a strategic point of view, any women and children killed in the battle will almost certainly be blamed on the Western forces by the Western media. It allows the Taliban to continue their propaganda blitz against the West, one in which the media has unwittingly (in most cases) found themselves a pawn to the Islamists.
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