Published on Wednesday, January 7, 2009 by CommonDreams.org
Killing Children is Never Legitimate
After spending time with our 2-year old daughter Rosie this morning, I turned on my computer and learned that scores of children in
Since the invasion of
“Conditions for parents and children in
Living so far away from the
Could you imagine a rationale that would somehow justify the killing of your child to achieve a political objective? Of course not. Yet at the end of the day, when the blaming, posturing, and justification stop, this is what war and terrorism produce: the wholesale death of innocent people, most tragically the most innocent of all – children.
It doesn’t take a PHD in military science to conclude that killing and maiming children and other innocents in the quest to stop the actions of the militant few is not only immoral, it is counter-productive. A Hamas leader, Mahmoud Zahar, was quoted on Jan. 4 as saying that "The Zionists have legitimized the killing of their children by killing our children.” Such is the twisted, pathological psychology of war and terrorism. In this case the twisted rationale of revenge is used to justify the continued terrorizing of innocent Israelis with indiscriminately fired rockets, fueling the cycle of violence at the expense of the most vulnerable on both sides.
Two war crimes don’t make a right; and killing children is never legitimate, no matter what. Yet we the people of the
The words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who would have turned 80 this January 15, continue to speak to this madness: “The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral….instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you murder the hater, but you can’t murder the hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate…returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars….hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”
How much more productive an approach might it be for the U.S. and Israel to offer food and medicine rather than bombs and bullets to the Palestinian, Iraqi and Afghan children who are hanging on to life on a thin thread? Would not such a pro-child approach win the enduring appreciation, rather than enmity, of the parents of those children, and the sympathies of the larger Arab world?
Waking from the dark night of war, terrorism and violence that destroys the lives of children won’t be easy. But if we start by demanding that all children be treated as if they were our own, things would have to change dramatically.
During his campaign, President-elect Barack Obama told the
Imagine having a foreign policy driven by the well-being of all children. Then take action to make it so, starting with an immediate cease-fire in
John Friedrich lives in
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"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs