[ExI] The Death Toll Imbalance in the Mideast War

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Mon Jun 8 04:04:05 UTC 2009

2009/6/8 Lee Corbin <lcorbin at rawbw.com>:

> In the present case, some people are biased in
> America's favor, and others resent the U.S.
> Why America? Easy: since the end of WWII, the U.S.
> has been the "big cheese" among nations, and so
> of course garners the most attention. It also follows
> that the moral question "Is America doing the right
> thing" far outweighs "Is Burkina Faso doing the
> right thing?"

It's also makes a difference that you're part of the American
alliance. People tend to fall into two camps over this: those who say
"my country, right or wrong" and those who feel that it's their duty
to make sure their country does the right thing, since they have some
control over it.

>> And I suppose that the Iraqi invaders would say it was terrible that
>> innocent Americans had to die due to the American insurgents hiding
>> among the population, when all the Iraqis wanted to do was make sure
>> that America would never be able to threaten other countries again.
> We see some examples of what I'm saying right here.
> How do we know that the Taliban and Al Qaeda delight
> in crimes against humanity? I don't think so. It
> simply stands to reason, however, that their humanitarian
> impulses are, due to their background, less refined than
> those of the west. If they cheer when a couple of thousand
> of American civilians die in a terrorist act, we have to
> take their history (and even their religion) into account.
> They haven't been living in the twentieth century long,
> if at all.
> Likewise, how do we know that "all the Iraqi [insurgents]
> wanted to do was make sure that America would never be
> able to threaten other countries again"? They have their
> own reasons for resenting "the big cheese", a lot of it
> cultural, and it's a mistake for western readers to
> imagine that those reasons are identical to their own.
> Far from it.

Humanitarian impulses are not at the forefront when your country is
being invaded. If the US nuking Japan was morally justifiable, then
would it also have been morally justifiable for Iraq to nuke a couple
of large US cities to prevent an invasion?

Stathis Papaioannou

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