April 7, 2003

You Have Been Volunteered

- I'm busy enough that I can avoid thinking about the war most of the time now, but when it comes back into my consciousness it comes back with all the conflicting emotions of before and more. Gung-ho war proponents would probably think it weak of me, or silly, or just plain nuts to have so much inner conflict over something I'm not directly involved in.

But, the fact is, we are all involved. And for all the "good reasons" we're in theis war, and for all of the trying to prevent civilian deaths, it's still a mess. And, according to fairly conservative estimates, it's been the end of about 1,000 Iraqi civilian lives thus far.

I know I've pissed some people off expressing my feelings about the war. But less so than many others have, who have gone to an extreme in their protesting. Some have avoided the far extreme, and just gone in for the annoyance factor - stopping traffic and such. When I hear people complain about how their lives were interrupted by a traffic jam caused by a protest, is it odd for me to immediately think about the folks whose lives have been forever interrupted by this war? Innocents and combatants, on both sides? And, isn't it hard to stifle a dry, mirthless laugh when comparing the two?

If there is good to be done by this war - if the means are distasteful only until you consider the ends, then what kind of calculus are we engaging in to reach those means? Perhaps what angers me most about our government is that such a calculus was not honestly presented to us before the war. We were clearly sold a product, but it was a bit of bait and switch.

Ends and means. If my intentions are good, and I keep the ends in sight, how many people am I justified in killing to get there? If I were a doctor who was trying to cure a disease, does society find it acceptable if I choose 100,000,000 to unwittingly and/or unwillingly act as test subjects for my treatment and, in the process, kill 1,000 of them? You have been volunteered.

Posted by James at April 7, 2003 3:16 AM
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