Monday, April 05, 2004
The WSJ Opinion Journal is almost never worth reading except to know what ridiculous crap the Republican party would like us to believe today, but I think this piece by Mark Bowden, the Atlantic Monthly correspondent who wrote Black Hawk Down, is pretty decent.
posted by Brandon |
I agree with him that justice and respect for humanity (not to mention our credibility) require that we try to find the people responsible for this and punish them. This is where I can buy the Kantian retributivist argument that punishing is necessary to show that we respect Iraqis as persons, i.e. moral agents who understand basic decency and so are responsible when they violate it. Letting this go without response is not only backing down in the face of thugs, it's refusing to hold Iraqis to the same moral standards we would hold other people. That's condescending - the people who killed those Americans and mutilated their bodies are just as human as you or I and they knew exactly how horrific their actions were -- that's why they were so exhillerated. That's sick, and out of respect for the victims, ourselves, morality, and the Iraqis themselves, we ought to seek retribution against the perpetrators.