Monday, February 27, 2012

The cost of a life, American vs everyone else

The AP has confirmed reports about CIA drone strikes in Pakistan killing numerous civilians. I'm sure the CIA does it's very best to try and avoid killing civilians. But even the best and most accurate efforts will probably result in at least a few civilians being killed. So that begs the question, why are we willing to kill civilians in order to get to some suspected terrorists?

The political answer is that politicians in the US are so scared of another attack that they will go along with almost anything that would help ensure people are safe. But for the most part I think they vastly overstate the risk involved taking other routes in preventing terrorists from killing people. That is part of why there is basically no outcry against these CIA drone strikes. But I think another reason is that people in the US just don't care about the lives of people in other countries.

How many thousands of Iraqis and Afghans have died because of invasion? Yeah, most Americans no longer support those wars. But I think that is mostly because they care more about the lives of our soldiers more than the safety of the locals in those countries. Then you have Republicans, who actively don't care about civilians in other countries. How many of them want to bomb or start a war with Iran without giving a first thought to how many civilians that would hurt? Any Democrat who agrees with them on Iran probably hasn't given it any thought either.

I bring this up not only to point out the tragedy of these people getting killed. But to also point out the hypocrisy of the US. We like to say we pride ourselves on the values put forth in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. But if we really did we wouldn't say that people outside the US should be treated differently than us. The rights we have are supposed to be extended to everyone simply because they are human. But we consistently don't do so. Our foreign policy needs to change in order to better reflect our values.

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