Thursday, August 25, 2005

Killing the enemy

In a civilized world, humans resolve their problems in a manner that does not involve any form of violence. To me, that even includes the death penalty for criminals.

But the recent statements of Pat Robertson about the current president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, raise an interesting dilemma.
"We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability," Robertson said Monday on his Christian Broadcasting Network. "We don't need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator. It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with."
This sounds and looks a lot crazier at first glance than it actually is. Joseph Farah feels the same:
Can someone tell me it would have been wrong to assassinate Hitler?

Is someone going to make the case that killing Stalin would have been a bad thing?

Given the cost of the war in Iraq, would someone explain why it would not have been better to knock off Saddam Hussein if we had the chance?
Assassinating Hitler was not all that bad an idea, and in fact even some of Hitler's contemporaries thought so. More than one attempt was made, unfortunately, none succeeded.

Should the US - or any other country for that matter - have tried?

Look at present-day Iran. It's recently installed a new government, made up of many of the terrorists who hijacked American embassy personal (civilians) in November 1979 and kept them imprisoned for 444 days. There was no conflict between the US and Iran. The Muslims just felt good humiliating America.
These same criminals are now Iran's government, finance and support much of todays global terrorism and are pursuing nuclear weapons, to be used against (of course) Israel, and for nuclear blackmail against Europe and Iran's neighbouring countries.

What are the odds of the US facing Iran in a war? And if those odds are good (meaning bad), would it not be so much more logical to decapitate a country before it comes to that? Is it only our sense of civility, our demand of proof of guilt, that restrains us?

It comes back to the same question that is crippling the UN, which in theory is a good idea: How can we deal with barbarians as if they're civilized? And if we deal with barbarians as they would deal with us, does that make us barbarians as well? Or just pragmatic?

In the case of Hitler, and Saddam the consequences are clear: Long before there was a war, there were opportunities to intervene, which would have saved many millions of lives. Do we really need to wait for history to point out to us: This monster should have been killed before <enter war that killed millions> took place?


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