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I have to admit, on occasion I watch the weekend morning Fox News roundtables. I mock, and I cringe, but I do it. It's like a car crash, sometimes you just can't look away.

So as I often do, I was half watching this morning while doing some other things, and I was appalled (as I often am) at the discussion I was hearing. The topic for the morning was the recent allegations that American troops are regularly, and needlessly killing Iraqi civilians.

The talking heads weren't discussing the fact that soldiers who kill civilians in war zone are committing crimes. In fact, they weren't framing their discussion about the crimes themselves at all. Instead, the conversation revolved around the international market and how these rumors will effect the United States' economic position at home and abroad. The general consensus was affirmative: yes, if stories about these alleged and rumored crimes continued, our economic health could be impacted in a negative fashion.

Now, I had a problem with what they were saying. It seemed to me that in the face of this shocking news cycle, their priorities were a bit misplaced, but at the same time, I didn't really expect much more from the channel of Fair and Balanced News.

What really shocked me, was the gentleman who interrupted the discussion of economics and international relations to rant about how the crimes of our enemies justify any actions on the parts of our soldiers.

"You have to remember, people, that we're fighting people who think killing babies will get them into heaven," he began.

Now, I'm not even going to comment on how badly the gentleman needed to educate himself about Islam, and the many men and women of faith who live in Iraq. Nor am I going to take time to clearly distinguish between our military enemies (the people we're fighting) and the civilians (they people we're being accused of murdering). If you're reading this, I'm sure you have a better grasp on those concepts than he did.

Instead, I'm just going to offer a reminder that we should all keep in mind as this debate goes forward. The attitude I heard on Fox this morning-- that whatever we do is okay because of what they do-- is the same opinion espoused by those we are fighting. They justify their actions by looking at what we do.


Rach C said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Rach C said...

This is absolutely shameful. Jenna's right. It's particularly heinous coming from the right, who go on and on about bringing American values like freedom and equality to Arab countries.

We are the United States of America. We are supposed to be better than this. Our ideals of liberty and justice for all are morally and intellectually superior than misguided oppression of women and dissenters. We don't need to break international law to win; the power of our ideas should do it for us. Or so you would think.

Moments like these, like the "rumored" massacre in Haditha, are moments that countries and their reputations never recover from. Look at Israel, still paying the price in the international world for the massacre at Sabra more than 25 years ago. The US has never recovered its moral standing in Asia from the atrocities some GIs committed in Vietnam.

For the most part, our troops are brave patriots doing a job most people won't. I am immensely proud of and thankful to the 99.9% of American soldiers who protect us and do America proud while doing it. But the ones who murder innocent civilians (including, it is alleged, children as young as 3), and their supervisors who cover up and excuse their deeds, that can occasionally make me embarassed to be an American.

Liz Fossett said...

...do those greedy Republicans really think others are going to stop trading with us because of the awful actions of our soldiers?

Mix economic policy with ethics? Oh, please. Even the Bible thumpers of the U.S. of A. don't expect heavenly Dubya to do that.

I don't ever hear those good Christians yelling about getting rid of child labor, etc...especially not the shady policies in our own country (hmm...Pacific territories...).