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26 Civilians, Including 7 Children, Killed In Syria! By Who? Why?

“Bomb the shit out of them!” says Donald Trump.

“We’re going to carpet bomb them in oblivion!” says Ted Cruz.

“Expand airstrikes in Syria and Iraq!” says Marco Rubio.

“In order to make them look like losers, we have to destroy their caliphate!” says Ben Carson.

That’s tough talk.

You know what results from this kind of tough talk?

Dead people – and not just the “bad guys”.

The United States military, in a bombing attack against the Islamic State, killed 26 civilians in Syria yesterday. 7 of those killed were children.

That more than makes up for the 14 people killed by two fans of the Islamic State in San Bernardino, doesn’t it?

Does that mean we can stop bombing Syrians now, or is this war not about the math? Is it just about vague feelings of rage? Is it just about presidential candidates, and our sitting President, wanting to look tough?

It’s not just about furious Republicans, after all. This bombing was ordered by Democrat Barack Obama.

How many more children are we willing to kill in order to satisfy our national rage? Will we stop at 100 dead children? How about 1000?

How much blood do you need to see before you feel safe and secure again?

10 thoughts on “26 Civilians, Including 7 Children, Killed In Syria! By Who? Why?”

  1. DrRGP says:

    Isn’t it “By whom”?

  2. Peregrin Wood says:

    Yes, thanks for pointing out that especially important matter, DrRGP. Forest. Trees.

    “As far as I’m concerned, whom is a word that was invented to make everyone sound like a butler.” – Calvin Trillin

    “Even after a century of nagging by prescriptive grammarians, the “who–whom” distinction remains tenuous in speech and informal writing… Like the subjunctive mood, the pronoun “whom” is widely thought to be circling the drain.” – Steven Pinker

    Whoms don’t drop bombs. They drop over for a cup of tea.

  3. Charles Manning says:

    Your point is well taken. Self-defense, which is the asserted justification for the bombing, sometimes involves “collateral damage.” What’s most troubling about the individuals you quote isn’t that they advocate self-defense, but that they have no regard for the magnitude of collateral damage. No wonder we have people retaliating.

    1. Charles Manning says:

      I notice that ISIL and al Qaeda operations don’t seem to involve a distinction between targets and collateral damage. The thinking seems to be that murder-martyr actions are evaluated based on the ratio: the higher the ratio, the more successful the operation. By this measure, 9/11 was extremely successful, the shoe bomber and the two guys who tried to shoot up the Texas gathering of Muhammad cartoon enthusiasts were absolute failures, and the Paris shooters and the San Bernardino killers were moderately successful. And there was no “collateral damage” in any of those actions. Do you suppose that’s how “radical Islamists” see things?

      1. Dave says:

        Good point, Charles, about no collateral damage in terrorist bloodbaths, but why the quotation marks around radical Islamists? Radicalized Muslims should already be distinct from regular Muslims by their behavior. Just bein’ picky.

        1. Charles Manning says:

          Dave, I’m reluctant to use the terms “radical Islamists,” “radicalized Muslims,” etc. because those words suggest that there’s some disease or supernatural affliction that transforms Muslims into “radicalized” Muslims. Why don’t we refer to the KKK as radicalized Christians? Why isn’t the fellow who shot up the Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado Springs a “radicalized Christian”? Why isn’t anyone who murders people for no good reason referred to as “radicalized”? By limiting the use of the adjective to describing Muslims, speakers intend to denigrate Islam; to imply that Islam doesn’t deserve the respect we say other religions deserve. That’s why Muslims don’t use the term “radicalized” to refer to Muslims — am I right?

          1. Dave says:

            So let me get this right; Muslims shot up San Bernardino. See how that sounds? The human brain all too often may just hear “the” Muslims.

          2. J Clifford says:

            Dave, don’t exaggerate. San Bernardino was not shot up. 0.006 percent of the population of the city was killed.

            14 deaths is bad, but it’s not shooting up an entire city.

            People’s reactions to this are getting dangerously out of hand.

            Please, let’s be accurate about what happened, and didn’t happen.

            Personally, I think that Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and all other religions would benefit from less of the kid gloves treatment. To pretend that there isn’t something within Islam that has the potential to encourage violence is equivalent to pretending that the Crusades and witch burnings didn’t have anything to do with Christianity. People of all religions need to start owning up to the problems with their faiths, and stop pretending that it’s always the other religions that spin of murderous wackos.

            The current meme of “Christians don’t do terrorism”, while Donald Trump says that he’s going to “Bomb the shit out of them” to “save Christianity once and for all” is absurd. So is the Democratic Party’s claim that Islam is only a religion of peace.

            It’s no wonder increasing numbers of Americans are walking away from religion altogether.

          3. Dave says:

            Sorry, J. – can’t let this one go. I did not exaggerate, but rather used sort of a shorthand I would think any ingenuous person could understand. I couldn’t think of what to call the center where it happened. Cut some slack. No one is talking about an entire city. And you talk about reactions getting out of hand.

            I agree with you that people of all faiths need to own their own wackos, but wouldn’t you agree that people with no faith need to own theirs as well? It’s easy to “[walk] away from religion altogether” and pop off about religious people and blame their religion for calamities isn’t it? As though people with no religion don’t do war and bloody conflict. I know a candidate like Trump with his wild statements makes moral posturing easy for people who make no claim to faith, but think for a moment about the millions of people who were sent to the Gulag by the atheists to freeze to death in labor camps, an event that makes contemporary Islamic terrorism and witch trials of long ago pale in comparison. And when comparing the fact of mass murder of millions by atheists throughout the 20th century with Donald Trump’s desire to bomb ISIS the latter doesn’t rise anywhere near the level of the former.

            Since the blood-guilt of the ages belongs to people making a claim to faith as well as atheists, perhaps the prophet (Jewish) knew something about the why of it when he said the heart in man is desperately wicked and deceitful above all things. It seems that’s where murder resides, and neither group has a monopoly on it.

  4. J Clifford says:

    Dave, the reason I’m not cutting slack on this is that this “shorthand” you use has been accepted as reality. People start talking about how “America is under attack” and how there are “mass shootings everywhere”, and this leads to a panic that is far out of proportion with the actual, small problem.

    Yes, everybody needs to own the problems caused by extremists in their own groups. The only trick with people who aren’t religious is that not being religious isn’t really a coherent group. Not all people who don’t believe in gods would even agree to the label “atheist”, so that becomes difficult to talk about. However, I accept your larger point. For example, people who do call themselves “atheists” need to confront the terrible things the Soviets did in the name of atheism, even though most atheists are not Communists, much less totalitarian Communists.

    I don’t believe that people are inherently wicked. Neither do I believe that any of us is pure. Accepting our own shortcomings, whoever we are, will help us deal more appropriately with others’ failings.

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