So let’s picture this act of terrorism: someone kills your father with a remote car bomb, blowing his vehicle to splinters. As people rush to try to pull your father out of the burning wreckage, the terrorists deliberately fire upon the people trying to save him.
Later, weeping with grief, you attend your dad’s funeral – only to find that the terrorists are waiting outside with rocket launchers to kill the rest of your family.
Sound horrific? Too terrible for fiction?
Well, it’s exactly what we’re doing.
Yeah, recent reports have shown that the US is deliberately targeting funerals and the people who show up at the scene of an attack. Now, we’re too cool to do it with humans, we do it all remotely with missile drones, but hey! I’m sure the people in Afghanistan draw a fine distinction when they’re standing among the body parts of their beloved.
Some conservative ninny will doubtlessly point out that this is an effective strategy. After all, terrorism tends to run in families, and the folks trying to rescue known terrorists from fires are often friends and allies. And as a cold, bloodless strategy, I’m sure it does kill some extra criminals.
But we, one hesitates to remind you, are supposed to be the fucking good guys… Or at least that’s what we claim. I’m sure it is an effective tactic to blow people up at a funeral. But “effective tactics” are not the stuff upon which morality is based – in fact, quite the opposite. Morality is specifically about not taking the easy route, even when you probably could get away with shoplifting that CD or slapping your kid. Just because we can catch a few extra bad guys at a funeral by destroying their family does not mean that it’s morally defensible in any way.
Plus, you know, if the end goal is to stop terrorism, I find it hard to believe that we won’t get more recruits from those who survive and tell everyone exactly what’s going on. It’s easy for us to ignore this shit, because we don’t have to live with it, but the people over there do. There’s gossip. Gossip like “By the way, did you see how they killed those nice kids who were trying to save that guy’s life? They didn’t even know what was going on, they just saw a car on fire, and WHAM.”
Yeah, you’re sure going to convince them America is the land of the free with those tactics.
There are some lines you should not cross. This is one of them.
Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.This entry has also been posted at http://theferrett.dreamwidth.org/189563.h