Killing Innocent People Is Always Wrong

The first news that I read this morning was about the recent terrorist attacks in Nigeria. Forty church goers were killed while attending a Christmas mass in the city of Abuja. The attack was carried out by a Muslim outfit called Boko Haram. Apparently they’ve been raising a lot of hell in Nigeria for quite some time. Read more about the story here.

This is a human tragedy. Take a moment today to say a prayer for those who have died needlessly. If you’re not religious, spend some time reflecting on what it means to be alive and how quickly and easily your life can be taken from you.

Any time violence is carried out against innocent people it must be condemned in the strongest terms possible. Those who callously take the lives of others, without remorse or feeling, are the greatest villains walking the earth today.

Along those lines, let’s take a look at what the American government has been up to in Pakistan. According to Wikipedia, drone strikes in Pakistan alone have killed a minimum of 1,717 people since 2004. Not all of them were civilians, mind you. However, a study carried out by the Brookings Institute in 2009 found that the ratio of civilians to militants killed was close to 10 to 1. Another study carried out by the New American Foundation calculated that civilian deaths were much more lower, closer to 17% of fatalities.

Depending on the study that you refer to there have been between 291 and 1560 innocent people killed in Pakistan by the American government. If we take the lower number, that is equivalent to more than 7 of the tragic terrorist attacks that occurred Christmas morning in Nigeria.  If we use the higher number it equals more than 39 such attacks.

That is just the innocent lives ruthlessly taken in Pakistan. There are drone campaigns under way in Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen, Iraq, and various other countries around the world.

Further, it only takes drone strikes into consideration. Hundreds of thousands of civilians have died as a result of the Iraq war. American soldiers did not kill most of those inoocents, but they killed a lot. The American government is responsible for perpetrating the war and must, therefore, be held responsible for killing many, many, completely innocent people.

There is no difference between a Nigerian terrorist group taking innocent lives and an American soldier taking innocent lives. Murder is murder. If you don’t have the courage to recognize that fact, you are a moral relativist. Your moral judgments are completely arbitrary.

You may claim that we are at war against terrorism. The bloodthirsty Nigerians  Muslims kill civilians because of a deranged ideology. Whereas American soldiers kill civilians to keep American citizens safe from terrorism. This is the type of argument that moral relativism leads you to.

Ask a Nigerian terrorist why he’s killing and he’s likely to give you the exact same answer. “We’re fighting western terrorism in our lands. We’re at war and sometimes civilians will end up dying.”

There is the argument that Muslim terrorists target civilians while American drones do not. This is a weak argument. If you know you’re going to kill innocent people, even if you’re not targeting them, and you go through with the act anyways, its murder. Plain and simple. Thanks to Bradley Manning we know that American soldiers in Iraq fired blindly into crowded markets, killing regular Iraqi people in cold blood. These actions can’t be justified.

When it comes to mowing down innocents in cold blood, moral relativism is unacceptable. If its wrong for a Muslim terrorist to do it, it is also wrong for the American military to it. It is wrong for the American people to accept it. Anybody who willing lends financial or moral support to such actions has blood on their hands as well. Don’t complain about all of the Muslim charities that funnel money from the United States to militant groups when you happily finance similar behavior.

This all may sound harsh, but alas the truth often is. It takes guts to look at a hard situation and come up with a hard answer. Do you have the guts? Are you willing to stand for what’s right, even if its unpopular?

The test of an individual’s fortitude is how they act in the face opposition. Do not whitewash the facts just because it makes the facts easier to swallow. Unless  good people stand up and denounce evil, evil will continue to prevail.

There is no greater evil than taking an innocent life. Life is the one blessing that each and every one of us has been born with. Whether you are rich or poor, Jew or Genitle, black, white, red, brown or yellow, Muslim or Hindu, Sri-Lankan or Sicilian, you get to wake up every morning, breath the earth’s air, and live. Life is the one possession that we all have. To take that from somebody for no good damn reason, is the greatest evil that there is.

I urge you, if you haven’t already, to embrace the truth. Killing innocent people is ALWAYS wrong. Stop making excuses for killing when it is done by your own people. By all means continue to condemn acts of violence when carried out by foreign terrorists. But never ignore the terrorists that are acting in your name and with your money.

Most importantly, be a promoter of peace. It is worth being looked at funny or derided for your opinions in the name of peace. You may feel like you are swimming against the current. Indeed, there is no group more sacred in modern day America than the military. However, the truth will set you free. Be firm. Be a peace-monger. If you need help understanding why peace is so beneficial, please see my previous article Why is Peace Good.

If you are willing to take a stand for peace, human liberty, and the progress of civilization, I salute you. Keep up the important work. If you’re unwilling to admit that killing innocent people is always wrong, I am implore you to reconsider.

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