A Man Needs A Fish Like A Woman Needs a Bicycle
Monday, January 02, 2006
DEMOCIDE, OR WHY A NEW NAME FOR SOMETHING OLD DOESN'T SMELL THAT SWEET, PART DEUX: However, what really gets up my nose is Solomon's reply in comments. Solomon applies Dr. Rummel's viewpoint would allow the following:

"Then if I'm surrounded by five armed thugs who want to murder me, a peaceful productive citizen, for my money and my wife I should just let them do so, because their five lives are worth more than one? "

I was scratching my head on this one, till, i checked out his blog. He wasn't advocating this, at all, it was rather a smokescreen, for the (I guess, big five) thuggishness of Syria, Iran, Lebanon (why Lebanon?), and a couple of others unmentioned I will leave to your delicate sensibilities.

"A practical present-day dilemma is almost upon us: I imagine that Israel will soon have to decide whether or not to attack Iranian and Arab nuclear installations with Israel's own nuclear weapons. If not, Israel's eventual destruction is assured. If so, then at a minimum tens of thousands of civilians will be killed, as production facilities and weapons depots are deliberately located in heavily populated areas."

So, what we are really after is the right of the Israeli government to use a Just Democide Doctrine to justify the deaths of lots of civilians in the pursuit of an otherwise worthy goal of Israeli national security. I don't like this for the obvious reason that supporting this gives nuclear weapon packing countries the right to blow other countries they don't like off the map, like North Korea, and Pakistan, and India, and, who else?

I also don't like this line of argument, since it also snugly fits into a type of absolutist thinking that subtly underlies Dr. Rummel's post, concerning a lack of options in dealing with a situation, and an intolerance for ambiguous outcomes that do not apparently gain one's objectives completely. We have already seen an example of this "either-or" thinking with the decision to drop an atomic bomb on Japan reduced to drop it on a military/civilian target or not that I explored in the last post. Another example is this from Solomon:

"Unless, of course, deep-down you feel that "the Israelis deserve it". For Iran's principal European supporter is Germany, and I suspect that for many Germans, and for other Europeans of anti-Jewish bent, either the destruction of Israel OR the mass civilian casualties Israel's defense will entail can be represented, deep in their secret hearts, as a kind of "justification" for their nation's past conduct: "See, we did the right thing, the Jews are bad for the world, everybody hates them, it would be best that they are no more, our grandfathers were doing the right thing, and we can be proud to be Germans/Lithuanians/Poles/(etc.) again.""

This is intellectually repulsive. Apart from tarring alot of people with an awfully large brush, there is some pretty amazingly rigid thinking on display here. "Either you agree with me, or you are with the terrorists, or the state actors bent on Israel's destruction. Either you are with us, or you are anti-semites." There is no middle here. No other option. Perhaps Solomon assumes that there are no innocents in these countries--the governments of which he vilifies? And if he does assume there are innocents, then perhaps he just doesn't care--weighing the utilitarian calculus of Israeli innocents versus those of an arab background. And thus war will come, and Solomon will shake his head, and bemoan the deaths of thousands of arab civilians whilst intoning with solemn words how awful war is and how much these folks did not deserve their governments sacrificing them in this way, by placing them in harm's way. And the fact that Israel pushed the button that killed these people will be washed away, to cries of "Ecce Homo," as a necessary evil to preserve the state. And he will sleep soundly, the sleep of the happy and righteous...
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Thoughts on What One Experiences These Days

01/01/2004 - 02/01/2004 / 02/01/2004 - 03/01/2004 / 03/01/2004 - 04/01/2004 / 04/01/2004 - 05/01/2004 / 05/01/2004 - 06/01/2004 / 10/01/2004 - 11/01/2004 / 11/01/2004 - 12/01/2004 / 01/01/2005 - 02/01/2005 / 02/01/2005 - 03/01/2005 / 03/01/2005 - 04/01/2005 / 05/01/2005 - 06/01/2005 / 07/01/2005 - 08/01/2005 / 09/01/2005 - 10/01/2005 / 10/01/2005 - 11/01/2005 / 11/01/2005 - 12/01/2005 / 01/01/2006 - 02/01/2006 / 02/01/2006 - 03/01/2006 / 05/01/2006 - 06/01/2006 /


Blogs I Read


Mike Spenis

Megan McArdle

Juan Cole

Joshua Micah Marshall



Emperor Misha I

Andrew Sullivan

Bob Somersby

John Quiggin

John Rogers


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