Soldiers and terrorists


by Shorts

Mey Bokhor writes: I have, for a very long time, mulled over the subject of what follows here, for two reasons. One if my conclusions are right and two if it is at all wise to utter them. So let's set the record straight. I am not sure of my conclusions and NO I do not condone any form of violence, either legal (state sanctioned killings and executions, collateral civilian casualties, etc.) or illegal (murder, genocide, terrorism).

The thought experiment is this. If people of a country vote a government to power and that government commits the so far bloodiest deed of the 21st century, aren't they to blame? One possible excuse could be that they did not know the atrocities that their elected officials would commit in their name. But if the same people elected the same government for a second consecutive term well aware of its track record, can they still hide behind the "I didn't know" wall of protection? How innocent are they? According to existing laws, a person hiring another to commit murder gets a harder sentence than the hired person.

Besides, in many cases a defendant cannot hide behind an "I did not know" clause since the law says that it is a citizen's duty to know.

And here is the big question. Can residents of a democratic country be called (innocent) civilians? After all they are the ones hiring their elected officials. Soldiers obey their governments. Governments are hired by their respective citizens. So soldiers form the first line, governments the second line, and people the last line of any given war. Now if one of the parties jumps over the frontlines and kills members of the last line, is it much different that killing members of the first line or the second?

Fighting between the armies is called war and the other terror. That makes "war on terror" a sickening oxymoron. The same thing that happens to civilians in a terror attempt happens to soldiers. Does a soldier not feel a terror when he is shot at, when he is burned, when he loses limbs? The fact that that he volunteered will not comfort him in his last minutes.

I am against acts of terrorism -- of both kind, and I will not sanctify one over the other. The only difference that I see is that if the number of people killed is uncountable then it is called a war. Petty amateurs killing only a few are terrorists. And they have a tendency to kill themselves in the process too. Now that's an idea for the elected ones...


more from Shorts