The George Blog – Killing people & Comments

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Killing people

There is a lot of dismay worldwide because Israel is killing people in Gaza. Quite rightly. And the USA doesn't even have the nerve to align itself with the rest of the world and vote in the UN for a ceasefire resolution, which must be the final shame of the Bush presidency.

It seems a pity that the world can't manage similar outrage with respect to much worse situations, atrocities and killing going on in The Congo and The Central African Republic, to name but two; or the distress, starvation, privations and loss of life in Darfur, or Kenya, or Zimbabwe for example.

And of course the USA has killed, or caused the deaths of, an awful lot of people in Iraq. And we are not even going to talk about Afghanistan.

Every death is a tragedy for someone – a mother, husband, wife, son, father, daughter - someone. Iraqis grieve just as Americans do; their children or parents are just as dead and just as missed as the Americans (and let's not forget British and other nationalities) killed in 9/11, or killed since in Iraq or Afghanistan. All killing is an outrage.

I don't think that in a civilized society politicians should be allowed to decide to go to war, or authorize killing, or torture or commit other outrages, except perhaps in self defence, under direct attack. A country should have to decide that by plebescite, or referendum. It doesn't take long to organize and it's a simple enough question: "Shall we go to war with ........" Answer "yes" or "no". Then at least we would bear joint responsibility for our decisions.

By all means let politicians run our country - after all that's what we elect them for. But killing people is too serious to let them decide all by themselves. It is our sons and daughters, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters that are going to have to go do the killing, and be killed. So we should make the decision.


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