So let me get this straight…

Random Absurdity:

It’s illegal to murder someone in our society (premeditated or homicidal)..

Yet it’s legal when the government says you can (military personnel)…

But when people try to kill military personnel, they get imprisoned for “attempted murder.”

I’m trying to wrap my mind around this.

I know the argument is usually that military action is between combatants (and in this case, the woman would be considered a combatant), but to go even further with the issue, an overwhelming number of deaths in war are non-combatant civilians. Who’s responsible for their deaths, whatever country kills them? No one?  Weren’t they murdered to?  I can imagine the uproar if al-Qaeda tried to make the case that they only “intended” to kill the people on the 86th floor of the World Trade Center; though, unfortunately, several thousand people died.  They would be prosecuted for every life, wouldn’t they?  Why isn’t that the standard in  20th and 21st century warfare?

Political Absurdity:

In other news, I found more support for my belief that we don’t care about real, substantial news and it’s gotten ridiculous in our country with this stuff. This is from an interview with Dennis Kucinich by journalist Deborah Solomon. Whether she was joking or not, the fact that she chose several of these following questions to eat up space in her article is a waste and lowers political conversation in this country. Quotes from this article on the New York Times website.

Solomon: But you’re a vegan. Do you think America is ready to elect a non-beef-eating president?

Kucinich: (clearly thinking, “What kind of question is that?!”) I think America is ready for a president with a blood pressure of 90 over 60 who could beat most people half his age in a sprint.

…and later, the question most people use to label Kucinich as a freak came up again, with his perfectly reasonable response…

Solomon: What should we make of your friend Shirley MacLaine’s recent memoir, in which she mentions that you once spotted a UFO at her house?

Kuninich: I saw something, absolutely. I don’t know what it was. It was unidentified.

Solomon: What did it look like?

Kucinich: End of story for me. Around Washington, the truth is an unidentified flying object.

A lot of folks have made a big deal about Kucinich seeing a UFO to claim that he’s loony. Let’s keep things in perspective here, though. He didn’t say he was abducted by aliens from the planet Zorcon-10, taken to another parallel universe, abducted from the Zorconese by Boba Fett, and somehow escaped with a lightspeed escape pod driven by heroic Spaceman Spiff, who dropped him off by the MacLaine residence again.

No, he saw a UFO, which is an unidentified flying object. As in, “I saw a glowing UFO last night until I identified it as my sister’s new glow-in-the-dark Frisbee.”

Geesh.

And by the way, that’s a nice zinger at the end by Kucinich to roll with the questions. I like the guy’s wit, integrity, and old-fashioned cajones to stand up and be a leader, no matter where the political winds are shifting. Kinda reminds me a little of this guy. And bringing up Kucinich reminds me of this recent post of mine related to Kucinich’s aforementioned cajones.

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4 thoughts on “So let me get this straight…

  1. Nate, it’s definitely a legitimate question to ask about the vegan issue. I mean, honestly, a person who doesn’t eat meat (and apparently, more specifically, beef) is simply not qualified for the Oval Office.

    In all honesty, I’m trying to understand the first issue. I think I see the rationale on the one hand, but on the other it is something difficult to deal with. It complicates things with her being related to the guy who supposedly was behind 9/11. And I guess it’s better for her to go to jail than for the soldier to turn around and kill her. But it is an odd thing, because if he had killed her, even accidentally, nothing would have been said or done. War sucks.

  2. Alan,

    I guess I almost laughed at the question when I read it, but I’ve had a greater sense of frustration at how stupid our “news” often is that overrode my laughter before I laughed. A “pre-emptive” strike, if you will.

    I’m trying to understand the first issue too. I didn’t pose the question to be a jerkface; I honestly want to know the difference, because I don’t see any. It does complicate things that the woman is related to the 9/11 fellow (I added a few more thoughts in after you commented about the issue…I try not to make a habit of that, but I wanted to be more true to the question).

    It is true. War sucks. I think we should continue to ask more penetrating questions about war that we haven’t raised before. Asking hard questions can take the burden of responsibility off the person who cries out and works for peace and more onto the persons who want to justify violence. Wherever we’re at on the war spectrum, from pacifism to just warfare, we absolutely need to ask these questions, especially as the spectre of a new Cold War might be over the horizon.

    I really like how Brian McLaren handles this issue in a blog post he entitled “A Sermon for President Bush” just before the Iraq invasion. It’s a little wordy in places, but really powerful in others. Here’s an excerpt;

    (Brian writes this in response to Isaiah 2 and the impending violence in the 7th century BC)
    “At this dangerous time, when people were sharpening swords and forging spears, God plants in the hearts of the people a dream of peace, of a time when weapons will be melted down and recast as farming tools. True, they may still have to fight, but in their fighting, this dream from God will have taken root, reminding them that fighting will one day be obsolete, and that training for war was not God’s dream.

    So, going to war is never a dream come true; it is always a nightmare come true, God’s best dream for us being temporarily defeated. Training for war is a reminder that the dream of God for planet earth is still frustrated, and taking up swords and spears (or tanks and bombs) means that one or both sides have failed, one or both sides have been defeated, have failed to let God “judge between nations” and “settle disputes for many peoples.”

    Here’s the link to the “Sermon”: http://www.brianmclaren.net/emc/archives/imported/a-sermon-for-president-bush.html

  3. Pingback: Again, who’s responsible? « Thoughts and Ruminations

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