Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Red Ken returns
Many were confused by London Mayor Ken Livingstone, known as Red Ken for his radically liberal politics, when he responded to the 7/7 attacks—it sounded like he actually understood how to respond to terrorism. Well, rest assured—Red Ken has returned to his "senses":

While condemning suicide bombings, Livingstone indicated that he recognized the conditions that had led Palestinians to take that route in Israel.

"Under foreign occupation and denied a right to vote, denied the right to run your own affairs ... I suspect that if it had happened here in England we would have produced a lot of suicide bombers ourselves," said Livingstone.

"But I don't just denounce suicide bombers. I denounce those governments which use indiscriminate slaughter to advance their foreign policy."
There are a few problems with Ken's speech. First off, Western society (based off of Judeo-Christian morality) has not recognized any sort of legitimate suicide until just recently, with the "right-to-die" debate. Martyrdom always involved having someone else take your life for your beliefs—not inflicting your death on someone else.

Next, in no Western revolution has it ever been OK to intentionally target innocents. Even in the many IRA bombings in the end of the 20th Century, the locations bombed were often empty at the time of an attack, or there was a strategic target at the site. In the latter case, there were often civilian casualties, but they can technically be classified as collateral damage—they were never the targets themselves.

I know, speaking for myself, that if the US were subjected to the conditions that exist in Palestine, I would absolutely take up arms to win back my freedom. I would try to take out as many foreign soldiers as I could. But you know what? I'm pretty sure I wouldn't target pizza shops. I'm pretty certain that, if the soldiers I wanted to kill were surrounded by children, I'd bide my time until I could take them out without slaughtering innocent kids.

If Ken Livingstone really believes that he would do these things if London were occupied... well, maybe that says more about Ken than he intended it to.

1 comment:

GaijinBiker said...

Of course, in the U.S. you would be fighting to win back the country and the political freedoms you once had.

"Palestinians" never had either a country of their own, or the political freedoms we enjoy.