Saturday, August 04, 2007

When is Murder Not Murder?

Murder. Think about that word, and what it means to you. To me, it means to kill someone. Now, obviously, there are a lot of different killings going on. A big one, the war in Iraq, the recent crumbling of the bridge, people killing people out of rage, revenge, all sorts of different circumstances. The question is, is one better than the other?

I'm looking at the Huffington Post's article about Sgt. Lawrence G. Hutchins III, who received 15 years in prison, was dishonorably discharged, reduced in rank to private, and also given a written reprimand this last Thursday in Camp Pendleton, Cal. The jury sentenced Hutchins Friday for the murder of an Iraqi civilian during a search for an insurgent.

Hutchins says he was only carrying out what he thought his superiors wanted. And I ask, how would one not be confused? Reflecting on the story about suspected terrorist activities in a junk-submarine (sorry to the men who made it), and the recent stories about suspected 'dry-terrorist runs' in the airport, where 65 year old woman are being asked if they know Osama bin Laden, I mean, are supposed to think the terrorists are everywhere?

My next question is, Hutchins and the rest of the brave soldiers in Iraq, are they not sent there to kill? What makes one right and the other wrong? Is the only difference that President Bush didn't say to kill 'that guy'? If I were Christian, I would think that the 6th commandment "Thou shall not KILL", would mean that thou shall not kill. Apparently, however, the bible, along with our constitution, is up for interpretation by the Bush administration.

Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations said, "If there is a perception that our soldiers can commit these crimes and only get a slap on the wrist, that's not going to send a very good message." But going into Iraq, meddling in their business, getting our soldiers killed, and killing other people, this is a better message? Interesting.

Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies, The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for own goodwill torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. - C.S. Lewis

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