Monday, September 20, 2004

Al Quaeda: They're Playing Our Number

So the number of fatalies in Iraq has reached 1,000 and for some odd reason the liberals seem to have anticipated this event with all but unrestrained glee.

First of all I'm curious why 1,000 is such a significant number. Could it be that the prodigies of the public school system were never required to use numbers that high until now? Don't get me wrong, every trooper lost is a tragedy, and I honor each one as a hero but when this war was engaged the initial offensive was believed to have the potential cost of casualties to be measured in the tens of thousands.

Second, it took only one hour on 9/11 to kill 3,000 innocent people. Thus far in Iraq we have been there 18 months which is roughly 12,500 hours yet with only 1/3 the casualties. It's a sick math, I know but it makes the point clear.

Third, why aren't the libs rushing over to al Quaeda and asking them if the thousands of lost jihadists gives them pause to reconsider their ill-conceived, unilateral rush to war with an implaccable enemy?

But here is my fourth and most important point: What is the magic number/kill ratio for a moral and just cause? Consider that all rational people agree that because of Hitler's attempted genocide of the Jews it was worth waging war to stop him. Now there were approximately 12 million Jews in Europe at the time yet the war to end fascism cost at least 50 million lives, only 6 million of whom were Jews. Was it worth the other 44 million souls? Was it worth 7.3 lives for every Jew saved? Absolutely.

Consider also the American Civil War. Granted it was orignally fought to preserve the Union but there is no denying Lincoln recast the war as a moral cause to end slavery. Was it worth it? Yes, the slaves were our brother-men, created in God's image as all men are; but we must acknowledge that for whatever privations slaves suffered they were nonetheless, in possession of their lives while the Union soldiers who died or we maimed on behalf of the slaves' freedom lost much if not all.

The fact of the matter is that the right thing always costs and evil is often easy but there is no denying the primacy of virtue. I am reminded of a story whose validity I cannot certify but whose moral parable rings ever so true:

A rabbi in a Nazi concentration camp was playing chess with a fellow prisoner when he stopped and bowed his head. His companion asked what he was doing and the rabbi responded that he was saying a prayer of thanksgiving. The incredulous companion asked what the rabbi could possibily be thankful for.

"I'm thankful I'm not a Nazi," said the rabbi.



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