Letter to the Editor: Bombers Must Accept Blame

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I recently heard a comment on suicide bombings, such as those which have plagued Israel all throughout the intifada and have become a recent concern in the war with Iraq. To paraphrase, it said such attacks were not morally wrong due to the overwhelming superiority the opposition has.

This got me thinking not on the morality of such actions, but rather the ramifications. My thoughts go out to any who are victims of such trickery. Whether bombers are motorists waving in soldiers or patrons of local restaurants, they all have one thing in common: the guise of a non-hostile face, most often, that of a regular civilian.

And in seeps the stop-them-before-they-kill-you mentality. I’m not saying the defender becomes more aggressive, but rather more cautious to seemingly passive figures, like civilians. And every once in a while, a plan is foiled, and that is good. But sometimes, it’s the wrong guy, and someone takes a picture, and the picture comes back of a soldier cuffing an innocent with his face in the dirt.

But I do not blame the soldier for this, nor the civilian. I point the finger at the one who pressed the button.

The conclusion I got from my thoughts was that when a force decides to use such a tactic, it cannot complain about the mistreatment of its own population. I’m not saying it waives the moral guilt incurred by repression, but merely that once that man sits down in the restaurant, he puts his entire nation on surveillance, for the safety of those who trust the man just got on the bus.

Joel Kramer