Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Christopher Hitchens, joining the long line of people who attribute to others what they themselves are guilty of (a line greatly lengthened by those who supported the Iraq invasion I should say) accuses the authors of the Lancet study of "moral idiocy" for failing to accurately distinguish in their study between those who were killed by the evil insurgents and those killed by the unfortunate tendency of precision bombs to kill whoever they're dropped on, insurgent or innocent. In doing so, he misses the point of course. The point of the study is to count the Iraqis who died who otherwise would not have died had we not invaded. That is because the death of every Iraqi man, woman and child at the hands of an insurgent or terrorist or militia member or precision bomb or American soldier or ciminal gang can ultimately be laid at our feet, because the conditions in which all of these people are dying would not have existed but for our moronic and useless invasion. Hitchens does this because he has a tremendous psychological need to neither be wrong nor to any degree guilty of the heinous act of using his words to help produce this war and these deaths. Either way Hitchens reveals not simply a moral idiocy, but a lack of a moral consciousness in his willingness to subvert reality (repeatedly) in an effort to convince others and himself that we have no reason to feel any bitter pangs of regret for this war.