Sunday, November 04, 2007

Humanitarian WHAT?

Pardon my french, but this is just un-fragging-believable...

(Supreme Court Justice John Paul) Stevens told me he was troubled by the fact that Yamamoto, a highly intelligent officer who had lived in the United States and become friends with American officers, was shot down with so little apparent deliberation or humanitarian consideration. The experience, he said, raised questions in his mind about the fairness of the death penalty. "I was on the desk, on watch, when I got word that they had shot down Yamamoto in the Solomon Islands, and I remember thinking: This is a particular individual they went out to intercept," he said. "There is a very different notion when you’re thinking about killing an individual, as opposed to killing a soldier in the line of fire."
Oh, really? So Yamamoto was "just an individual," as opposed to a high-ranking officer in the Japanese navy -- a high-ranking officer who, not incidentally, conceived and designed an offensive that left 2,403 American soldiers, sailors and airmen dead in one day? The moral relativity and blindness on display here is just absolutely staggering! And considering it's coming from a sitting justice on the highest court in the land, quite frightening as well. Noel at Cold Fury nailed it:
As for "humanitarian considerations", those were also made–on behalf of our troops, who were also "human". Yamamoto was not allowed to kill any more of them–that’s very "humanitarian" in my book. Telling, isn’t it, that the presumption for 'humanitarian consideration' automatically accrues to the guilty…and never to his victims?

Or, for that matter, his potential victims -- which in Yamamoto's case, if bad came to worse, could well have included the American people if the Japanese had come to fulfill their ambitions of world empire. I think it could be argued -- nay, should be shouted from the rooftops -- that as a member of an opposing military force, Yamamoto was a legitimate target and failure to take him out when we had the chance would be at best a huge tactical blunder and at worst a dereliction of duty, John Paul Fragging Stevens' moral qualms be damned. Thank God those qualms weren't shared by the civilian leadership in place then, because if they had been, it's real damned likely we'd all be speaking German or Japanese right about now, and who knows what kinds of cruel fates would have been visited upon certain races and members of certain religions in this country -- ironically enough, the same people whose rights that cretins like Stevens would claim to stand up for. Amazing, just absolutely amazing...