Available Now! (click cover)

America's Counter-Revolution
The Constitution Revisited

From the back cover:

This book challenges the assumption that the Constitution was a landmark in the struggle for liberty. Instead, Sheldon Richman argues, it was the product of a counter-revolution, a setback for the radicalism represented by America’s break with the British empire. Drawing on careful, credible historical scholarship and contemporary political analysis, Richman suggests that this counter-revolution was the work of conservatives who sought a nation of “power, consequence, and grandeur.” America’s Counter-Revolution makes a persuasive case that the Constitution was a victory not for liberty but for the agendas and interests of a militaristic, aristocratic, privilege-seeking ruling class.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

What About the Iraqi and Afghan Dead?

The Washington Post yesterday devoted some of its pages to photos of the 4,100 U.S. troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. I suppose it was some kind of statement.

A better statement would have been pictures of the Iraqi and Afghan dead. But there are well over half a million of them and pictures aren't readily available. So we can just forget about them.

But something bothers me about this. Oh, yes, the Americans could have refused to go to Iraq. They might have gone to the brig as a result of their choice--life's a bitch sometimes--but it was a choice. The Iraqis had little choice in the matter. The U.S. invaded them. (Many have fled their country, but that's a big step to take.)

2 comments:

Bob Hodges said...

Sheldon,

Doesn't saying "the Americans could have refused to go to Iraq. They might have gone to the brig as a result of their choice--life's a bitch sometimes...The Iraqis had little choice in the matter. The U.S. invaded them. (Many have fled their country, but that's a big step to take)" present a double standard? Granted, American troops have more resources than most Afghans and Iraqis and can withstand forced service overseas easier than the civilian populations withstand invasion. Yet still these service people are essentially locked into slavery contracts (as Rothbard observed in For A New Liberty) that require them to do immoral actions. The may have entered these contracts voluntarily, but that is not an excuse for making light of their current plight in their inability to escape these “contracts” that they are partial responsible for. Empathy for the plight of American troops is not out of the question, while one recognizes the greater plight of the civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan (the larger point of your entry which I applaud).

Cheers,
Bob

Sheldon Richman said...

Being locked into a contract doesn't mean you must allow yourself to become an occupier in someone else's neighborhood, with all the potential for killing innocents. There is always an alternative. Leonard Read wrote a moving piece during the Korean War called "Conscience on the Battlefield" where he made just this point. It's here.