Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Accused 'not sorry' for UK deaths

Accused 'not sorry' for UK deaths (BBC News, Tuesday, 4 March 2008)

I'm inclined to say I feel sorry that people die in wars that should never have been started, whether civilians or military. Do I lose much sleep after hearing that yet another Iraqi child has died thanks to trigger-happy cowboys panicking at a roadblock? If not, do I really feel sorry, or do I just think I feel sorry? Would that make me evil? Is there a neurochemical by which we can measure degrees of sorriness?

Such questions haunt me after reading the title of the above-mentioned BBC News article. How can the central fact of a newsworthy article be that someone says he doesn't feel sorry about deaths of US or UK troops? What I would like to see is the unlikely headline 'Blair tormented by regret'.

The Americans and the British are going through a learning process. The Americans are learning (once again, about three decades after the end of the Vietnam war) that they are not equipped to deal with asymmetric warfare. The British are learning they should not blindly join the Americans in their adventures. Some people have argued that troop casualties contribute to this learning process, and these people may have earned themselves a place in HMP Wandsworth, under part 1 ("Encouragement of terrorism") of the Terrorism Act 2006. So much for freedom of expression, or alternatively, freedom to draw conclusions from observations.

The accused in the reported trial may have done truly evil things, but the only factual information we've been given so far is that he's a bloke with an opinion.

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