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By extension, there are no innocent civilians

Reader comment on item: The End of Treason

Submitted by garry prior (Malaysia), Aug 17, 2005 at 07:22

Using your argument and extending it, the language of war has been radically changed although politicians and others do not seem to have cauyght on yet. In a modern war, terroristic or conventional, the fate of civilians is largely disregarded, whether as "collateral damage" (possibly the nastiest euphemism coined in the 20th century), or as unspecific targets.

When war and violence is conducted at or regardless of civilians, there is no question of innocence or guilt. They are civilians whose distress is either an objective or a matter of indifference. In the same way, does the son of a family of "innocent civilians" who is obliged to serve in a conscript army assume "guilty status" by donning a uniform and standing sentry duty?

Let us get away from such concepts as innocence and guilt in relation to both civilians and armed forces, as if the status of combatants or non-combatants somehow legitimises their being targetted on the basis of moral failure.

Let's preserve the presumption of innocence until proven guilty and not apply emotional labels that no longer fit when something outlandish happens because of hate or fear.

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