Saturday, August 20, 2005

Arson analogy

I was just listening to the Laura Flanders show on Air America Radio, and a caller gave a very apt analogy that may help some people make sense of the Cindy Sheehan situation, or help explain to people who just don't get it.

I have heard many people say things such as "Casey Sheehan signed up for the military; you take that risk when you commit to that." Sure. But that is similar to saying that if a firefighter dies while fighting arson, that the parents and loved ones have no right to go after that arsonist and demand accountability and responsibility. Yes, a firefighter accepts the risk of death, but that does not absolve the public of its responsibility not to start fires for, say, insurance profits!

Similarly, Casey Sheehan did accept the risk of death, but that does not absolve us of our responsibility (in which we, the public, and the media, failed spectacularly) of holding our leaders accountable and not going into a war for reasons unrelated to national security.

So, please, stop saying "he accepted that risk." YES, HE DID. But that does not make it right. Precisely because so many young (and not-so-young) people in our society accept that risk, we have a responsibility, a duty, to only send them into harms way when it is necessary. We failed them. And we, along with the media, and the Bush administration, and the Congress, should be forced to answer for it.


Anonymous said...

This analogy is faulty in my opinion. In your analogy, you hold the arsonist responsible because he killed the firefighter. Similarly, you hold the insurgents responsible, they are the ones responsible for taking the soldiers life. Blaming Bush would be like blaming the fire chief for not planning how they were going to put out the fire well enough and sending them in knowing it may not be safe. Bush didn't start the fire, he sent troops in to fight the fire. It is the insurgents who are killing people.


Jennifer said...

Bush didn't start the fire, he sent troops in to fight the fire.

The insurgents weren't there before Bush invaded. They're fighting against the occupation.

Bush didn't send in troops to quell the opposition. He started the opposition.

The point that the analogy is illustrating is that, yes, soldiers die, and, yes, firefighters die. But when the reason for the war or fire is illegitimate, it's understandable, and even morally imperative that we question why the fire/war was started and hold those responsible accountable, you know?

halcyon67 said...

Arsonists start fires. Bush started this war. This war is a fire. The arsonist (Bush) must be held accountable.

That is my take on it.