What It Means to Be Pro-Life (Part 2)

Continued from Part I: How the Left Justifies Killing

Part II: How the Right Justifies Killing

Rightists love to award themselves the moral high ground for opposing abortion while simultaneously supporting wars of aggression with high civilian casualties.  Indeed, on the economic front, conservatives who ironically subscribe to Keynesian economic theory are convinced that America’s entry into World War II is what restored economic prosperity —  that war is a good cure for economic depression.  What a pro-life sentiment:  War is good for the economy!  Who cares about the loss of innocent life war always entails — any time the country falls into economic recession, all Americans need to do is go to war and all will be well! </sarcasm>

Currently many Republicans are incredibly nervous about Iran developing nuclear weapons.  Many of these unrepentant warhawks are crying out for the U.S. to “stop Iran from getting the bomb!”  Yet they fail to think through what this means in practice. 

How does one country stop a hostile country from doing something?  Should the United States throw sanctions on Iran?  That has already been done!  Should the U.S. throw more sanctions at the rogue republic?  Such an effort would be useless!  Sanctions are a waste of time and also an agent of death when used against third world dictatorships.  After all, cutting off food, trade, and other needed commodities will not change the plans of the Ahmadinejad regime; the regime is not representative of the Iranian people and no matter what, both Ahmadinejad and the Ayatollah will still eat gourmet meals while the poorest of the poor in Iran will die of starvation from the sanctions. 

The same is true of sanctions applied to Baathist Iraq and North Korea under Kim Jong Il—dictators continue to eat fine foods while ordinary civilians die en masse.  Let it be stressed that over 500,000 Iraqi children died in the 1990s as a result of heavy sanctions imposed on Iraq (that statistic excludes Iraqi adults); contrary to Washington’s plan, Saddam slept comfortably all the while.

So now many on the “pro-life” right wish to visit the same slaughter and suffering on Iranian citizens, many of whom don’t even support their own oppressive government. What is all of this for — to quiet one’s own fear of a nuclear strike aimed at Israel?  Israel has hundreds of nuclear weapons and Iran currently has none.  Both Israel and the United States have advanced missile defense systems.  Iran has none.  Despite this, human lives around the world continue to be lost because naïve Washington politicians want to look tough and expect thug regimes to play by the rules.

If rogue regimes like Iran’s cannot be controlled through economic sanctions, then clearly the only way to “stop them” from developing nuclear weapons is through military intervention.  This of course is a lovely euphemism for war — invasion, bombing, occupation, and armed patrols, all of which are certain to cause massive civilian casualties. 

Because of the paranoia of many so-called conservatives, war must happen and thousands of civilians and young soldiers, both American volunteers and unfortunate Iranian conscripts, will die in a war.  What for?  All of this to “save lives” by preventing a sovereign country’s government from developing a weapon they may or may not use only in self-defense?  What a futile effort! 

This leads to yet another contradiction: it’s wrong to kill a child in the womb, but for thousands of women and children to be killed as collateral damage in bombings and firefights is a justifiable means to an end?  I beg to differ!  If we claim to be pro-life, we cannot limit our principles to our borders or other convenient differentiations.  The American right uses the same end-justifies-the-means rhetoric as Lenin used when unleashing the Red Terror on his country’s civilian population.  The left and the right are filled with confused minds that oppose one form of killing innocents yet favor another form.

Concluded in Part III: How the liberty movement resolves the deadly contradiction

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