In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

Killing the Bad Guys

Posted by seumasach on September 15, 2011

Cailean Bochanan

15th September, 2011

To kill or not to kill?- that is the question. And the answer is…. to kill. Kill the bad guys! Like we killed Saddam because he was a dictator and we killed Bin Laden even though he was already dead. As we have killed Gaddafi’s son Khamis- five times in all. If only we could kill Gaddafi so that we could resolve things- no man, no problem, as Stalin used to say. Kill the bad guys who made us bomb their country. Imagine what kind of person would do that- ruin their own country because they wouldn’t take us at our word to step down or suffer the consequences.


Everything now is about resolving problems through killing. Isn’t this contrary to everything we’ve been taught- a primitive regression from our self-declared notions of humanity. Maybe it’s true that from the wider context of the Old Testament “Thou shalt not kill” wasn’t to be understood universally- it applied only within the tribe judging by Deuteronomy. There was still the question of war and just war, holy war, war against terror, war for democracy, responsibility to protect. So we’re killing because we’re at war. Is that because we’re a particularly warlike tribe or are there just an awful lot of bad guys. Are we killing them because they’re bad guys or are they bad guys because we’re killing them?


The killing and the destruction go on because there is war. Because war can always be justified one way or other, by those who initiate war, war itself is the problem. Therefore war itself must become a taboo. Our culture, however, is saturated with the images, the ethos, the exaltation, the techniques and the violence of war. We are a nation at war, we watch it on TV, it’s our recreation, we revel in it. Through this culture our leaders prepare us for war. War is a way out, a temporary fix for a few but it will destroy us all. We are caught in what the French call “une fuite en avant’, the  slippery slope, a fast forward to disaster. We must reject war for whatever pretext. I think we’ll be pleasantly surprised to find that when we stop starting or stirring wars, a general peace will ensue. We must reject leaders who are warmongers, who “smile and smile and smile, and yet are villains”, (Starting wars requires long acquired skill, cunning , deception and dissimulation and an abnormal capacity for telling lies- our leaders have those qualities in abundance.) We can start by rejecting David Cameron and his demolition job on Libya, a free and sovereign nation, the most disgraceful, mendacious, hypocritical and gratuitously destructive in a long series of wars for warmongers’ sake.


The situation in Libya should have been treated as an internal one although, strictly speaking, the Benghazi people who intitiated the armed conflict were acting as agents of foreign powers, including ourselves. Gaddafi legitimately opposed the insurgency and offered an amnesty to those who laid down there arms, just as he had amnestied Belhadj and the other Al Qaeda assets who are now controlling parts of Tripoli, courtesy of David Cameron & Co. Gaddafi accepted mediation via the African Union and the holding of elections. There has been no peaceful,popular movement in Libya as we saw in Egypt- it has been an armed conflict from the start. It is the fact that NATO joined in on the side of its Banghazi assets which led to the escalation of the fighting. Britain along with NATO started this war- the British people should end it by impeaching Cameron.

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