Matters of Principle

Medea Benjamin puts the “jumping for joy” into perspective in this excellent article.

What is disappointing is to read the comments at the end of this article – HuffPost people completely involved with utilitarianism and Obama-like pragmatism.  Dictator deposed, WMDs eliminated, country democratized, etc.  Apparently, they are trying to provide a progressive justification for the debacle that the Iraq war is and was.  Also, to provide further justification for US continued imperialism worldwide. 

It is very seldom that war can be justified as a means to a moral end.  In the case of Iraq, to replace the brutality of Saddam Hussein by the same brutal means such as callous disregard for human life can not justify the end.  

What we see here are people who conveniently refuse to know the difference between principle and pragmatism — like our President.  

It is as a matter of principle that war should not be conducted.  It is as a matter of principle that people should not be tortured.  It is as a matter of principle that there should be no covering up and inappropriate secrecy.  It is as a matter of principle that the Internet should not be imperialised.  It is as a matter of principle that ICBMs should not be used on cities.  It is a matter of principle that drones should not be used on individuals.  And so on.  Utilitarianism (the greatest good for the greatest number) and pragmatism can be used to justify anything.  With the setting aside of principle, comes the collapse of morality; with the collapse of morality, comes the collapse of politics, and so following on the collapse of our financial system, commercial system, society, culture, and of course economy.  

What the Huffpost people should be saying is “never again. We have learned an important lesson and we will never do that again.  On principle.”


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