Killing people is wrong

Written in 2005 not sure if published

George Bush recently warned that if Iran resumed its nuclear power program he could not rule out the use of force. He has this year also threatened Syria and North Korea. Australian Labor and Liberal politicians nod approvingly.

However when a man disguises his face whilst holding an automatic weapon and apparently speaking with an Australian accent threatens to kill British and American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, all hell breaks out in the erudite ranks of the Labor and Liberal Parties and the spectre of terrorism is evoked all round.

The reality is that even if there are half a dozen Australian citizens in Iraq and Afghanistan prepared to fight allied forces they do not constitute much of an obstacle to the hundreds of troops that Australia has deployed in each country. The Australians other Western forces currently invading both countries are more likely to inflict death and injury to civilian populations and the resistance fighters than are the rag tag foreign fighters supporting the resistance.

Following the first Gulf War in 1991 the allied blockade of Iraq resulted in the unnecessary death of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children. The Allied bombing and continued fighting since the second invasion of Iraq has killed in excess of 100,000 people. State sponsored terror invariably inflicts a hundred times the causalities of so called terrorists.

The destruction of the World Towers resulted in fewer than 3,000 deaths and Western politicians were quick to proclaim the world had changed. On a world scale such terrorist outrages are small beer when compared with the slaughter that is happening at Dafur in Western Sudan, the massive starvation in Niger, and the wide spread killings which are going on in other parts of Africa.

If killing people is wrong and I believe it is then:
it is as wrong to starve an African child to death,
to withhold life-saving pharmaceuticals to much of the third world,
to fail to stop the ongoing violence in many parts of Africa,
to drop cluster bombs and daisy cutters in Iraq and Afghanistan,
as it is to kill Westerners.

But Britain, the US and Australian governments claim that it is their right to send troops around the world to meet lots of nice people and then kill them. Surely if governments are going to claim the sole right to licence murder then those who are to be murdered have the right to self-defense against those troops who have come to kill them.

It does seem to me that there is a different order to killing civilians to killing troops who have volunteered to accept money to kill and be killed.