Posted by on Mar 18, 2012 in Blog


Who is guilty  for the  killing of 16 Afghan civilians in their homes?  Public opinion says it’s  the one person who indeed fired the shots.  But who is really guilty  of wartime atrocities and civilian deaths?

Is it the politicians who decide on these wars and send young people to do the actual killing?  Is it the military who carefully brainwash  them into thinking it’s OK to kill provided  you limit it to “them”?  Is it the Commanders who  insist on forcing soldiers into no-win situations in which their emotions are heated to the point of explosion?

And what of those brave warriors in the US  who never have to face the consequences of  the bombs their drones deliver- often to innocent civilians? Are they also  killers, or is it OK to kill if you’re  safely thousands of miles from the conflict and are just pushing buttons?

One man killed 16 people, tragically .  Is he guilty?  Yes, of this particular tragedy.  But who is guilty of the  thousands of other Afghan, Iraqi  civilian deaths?

The business of war is to kill.  In peacetime this is called murder. And since we’re rightly shocked at murder, is it time for us to see war for what it is: murder on a large scale.

Letter I submitted to the Ottawa Citizen on March 15, 2012  that was not published.