Saturday, December 29, 2018

Your Daily Dose of Moral Stupidity

The New York Times is on the job!

American fingerprints are all over the air war in Yemen, where errant strikes by the Saudi-led coalition have killed more than 4,600 civilians, according to a monitoring group. In Washington, that toll has stoked impassioned debate about the pitfalls of America’s alliance with Saudi Arabia under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who relies on American support to keep his warplanes in the air.

And this is since 2015, so the death toll is over the course of nearly 4 years, I guess.

One, would the death toll be more or less if the Saudis hadn't intervened in the civil war and blocked Iranian attempts to gain a foothold in Yemen?

Two, would the death toll be more or less without our "fingerprints" helping Saudi Arabia strike targets? Even though America advised against a lot of targets, modern America is far more cautious about such things than most other countries. And there is a false compassion angle to great care.

And three, why is America--or even Saudi Arabia--to blame for "errant" (straying outside the proper path or bounds) strikes when the Houthi use human shields?

It is basically not illegal to kill civilians in the process of striking military targets (there are cases when it is unlawful, like if you nuke an apartment building to kill a sniper, for example) and it is always unlawful to use human shields to protect military targets.

And that's on top of rebels dressing like civilians which makes it harder to distinguish between military and civilian targets.

Yet the moral disapproval of the Times authors--fully conforming to Iranian propaganda--falls on America.

Of course, a humanitarian crisis is threatening to really explode. But that isn't the Times topic--perhaps because the Saudis are finally working on combating that. And the Houthi are exacerbating that problem.

And perhaps less care about civilian casualties in the Saudi war effort might have ended the war faster, thus preventing the civilian humanitarian crisis from slowly developing in the first place.

These are sad days when TDR must provide lessons in nuance to the Times.

And despite the ending quote, the Saudi alliance really is (slowly) winning the war