Sunday, 14 September 2008

The Innocent

A few days ago the BBC news included a clip of President Bush speaking at a ceremony in honour of those killed when terrorists crashed passenger planes into the World Trade centre and the Pentagon.

The President referred to the victims as 'innocent men, women and children'

The word 'innocent' set me wondering what other sorts of victims there might be. Could there be a guilty victim ? In what circumstances would people deserve to be killed like that ?

Of course the terrorists themselves were killed and they were guilty, but I did not think that that was the President's point. I had the impression that he considered the crime particularly offensive because the chosen victims were innocent, suggesting that more discriminating terrorists might have chosen their victims better.

Did he mean that the terrorists would have done better to to target the President himself and members of his government?

That thought led to another. IRA terrorism in Britain received financial support from Irish Americans, and some people wanted in Britain for terrorist offences were able to shelter in the USA because it proved impossible to extradite them from there. Americans are not all innocent of complicity in terrorism, nor are all members of the American Government and Congress.

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