Friday, January 05, 2007


On the same topic the Iraqi author Haifa Zangana finished her contentious piece with the following statement:

"The resistance to occupation is a basic human right as well as a moral responsibility".

To claim that an historic or political situation evinces an absolute moral responsibility without resting on moral principles is abhorrent. Under this general rule, Nazi resistance to Allied occupation would be moral, as would be the resistance of the Khmer Rouge to the Vietnamese intervention that ended the genocide. According to this argument, anyone who resists, however they choose to do so, in order to re-impose brutality, oppression and genocide are exercising a moral responsibility.

Historical and political circumstances do not confer moral imperatives; only moral principles can do that. This means that motives and actions need to be judged against ethical values and intended goals rather than simply, for example, the American and British presence in Iraq. Much of the murderous insurgency in Iraq would fail that test abysmally.

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