Wars Against Children

“But don’t, dear children, be alarmed,
Augustus Gloop will not be harmed,
Although, of course, we must admit
He will be altered quite a bit.
He’ll be quite changed from what he’s been,
When he goes through the fudge machine:”
– Roald Dahl

I get so tired of watching and listening to the hypocrites who go through the motions of wringing their hands whenever children are killed in terrorist attacks. It’s as if they don’t want anyone else intervening in their legal monopolies on the butchering of people, youngsters included. To those who value the inviolability of human life, the recent attack in Manchester was, indeed, an atrocity. That children were reportedly targeted in the attack makes whoever staged this attack all the more reprehensible. Children are both [1] the future of the human species and, [2] persons who, being too young to effectively resist the violent ambitions of others, are entitled to rely upon the adults in their world for protection. I have long been of the view that parents have a moral obligation to prevent their children from growing up in tyranny. This obligation extends to those who, by using violence against others, are a tyrannical force. All political systems – by enjoying and using a legal monopoly on the use of violence – are war systems. All wars ultimately come down to wars against children.

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Why do I regard my hostility to child-killers as different from the aforesaid hand-wringers? Because I have no agenda for which I am prepared to use force – legal or illegal – I am able to rely on the principle of non-violence to condemn all such acts. What about persons who pretend to care for children when killed by forces they oppose (e.g., “terrorists”) but are prepared to sacrifice young lives when it suits their ambitions to do so? Those who support the established order are quite eager to have the state mandate the attendance of children in government-owned or endorsed schools. There the students will become conditioned to believe in the necessity of a political order in which they will be expected to be obedient and to sacrifice themselves in wartime to the interests of their rulers. Have you ever thought through the words of the daily recitation of the “pledge of allegiance”, or of saluting the flag? In wars, not only will soldiers risk injury, death, and the psychological pain that results in twenty-two suicide deaths, per day, among veterans, but in the casualties among the children in foreign lands. What decent person can forget former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright acknowledging – with the indifference of a rancher speaking of the sale of some of his cattle – that in evaluating the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children occasioned by her government’s boycotts, “the price is worth it.” A Libertarian Critique... Butler Shaffer Buy New $5.50 (as of 03:05 UTC - Details)

Those who feign love, respect, and concern for children – all the while exploiting them to serve the state for purposes they favor – have their most immoral zealots not just among the pro-abortion crowd but, worse, those who engage in and support the monstrous practice of harvesting bodily organs from their late-term unborn victims, and selling them to medical researchers. These people remind me of the lab assistants we saw in those old movies of crazed doctors experimenting with body parts stolen from graves. Going far beyond defending the legal right of a pregnant woman to have an abortion – a practice that also wars against children – these people have been videotaped admitting to their hideous deeds. One such modern Igor declared that the earnings received from the auctioning of body parts would help her pay for her desired Lamborghini!

Consistent with the behavior of all who war against life, the defenders of this grisly practice began bloviating that those who videotaped the interview were the wrongdoers! Others chirped in that such conduct was not illegal. In my more than sixty years as a student, practitioner, and professor of law, I must admit to never being impressed by judging the morality of certain practices on the basis of whether they were “legal” or “illegal.” One must not forget that one of the arguments made by defendants at the Nazi War Crimes trials at Nuremberg was that what they did was legal under German law! The Wizards of Ozymand... Butler Shaffer, Butler... Best Price: $8.38 Buy New $12.33 (as of 05:45 UTC - Details)

I am reminded of the argument made by Thrasymachus in Plato’s The Republic: “that ‘just’ or ‘right’ means nothing but what is to the interest of the stronger party,” adding that “in every case the laws are made by the ruling party in its own interest.” When we consider the plight of children killed in wars, foreign policy practices, as well as at abortion clinics, we might ask ourselves the kinds of core questions our conditioning makes us afraid to ask. In response to “terrorist attacks,” why should we expect foreign political activists to be any more respectful of the lives of children than are so many American political activists? If the slaughter of children advances the agendas of differing political groups, upon what principled basis can any decent person object? Can we do no better than rely on CNN opinion polls to guide us? Will we continue to take comfort in the state’s distinctions, such as were so well-stated by Brendan Behan: “The terrorist is the one with the small bomb”?

As we go to cemeteries this Memorial Day and mourn the deaths of soldiers, let us remember those more vulnerable victims of the war system; those whose plights are rarely, if ever, mentioned in the John Wayne and Randolph Scott movies – with which cable television channels will regale us as advertisements for the “greatness” of wars. Meaningless battles in wars that served no human purpose will provide the background for soldiers seeking the glory that comes from dying for the interests of an establishment that regards them as nothing more than fungible raw material for carrying out their ambitions. Such are the ends for which children have been trained!

Against the combined interests of the state, the establishment- controlled media and academia, the corporate-owned military-industrial-security complex, banking interests, the medical profession, and power-based feminist ideologues, the comparative appraisal of interests that are served by the state, and those of children – be they born or unborn – leaves no doubt as to the identity of the interests that will be protected by the coercive machinery of the state! Any hope for children – and as a necessary consequence, the future of our species – will be found only in the place from which our problems originate and can be resolved: our individual minds and souls. Instead of focusing on our past, Memorial Day might be a better time to look deeply into our present thinking and behavior, and considering what all of this will mean to our children and grand-children. As we leave the cemeteries in which our loved ones now lie, perhaps we can also walk away from the war system that killed them and is destroying us!