Just a Simple Question

 

Now that Russia is targeting civilians, schools, homes, and hospitals in Ukraine, it is apparent to me that we are witnessing an ethnic cleansing action.

Some say Putin wants to save Christian values and Western Civilization. I’m not sure how you do that by killing Ukrainian Christians, and Jews.

Now some say that Ukrainians are corrupt which implies that they are getting what they deserve. That’s fairly odd unless you believe that Russia and Putin are not corrupt.

That brings me to the question that goes back to the old belief from some so-called Christians that the Jews were being punished by God by being sent to the German death camps.

I heard that from a Fundamentalist pastor one afternoon and I asked him: What sin did Anne Frank commit that merited her death in a German concentration camp? I was met with silence.

So, what sins have Ukrainian civilians committed, especially children, to deserve death at the hands of Putin?

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  1. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    Zafar (View Comment):

    No civilians deserve to be killed by an army, obviously.

    I think this is patently fasle.  It comes from a time when aristocracies and monoarchies controlled people.  The United States changed that.  The standard expectation is that people now are able to choose their government.  This has always been the case, but now it is expected.

    When a dictator menaces another country, who is most responsible for allowing the dictator to have power?  It’s not the US nor her military.  It is the people of that country.  Not a single American soldier should die when the people of a belligerent country are not trying to stop their dictator.  The people can change their ruler, they need proper motivation.

    The Japanese and German peoples allowed themselves to be ruled by madmen.  The United States rightly targeted the people and the effect was positive.  The people realized they were beaten and cooperated with us after the war.  

    When we fought with Iraq, our “shock and awe” tactics were less than shocking because the people realized they weren’t going to get hurt.  Everyone knows that we allow our own military to die before any civilian.  This is perverse.  Why should the people be safe while someone hurts us in their name?  Why should they risk their lives to replace their ruler when our military will do it for them?  Until they act to replace him and restore peace, they should not be safe.

    Anyone going to war with us should instead know that they are going to suffer horribly until they make friends with us again.  

    • #31
  2. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    No civilians deserve to be killed by an army, obviously.

    I think this is patently fasle. It comes from a time when aristocracies and monoarchies controlled people. The United States changed that. The standard expectation is that people now are able to choose their government.

    Yes. But that’s just not true. Russians are not able to choose their own governments.

    • #32
  3. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Skyler (View Comment):
    The standard expectation is that people now are able to choose their government.  This has always been the case, but now it is expected.

    This is an interesting principle, and it’s something I’ve thought a lot about because of something GW said years ago. The subject was a tighter border control on our southern border. I disagree with GW on this completely, but I also value and respect his opinion. I know it’s hard to understand how I can do both, but I do.

    What he said was that the border (or “wall,” perhaps) that keeps people out also keeps people in. In discussions I read about his remarks, people said he was referring to the migrant workers. They stayed only as long as they could find work and then they went home, which was actually good for the workers and their families. But I’d bet he was also thinking of the Iron Curtain and the Berlin Wall and other imprisoning-borders situations he had seen as a young man. Even today, there’s Cuba.

    As sovereignty has risen as the main organizing principle for the world’s countries, it has created a new problem. Passports and impassable fences trap people. That has happened most recently in Afghanistan this year.

    I’ve been reading stories about Ukrainians not being able to escape to bordering countries. It’s horrifying to think of people being trapped there with the Russians bearing down on them.

    We wouldn’t have the refugee camp problems if movement from country to country were easier.

    I don’t know how to fix this because unchecked immigration creates problems too.

    But given the realities of modern life, I don’t think it’s reasonable to hold citizens necessarily responsible for what their leaders do.

    • #33
  4. Phil Turmel Coolidge
    Phil Turmel
    @PhilTurmel

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    No civilians deserve to be killed by an army, obviously.

    I think this is patently fasle. It comes from a time when aristocracies and monoarchies controlled people. The United States changed that. The standard expectation is that people now are able to choose their government.

    Yes. But that’s just not true. Russians are not able to choose their own governments.

    Revolutions throughout history, including the history of Russia itself, shows that the people certainly can replace their government.  When they allow evil to rule, they are at least partly responsible for the evil the rulers do.

    • #34
  5. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

    Some say Putin wants to save Christian values and Western Civilization.

    Who says this?! I have never heard anyone suggest such a thing.  I think there are a lot of urban legends out there about Putin that are made up to make conservatives look bad. This sounds like one of them. There is no way on earth that Putin’s Czarist meglomania and attack on Ukraine has anything to do with Christian values and Western Civilization.

    • #35
  6. DrewInWisconsin, Oi! Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oi!
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Doctor Robert (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Oi! (View Comment):

    Some severe begging of the question in the OP caused a few straw men to be sacrificed.

    I reject the premise.

    Which premise do you reject?

    The whole thing, actually. “Some say,” (who?) . . . then “some say,” (who, again?) . . . and you cite a belief of “some so-called Christians,” and then you heard this story from someone, and then you ask an inflammatory question in the Fred Cole manner:

    And I just reject it all. It’s a “when did you stop beating your wife” question. And it seems like you’re trying to start a flame war, and that’s a surprising thing for a moderator.

    Drew, this is Doug’s question in the OP:

    “So, what sins have Ukrainian civilians committed, especially children, to deserve death at the hands of Putin?”

    That’s not inflammatory at all. It is, as Doug noted, just a simple question.

    Absolutely inflammatory as it presupposes some connection between deserved suffering as a result of committed sin. Then it adds “especially children” for maximum emotional manipulation. This doesn’t even begin to address the straw man constructs that precede this “simple question.”

    You want an answer? Jesus had one here. (Spoiler alert: he rejected the premise of the question, too.)

    • #36
  7. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    MarciN (View Comment):
    We wouldn’t have the refugee camp problems if movement from country to country were easier.

    I don’t know how to fix this because unchecked immigration creates problems too.

    Truly addressing the wrong end of the problem, as indicated in the second sentence.

    Problems do not exist in some dirt and not in other dirt.  Problems follow people.  Borders are a great way, and the appropriate place, to refuse another peoples’ problems.

    • #37
  8. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator
    @Instugator

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    We’ve certainly seen Ukrainian claims proven to be lies, time after time.

    Enlighten me.

    • #38
  9. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator
    @Instugator

    Skyler (View Comment):
     I hope they win, but if you look at the results and not the propaganda, it appears they very well might not be winning.

    Me too.

    I just think they aren’t losing.

    I also think the Russians aren’t winning.

    • #39
  10. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator
    @Instugator

    Doug Watt: So, what sins have Ukrainian civilians committed, especially children, to deserve death at the hands of Putin?

    None, none whatsoever.

    In fact Christian Doctrine tells me

    Romans 12:19

    Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord.

    • #40
  11. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator
    @Instugator

    Skyler (View Comment):
    The Japanese and German peoples allowed themselves to be ruled by madmen.  The United States rightly targeted the people and the effect was positive.  The people realized they were beaten and cooperated with us after the war.

    We took the two most warlike peoples on the planet and turned them into pacifists.

    • #41
  12. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator
    @Instugator

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    No civilians deserve to be killed by an army, obviously.

    I think this is patently fasle. It comes from a time when aristocracies and monoarchies controlled people. The United States changed that. The standard expectation is that people now are able to choose their government.

    Yes. But that’s just not true. Russians are not able to choose their own governments.

    Sure they are. They just have to be brave about it.

    • #42
  13. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    Instugator (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    We’ve certainly seen Ukrainian claims proven to be lies, time after time.

    Enlighten me.

    RT told him so.

    • #43
  14. genferei Member
    genferei
    @genferei

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    No civilians deserve to be killed by an army, obviously.

    I think this is patently false.  …

    When a dictator menaces another country, who is most responsible for allowing the dictator to have power?

    I don’t think you need to go all the way to ‘deserves’ to be able to argue that it is ‘legitimate’ (in some circumstances) to arrange things such that civilians are killed. Or are you seeking to counter an argument that ‘because civilians do not deserve to be killed by an army, the US must intervene every time an army starts killing civilians’?

    Making everyone in a geographical area responsible unto death for the actions of those holding sway over that territory seems a step too far. Is everyone in the US responsible – in the sense of being legitimately targeted for death – for every one of Obama’s wedding feast drone attacks? What is the limiting principle here?

    • #44
  15. Roberto, [This space available for advertising] Member
    Roberto, [This space available for advertising]
    @Roberto

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Doug Watt: Now that Russia is targeting civilians, schools, homes, and hospitals in Ukraine, it is apparent to me that we are witnessing an ethnic cleansing action.

    That’s a bit much. Everyone is a racist, and every attack is ethnic cleansing? No. Sometimes militaries just aren’t very good. Our military is about the first in the world to have the restraint expected of the incompetent Russians.

    Agreed. Russia simply does not or cannot conduct pretty, precision warfare. Look at how they fought in Chechnya or Afghanistan. Does that make them brutal, murderous thugs perhaps even ones committing war crimes? Yes.

    But much like the word genocide tossed around all too often in discourse these days simply claiming ethnic cleansing only devalues the action of the true horror that it is. Show me that Russia is conducting itself like the participants in the Yugoslavian Civil War and then you have a case.

    • #45
  16. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    No civilians deserve to be killed by an army, obviously.

    I think this is patently fasle. It comes from a time when aristocracies and monoarchies controlled people. The United States changed that. The standard expectation is that people now are able to choose their government.

    Yes. But that’s just not true. Russians are not able to choose their own governments.

    Yes they are.  They out number Putin and his friends.  It’s not risk free, but when people are being killed in their name, it is their moral obligation to overthrow him.  That is the expectation.

    • #46
  17. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    genferei (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    No civilians deserve to be killed by an army, obviously.

    I think this is patently false. …

    When a dictator menaces another country, who is most responsible for allowing the dictator to have power?

    I don’t think you need to go all the way to ‘deserves’ to be able to argue that it is ‘legitimate’ (in some circumstances) to arrange things such that civilians are killed. Or are you seeking to counter an argument that ‘because civilians do not deserve to be killed by an army, the US must intervene every time an army starts killing civilians’?

    Making everyone in a geographical area responsible unto death for the actions of those holding sway over that territory seems a step too far. Is everyone in the US responsible – in the sense of being legitimately targeted for death – for every one of Obama’s wedding feast drone attacks? What is the limiting principle here?

    This is why it is important for a society and culture to strive to understand truth and right and wrong.  I don’t remember the details of the wedding, but I suspect they were at the wedding of terrorists.  No pity.  If they weren’t then it might have been an accident and compensation is due.

    Invading Iraq and overthrowing Saddam is not the same as overthrowing a peaceful Ukraine.

    • #47
  18. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Skyler (View Comment):

    genferei (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    No civilians deserve to be killed by an army, obviously.

    I think this is patently false. …

    When a dictator menaces another country, who is most responsible for allowing the dictator to have power?

    I don’t think you need to go all the way to ‘deserves’ to be able to argue that it is ‘legitimate’ (in some circumstances) to arrange things such that civilians are killed. Or are you seeking to counter an argument that ‘because civilians do not deserve to be killed by an army, the US must intervene every time an army starts killing civilians’?

    Making everyone in a geographical area responsible unto death for the actions of those holding sway over that territory seems a step too far. Is everyone in the US responsible – in the sense of being legitimately targeted for death – for every one of Obama’s wedding feast drone attacks? What is the limiting principle here?

    This is why it is important for a society and culture to strive to understand truth and right and wrong. I don’t remember the details of the wedding, but I suspect they were at the wedding of terrorists. No pity. If they weren’t then it might have been an accident and compensation is due.

    Invading Iraq and overthrowing Saddam is not the same as overthrowing a peaceful Ukraine.

    Double standard when it comes to killing civilians and the duty to rise to overthrown the government responsible?

    • #48
  19. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator
    @Instugator

    Zafar (View Comment):
    Double standard when it comes to killing civilians and the duty to rise to overthrown the government responsible?

    No, not a double standard at all.

    • #49
  20. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):

    genferei (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    No civilians deserve to be killed by an army, obviously.

    I think this is patently false. …

    When a dictator menaces another country, who is most responsible for allowing the dictator to have power?

    I don’t think you need to go all the way to ‘deserves’ to be able to argue that it is ‘legitimate’ (in some circumstances) to arrange things such that civilians are killed. Or are you seeking to counter an argument that ‘because civilians do not deserve to be killed by an army, the US must intervene every time an army starts killing civilians’?

    Making everyone in a geographical area responsible unto death for the actions of those holding sway over that territory seems a step too far. Is everyone in the US responsible – in the sense of being legitimately targeted for death – for every one of Obama’s wedding feast drone attacks? What is the limiting principle here?

    This is why it is important for a society and culture to strive to understand truth and right and wrong. I don’t remember the details of the wedding, but I suspect they were at the wedding of terrorists. No pity. If they weren’t then it might have been an accident and compensation is due.

    Invading Iraq and overthrowing Saddam is not the same as overthrowing a peaceful Ukraine.

    Double standard when it comes to killing civilians and the duty to rise to overthrown the government responsible?

    Where do you perceive  a double standard?

    • #50
  21. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    You’re asking Russians to do something you didn’t do yourself. 

    • #51
  22. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    Zafar (View Comment):

    You’re asking Russians to do something you didn’t do yourself.

    You’re not making any sense.  I promise you, if our country starts taking over other countries to turn them into communist vassal states, I’ll be ready to act.

    • #52
  23. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Moving the goalposts?

    • #53
  24. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Moving the goalposts?

    So, your position is that the US must try to go communist first, and those of us who say we would work/fight to stop it, must do so – and presumably be successful – before we can expect anyone else to do so in another country?

    What a great way for nothing to ever be accomplished.

    • #54
  25. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    My position is if you think that citizens have a duty to overthrow a government which accepts killing civilians during wars then be consistent.

    • #55
  26. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    Zafar (View Comment):

    My position is if you think that citizens have a duty to overthrow a government which accepts killing civilians during wars then be consistent.

    My what careful phrasing.

    • #56
  27. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator
    @Instugator

    Zafar (View Comment):

    My position is if you think that citizens have a duty to overthrow a government which accepts killing civilians during wars then be consistent.

    As opposed to putting people into concentration camps?

    • #57
  28. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator
    @Instugator

    I guess Z can’t fathom the difference between collateral damage and indiscriminate shelling/bombing.

    Not to mention the difference between unmerited invasion and restarting a conflict when one party doesn’t live up to cease fire agreements.

    All while living in a country that just resurrected concentration camps.

    • #58
  29. genferei Member
    genferei
    @genferei

    Skyler (View Comment):

    genferei (View Comment):

    Is everyone in the US responsible – in the sense of being legitimately targeted for death – for every one of Obama’s wedding feast drone attacks? What is the limiting principle here?

    … I don’t remember the details of the wedding, but I suspect they were at the wedding of terrorists. No pity.

    Let’s stipulate that it was a wedding at which terrorists were indeed the bride and groom. Did the other (non-terrorist, but let’s stipulate ‘terrorist-sympathizing’) guests ‘deserve’ to die? What about members of the catering staff? What about the guy delivering the marquee? What about his (minor) son in the cab with him?

    Did the citizens of Dresden in WW2 ‘deserve’ to die? What about the people of Caen?

    My questions are not meant to say that targeting, or being reckless as to hitting, or even unfortunately collaterally damaging civilians is always ‘wrong’. Still less am I saying the US is morally equivalent to Russia. Far from it. I’m trying to make the point that approaching the morality of civilian casualties through the lens of whether they ‘deserve’ to die is hopelessly misguided because it does not (a) provide any clear guidance or (b) recognize in any meaningful way the moral agency of civilians.

    • #59
  30. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    This post reminds me of being asked “Did George Floyd deserve to die for a counterfeit $20 bill?”

    As genferei and other point out — the question is poorly constructed, and pointedly so.

    • #60
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