Bill Neinast

Murder is the most heinous crime.  The only justification for one human killing another is self -defense, a bona fide me or him situation.

Unfortunately, the most proficient murderers are governments.  War, of course, is a government’s most efficient killing machine.  Soldiers killing soldiers on battlefields might be excusable or justifiable.

Killing noncombatant men, women, and children, however, is inexcusable.  Unfortunately, the United States is among the worst violators of this principle.

The carpet bombing of German cities like Dresden is hard to defend on moral grounds.  Then there are more recent atrocities like My Lai.

Those war time murders are just the tip of the iceberg. The United States is the only country on the North and South American continents to maintain the death penalty for specific crimes.  Actually, it is one of only 53 countries worldwide that kill defenseless individuals.

Instead of being embarrassed by these facts, Texans relish leading the 50 states in the number of prisoners killed by the state.

Those now  pounding the table with their fists and scowling are thinking how can that man criticize the state for removing scum from the earth?  Doesn’t he realize that execution of the bad men and women is necessary to protect us  and deter  others from being bad?

The answer is simple.  If state sanctioned murder deters other murders, why is the murder rate increasing?  

A more disturbing fact is that various Innocence Projects using new scientific methods have established that a number of inmates on death rows are innocent of the crimes that 12 jurors believed they had committed.  How many innocent individuals were murdered by the states before these new investigative tools became available?

This short history of American governments murdering its citizens frames an interesting question.  Why all the brouhaha over another government killing one of its own?

There is no doubt that Jamal Khashoggi was murdered inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.  He was a Saudi journalist living in the United States and was very critical of the Saudi royal regime.

There is also no doubt that the Saudi hierarchy considered him a threat to their rule and authority.  The only real question is what level of that hierarchy ordered the killing.

So if it is OK for our government to order and carry out the killing of its citizens that are considered threats to peace and security, why is it so reprehensible for other governments to do the same thing?

Recently, Russia poisoned four of its citizens living in Great Britain.  In February of last year, Kim Jong-un's half-brother Kim Jong-nam  was killed by being sprayed in the face with unknown liquid by a pair of female spies working in Malaysia for the North Korean dictator.

In neither case of a government killing some of its citizens living in another country did we break diplomatic relations with, or impose sanctions on, either country.  Why?

Why, also, is there such a hue and cry to take some punitive action against a long time ally for doing what we routinely do and what has been done recently by at least two of our protagonists?

So here’s the perspective.

Saudi Arabia committed a despicable act in what it thought was its best interest.  We routinely commit the same act, but attempt to justify our murders by claiming that the condemned were afforded due process and convicted by juries that never make mistakes. 

Saudi Arabia is our longest and strongest ally in the Middle East.  It is one of our bulwarks against Iran.  So should we treat them differently than we did Russia and North Korea when they murdered some of their citizens in other countries?

We just said “Ho-Hum, that’s not nice” to our adversaries, but now there are demands to punish our friend with crippling sanctions.

Saudi Arabia has placed orders for billions of dollars worth of military equipment from us.  Are we going to tell them, “Sorry, you will have to shop elsewhere because we do not do business with governments who kill their people?”

Then what will we tell the Americans who lost their jobs when the military equipment orders are cancelled?

Grow up America.  Look in the mirror and do not criticize others for doing what is routine within our own borders.



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