FACTorial: We call it murder!

May 25, 2010

On reflecting over recent events in Thailand’s capital, there is one simple aspect we never hear discussed or mentioned.

Taking a human life is murder. There are no justifications, rationalisations or excuses for killing.

There is no “I was only following orders” free card. There is no hiding behind laws or courts or national security, internal security or state of emergency or even war, declared or not, or wars on ‘drugs’ or ‘terrorism’. There are no “enemies”. Killing is murder.

Yet people the world over think they can magically impose a lofty goal…by murdering the opposition. It is painfully obvious to every thinking person that violence only escalates into retaliation.

Every religion, spiritual teaching, moral and ethical construct begins with an admonition to refrain from killing. By ignoring that core teaching, we insult whomever is the creator and prove ourselves unworthy of this human form.

I have known some murderers in my own long life. Some had been convicted, two awaiting the death penalty, a few unconvicted but willingly admitting to the act, and even a few who got away with it, along with numerous returned soldiers and police from many conflict zones. I have, however, only known one true mass murderer, a US military commander sending warplanes on bombing runs into Iraq.

These men (they were all men) were no better and no worse than those who hide behind their military orders, participate in war situations where to kill means not be be killed, sell war weapons for profit or ideology, police shooting suspects, judges passing a death sentence, legal executioners carrying out those sentences.

To call any of these less than murder is to fool ourselves. Those who gave the orders to shoot at Ratchadamnoen and Ratchaprasong are murderers, from the top to the bottom, as are those who themselves fired the guns.

The murdered can never forgive you. You have stolen their voices.

How do these murderers go home every day to a comfortable house, kiss their wives, pour a stiff drink, eat a great meal and read a bedtime story to their children and grandchildren? They obviously aren’t aware of the maggots already devouring their insides along with their kills.

I can’t offer an answer to what is “justice” in these cases, many sanctioned by men’s laws but surely not by any higher laws. But the answer is certainly not vengeance or retribution in kind. That would solve nothing. We’ve done enough damage to our humanity already.

CJ Hinke

Freedom Against Censorship Thailand (FACT)

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