Friday, February 01, 2008

Something to Think About

McArdle makes an interesting point:

"The insurgents are now using mentally disabled women as suicide bombers. Though suicide bombers may not be the right word, since the women don't seem to have known they were carrying bombs. I don't know why this seems worse than just killing a lot of innocent people, but it does."

And I agree there does seem to be something especially tragic about it, but here's my issue: modern medicine defines suicide, or suicidal tendencies, to be a mental health issue and thus, when you think about it, all suicide bomber are mentally disabled. If that's the case shouldn't that 'worse' feeling translate to all suicide bombers? And if that's true then shouldn't many of the ways we treat depression and suicidal tendancies be incorporated into our counter-terror policy?

Just a thought. Feel free to eviscerate me.

1 comment:

daedalus said...

Evisceration may not be required.

However, I don't believe suicidal tendencies in this context would constitute a mental disorder. I disagree with your reading of the medical views on suicide as applied to this case. A similar argument may be made for soldiers, police officers, and firemen of all stripes who risk there lives every time they do their respective jobs, and in some cases, go into situations where they know there is no chance of returning alive, but that their actions up until the point of death, may effect their objective positively.

Many of us will die for loved ones. That does not make us suicidal. It does however mean we will make the ultimate sacrifice for what we hold dear.

I in no way condone the violence to innocents created by what has been labeled "suicide bombers". In some cases, I am sure some brainwashing or coercion was indeed involved. However, some of these individuals I believe, do indeed believe in what they are "sacrificing" themselves for. To cast aside their actions, and to some extent their cause, as a mental health disorder, is to disrespect the strength of their convictions and not take the issue seriously.

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