Comment: "I oppose the war, but support the troops" ...

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"I oppose the war, but support the troops" ...

... is like saying "I oppose rape, but support the rapists." That's not my epigram, unfortunately. That's my paraphrase of something Larken Rose wrote in The Most Dangerous Superstition.

People who believe that "government" enjoys some special moral status exempting the rulers and their "troops" from normal human morality are the ones who make the atrocities possible. Adolf Hitler killed NO ONE. Josef Stalin killed NO ONE. Harry Truman killed NO ONE. All the murders these men are thought to be responsible for were done by "good" obedient soldiers, just following orders -- and believing that following the orders of some "authority" exempted them from moral responsibility.

A single murderous sociopath might kill dozens of people before he is stopped. But a murderous sociopath whom people believe has a right to issue orders superseding individual moral judgment may cause the death and suffering of millions. It is our belief in authority, NOT any sociopathic ruler, which causes most of the evil in the world.

Recommended reading: The Most Dangerous Superstition, http://www.amazon.com/Most-Dangerous-Superstition-Larken-Ros...