February 2, 2005

PETER SINGER WILL THINK IT PROGRESS:

Down syndrome youth used as suicide bomber (Paul McGeough, February 2, 2005, The Age)

Amar was 19, but he had the mind of a four-year-old. This handicap didn't stop the insurgency's hard men as they strapped explosives to his chest and guided him to a voting centre in suburban Al-Askan.

And before yesterday's sunrise in Baghdad, his grieving parents loaded his broken remains on the roof of a taxi to lead a sorrowful procession to the holy city of Najaf. There, they gave him a ceremonial wash, shrouded him in white cotton and buried him next to the shrine of Imam Ali, the founder of their Shiite creed.

On Sunday we witnessed an act of collective courage by an estimated 8 million Iraqis as they faced down terrorist threats of death and mayhem to vote in Iraq's first multi-party election in half a century.

But the election day story of Amar is from the other side of human behaviour - in a region where too many have knowingly volunteered for an explosive death in the name of their god. He was chosen because he didn't know.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 2, 2005 12:00 AM
Comments

Wait, I'm not sure yet whether it's progress or not. Were any animals hurt?

Posted by: Peter Singer at February 2, 2005 9:16 AM

Detestable enough to send willing adults on such a "mission," but this is just one step away from strapping bombs onto toddlers, or in occupied baby carriages (which is also a good thought to share with anyone complaining about random searches at airports).

Not sure why you feel the need to bring Peter Singer in on this. He merely makes detestable statements. One wonders if he'd have the "courage" of his "convictions," such as they are, needed to put infanticide or euthanasia into practice. I could just as well point out that had Amar simply thrown the bomb into the voting center, and had it been in Texas, our current administration would happily have him sentenced to death anyway. Purely tangential, and probably unfair, but just as relevant, just as pithy, and just as exploitive of poor Amar, whose story deserves to keep its original context.

Posted by: M. Bulger at February 2, 2005 3:51 PM

M:

He's the conscience of the Left.

Posted by: oj at February 2, 2005 10:02 PM
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