Man-Made Evil

When the President spoke of "man-made evil" last night, he was referring to international terrorism, but I couldn't help wondering if there was any other kind. There is no evil in the natural world, as animals lack forethought. A hyena munching on a gazelle isn't the same thing, no matter how nastily he eviscerates said beast, so evil is our species' alone. Makes me wonder: does Bush understand the nature of evil at all (i.e. that the capacity for it resides, in varying degrees, within us all)? Does he think that by naming evil he's exempted from its definitions?

I've always been stunned by this guy's hypocrisy: Iran, Iraq and North Korea are the Axis of Evil, yet he's rabid about killing up to 260,000 people in Iraq, seemingly to get access to their oil. Out of one side of his mouth comes words like: our "conviction leads us into the world to help the afflicted and defend the peace," yet he's approved a military tactic called "Shock and Awe," in which the US aims to shatter the people of Iraq "physically, emotionally and psychologically." In the plan, the US will rain down some 800 cruise missiles in two days--as much as was dropped during the entire 40-day Persian Gulf War I. (A modern-day Guernica, some say.) If this terror campaign against civilians--based on little or no evidence of UN resolution breaches--isn't "man-made evil," what is?

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