Thursday, April 7, 2005

Bulldozing the Innocent

Remember Rachel Corrie? She died in Israel, protesting the demolition of "Palestinian" homes, after being run down by a bulldozer.

Now, her family is suing Caterpillar, the manufacturer of the bulldozers used in the demolition.

The complaint alleged Caterpillar was a party to "war crimes; aiding and abetting extrajudicial killing; cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment; wrongful death; and negligence."

In its investigation, Israel concluded Corrie's death was an accident and that the driver of the bulldozer did not see her. The probe said a slab of concrete slid down a mound of earth and crushed her.

Ms. Corrie went to Israel by choice. She involved herself in the "Palestinians' plight" by choice. She went to a dangerous place and waded knee-deep into the thick of things, by choice. She was negligent of her own safety, and acted in an extremely stupid and irresponsible fashion, by choice. And she lost her life not in protecting the lives of peaceful people. No, she threw her life away while protesting the destruction of buildings. I'm not aware of any actual evidence pointing toward foul play in her death.

I understand her family is grief-stricken. I understand that they are angry. But suing Caterpillar is asinine. There's no justice in it. It's just like suing Smith and Wesson, when a criminal shoots someone with a weapon the company manufactured. It's just like suing cigarette companies, after the death of a loved one who smoked two packs a day for twenty-five years. It's just like suing Little Debbie, after a relative eats a box of oatmeal cream pies each day for years, until his heart literally explodes from the cholesterol overload.

This is drawing a bead on whoever happens to make a nice target. Besides hurting those who were not complicit in Ms. Corrie's death, it accomplishes nothing. Oh, sure, they might pick up a nice hefty wad of cash, in the settlement. But they've traded principle and justice for the greenbacks.

Personal responsibility has gone the way of the dinosaur. It's abdication very well may lead to an extinct nation.

No comments: