Over the past six months or so I have observed a issue in the media, on blogs and bulletin boards and at debates that everyone seems to agree is unspeakably evil.
Yes it is Suicide Bombers.
The very mention of this in any fora will lead to a collective tut tut and universal unqualified condemnation.
I have heard Republicans proud of the Irish ingenuity in IEDs sneer at the primitivism of suicide bombers, wingnuts in the same breath as celebrating the dropping of 2,000 pound JADMs in civilian areas coil in horror at the ruthlessness of suicide bombers, serious sociologists dismissing the phenomena to brainwashing and psychologists telling lurid tales of 21 virgins.
Even in rooms with the most adversarial groups gathered you can be fairly sure the one thing they will all agree on is the depravity, irrationality, cruelty and wickedness of suicide bombing as a weapon of war. From the SWP to the PDs, Democrat to Republican, Unionist to Stoopy, Blueshirts to Shinners a funnel of thought develops one powerful enough to stifle any individual dissidentism.
The modern suicide bomber appeared in the early 80's in Sri Lanka as part of the struggle for a homeland by the LTTE. Popping up in Lebanon, it was employed by a variety of non-state armed groups until today it has developed into a serious weapon by mainly Islamic groups.
But we are not allowed to counter any suggestions that the usage of suicide bombers is a legitimate military tactic when used against military targets. I have a moral problem with the targeting of civilians in any conflict but if a young Iraqi/Tamil/Chechen guerrilla is so committed to their cause and so frustrated by their enemy that they are willing to sacrifice their own life to attack a military target then I acknowledge their bravery and I accept their decision to be informed and rational.
To me the major difference in a 20 year old acne ridden suicide bomber called Ali attacking a patrol of soldiers in Fallujah and a 20 years old acne ridden helicopter gunner called Alan attacking a group of Iraqi guerrillas in Fallujah is that Ali is the braver soldier.
After all suicide bombing is used only as weapon of last resort, although tactically one of the fundamentalists has spoken about it being 'most efficient', and I suspect would inevitably be used by any defending army facing an enemy with far superior technology, communications and weaponry.
I feel we need a variant of Godwins law so when in an debate about the Middle East or Iraq the first person to mention suicide bombers automatically forfeits the argument. Naturally it should be named Hensons Law.
This should cut through the moral posturing and assist with developing meaningful dialogue.
A related link.