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How to Think about the Death of Innocents in War

In this episode of New Ideal Live, and in the context of ongoing events in Israel and Gaza, Onkar Ghate and Elan Journo discuss how to think about civilian casualties in war.

Among the topics covered:

  • Why the brutal nature of war should not be sanitized, glamorized, or whitewashed;
  • Why winning requires doing everything necessary to bring an end to the enemy’s military and political leadership;
  • How Hamas uses its subjects as human shields, hoping to deter Israel from defending itself and turn wider opinion against Israel;
  • How to think about the moral and causal responsibility of civilians for the aggression of their government;
  • Why a proper concern for innocent people and allies in enemy territory cannot jeopardize overall war aims;
  • Why it’s important not to think of war as a kind of legal punishment for criminal behavior;
  • That Hamas’s goal is not freedom for Palestinians but the annihilation of Israel and the establishment of a religious dictatorship;
  • Why it’s wrong to apply a standard of “proportionality” to military actions taken in self-defense;
  • How altruism causes observers to put emotional reactions to images of suffering above concerns with justice and self-defense;
  • Why Israel and the West’s appeasement of evil makes them partly culpable for the attacks they now face.

Relevant to the discussion is “Ayn Rand on the Death of Innocents in War,” a recently released video on the ARI YouTube page, which documents Rand’s extemporaneous comments on the issue of civilian casualties in war.

This episode was broadcast live on October 18, 2023. Listen to the discussion below. Listen and subscribe from your mobile device on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotify or Stitcher. Watch archived podcasts here.

Podcast audio:


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