Is Our Empathy Killing Us?

How we may be encouraging insurgents' bloody tactics

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The war was an unmitigated disaster, but here's a scary thought: This ongoing death-obsessed debate about the war is also proving disastrous for Iraqis. Through our fevered debates about risk, fear, injury and death, we have shown the insurgents how to hit us where it hurts—by killing people. We have made injury and fatality into the currency of the conflict, and effectively given a green light to the insurgents to continue killing civilians if they want to make a big impact on the our frail and risk-averse consciousness. Our bombs killed; now our humanity kills.

Brendan O'Neill is deputy editor of spiked in London. His journalism is archived at

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