Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Crime Victim?

It seems Ohio has decided that the war in Iraq is a war on crime. Ohio’s military servicemen and women injured or killed in the line of military duty are now eligible to receive state grant money from the Ohio Victims of Crime Fund. I am quite sympathetic to the gesture aimed at helping the families that have lost loved ones in the Iraq conflict, and I do not question the good-hearted intent. But recharacterizing the war in Iraq so that being Killed In Action now makes you a victime of crime raises some troubling issues. It’s not as if the grantees were the victims of "war crimes." They were tragically KIA by enemy combatants engaged in guerilla, urban warfare, and just as the military does not honor civilian (or even police) victims and heros with Purple Hearts and Silver Stars, I’m not sure I understand why the U.S. military should be awarded civilian money slated for alleviating the agony of all-too-common street crime. I could be wrong on this, but blurring the lines between civilian and military, and war and street crime doesn’t strike me as helpful. Replacing "Killed In Action" with "Homicide" on the death certificate of a soldier slain in combat may actually devalue the true nature of his ultimate sacrifice.

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