Who are the bad guys?

Listening to a news report this morning I heard a quote from a newly-trained Afghanistani policeman about “fighting the bad guys from the next village”. That was the final straw. The term “bad guys” has crept into all our discussions about international affairs and nuclear weapons. Even our presidents have taken to calling our enemies, both the ones we are fighting in wars and those with whom we differ in ideology, “the bad guys”. Anyone who has read history knows that enemies in one war often become friends in the next. A country whose political system we dislike is not a country filled with “bad guys”. It’s a country filled with normal human beings who have ideas that may be wrong or unjust or uninformed. They may be our enemies, but that doesn’t make them demons. Calling a temporary enemy a “bad guy” is the habit of six-year-olds on school playgrounds. It’s about time our government leaders and our media start speaking adult English and stop using schoolyard taunts. Come on everyone, let’s grow up!

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