The Corner

An Odd Idea

Would the world have been a better place if Henry Tandey had killed Cpl. Adolf Hitler when he lay bleeding on the ground during World War I? Well, sure. Presumably the world would have been just as much a better place if someone had killed Hitler a decade or two before. But we have good reasons for not killing defenseless, wounded enemies, or children, and those moral norms are thankfully not held hostage to soothsaying.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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