Reasonable Distinctions

I hear lots of people say that this or that is not consistent with “our” values. They say harsh interrogation methods, even if they help uncover terrorist plots, are not consistent with “our” values. Shooting Osama bin Laden may be, but people like Noam Chomsky and Michael Moore are not sure. I don’t know which of “our” they are talking about. Saving innocent Americans is consistent with my values, but when I hear Chomsky, Moore or even Jimmy Carter talk, much of what they say is not consistent with my values.

There are some articles about Noam Chomsky and others. It seems that guys like Chomsky, Moore and even our esteemed former president Jimmy Carter have spoken in support of truly horrible dictators whose whole life is not consistent with “our” values.

If you don’t want to read these articles, all you have to do is walk around a college campus and notice the posters of Che Guevara. After many decades, that perverted, homicidal maniac still appears on T-shirts and posters. Of course most people wearing those things are ignorant about the man portrayed, but certainly this goes against “our” values. This is a man who tortured innocent people to death in the service of a tyrannical ideology and reportedly just plain enjoyed it.

If you believe in “tolerating” Castro, Chavez, Daniel Ortega, Robert Mugabe or Kim Jong Il, you believe in tolerating torture and murder on a grand scale. If you accept that Mao or Lenin where “strong men” who sometimes did what was “necessary,” you believe in it on an industrial scale. None of these guys shared our values.

The problem is that our world is full of evil people and evil ideologies. I know that some don’t like to use those words. Such people say that judging others is not consistent with “our” values. I understand that an important part of intelligence is the capacity to make reasonable distinction. As an intelligent person judging is consistent with my values, so I guess whatever club that Chomsky, Carter & Moore belong to will accept various dictators but won’t let people like me in. They would say that I don't share "their values."

But whether or not you call them evil, there exist in our world people who are willing to kill innocent people in furtherance of their goals. They cannot be brought around by our logic. Bin Laden was one of them. He was still angry over the “Andalusia debacle.” I didn’t know what he was talking about, so I looked it up. He was referring to 1492 when the Moors were expelled from Spain. How can you placate a guy like that? You can’t. There is no compromise.


President Obama did the right thing when he sent the SEALS after bin Laden, even if Noam Chomsky and Michael Moore think it was a crime and did not represent “our” values. Chomsky & Moore are the ones that don’t represent “our” values. Where do these fringe guys get off telling us about morality? These clowns represent themselves and a few weirdos. They may be ashamed of people like me and I return the feeling. I am ashamed that Chomsky is honored, or that Moore is respected and I am certainly ashamed that I voted for Jimmy Carter in my first election. They don’t represent the values of most Americans. My values are different and better.

BTW – President Obama recently several victims of waterboarding, every one of whom volunteered to have it done.

Posted by Christine & John at May 9, 2011 10:20 PM
Comments
Comment #323037


Qaddafi goes from axis of evil to Bush ally in 3.5 seconds.

The Saudi Royal Family of dictators.

And who could forget those newest best buddies of conservatives, the Communist Chinese.

There is one thing that conservatives are better at and that is moralizing.

Our governments tolerance of dictators is dependent on their usefulness to our corporations.

Posted by: jlw at May 10, 2011 12:04 AM
Comment #323039

I would really love to go to whatever college campus you visit on a regular basis to see these tea shirt for my own eyes. Your making it sound like more then even 1% of college kids wear these t-shirts. Now I know some are for Karl Marx, but that is not the same as the others you have listed. Which should be denounced.

Most people permit the killing of innocents, and they generally justify it by saying they are not innocent. It takes so little to prove this, because it is so easy to care. It just takes effort to do it for a long time. It is as little as people who drink and drive. You might not think these people are evil. But they are. They don’t care about others, sure they will profess that they do, but they don’t. I’m sure if I were to seat down over some tea, I could find something that would make you evil also. We are all evil, the challenge is “fighting” it every day for not just yourself, but others as well. The closest I can come to this if you are christian is sin and being “born” with it.

Posted by: Kudos at May 10, 2011 12:28 AM
Comment #323060

Tolerating? Look, unless international law has changed, we don’t got attacking other countries unless and until they attack us.

And if you do intrude on somebody’s sovereignty? Well, you better have a good plan, because the alternative to that is an international incident at your country’s expense at the very least.

I think your beating up on Chomsky and the like is rather boring. If these people were half as influential as their ability to attract attention would lead you to believe, Bush would have never gotten a second term.

The problem is, with the Democratic Party, most of the more extreme ideologues in the party will be talked down and pushed back, while with the Republicans all the jokers in the deck are getting dealt out. It’s a good thing you can embarrass us with the less attractive members of our party.

The question is, are you embarrassed enough by the extremists in your own?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 10, 2011 4:45 PM
Comment #323069

Re moralizing – actually I am doing the opposite here. I hear that harsh interrogation goes against “our” values, even if it saves lives. I am just saying that my values are not that strict.

I am taking a strictly pragmatic and even PC approach. I accept that some people might feel aggrieved against my country and want to kill American civilians. I would try to find the “root” cause of their hatred and change it, but if it is practically impossible to placate them, I would advocate crushing them if possible. I a content when they are removed from the battlefield.

Jlw & Kudos

So you guys agree with me that we need to judge, but you feel that some people should be judged differently.

Kudos

I am speaking specifically of the Che posters and t-shirts, which still appear and are rarely denounced.

Re Karl Marx – many young people like Marx. There is an old saying, variously attributed, that if you are not a socialist when you are twenty, you have no heart, but if you are still one when you are forty, you have no brain. Marx appeals to sophomore especially. Usually a little more experience finished that off.

Jlw

You have to define “ally” a little more precisely. If you mean by “ally” trying to approach a normal relationship, then every country in the world, with the exceptions of a few places like Cuba, North Korea and Iran are currently “allies.” This means that your definition does not make reasonable distinctions, since in includes almost all the world.

With people like Khadafy or Saddam, we occasionally went from active hostility to a modus Vivendi, but the word ally never applied to either of them except in the very broad and meaningless sense you applied.

Re conservatives supporting China – I think you have also fallen into the lack of reasonable distinction category. People frequently denounce the Chinese human rights record, their pollution and general aggressiveness in economic. I personally have sometimes done this at Watchblog. Usually I get a lot of push back from our liberal colleagues. In any case, there is a distinction between recognizing the reality of having to deal with someone and “supporting” them.

Stephen

Chomsky was an important linguist. He is a prime example of a guy who is a genius in one subject and an abject idiot in most others. I mention him, Moore and Carter because they are all the sorts of guys who were good at something and then their fame allows them to spread idiotic ideas in other places.

re popularity - of course they are not mainstream. But they are indeed respected by many liberals. You always enjoy pointing to weird conservatives and calling them mine. Well, these guys are yours.

We have an interesting difference. When you point to weird conservatives, I don’t mind saying that I don’t think they are right or that their ideas are stupid. You will never do that, will you.

Let’s ask it plainly. Recognizing that Chomsky, Moore & Carter had some good ideas in the past, don’t you think that their current ideas are rather stupid?

Or are you attacking President Obama too for violating Pakistan’s sovereignty & executing bin Laden. Read the background material. Crazy Noam was NOT talking about Bush.

Posted by: C&J at May 10, 2011 8:24 PM
Comment #323082


C&J, judgement is not in our realm. Capital makes most of the decisions for us and follows or precedes those judgements with the propaganda to support their judgements.

Capital sees so much of what it wants in China that it is willing to sacrifice America’s position in the world to achieve it.

They don’t ask for our opinions, they tell us what our opinions should be.

Were the American people allowed to make the decision on NAFTA or the Chinese Trade Agreements. NO! Capital bought both political parties to insure that their legislation would pass no matter which party was in power.

Stephen put it quite well, anyone who disagrees is marginalized.

Posted by: jlw at May 11, 2011 10:32 AM
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