Friday, July 21, 2006

What's With the Left's Broken Moral Compass?

As a courtesy to you leftists out there--both of you--I’m warning you not to read beyond this point. You literally won’t understand what we are talking about, and you’ll just overreact and be pissed off again at your poor old Gagdad. While you will undoubtedly disagree with what we say, you literally won’t understand what we (including the comments to come) are talking about. Folly to the Greeks, and all that. We’re not really talking about you anyway. Rather, we’re talking more about an impersonal spiritual movement on the earth-plane of consciousness that you and your thoughts are caught up in. You cannot see the plane for the same reason why the fish doesn’t know that it lives in water. Being that I and many readers used to swim there, we know all about those murky waters, and even Who fished us out.

Anyway, on Dennis Prager’s radio show yesterday, he asked an interesting question. Unfortunately, I arrived at my destination before I could hear the answer, but he was wondering why it is that the moral compass of the international Left is so fundamentally broken. Does socialist thought break the compass, or does one have to have a broken moral compass to begin with in order to embrace socialism?

Of course, the world is filled with moral ambiguity. But Prager was making specific reference to one of the most morally clear issues of our day, that is, the moral gulf between Israel and her diabolical enemies. Why are conservatives able to see so very clearly that Hizballah is evil and that Israel has every right to eliminate it from the face of the earth? Please, this is not an exercise in moral preening. I’m not patting myself on the back for being able to make such a rudimentary moral distinction. I'm just very thankful that someone is taking out the garbage for me and for the rest of mankind.

But the Left, as a whole, is absolutely unable to make this distinction--presumably because they genuinely do not see it. Because of America’s fundamental decency, our own anti-Semitic Left (which, ironically, includes many Semites, another riddle pointed out by Prager) is not nearly as bad as the international Left, but still, it’s here. Charles at LGF has been running a series he calls “Protocols of the Daily Kos,” with many choice examples of crude anti-Semitism from America’s most popular left-wing website--you know, the one that regards me as the Most Obnoxious Man In AmeriKKKa. To them I say: “Hey buddy, who are you calling Jewish?!”

Here are a few loathsome examples provided by Charles: “OK, so Israel has terrorized half a million people out of their homes to run for their lives, shooting them as they flee to other countries?”

“Israel has imprisoned people without ever charging them for decades at a time, and engage in torture and apartheid as state policy.... Israel ignores the UN’s attempts at peaceful resolution.... Israel consistently violates the sovereignty of it’s neighbors..... Why isn’t the American media and and administration talking about invading Israel?”

“Is Israel trying to give the US an excuse to invade Syria and Iran? To paraphrase, as Prof. Chomsky says--’Is Ford and Chrysler involved in a conspiracy to sell cars?’”

“Israel owns America lock, stock and barrel. They dictate what the United States will do and when it will do it. Our politicians are only too happy to do whatever is asked of them, no matter what the cost is to the United States or its people.”

In other words, we are controlled by.... THE JEWS!

Even as bland a mainstream liberal knucklehead as Richard Cohen of the Washington Post could write last week that the creation of Israel was a “historical mistake,” blaming it for “a century of warfare and terrorism of the sort we are seeing now. Israel fights Hizbollah in the north and Hamas in the south, but its most formidable enemy is history itself.” Wouldn’t it be a more interesting question to ask--if we are going to ask sweeping counterfactual and hypothetical historical questions--whether Islam was a mistake? Seriously, imagine what the world would be like if only Islam didn’t exist. Would it be a better or worse place? I'm just asking, Abdul, so keep those damn thoughts of yours out of my head. But what would happen if Cohen had asked this question in his column? Perhaps he would learn a valuable personal lesson in the moral gulf between Israel and her enemies.

If America only sides with Israel because it is controlled by the Jews, how does one account for the fact that conservatives in other parts of the world see the situation as clearly as we do, e.g., John Howard in Australia or Stephen Harper in Canada?

Yesterday a typically clueless reporter asked the great John Bolton, our ambassador to the Turtle Bay Crime Family, to break it all down for him (via powerline): “... It is more and more apparent now that many... are accusing the U.S. and the Security Council of being the obstacle to a real ceasefire immediately... Could you explain in a couple words what is really your position about this?”

Bolton’s priceless response: “Well look, I think we could have a cessation of hostilities immediately if Hizballah would stop terrorizing innocent civilians and give up the kidnapped Israeli soldiers. So that to the extent this crisis continues, the cause is Hizbollah. How you get a ceasefire between one entity, which is a government of a democratically elected state on the one hand, and another entity on the other which is a terrorist gang, no one has yet explained.... Are there any activities that Hizballah engages in, militarily that are legitimate? I don’t think so. All of its activities are terrorist and all of them are illegitimate, so I don’t see the balance or the parallelism between the two sides and therefore I think it’s a very fundamental question: how a terrorist group agrees to a ceasefire.... How do you hold a terrorist group accountable? Who runs the terrorist group? Who makes the commitment that a terrorist group will abide by a ceasefire? What does a terrorist group think a ceasefire is? These are--you can use the words ‘cessation of hostilities’ or ‘truce’ or ‘ceasefire.’ Nobody has yet explained how a terrorist group and a democratic state come to a mutual ceasefire.”


Back to the question before the Cosmos: why is the moral compass of the Left so broken? Why can they not see the obvious? I’ve written on this in the past, and to my mind, the philosopher Michael Polanyi has provided the most satisfactory answer. I remember the first time I read it, perspiring, trembling, and vigorously nodding in agreement at his metaphysical insight. (Real Truth is felt throughout the entire bodymind.)

People typically think that the Right represents the party of sanctimonious, judgmental morality police, while the Left is the hang-loose, live-and-let-live crowd. Not so. In fact, this is an exact reversal of the situation. The philosopher Michael Polanyi pointed out that what distinguishes leftist thought in all its forms is the dangerous combination of a ruthless contempt for traditional moral values with an unbounded moral passion for utopian perfection. (This is all explained very clearly in a nice introduction to Polanyi’s thought, entitled Everyman Revived.)

The first step in this process is a complete skepticism that rejects traditional ideals of moral authority and transcendent moral obligation. This materialistic skepticism is then combined with a boundless, utopian moral fervor to transform mankind. However, being that the moral impulse remains in place, there is no longer any boundary or channel for it. One sees this, for example, in college students (and those permanent college students known as professors) who, in attempting to individuate from parental authority and define their own identities, turn their intense skepticism against existing society, denouncing it as morally shoddy, artificial, hypocritical, and a mere mask for oppression and exploitation. In other words, as the philosopher Voegelin explained it, the religious hope for a better afterlife is “immamentized” into the present, expressing the same faith but in wholly horizontal and materialistic and terms.

What results is a moral hatred of existing society and the resultant alienation of the postmodern leftist intellectual. Having condemned the distinction between good and evil as dishonest, such an individual can at least find pride in the “honesty” of their condemnation. Since ordinary decent behavior can never be safe against suspicion of sheer conformity or downright hypocrisy, only an amoral meaningless act can assure complete authenticity. This is why, to a leftist, the worst thing you can call someone is a hypocrite, whereas authentic depravity is celebrated in art, music, film, and literature. It is why, for example, leftist leaders all over the world were eager to embrace a nihilistic mass murderer such as Yasser Arafat--literally. Yuck.

All emotionally mature people understand that sexuality, for example, can be a dangerous and destructive force when unhinged from any moral framework. But few people seem to understand that the same type of destruction can occur when the moral impulse is detached from its traditional framework. We can see the deadly combination of these two--“skepticism and moral passion,” or “burning moral fervor with hatred of existing society”--in every radical secular revolution since the French Revolution--from the Bolsheviks to nazi Germany to campus unrest in the 1960s. If society has no divine sanction but is made by man, men can and must perfect society now, while all opposition must be joyfully crushed--with moral sanction, of course.

Although Polanyi was describing communism and fascism, the same formulation equally applies to the Islamists, who detest everything about modernity and are convinced that the total destruction of existing society and the establishment of their own unlimited power will bring total happiness and harmony to humanity. Again, this must be sharply distinguished from the Judeo-Christian tradition, which holds that fallen mankind can never bring this transformation about on its own. Rather, this type of perfection is discussed only in eschatological or messianic terms, something each individual most work toward. The moral imperative to do this cannot be shifted to the collective.

You often hear it said (in the MSM) that suicide bombers are not immoral, that they are simply operating out of a different moral code. This only highlights the point that, just because you have a moral code, by no means does it mean that you are moral. In fact, the moral code may be entirely corrupt, in that it allows one to behave immorally, all the while being sanctioned by the code itself. This is similar to primitive societies that operate “logically” within a cognitive system that itself is illogical. These primitive individuals can reason perfectly well within the idiom of their beliefs, but they cannot reason outside or against their beliefs because they have no other idiom in which to express their thoughts. Logic doesn't help; it can prove anything, so long as the conclusion follows its premise. If the premise is faulty, then so too will be the conclusion. Likewise, if I believe that murdering infidels will gain me instant access to heaven, it is perversely logical and thoroughly “moral” under such a system to murder infidels.

One can be so enmeshed in the system that, for example, a woman might confess to having ruined her neighbor's crops through witchcraft, just as a a university administrator may confess to crimes against womankind for uttering a banal truth that is forbidden in the cognitively closed, tribal system of the contemporary feminist Ovary Tower. The intellect no longer serves Truth, but is in the service of the ideological superstructure, so that freedom of thought is bound by the confines of the system---by political or academic correctness.

For a while, civilization was able to withstand the skepticism unleashed by the enlightenment, by benefitting from the momentum of the traditional moral framework that gave rise to science to begin with (for example, the use of our God-given free will in pursuit of objective truth in a rational world made so by a beneficent creator who wished for us to know him through his works). But this could only go on for a few generations before it began detaching itself from the religious morality that underlie it. Since no Christian society can ever live up to its ideals, it wasn’t difficult for the skeptics to begin the process of hammering away at the foundations of tradition.

Similarly, for a while, America escaped this destruction because it had a very different intellectual genealogy, having been much more influenced by the skeptical enlightenment of Britain and Scotland rather than the radical enlightenment of France. In addition, America never lost touch with its Judeo-Christian ideals, which inspired individuals to to work to improve and humanize society without violent disruption of traditional ways or heavy-handed government intervention.

Since we see only “through a glass, darkly,” sometimes Truth is most conspicuous in its absence. With rare exceptions, we cannot see Truth “face to face” under the conditions of human existence. But we can see evil face to face, just as we can see the palpable consequences of the absence of Truth, both in individuals and institutions. I think about Polanyi’s simple formulation every time I wade into the left-wing blogosphere. The utterly sad and destructive cynicism. And the boundless moral fervor. Its mantra is “dissent is the highest form of patriotism.” For it is purely mindless and reactionary: no digestion at all, just chewing up and spitting out, repeated ad bulimeum. In short, one is not enough and a hundred is too many when you partake of the Satanic Eucharist of primordial envy.


UPDATE: You must see Dr. Sanity's simple moral Rorschach Test. Seriously, I believe a 10 year old would be able to easily pass the test, whereas the typical leftist professor would struggle mightily to comprehend its meaning, which speaks volumes about the moral corruption of academia.

While you're at it, another brilliantly lucid diagnosis by Dr. Sanity.


Blogger The Bunnies said...

"Similarly, for a while, America escaped this destruction because it had a very different intellectual genealogy, having been much more influenced by the skeptical enlightenment of Britain and Scotland rather than the radical enlightenment of France. In addition, America never lost touch with its Judeo-Christian ideals, which inspired individuals to to work to improve and humanize society without violent disruption of traditional ways or heavy-handed government intervention."

This is undoubtedly true, but does anyone have any thoughts as to why this is so? Some might find it ironic that our more skeptical traditions led to a far more faith-oriented society in the long run. I have my own theories, but I would love to hear others.

7/21/2006 08:53:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I think it's because they were rightfully skeptical of the outrageous, intemperate, and even intoxicated claims of the radical enlightenment. Rodney Stark does a good, if somewhat polemical, job of correcting the historical record and demonstrating how the emergence of modern science was thoroughly rooted in specifically Judeo-Christian religious ideals.

7/21/2006 09:01:00 AM  
Blogger Tamara said...

Last night I caught the last half hour or so of the movie 'Kinsey,' starring Liam Neeson as the famed sex researcher.

The film portrayed him in a very sympathetic light, and laid out exactly the dichotomy you describe. Opponents of his research on Americans' sexual practices are portrayed as prudish, uptight, and hypocritical. Kinsey is portrayed as a visionary who wants to liberate people from the shackles of a Puritanical, anti-sex morality.

Oddly, instead of finding the movie uplifting, I was totally creeped out by it. Kinsey came across to me as a disturbed individual who was using his research to validate his own sexual deviance.

The film, inintentionally, provides an example of a broken moral compass.

7/21/2006 10:53:00 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

This is the sound of one hand clapping! Brave-issimo!

7/21/2006 10:55:00 AM  
Blogger The Bunnies said...

"Quills" starring Geoffrey Rush gave me the same feeling you got from Kinsey. The Marquis de Sade as a pioneer for liberty?

Anyhow, to be totally off-topic, I recently saw "The Great Raid" and was flabbergasted to find not even a hint of moral equivalence between the US and the Japanese during WW II. It unreservedly portrayed them as the bad guys, and us as noble, quite unlike "The Thin Red Line" which was entirely about the "tragedy of war."

7/21/2006 11:02:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Or how about The People vs. Larry Flynt?

Larry Flynt, crusader for freedom? I don't think so. As Dirty Harry said, "You're just a maggot who sells dirty pictures."

7/21/2006 11:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Lasch 2.0 said...

Quills and Kinsey are both profoundly perverse movies. Both incidentally are the creations of gay men who, on a conscious level, reject the shallowness of gay culture and long for something more meaningful. But their unconscious shines through in these creations. We watch as Kinsey abuses and humiliates others and destroys boundaries -- a slightly more evolved Marquis de Sade -- and then suffer the idealization of this destruction. All in the name of "art," all in the name of "liberation," "pleasure."

As a gay man, I began to question the postmodern left when it valorized Foucault, who was willing to deconstruct everything except pleasure itself. It didn't seem to matter to these gay academics I knew -- who consciously professed to care deeply about the AIDS crisis -- that Foucault remained in the closet and died of AIDS, and was fond of sadomasochistic sex.

The postmodern academic left wanted to show how everything was constructed by dominant ideology -- except perversion! Perversion was a subversive attack on oppressive patriarchy and therefore civilization's only hope. Even death became idealized as resistance.

The sadness, the emptiness, the loneliness of the filmmakers is unmissable to any sensitive viewer, as it was to me as a gay man in the early 90s in New York City beginning to discover in psychoanalysis an antidote to the perverse rationalizations of the death drive I was seeing in the supposed "geniuses" teaching me. The great achievement of psychoanalysis is that it has INVESTIGATED rather than IDEALIZED the hate and death that are a part of us. But those who are in love with truth tend to lack the manic, irrational drive to seduce others to their point of view. Hollywood and the academy are full of narcissists who want nothing more than to impose their ideas on the impressionable.

7/21/2006 11:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Lasch 2.0 said...

In my above post, I meant to write, "All in the name of 'science'" in the case of Kinsey (science in quotes because what he did clearly does not measure up to scientific standards, something apparent even to a novice). My slip replacing "art" probably has to do with what I witness in my own community of artists, where perversion is idealized as if it somehow allows for the creation of a deeper art (of course, obviously the opposite is the case).

7/21/2006 11:25:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...


Those are some brilliant and subtle insights. You are a rare bird. Are you extinct, or are there others?

7/21/2006 11:30:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...


For your reading non-pleasure, a while back we had a lengthy discussion of some of the matters you touch on:

7/21/2006 11:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Lasch 2.0 said...

Thanks, Gagdad Bob -- I will catch up on these posts this weekend!

7/21/2006 12:09:00 PM  
Anonymous jwm said...

"We will fight terror wherever it is because if we do not fight it, it will fight us. If we don't reach it, it will reach us,"

This from an Israeli general, Dan Harutz, sums up the world, and the war in a sentence. (OK, two sentences)

Moslems and leftists protest against Israel. I wonder what the peace n' love crowd finds admirable about islam.


7/21/2006 12:31:00 PM  
Anonymous jwm said...

Gen "Halutz"


7/21/2006 12:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Bob.

Wow! What a wonderful review of the insanity that has gripped us. I am a physician-pediatric ER- and I have to deal daily with the ravages of this sick, immoral thought. My God! Thanks for giving a logical and intelligent rebuttal to the insanity of this generation.

7/21/2006 01:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

*This is coming from someone you would probably characterize has leftist.

Israel of course has the right to fight Hizbollah.

What Israel does not have the right to is indiscriminate killing of civilians. Whole villages in Lebanon have been flattened and hundreds of thousands of Lebanese have become refugees. Israel's assault on airports, power plants, and other essential civilian infrastructure has brought incredible suffering onto an entire nation. This is collective punishment on an entire nation for the actions of a relatively small paramilitary group.

I believe you have set up a false dichotomy. Either you completely support everything Israel does or you support Hizbollah. While I wholeheartedly agree that Israel has the right to defend itself, it's methods in this case are morally disgusting.

7/21/2006 03:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please. It is not "collective punishment." It is simply what happens--and what should happen--to the Hizballah supporters who dominate south Lebanon and allow Hizballah to flourish in their midst.

The cause of any innocent suffering is 100% the fault of the terrorists, just as cause of innocent Germans that were killed in WWII was 100% the fault of the Nazis.

If Hizballah gives back the kidnapped soldiers and stops attacking Israel, Israel will stop defending itself. It's as simple as that. It takes a perverted conscience to see it otherwise.

7/21/2006 03:51:00 PM  
Blogger The Bunnies said...

Would you also describe it at "morally disgusting" to shoot missiles from civilian areas so that when Israel retaliates more civilians will die and people like you will get mad only at Israel?

If you want people to take you seriously, then criticize terrorists once in a while, too, without being cornered or prompted.

7/21/2006 04:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Would you also describe it at "morally disgusting" to shoot missiles from civilian areas so that when Israel retaliates more civilians will die and people like you will get mad only at Israel?"

Yes, of course. Sorry for taking it for granted that Hizbollah is scum. Perhaps from now on I will sign every reply with "I THINK HEZBOLLAH'S TERRORIST TACTICS ARE MONSTROUS AND I WHOLEHEARTEDLY CONDEMN THE ORGANIZATION, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER OR NOT I EXPLICITLY SAID SO IN THIS POST."

These are apartment buildings in Beirut. What possible military utility did they have?

Entire neighborhoods, as well as power plants, bridges, and other essential infrastructure have been destroyed. The amount of destruction Israel has unleashed on the defenseless civilian population of Lebanon is staggering. This does not in anyway justify Hezbollah's attacks on civilians, but they are no less excessive and, to be honest. morally reprehensible.

7/21/2006 04:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The last sentence in my comment came out wrong. I meant to say that Israel's attacks do not justify Hezbollah's terrorism, but that they are still wrong. Damn proofreading.

7/21/2006 04:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We can see the deadly combination of these two--“skepticism and moral passion,” or “burning moral fervor with hatred of existing society”--in every radical secular revolution since the French Revolution--from the Bolsheviks to nazi Germany to campus unrest in the 1960s.

In my experience, every Utopian revolutionary dream society -- from the French Revolution's "Republic of Perfect Virtue" to Star Trek's Federation to all the fanboy masturbations inflicted on me at SF cons -- has two elements in common:
Atheism and Total Sexual Freedom (TM).

7/21/2006 05:08:00 PM  
Blogger The Bunnies said...

To the self-described anonymous left-leaning individual:

I know that Bob thinks there's no point to this, but I'm doing it more for me than for anonymous.

After endless diatribes about how awful America, Bush, and Israel are, most leftists, when pushed will concede, "Of course Osama/Kim Jong Il/Hezbollah/etc. are bad" before rambling on for another hour about the evils of Cheney and Halliburton.

Yes, I've heard versions of your disclaimer a hundred times before, but the fact of the matter is, although you say you condemn Hezbollah, you reserved all of your unprompted criticism for Israel. I'm sure you also disapprove of Osama bin Laden and Kim Jong Il, but I suspect that what they do wrong only crosses your mind when somebody confronts you and corners you with it.

Some of us are tired of hearing about how awful things like Haditha are from those who can't even waste a breath criticizing those who behead journalists (of course I think that's wrong, but BUSH HALLIBURTON blah, blah, blah...) Some of us are tired of Israel being blamed for destroying apartment complexes from which Hezbollah probably launched missiles.

Ironically (perhaps to you, but not to me), collectively, people like you are as responsible for those civilian deaths as any Israeli plane, for if half of you spent an equal amount of time criticizing the likes of Hezbollah as you do criticizing Donald Rumsfeld, terrorists would no longer see it as advantageous to hide behind civilians and would probably stop doing it.

Countless civilians have died in Lebanon, Iraq, and elsewhere because our enemies know that when civilians die, whether they kill the civilians themselves or they force us to kill them by using them as shields, people like Anonymous will criticize Bush, Israel, and America instead of the terrorists themselves. You inspire Hezbollah and al Queada to waste innocent life.

I therefore see your blathering as nothing more than counter-productive self-righteousness. If you really cared about Lebanese civilians, you'd shut the hell up.

7/21/2006 05:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought it was taken for granted that OBL, Hezbollah, and dictators were scum. I naturally hold the United States to a much higher moral standard. I happen to think that American values are the best humanity has to offer. As an American citizen, it is my duty to speak out when I feel that the government is doing something that goes against American values.

The last part of your post is, quite frankly, horseshit.

"Ironically (perhaps to you, but not to me), collectively, people like you are as responsible for those civilian deaths as any Israeli plane, for if half of you spent an equal amount of time criticizing the likes of Hezbollah as you do criticizing Donald Rumsfeld, terrorists would no longer see it as advantageous to hide behind civilians and would probably stop doing it."

Hezbollah hides among civilians because to stand against the IDF purely on military terms would be suicide. So I and every one else in the West could criticize them all day and night for this, and it wouldn't change a thing because hiding among civilians is necessary for their organization to survive.

To hold American observers of the conflict accountable for Hezbollah's actions because they don't criticize the organization enough is ridiculous. I fully support military action against Hezbollah. My problem with Israel right now is that they seem to have declared war on the Lebanese civilian population as a whole.

7/21/2006 06:39:00 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

While you are busy holding the US to your high moral standards, please don't forget to buy some kneepads as you will be forced to be on them 5 times a day. Look on the bright side, there's always death!

Sucker! Thank God, there are less people in this country that "think" like you do! As Bob, hinted in today's post, like moths to a flame! Why is it always anonymous?

7/21/2006 06:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't have a blogger account or a website. I suppose I could start using my real name, Josh, but that's pretty common so it's the same as anonymous, anyway.

And I'll buy some kneepads once you prove to me that not killing civilians is going to result in the United States being conquered and forced to convert to Islam.

7/21/2006 07:06:00 PM  
Blogger Alan said...

Anon Josh: "Hezbollah hides among civilians because to stand against the IDF purely on military terms would be suicide. So I and every one else in the West could criticize them all day and night for this, and it wouldn't change a thing because hiding among civilians is necessary for their organization to survive. "

Help me understand your moral reasoning here? They can do anything in order for their organization to survive and that's ok? Is Israel to continue being bombarded by missiles from "civilian" areas and just take it (never mind that in most cases they have provided warning to the civilians - the exception being when they try to surprise the leaders.

Take a look at the link Bob put in his update to the post - the Rorschach test.

Please tell us what you would be doing in this case if you were Israel - specifically - not just general platitudes. How do you get deal with a missile launching facility in the midst of apartment buildings?

7/21/2006 08:31:00 PM  
Blogger gumshoe1 said...'s your problem:

"necessary for Hezbollah to survive"...

see it's humanely beneficial
for HUMANS if Hezbollah ceases to survive: Lebanese Humans,Israeli Humans,Jordanian Humans,Iranian Humans...

as several blogos have noted it is in cartoon form
so we can ALL understand:

(the flag is Palestinian,but the tactics are Hezbollah's as well...rinse, keeps getting clearer)

7/21/2006 08:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Hoarhey said...

Apparently a new facet in the Middle East conflict has emerged thanks in LARGE part to President Bush (otherwise known as "the shrub" to our resident trolls)sticking to his guns. Kofi and the rest of the corrupt scum at the U.N. have made their obligatory condemnations of the Israelis and called for immediate cessation to "their" violence. But the silence since then from the U.N. and the usual littany of terrorist abetting nations is deafening. Even the Arab League has condemned Hezbollah and sided with Israel. It seems the world is going to let Israel have at it and clean the toilet bowl. The U.S. is also rushing a shipment of precision guided munitions to Israel and not one word.
Things are definitely changing over there because of the Abraham Lincoln of the Middle East, President Bush.
Cowboy diplomacy at its finest, sorry Time Magazine.

7/22/2006 12:17:00 AM  
Blogger Kerry said...

No, no, no! Anonymous is right. Israel should be attacking Hezbollah's military bases, its air fields, its ships at sea,their uniformed soldiers, their command facilities, communications nets, the rockets hidden in neighborhoods, their military vehicles,(the white toyota pickups, the station wagons, the small sedans, the BMW's and Audi's), the tunnenls and caves built up in the last six years since Isreal pulled out of Lebanon and the Lebanonese & UN promised to rid Lebanon of Hezbollah, their 120 foot deep concrete bunkers, their fire and forget tactics, Kaytusha rockets fired from the intersection of Harez Lane & Felal Street, GPS coordinate 770.332-122.304...They should quit their daily random rocket barrages, their tunneling under the borders, their blowing up of school children, the senseless random murder which surely qualifies them as a sovereign nation, worthy of the respect of the "wretched hive of scum and villainy" which is the UN and "international opinion",their kidnapping of the brave uniformed Hezbollah soldiers, many now secretly held at the secret facilities of the Neverland Ranch, where leather clad dominatrixex are really terrorizing these terrified-of-women brave Sir Robins. Did I miss any targets?

7/22/2006 04:39:00 AM  
Anonymous Giacomo said...


You said "Hezbollah hides among civilians because to stand against the IDF purely on military terms would be suicide. So I and every one else in the West could criticize them all day and night for this, and it wouldn't change a thing because hiding among civilians is necessary for their organization to survive."

So, by virtue of having a stronger military, Israel must avoid certain confrontations because Hezbollah uses Israeli distaste for innocent deaths against them?

Where in a war is the expectation that the stronger force must hamstring their abilities because the other side won't wage "fairly"? Must Israel allow the wholesale slaughter of their own people because Hezbollah cares not for their own? Why is one side held to an impossible standard while the other is allowed to have zero standards? And why is Hezbollah's "survival" solely a function of tactics they engage in AFTER they unilaterally attack Israelis ... shouldn't they consider "survival" can be found by not atacking a military more competant than their own? Your entire flow of logic ignores the flow of events.

Unfortunately, the "choice" on whether innocents would die or not in Lebanon was made by Hezbollah ... the loss is on their hands.

7/22/2006 06:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Sal said...


7/22/2006 06:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Giacomo said...

Gagdad Bob -

Thanks for another inciteful post ...

When considering the differences between Christianity and Islam, have you given much thought (or created a post) on the impact or importance (if any) of self-sacrifice separated from personal gain (Agape, perhaps)?

The concept is vaguely swirling in my head right now, but there appeas to be a stark contrast between Christian martyrdom (out of either self-sacrifice or an unwillingness to recant their faith) and Muslim martydom which seems to emphasize personal reward and a "materialism" on the spiritual plane (some of the rewards themselves, at the expense of female virgins).

To a smaller extent, I also think this idea is paralled when observing conservatism and leftism. A sense of duty or honor as compared to a sense of indignation or outrage ... or something like that.

I apologize if my thoughts are unclear,but have you followed that rabbit before?

7/22/2006 06:40:00 AM  
Blogger Sigmund, Carl and Alfred said...

"Clearly, any negotiations with a terror organization are a waste of time. They are not bound by the same rules and regulations that govern civilized society. Hezbollah bases in urban areas, arms depots in urban areas, missle launch sites that are residential backyards and the transformation of blocks in South Beirut into Hezbollah headquarters facilities are issues that undermine every Hizbollah claim to legitimacy.

Despite their political influence, Hizbollah refuses to identify itself as a political entity, in the same way as other legitimate political organizations. Instead, Hizbollah continues to define itself, by actions and words, as a terrorist organization. By definition, terrorist organization are not bound by civilized convention and the established rule of law. By definition, terrorist organizations operate outside those conventions and outside the rule of law.

Imagine the Ku Klux Klan with political representation. Imagine the Ku Klux Klan running schools (one can only imagine what kids would be taught), social services and medical clinics for it's membership only, and you have a good idea of who and what Hizbollah is.

Would anyone expect an armed to the teeth KKK to honor any agreements they made with those they considered their enemies?"

End of story.

7/22/2006 07:38:00 AM  
Blogger PSGInfinity said...

Anonymous wrote:

"I thought it was taken for granted that OBL, Hezbollah, and dictators were scum. I naturally hold the United States to a much higher moral standard."

Bingo. THERE'S our problem with your posts.

Q: WHY hold us to a higher standard?

Is it because we're a (Judeo)Christian nation? Hence, is it because they're Islamic? Is it 'the funny hats' they wear? Is it because we're white, and they're brown-skinned?

What sane person would commit the racist act of deliberately allowing another human group to be immoral?

7/22/2006 12:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Jon Senior said...

I have a feeling that I will regret this, but for the benefit of those here who clearly do not understand, I shall attempt to elaborate a few points.

1) The French resistance. That organisation that provided valuable tactical information to the allies during the second world war, were, by the definitions that many have employed here, terrorists.

2) The IRA. A group funded, supported, and oftentimes housed by the USA were, by the aforementioned definitions, terrorists.

There is an oft-quoted, (and I suspect, rarely understood) truism, the "One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter". The fact that Israel already held Palestinian hostages (Sorry, prisoners) without charge, and without trial is conveniently overlooked as frequently as the "left" overlook the morals of the terrorists. I do not support Hezbollah, but that in no way prevents me or anyone else from decrying the activities of Israel.

And as for the follow (one example amongst many):

"The cause of any innocent suffering is 100% the fault of the terrorists, just as cause of innocent Germans that were killed in WWII was 100% the fault of the Nazis."

That would really have to depend. If a military installation was bombed and there happened to be a visiting civilian party, I'd agree. Firebombing civilian targets however is a slightly different matter. How many "bad" people have to be in a population before the whole population becomes liable?

Since the ceasefire between the IRA (terrorists) and the (British) military (See, it can and does happen), the point is not so relevant, but I believe that we (the British) would have had every right (Using the logic presented here) to have launched military strikes against American civilians for the aid and assistance that certain members of their country had been providing. The fact that our part in the history of Ireland had been less than salubrious should obviously be overlooked in favour of our standpoint as a bona fide country as apposed to a paramilitary organisation.

Some of you have clearly shown that you are capable of looking to history, perhaps the next step might be to try and understand it as well!

7/22/2006 03:12:00 PM  
Anonymous JLawson said...

Ah, moral equivalence. Isn't it tasty?

You look at the nice, pretty, candy shell, and it looks so sweet and smells so good...

Then you bite into it and find a disgusting substance that would gag a maggot, that rivals ipacec in it's ability to induce vomitous morality.

Yet it must be an acquired taste, because there's some that eat it every chance they get. It's quite a puzzle.

7/25/2006 12:24:00 PM  
Blogger F15C said...

Josh. The issue is your attempt to conflate some sort of moral equivalence between Hezbollah and Israel. Even the UN calls Hezbollah on their cowardly and inhumanly despicable behavior: (From Yahoo News today)

"BEIRUT, Lebanon - The U.N. humanitarian chief accused Hezbollah on Monday of “cowardly blending” in among Lebanese civilians and causing the deaths of hundreds during two weeks of cross-border violence with Israel. ...

Jan Egeland spoke to reporters at Larnaca airport in Cyprus late Monday after visiting Lebanon to coordinate an international aid effort. ...

“Consistently, from the Hezbollah heartland, my message was that Hezbollah must stop this cowardly blending ... among women and children,” he said. “I heard they were proud because they lost very few fighters and that it was the civilians bearing the brunt of this. I don’t think anyone should be proud of having many more children and women dead than armed men.”"

No human or group of humans is or ever will be perfect. The people that make up Hezbollah though represent the worst of what human beings can become. If the people of Israel were 'morally equivlent' to Hezbollah, tens of thousands of Lebanese civilians would now be dead.

Israel easily has the military capability to essentially decimate the population of Lebanon in a week or two. They could kill tens of thousands if they wanted to - but they are not doing so. Why do you think that is?

However, Hezbollah is at the same time doing everything possible to maximize civilian deaths - on both sides...

7/25/2006 05:50:00 PM  

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