“This has long been Obama’s position, and a position of the left generally — that the three terrorists= leaders (aka ‘some folks’) we waterboarded were unjustly and cruelly ‘tortured,’” Ace writes. “It’s not entirely surprising, then, that he should say this, but the offhanded flippancy of it does surprise:”
Listening to Brand and Obama, I had a realization.
People on the right often claim that people on the left are guilty of something called “moral relativism.” Which, I believe, is defined as excusing/minimizing acts of cruelty, murder, and violence by looking at the “context” of those acts, and the “desperation” of the monsters perpetrating those acts, and judging that, in the scheme of things, they are either justified, or at least their culpability is mitigated — “They had little choice.” “These were the only weapons available to them.”
But that’s not quite right, I realized.
The left does indeed engage in moral relativism– selectively.
For the enemies of America or Israel, or for the enemy of civilized, orderly society (say, the common street-murderer), the left does indeed engage in this analysis of moral relativism.
But what about for America itself, or Israel, or the family murdered by a “desperate” and poor lifelong criminal?
Does the left ever engage in the same moral relativistic thinking and say, of America, Israel, or a community outraged by murder, “Well, these people were scared. They felt as if they had no choice. Their anger can be excused and understood, and justified to some extent, because of the grievances they felt they had against their enemies.”
No– they do not. This moral relativism, the excusing and justifying of evil acts, is a one-way street only, only serving to apologize for people who kill Americans (or Westerners; the Israelis in this case are taken to be White Westerners).
This same “let’s look at their grievances and how they felt justified” excuse is never, ever applied to America, Israel, or law-abiding folks outraged that a serious crime has occurred in their community.
In those cases, an absolutely sacrosanct and invariable ethic is applied — and America, Israel, and law-abiding folks are found guilty of having violated it.
Read the whole thing.
When you hear Obama speak off the cuff like today, you realize that his speechwriters are worth infinitely more than he pays them.
— Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) August 1, 2014
But Obama’s speechwriters have gotten him into plenty of trouble as well, often because he doesn’t know, or doesn’t care, when they’ve gone off the rails.
Moreover, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s Republicans had reportedly been warning the State Department to prepare American facilities overseas for the release of the enhanced interrogations report. They warned that even the cautiously worded findings could go off like a bomb in the Arab World, and American diplomatic personnel should be prepared for any resulting fallout.
“On several occasions, the White House and the State Department have told the Committee, both verbally and in writing, that a series of security steps will be needed to safeguard the lives of U.S. personnel overseas and the facilities in which they work,” the senators wrote.
If the report, which apparently did not use the term “torture,” might have inflamed sentiment in the Muslim World, Obama’s blunt declaration that the United States engaged in torture will surely have a more significant impact.
Obama’s statement is a momentous development, and it is likely to have far-reaching implications. And by the way, no one is talking about the CIA spying on the Senate anymore. Funny how that worked out.
For Obama, it’s all about winning the weekly news cycle, even if it means trashing America, your predecessor in the White House, the memory of September 11th and its aftermath in the process, and inflaming the Middle East. Read: especially, where I wrote “even.”