Quick Note on Dick Clarke's statements on 60 Minutes

by phil on Sunday Mar 21, 2004 8:59 PM

I am mad.

Former counter-terrorism adviser Richard Clarke criticizes Bush on CBS's 60 minutes. What's got me mad is how little attention this one line has gotten:

When Rumsfeld was told that they should bomb Afghanistan because that's where al-Qaeda is, he responds, "there aren't any good targets in Afghanistan and there are lots of good targets in Iraq."

If it's true, it's one of the most morally repugnant statements by a top-level official. Rumsfeld is basically saying, "let's kill random innocent people just because we're mad." These are the words of a murderous mind veiled by "patriotism" and "war."

I'm trying hard to question my thinking on this one. Am I upset just because I'm a liberal? Am I reading too much into this? No, the answer is no, this is flat-out, wanton murder justification.

And I'm scanning the news, and this line hasn't drawn much of a flinch, which just goes to show how morally simple we are. Bumper-sticker statements that sound morally okay are allowed to slide for policy. When Dennis Miller goes up and says "aw come on, Saddam and Osama are probably on speed-dial," people just laugh and agree. This is passive, mass, sheep-morality, and it makes me sick. It's the same thing that allows ppl to go "Oh, the Jews are probably up to something" and so many people will just nod and let it slide.

All humans do this too. Simple sounded statements cast in the right light can justify pretty much anything. Hell, I probably do this too. Such is our world.


Brandon said on March 22, 2004 1:48 AM:

This is an outrage!
I had not heard about these comments. As far I can see, you are totally justified in your being flabbergasted.
Unfortunately, killing innocent people just because we are mad has been the prime motive in most such actions, from the murder to the world war. This aspect of humanity may never change.

Sad, all we can do is abstain from them.

jamba said on March 23, 2004 2:54 PM:

In 1919, Hitler joined one of the many right-wing parties that sprung up in Germany after World War I, as its 55th member. The organization would come to be called the National Socialist German Workers' Party or the Nazi Party. It was in the early years of the organization that Hitler formulated his theories of political leadership and propaganda that would lead to his tremendous political success. His first principle was to rely on the support of one group: "The movement must avoid everything which may lessen or weaken its power of influencing the masses." Equally important was his theory that a big lie is always better than a little one because the masses "more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie."

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