Hitchens on Kerry

Gordon Fitch gcf at panix.com
Wed May 9 08:17:23 PDT 2001

> > Eh, it's manly to kill another man with just because he has a weapon? All
> > killing of humans is an act of cowardice "just war" theorists to the
> > contrary. When you signing up for plan Colombia?

LeoCasey at aol.com:
> Ian is collapsing some important distinctions here. While I think both are
> wrong, I recognize a crucial distinction between an Irish republican who
> shoots a British policeman or soldier, and an Irish republican who sets off a
> bomb in the London underground or in the middle of a crowded shopping street.
> The latter is sheer, unadulterated terrorism, without any conceivable moral
> or political justification. McVeigh blew up a day care center, and then
> called the dead infants "collateral damage." Rhetorically playing with and
> identifying with this kind of "resistance" to the state, a la Cockburn,
> Ignatiev and now Vidal, is, in my view, a pose of "revolutionary real
> politik" designed to show that one is subject to weak, vulnerable human
> feelings, such as minimal nuruturing care for an infant. There is, I might
> add, an obvious gendering to this discourse.
> ...

McVeigh and the Irish Republican who sets off a bomb on a crowded street are in the same moral situation as Clinton, Bush, and their servants, who if the newspapers are to be believed have also set off bombs on crowded streets and blown up day care centers. (Literally, they have other people do these things, speaking of cowardice.) I haven't seen anything by Cockburn or Vidal that justify this sort of thing as good in itself; what they are pointing out is that McVeigh is not different from Clinton and the others except for the scale of his operations. I think a lot of people in their various funny ways are beginning to ask whether they want to support that similarity. This is something bujidom is going to have to come to grips with if they want to continue playing with imperial power.

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