Come for the Politics, Stay for the Pathologies

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Abstract Moral Superiority vs. Rational Self-Preservation: Your Choice

Thomas Sowell’s Talking Points on Torture brings, as always, a rational perspective to our increasingly irrational culture.

One of the many signs of the degeneration of our times is how many serious, even life-and-death issues are approached as talking points in a game of verbal fencing. Nothing illustrates this more than the fatuous, and even childish, controversy about “torturing” captured terrorists.

As I previously wrote here, we have so effectively parsed and deconstructed reality that half the country no longer knows what torture is. Sowell hammers home the difference between gratuitous infliction of pain and methods used to elicit information to save lives. In the process he exposes the straw man argument of Winston Churchill not torturing Germans even while London was being bombed.

He levels every weak argument the left has used to condemn our government’s actions to protect ourselves. (Apparently we’ve found one service liberals don’t think government should provide.) He eviscerates the moral equivalence crowd, the philosophers:

The Left has long confused physical parallels with moral parallels. But when a criminal shoots at a policeman and the policeman shoots back, physical equivalence is not moral equivalence. And what American intelligence agents have done to captured terrorists is not even physical equivalence

as well as the media and our president:

Our media too squeamish to call murderous and sadistic terrorists anything worse than "militants" or "insurgents"? Our president going abroad to denigrate the country that elected him, pandering to feckless allies and outright enemies, and literally bowing to a foreign tyrant ruling a country from which most of the 9/11 terrorists came?

It’s a pity Thomas Sowell is too intelligent and principled to have gotten into politics. Had he been our first black president I could still sleep at night.

You might as well read the whole article. You know you’re not going to sleep anyway.