Sunday, January 29, 2017

"Nice people" and the left

Wallace Shawn

Wallace Shawn in this morning's New York Times:

Under Bush, torture became normal and most Americans accepted it. First they were shocked, and then they accepted it. And sadly, under the very likable Obama, these assassinations have become normal, and people have accepted that. In the case of killing Bin Laden, it was boasted about by apparently nice people. I’m not sure we understand the implications of that yet, the normalization of killing individuals.

This goes under my When Smart People Are Dumb category (click on that label below). There's no evidence that "most Americans" really knew what the Bush administration was up to and/or in fact "accepted" torture by their government. The sordid details were still coming out in the Obama administration.

This is the sort of thing the people at Breitbart will pounce on and feed to President Trump to show how dumb and feckless liberals are.

President Obama is an assassin because he ordered the operation that killed Osama Bin Laden, who planned the 9/11 attack that killed more than 3,000 Americans? By that standard every American president has been an assassin. 

For people like me, this is what's exasperating about some of my fellow liberals, who are, as someone pointed out, a political tendency so lame it won't defend itself against people who want to kill them.

The "nice people" idea was turned on leftists like Shawn by Richard Dawkins:

I think my love of truth and honesty forces me to notice that the liberal intelligentsia of Western countries is betraying itself where Islam is concerned. It's stymied by the conflict between being against misogyny and discrimination against women on the one hand, and on the other by the terror of being thought racist—driven by misunderstanding Islam as though it were a race. So people who would normally speak out against the maltreatment of women don't do it. I do fret about what I see as a betrayal by my own people, the nice liberals.

See also The left and terrorism, Gay pride and the "criminal corporate" United StatesIn defense of drones, and The liberal/prog failure on terrorism

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