Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Cross Hairs

This could be added as an "update" to my last post, but anyways... The following link is worth a read:

On the one hand, we can surely all agree that the rough justice of Mussolini's end, hanging upside down under a bridge, is indeed entirely what he "deserved." So, for that matter, is the sordid end of Hitler and his intimate cohort. The photographs of various German higherups, heads on desks, dark blood pooled beside, and the Luger still in a cold, dead hand--that is justice, in some understandable larger sense. And given this--call it a moral fact if you like--it is surely understandable that a President finds himself with a moral duty to deal with people like bin Laden using the rough justice available.

But there is also a slippery slope, as the emptywheel article rightly attests. There is the "young wife." There are the faceless civilians who almost always are noted as collateral damage when these various actions are taken. And there is the problem, too, of just how easy it all becomes--the bright kid from Yale or the Air Force Academy, assigned to some virtual cockpit in some comfortable American city, putting in his shift watching a screen, pressing a red button, having a nice fresh-brewed cup of coffee and a danish. And a President who didn't actually "decide" anything beyond not rejecting a plan which might have been written entirely in the bloodless language of operatives and objectives, and who gains a political advantage of sorts by contradicting some Republican's cheap shot "appeaser" rhetoric. "Appease this, fucker!"

So. Just sayin'. Here's a place that demands some serious thinking. And of course who's doing that in this hilarious campaign season, where the best news is probably that Mr. Gingrich is at last confronting his own petard, and squirms like a fishing worm as Mr. Romney slowly skewers him with silence and unlimited advertising money used for not one syllable of serious conversation or consideration.

One might hope, and probably vainly, that at least Mr. Newt realizes that he contributed directly to this electoral context, where the battle is to the death. "But I have ideas," Gingrich mewls. No doubt to many on the right, Romney's strongest qualification has become his willingness to press the sword deeper, looking into Mr. Gingrich's eyes, enjoying the vanishing light in them. No doubt later at supper he can remark to his advisers that sunsets in Iowa in January are the best to be found anywhere. The clink of glasses and bitter laughter. Fade to black.

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