Posted by Lex, on June 24th, 2007
Michelle Malkin did that MM thing * today, posting a series of photos and YouTube videos demonstrating the depth of the depravity sponsored by the government of Iran against its own people. Horrible stuff, completely indefensible but not really surprising to anyone who’s been paying attention at home. But then she went a bit further – she challenged the press to show some outrage, asked the “left” to make denunciations and – this was the truly despicable part – waved the bloody bed sheet of Abu Ghraib.
Which she really oughtn’t have done: Abu Ghraib belongs to the anti-war left, it is the defining moment wherein the moral high ground shifted, where they – up until that moment abiding darkly in the stilt puppet wilderness – walked gratefully into the light of public approbation. It was the instant when the theretofore despicable “sheeple” who had supported Bu$hCheney’s Imperialist War for Oil suddenly opened their eyes to the possibility of their eventual transformation into the Inviolable Will of the People as Expressed in 2006.
A couple of ten years ago a Virginia congressman was declared in one of the local fish wrappers to be the dumbest member of the House of Representatives. Inadvertently proving the point, he held a press conference to inform an otherwise slumberous electorate that it wasn’t true at all – he was not the dumbest congressman in the House, though he declined to nominate someone more qualified for the title.
In the real world, people would learn a lesson from such silliness, but this is the blogosphere, where no challenge must be left unanswered. Much more easy, I should have thought, to wave it away entirely. Less easy still but well within the realm of propriety to acknowledge the point – awful really, they shouldn’t have done it, tsk, tsk. No reason to go to war though.
Which, you know: Malkin hadn’t advocated war, but best to get it on the table. Holding the moral high ground means most of all declining to take any action which, though it might solve a terrible problem could result in eventual complaints of imperfection in execution. Only those who attempt nothing can entirely avoid making a mistake.
Booman followed that course, to his credit, though I disagree with him nearly everywhere else. He avoids the tendency to “yes, but.” Even if he can’t quite stop from blaming US policy for the Iranian crackdown.
Not everyone can contain themselves.
Others can’t wait to get by the “yes, awful” part to get to the “but” bit. Both Maha from the Mahablog and Larisa Alexandrovna from At-Largely make the transparently intentional “mistake” of conflating the actions of the Abu Ghraib criminals – thugs who were ostensibly agents of the state but acting against the state’s interests, in contrast with the state’s orders and who were subsequently punished by the full weight of the state’s power – with the state sponsored actions of thuggish Iranian police in the service of a thuggish regime: A positionally gratifying but soul destroying form of moral equivalence. Cernig goes on to question the provenance of the photographic evidence. Couldn’t it have been forged?
This is discreditable.
It should have been easy for the left, they could have either ignored Malkin entirely or even deprecatingly agreed: Awful, what the Iranian regime has done, indefensible. Even if it doesn’t add up to a casus belli. Which, although you didn’t mention Michelle, we all assume is what you’re going after. You war mongering pig.
Too easy, I guess. We cannot agree on even this, that evil is evil, end-period-dot.
No: Even here we must grapple with ourselves.
It’s come to this.
* 09-11-2018 Link Gone; no replacements found – Ed.
** 09-11-2018 Original link gone; replacement found – Ed.