Michael Berg, father of the be-headed American Nick Berg, has been all over the media condemning the killing of al Zarqawi as simply the "revenge" of George W. Bush. He has equated the revenge of Bush with the revenge of Zarqawi. Leaving aside, for the moment, whether the killing of Zarqawi actually had anything to do with revenge (for I think our national policy is driven more often by loftier considerations) let’s take what Berg says at face value. Is there really no difference between the revenge of the just and the unjust? Only if your thinking has been so corrupted by the sophisticated sophistries of the West that you no longer recognize the difference between the just and the unjust.
Hugh Hewitt brought this blog post from Joel Achenbach (the most popular blogger at The Washington Post to our attention yesterday, wherein Achenbach seems to make the point that there is a moral equivalence between the killings of Zarqawi and the killing of Zarqawi by American bombers. But Achenbach actually takes it a step further--at least his words do. He seems to say (as you may remember that Bill Mahr did stupidly say some months back) that the killings of Zarqawi and other insurgents at least have the virtue of being more manly because they are more personal. That is, Zarqawi actually got his hands bloody while American bombers just punch a button. I find it very difficult to believe that Achenbach (or Mahr, for that matter) actually believes what he implies here. But it is symptomatic of the perverse attempt to appear above the fray and devastatingly clever that has captured the popular imagination in this post-modern era. Frankly, I’m not afraid to say that I find it disgusting. And, what’s more, it’s also pathetic.
I’ve been re-reading Leo Strauss’ great work What is Political Philosophy in recent days and this great quote more or less sums up what this kind of stupid commentary really is:
"His ’ethical neutrality’ is so far from being nihilism or a road to nihilism that it is not more than an alibi for thoughtlessness and vulgarity: by saying that democracy and truth are values, he says in effect that one does not have to think about the reasons why these things are good, and that he may bow as well as anyone else to the values that are adopted and respected by his society. Social science positivism [what’s really driving the thinking of these folks]fosters not so much nihilism as conformism and philistinism.