Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Some violence merits outrage.

We live in a troubled world, roiling in violence and resentment. Keeping one's head in the midst of it is essential, but we should not become morally numb. Keeping one's head is only a virtue if it means one's reason and civility have won out over a very legitimate moral outrage. Otherwise it's just keeping one's cool, and there's nothing virtuous about it.

From Matthew Archbold at Creative Minority Report:
Jake Tapper from ABC News reported that when asked about the motivations of mass murderer Nidal Hasan, President Obama said:
Well, look, we — we have seen, in the past, rampages of this sort. And in a country of 300 million people, there are going to be acts of violence that are inexplicable. Even within the extraordinary military that we have — and I think everybody understands how outstanding the young men and women in uniform are under the most severe stress — there are going to be instances in which an individual cracks. I think the questions that we’re asking now and we don’t have yet complete answers to is, is this an individual who’s acting in this way or is it some larger set of actors? You know, what are the motivations? Those are all questions that I think we have to ask ourselves. Until we have these answers buttoned down, I’d rather not comment on it.
But Obama didn't wait for all the answers to be "buttoned down" when he declared a group of police officers "stupid" for arresting an African-American college professor.

Obama didn't wait until things got "buttoned down" before commenting on the murder of late-term abortionist George Tiller. I don't remember Scott Roeder's motivations being inscrutable to the President or to the press for that matter.

In fact, within hours of Tiller's death, Obama released a statement which had drawn conclusions as to the killer's motivations. Obama said:
I am shocked and outraged by the murder of Dr. George Tiller as he attended church services this morning. However profound our differences as Americans over difficult issues such as abortion, they cannot be resolved by heinous acts of violence.
The White House even ordered US Marshalls to protect abortion clinics as if Tiller's killer was just the spearhead of a looming rampage by murderous pro-lifers around the country.

On the other hand, do you recall when pro-lifer James Pouillon was killed while holding his pro-life sign. All of a sudden, the media couldn't understand at all what the killer's motivation could be.
Source: Here.

5 comments:

Kevin said...

Gil,
You seem to have decided that because Obama supports abortion then whatever he does will be equally evil.

I disagree too that restraint is not a virtue unless you are seething underneath. In an unbalanced and fractious age, restraint is at least a civic virtue, if not a moral one.

Obama did regret his "stupid" comment and has not repeated it.

Abortion clinics (whatever we think of them morally) have been targets many times and many have FBI protection. Copy-cats are a concern with such things. It seems that was a prudent move.

The reason for the President of the United States to speak carefully on something like the Hasan case is that were he to say anything that could be misunderstood as "Muslims are on the attack" might prompt serious bloodshed.

Even so there is this event:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/11/10/alexios-marakis-assaulted_n_353022.html

Which seems to argue for restraint in language, whatever the motivation. There is not much chance that Catholic churches will be torched because Roeder is a Christian. That could well happen if Hasan is seen as a "tip of the iceberg" here in Texas.

The emerging picture on Hasan is that he was very mentally disturbed and his religion may have leant a structure for his psychosis. He may be nuts and just happen to be a muslim.

Take care Gil.
Kevin

Anonymous said...

"The unborn (whatever we think of them morally) have been targets many times and many have FBI protection."

I made up the last part.

Rick F.

Gil Bailie said...

Rick,
That's as hilarious as it is scandalous.
Thanks

Anonymous said...

My pleasure.

It's too bad Kevin can't get his own jokes.

Mark Gordon said...

No Muslim should feel that they have to apologize for what Maj. Hasan did. Nor should any non-Muslim indict a religion of one billion people, it’s founder or scripture based on this massacre. Malik Nidal Hasan is the one responsible. Period.

That said, it is stupid and counterproductive to ignore the obvious: Hasan had become a jihadist and acted in accordance with that ideology. From the jihadist point of view, Hasan's act was thoroughly rational. When one is at war, one kills the enemy. Jihadis are at war with the West, and especially the United States. Therefore, a jihadi is expected to kill the enemy. Not talking about it because some tattooed yahoo in Florida can't tell the difference between a Greek Orthodox priest and Osama bin Laden makes no sense, no sense at all.

Of course, it's also stupid and counterproductive for some on the Know Nothing Right to gin up moronic narratives about supposed fifth columns in the American military, or to erect archetypes that suggest Muslim Americans share some kind of collective guilt for Fort Hood.