Mainstreaming leftist lunacy

The debate over whether the war is the number one issue facing American voters -- and whether Bush or Kerry would be a better steward of that war -- might be obscuring a debate more profound, and more disturbing.

I think it not only goes to the heart of the attitudes underlying the war issue, but touches on something much deeper: the right of self defense, and of individual survival.

I'll start with Kerry's much-quoted recent remarks:

Mr. Kerry also told the largely black crowd at the day care center that there are more blacks in prison than in college.

"That's unacceptable," he said. "But it's not their fault." (Via Glenn Reynolds.)

Kerry (and many Democrats) think being in prison is not the fault of criminals, because it's the fault of others.

That means that if someone else (depending, I guess, on his race) commits a crime, I am responsible.

Communitarians who think this way tend to think that if terrorists kill Americans, it is not the fault of the terrorists (who of course shouldn't even be called terrorists), but it's the fault of the Americans for being there, the fault of American policies, the American government, or George W. Bush.

But the terrorists? It's no more their fault that they kidnaped an American and cut his head off than it would be if some criminals did the same thing here in a street crime.

The problem with this thinking is that it leads to the stigmatization (and ultimately, to the elimination) of self defense. If the criminal who breaks into my home is not at fault, then how on earth can I be said to have a right to defend myself by harming him? If I have guns, why, they must be taken away, lest I delude myself into thinking that I have the right to use them for anything but target shooting and licensed hunting.

Likewise, if the United States is attacked by people who are clearly not at fault, national self defense would be just as criminal as individual self defense.

It all flows logically, once you accept the underlying premise that crimes are not the criminal's fault. Fault is to be determined based on things like power imbalances. If the less "powerful" attack the more "powerful," why, that is not crime. It's not an attack. In fact (though I'm sure Kerry's speechwriters would never acknowledge it), it's a form of "JUSTICE."

I had thought such thinking was limited to the far left, but I guess it's now mainstream.

UPDATE: In other mainstream news, the New York Times' Frank Rich is now going to bat for Ted Rall....

ADDITIONAL THOUGHT: In my haste this morning, I almost forgot that many of the antiwar theoreticians want terrorist attacks treated not as acts of war to be defended against, but (you guessed it!) as "crimes" to be prosecuted.

This means that even discussions of criminal fault have now taken on global proportions....


UPDATE: More on terrorists-as-victims from Ralph Peters:

Arab extremists and dictators have become the ghetto blacks of hard-Left foreign policy. They’re all victims of Washington and bear no personal responsibility for their own errors, failures or crimes. It isn’t the Saddams, Abdullahs, Assads or Mubaraks who oppress the Arab masses, you see. Despots are never guilty--unless they get too chummy with the Americans. Anyway, dictators are victims, too. The mass graves and misery that haunt the Middle East (if such inconveniences must be mentioned at all) are my fault. And yours, dear reader. We’re to blame for all that’s wrong with the world. And don’t you forget it!
Will someone please explain to me how 9/11 is any more my fault than it would be my fault if someone broke into my house and attacked me?

MORE: And here's a similar thought from James Lileks:

....[B]laming America for the ravings of medieval theocrats is now a legitimate argument in polite society. I’d almost venture to say that a third of the country would conclude that a radiological device exploded in Manhattan would be Bush’s fault, because he made the “evil doers” (roll eyes) super-extra-fancy-grade-AA mad.
It's our fault because we made them mad by fighting back?

What next; will teachers tell kids that it's their fault they got beaten up because they made the bully mad? (I'm afraid to ask.....)

posted by Eric on 06.21.04 at 08:54 AM


Dear Eric:

Once again: You said it.

Not sure if you meant to quote Ralph Peters ironically or not. The quote included in your entry is clearly sarcastic of the imputed "left wing" sentiments. When I actually hear Mr. Chomsky speaking in those terms, then I think we can justify our indignation.

xibixibi   ·  June 21, 2004 4:43 PM

You are one of the worst informed individuals I have ever come across.

Tobias   ·  June 21, 2004 5:35 PM

Compliments always appreciated.

Eric Scheie   ·  June 21, 2004 5:51 PM

ha! ha! ha! ha! ha!

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