Some Things Are So Stupid Only An Intellectual Could Believe Them

Calling Bush’s Views Manichean Is an Insult to the Manicheans
By Dan Skinner
Mr. Skinner is an instructor of political theory at Hunter College at the City University of New York. He is a PhD student of Political Theory at the City University of New York Graduate Center, focusing on the relationship between language and politics.

Did Bush get the categories right? Is he sure who is Good and who is Evil? If not, he is energizing a high-stakes dualistic game based on false distinctions. Of course, those with cooler heads know that the world is too complex and too diverse for such frigid black and white distinctions.

Another intellectual trying to prove how smart he is by bashing Bush. Bush is so simplistic, so uncultured. Did you hear? He actually believes in good and evil. Not like a sophisticated grad student.

Mr. Skinner says that Dubya should not make distinction between good and evil, after all he might be wrong. Today in Baghdad, 35 children were killed by car bombs, would Mr. Skinner call the ones who did this evil? How about the murder of 12 Nepalese? Is that not evil? The serial beheadings carried out by the “insurgents?” Were these acts evil? Or do we have to examine each act individually, with no connection with anything else? Was the Bataan Death March evil? Was the Rape of Nanking evil? Was the Holocaust evil? A better question is; how could any of these things be good? If you can’t readily believe that massacring children, bombing civilians and brutally murdering civilians could be a good thing, then there is no reason to even join Mr. Skinner in his post-modern confusion.

Isn’t it amazing how a few years of education can strip the common sense of some? I suppose this grad student will get pats from his thesis adviser and he will be the BMOC at the Student Union, but thankfully the audience for such academic bovine manure is small and shrinking.

2 thoughts on “Some Things Are So Stupid Only An Intellectual Could Believe Them

  1. You claim that I argue that “Dubya should not make distinction between good and evil” when, in fact, I make no such claim. He’s perfectly entitled to his theological disctions. Unfortunately, evil is a religous concept that has justified centuries of wars against others for their beliefs, and bigotry that could only be called sexist, racist, and homophopic – all in the name of God and supposed distinctions between good and evil. Fortunately for us, the United States is a nation, and not a church. Bush is the executive of a political community with a secular constitution, not a priest with a clergy and a bible.

    Where in my piece do I argue that killing children is acceptable? In fact, you point to a horrible event in Baghdad that very much supports the point of my post: these kinds of things were not happening before President Bush opted to wage an offensive war against a country that had done nothing to the United States. Of course, Hussein committed all sorts of other crimes (torture in Abu Ghraib, for example; so-called “rape rooms”), but that has no bearing on my point, which is political. Crimes are committed around the world all of the time. But Mr. Bush never said that that was why he was attacking Iraq – until his original reasoning proved to be bogus. Mr. Bush, for example, admitted that a genocide is being carried out in Darfur. Where is the US military in light of the supposed moral authority of an Administration that touts its respect for “life”? You throw around your self-evident truths about what is or what is not evil, but you reveal that you have no compass to locate it more broadly, when it doesn’t converge with some other interest. Fine. You don’t care for “nuance.” But much of the “reality based community” doesn’t share your black or white, faith-based disinctions, and they especially don’t care for the way in which the Bush foreign policy decides first who to attack and then conjures a casus belli to justify it. Call me old fashioned, but I still stubbornly believe that the acts of American leaders, done in the name of the American people, should be carried out for specific reasons, and that these reasons should be put before the people before actions are taken. This never happened. If it had, when American soldiers tortured and humiliated innocent Iraqis, against most of whom no charges – not to mention “terrorist” charges – were made, we could of at least been able to say that we had good reasons for entering in to this fog of war. Instead, the US had to both uncover the lies that got us there while simulataneously explaining why tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis were killed by our “shock and awe” and the Alberto Gonzales government gave the green light to hook up electrodes to the testicles of Iraqis.

    My preference is called democracy, and its greatest enemy are those who try to pervert it. Read the piece again.

  2. wow, this is really dumb. he wasn’t saying that there’s no difference between good and evil, but rather that its not the place of our president to make such calls. like you said, it’s common sense. use some.

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