Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Comment on Greenwald
Ouch. I admire Glenn Greenwald and don't like writing or posting this. It is a comment on 3 words in this column. Please read it before reading my comment.
I think that you are unfair to Klein. I think your argument is based on a false dichotomy between "indiscriminate" and discriminate. Klein isn't advocating killing all Pakistani 4 year olds or even killing Pakistani 4 year olds chosen at random. You assert that he is advocating exactly that.
You do not recognize a distinction between killing, say, only uniformed soldiers of an army which has actually invaded one's country (I think you accept this) and killing people at random.
The claim that deaths are collateral to a legitimate military aim is not an automatic absolution from all alleged culpability. However, it is also not a completely irrelevant claim as you assert.
I think I am being totally 100% fair to you. when you assert that Klein's moral vision is identical to that of terrorists, you assert that there is no difference at all whatsoever between taking the risk that civilians will be killed and deliberately killing civilians. You assert that the acting with the certainty that the course of action will imply the death of innocent civilians is equivilant to "indiscriminate" killing. Thus you assert that anyone who allows cars to be driven is a terrorist. If the only choices are to be a terrorist and to avoid civilian deaths at all cost, then we can do nothing but avoid death. Airlines are terrorist organizations because one in a million flights ends in a crash.
I have called you (with absolutely no irony whatsoever) the George Orwell of our day. However, this column is consistent with the assumption that you are a moral idiot. Did you read what you wrote ? (I ask for information, as I honestly suspect that you didn't (and admit that I plan to post this comment without reading it). Did you think at all about the definition of "indiscriminate" before typing it or before posting ?
I stress that my criticism of this article has nothing to do with drones. Let me stipulate that current US policy is monstrously criminal. Under that assumption, I assert that your use of "indiscriminate" and "terrorist" is not at all serious. It demonstrates contempt for language and logic and morally important distinctions.