Sunday, July 17, 2005

Moral Equivalence from Nosemonkey

Now we all know that, whilst normally erudite and well-read, Nosemonkey is prone to the occasional - and forgivable - lapse of concentration and/or judgement.

This, however, is not forgivable. Clearly, he is cross, but he is also mistaken:
But if there is any truth to these suggestions - if it does turn out that politics has been played with our national security - impeachments alone won't be enough. This would be gross, irresponsible negligence of the highest order. A blase disregard of people's safety and lives resulting in the maiming and death of scores of innocents. And for what? Power, plain and simple. If this is true, our leaders will have become as bad as those they are supposed to be fighting.
Various commenters have attempted to temper this suggestion, but Nosemonkey is unrepentant:
Consciously not preventing something terrible when you could have done is obviously not as bad as actually causing the thing in the first place, but as far as I'm concerned it's as near as damn it - especially when it's your JOB to get involved in such situations. It's like a policeman ignoring a burglar or a fireman ignoring a fire.
I'm sorry, but this is unacceptable. I refute it thus:

Nosemonkey: you suggest that - if these allegations are true - Bush et al are as bad, as reprehensible, as condemned to burn in hell as the terrorists who planned and carried out their attack. Note that I do not stress especially the "if". I have no beef as to truth or otherwise of the allegation. I would have no problem with impeachment, or even jailing the tosspot if necessary.

My gripe is with your logic. Consider this: you suggest that they are as bad as each other. Turn this around and ask yourself if they are as good as each other. If the slate for the US presidential election in 2004 had Bush on the one side, and the terrorists on the other, whom would you wish to win? Perhaps you get a different answer now. That you cannot see this is very, very disturbing.

For evil to triumph all it takes is for good men to do nothing and all that.
True, but evil will certainly triumph if we allow ourselves to succumb to the moral equivalence that can only serve to blur our view of the real enemy.


Devil's Kitchen said...

Good man. I've been deliberately withholding on that one until my anger simmers down slightly.

Keep it up, P-G...

Anonymous said...

He tried to pin the bombings on the BNP last week. Maybe he just needs a holiday.

The Pedant-General said...

Holiday or not: this is no excuse.

He may be angry, but I am just as angry with him...

john b said...

So you're actually *angry* that NM said "as bad" instead of "nearly as bad" (and then corrected himself to say the latter)?

Isn't that a bit of a lack of perspective?

The Pedant-General said...


1) He had to be forced to correct himself.
2) When he did correct himself, he only got as far as " but as far as I'm concerned it's as near as damn it". That is not much of a step back.

This is moral equivalence. It serves to distract from the real actual genuine evil. Perhaps if you read my post properly (or at all), you will see that Nosemonkey's position is ludicrous. There should a yawning chasm between Bush and the bombers.
He put his spin on Robin Grant's original piece (which was notable for avoiding the equivalence howler) and fouled it up. He was offered the chance to retract and fouled it up.

Nosemonkey attracted a hell of a lot of traffic on 7/7. We can safely assume that he continues to attract a lot of traffic. This sort of behaviour is not acceptable - it allows the lunatic apologists some cover. That makes me angry.

I defend Nosemonkey's right to spout dangerous nonsense. It makes me angry, but that is all. It is not grounds for, oh i don't know, detonating bombs on the underground in rush hour, or suggesting that he is a bad as the bombers. That would be a loss of perspective.

Nosemonkey said...

I still have a migrane, so I'm afraid will have to endeavour to keep this short - not out of irritation or anything, mind, I wouldn't want to give the wrong impression (please also note that if this is a rambling load of nonsense I blame the migrane again):

I get the irritation with the phrasing, but I believe you misunderstood me (largely due to me not making myself clear). I wasn't comparing Bush/Blair to the bombers - the bombers are just the footsoldiers, not the commanders in chief, after all. I said "those they are supposed to be fighting", meaning the A-Q leadership.

Don't know if that clears it up at all. Probably not. This is why I generally try and avoid writing about terrorism - frightfully high emotions around the thing.

I stick by the BNP thing though. If you read it closely, that still makes sense - and doesn't try to "pin" the bombs on the BNP, merely point out that they're a bunch of abject bastards who have been revelling in this and have done at least as much as anyone else to stir it all up.