I still have not recovered from the time change. This morning I awoke at 4:45 AM to a program I have not seen in quite some time, MSNBC’s Morning Joe. Too bad I couldn’t fall back to sleep.
During a discussion about yesterday’s Bush interview with Matt Lauer when Bush stated in no uncertain terms that he authorized torture and it was “legal because the lawyers said it was legal” Joe Scarborough went on a screaming rant claiming that “the left” finds it “more objectionable to kill little four year old girls and grandma’s than to pour water on someone’s face or keep them up all night.” He goes on to ask with indignation how this could make sense badgering Mika Brzezinski who didn’t seem to have a response.
Just when I think Mr. Scarborough has turned a corner toward a coherent message he jerks the wheel and slams into oncoming traffic. The problem with Joe’s statement this morning is that it follows the same tired old conservative mantra, “things used to be so simple.” In the past war was so simple, the only decisions we had to make was whether to keep a guy up all night or splash some water on his face in order to prevent terrorists from killing our children. Now the big bad liberals have decided to abandon intelligence gathering all together in favor of indiscriminate unmanned drone attacks that are killing “little girls and grandmas.”
I am not aware of anyone on the left who would say that killing innocent civilians in collateral damage – which is what we are talking about here and is nothing new to warfare – is somehow less morally reprehensible than torturing someone. They are both equally bad and the fact that Joe doesn’t get this is what really bothers me. The left has been complaining about the immorality of war exactly because of this type of indiscriminate civilian killing going back to Vietnam (and I am sure earlier) only back then when the left made the complaint that Joe made today we were derided as being communist America haters by none other than people like Joe.
Spare me the post-partisan stop-the-hyperbole-shtick Joe if all you are going to do is use it as cover to make outrageous claims like this. Yes there has been an unprecedented increase in unmanned drone attacks in recent years but it is not because of some screwed up liberal moral compass but rather because these are mainly attacks in areas inside Pakistan where we have no other options. Is the killing of innocents in war wrong. Yes. Did you ever give a damn about it in the past. No.
I have a suggestion Joe, pick a line of reasoning and stick with it.