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The Pleasures of Assassination
http://www.newenglishreview.org/custpage.cfm/frm/13921/sec_id/13921 ^ | Theodore Dalrymple

Posted on 12/30/2007 8:35:43 PM PST by ventanax5

When President Bush described the assassination of Benazir Bhutto as cowardly, he chose precisely the wrong word. (He was not the only person to do so, but he was the most important one to do so.) In fact, it was a very courageous act: for it requires great courage to assassinate someone in the middle of a large and volatile crowd favourable to that person, and above all then to blow yourself up just to make sure that you have succeeded. Not many people have that degree of courage: I certainly don’t.

The two Islamic militants whose telephone call was putatively intercepted by the Pakistani security services, and who are claimed by them to have been the organisers of the assassination, were quite right when they called the two men who did it ‘brave boys.’ They were brave all right; I do not see how it can very well be denied. Even if the transcript of the telephone call turns out to be a complete work of fiction, the authors of it got something right that President Bush got wrong

(Excerpt) Read more at newenglishreview.org ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: anthonydaniels; bhutto; bushsfault; dalrymple; pakistan; theodoredalrymple
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1 posted on 12/30/2007 8:35:44 PM PST by ventanax5
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To: ventanax5

Soldiers are individuals who dress up for war.

Terrorists are individuals who dress down for war.

If Allah, is on your side, put on a uniform signifying this profound fact and let’s see how you do?


2 posted on 12/30/2007 8:38:03 PM PST by lonestar67 (Its time to withdraw from the War on Bush-- your side is hopelessly lost in a quagmire.)
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To: ventanax5
It isn’t courage, it’s commitment. Two different things.
3 posted on 12/30/2007 8:38:12 PM PST by durasell (!)
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To: ventanax5
Not many people have that degree of courage

Piss off Theodore .. not many people have that degree of depravity, courage has nothing to do with it.

4 posted on 12/30/2007 8:42:57 PM PST by tx_eggman ("Believing without loving turns the best of creeds into a weapon of oppression" Eugene Peterson)
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To: ventanax5

It was demon possession.


5 posted on 12/30/2007 8:42:59 PM PST by liege
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To: ventanax5

Lawrence Auster

“This is from the Times of India

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday expressed deep shock over the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, saying that the incident is a “reminder” of the common dangers faced in the sub-continent.
“The manner of her going is a reminder of the common dangers that our region faces from cowardly acts of terrorism and of the need to eradicate this dangerous threat,” he said in a statement from Goa.

Is there not something deeply wrong with a culture in which, when mass murder occurs, political leaders and pundits immediately describe it as a “reminder”—as though the most important thing about a monstrous crime is not that it’s a monstrous crime, but that it leads us to a thought process about some other issue? This is the abstract and unreal mind-set of liberalism, which, as we can see, has taken root in India as well as in the West.
Another word that ought to be dropped in these circumstances is “cowardly.” Obviously, there is nothing cowardly about a Muslim being willing to die in the act of killing his enemies, which according to the Koran is the holiest act a Muslim can perform. The recourse to the word “cowardly” is another symptom of liberalism. Liberal politicians don’t want to call the perpetrators of these crimes “enemies” or “evil,” since liberalism prohibits the recognition of the existence of enemies and evil. So they call them “cowardly,” which makes the speaker sound tough and determined, when in fact he is only being absurd.

One of the most characteristic things about liberalism is the moral poverty it inflicts on those who follow it.

* * *
Calling a terrorist act a “reminder” is similar to saying that people are “shocked” by its occurrence—liberals, as I’ve often noted, are constantly being “shocked” by a reality they refuse to recognize. Both phrases suggest that people don’t really believe that terrorism exists, so they require the “reminder” to “shock” them back into the realization that it does. The subtext is: this event forces us once again (for the nth time) to think about this problem that we don’t want to think about, or rather it forces us to declare how important it is for us to think about this problem that we don’t want to think about.

By contrast, a society that actually recognized and was facing the reality of jihadism and terrorism would not speak of a terrorist act as a reminder, because it would already be involved in opposing the jihadists and making war against them. Do you think that when the Japanese sank a U.S. destroyer in the Pacific in 1943, American leaders and journalists said that this was a “reminder” of the fact that we were in a war?”

- end of initial entry -


6 posted on 12/30/2007 8:46:19 PM PST by ventanax5
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To: ventanax5

It isn’t courage at all; it’s an act of pure evil. Evil is never courageous because its motivation is not human; courage is a human motivation.


7 posted on 12/30/2007 8:46:59 PM PST by hsalaw
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To: ventanax5
How does it take courage for a terrorist to dress in civilian clothing, walk up to someone and blow themselves up? That is cowardice. It does not qualify as courage or a commitment. It is cowardice.
8 posted on 12/30/2007 8:48:50 PM PST by jrooney (Ron Paul called Reagan a Dramatic Failure and thinks he is smarter than Abe Lincoln.)
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To: ventanax5

HA! Bush was right. Theodore Dalrymple is wrong.


9 posted on 12/30/2007 8:50:09 PM PST by Liberty Valance (Keep a simple manner for a happy life :o)
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To: ventanax5

-bflr-


10 posted on 12/30/2007 8:50:26 PM PST by rellimpank (--don't believe anything the MSM tells you about firearms or explosives--NRA Benefactor)
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To: ventanax5

You might as well call the Columbine and Virginia Tech killers brave, as long as “brave” means “acting without regard to ones own life or safety”, but it means more than that. Bravery is understood as a virtue stemming from moral strength, and not encompassing actions motivated by depravity or recklessness.

I have thought that “dastardly” is a better word for deeds such as these suicidal attacks, and is really what is meant. It is given as a synonym for “cowardly” in Webster’s Collegiate, with the explanation in the synonymy that it “implies behavior that is both cowardly and treacherous or skulking and outrageous”.


11 posted on 12/30/2007 8:50:32 PM PST by dr_lew
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To: ventanax5
I wonder how old the assassins were. It seems that the average age of suicide bombers is a shade over adolescence. Young, impressionable, easily manipulated, and expendable.
12 posted on 12/30/2007 8:51:34 PM PST by khnyny (Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed. Winston Churchill)
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To: ventanax5
To stalk and sneak up on innocent people just to slaughter them is anything but courageous. Who the hell is theodore dalrimple, and how did he get so screwd up?
13 posted on 12/30/2007 8:52:46 PM PST by davetex (My tagline has been placed on the disabled list.)
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To: ventanax5
Praising terror and its evil men is counterproductive to the cause of Western civilization.

What is Daylrymple’s agenda?

14 posted on 12/30/2007 8:52:52 PM PST by BenLurkin
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To: ventanax5

Suicide is not a brave act, except in the effort to save the lives of others (throwing yourself on a grenade).

This act equates to knifing some unexpecting person and then committing suicide.

If it were brave I would say so, but its not.


15 posted on 12/30/2007 8:53:30 PM PST by Arkinsaw
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To: ventanax5

As I recall, Bill Mahre lost his gig at ABC over this very point.


16 posted on 12/30/2007 8:54:16 PM PST by scrabblehack
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To: ventanax5

Its only courageous if you enjoy being alive. Those fanatics could care less about that.


17 posted on 12/30/2007 8:54:21 PM PST by Nonstatist
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To: ventanax5
Dalrymple simply demonstrates that he is unaware of the long philosophical tradition regarding courage in the West.

The assassination was an act of cowardice, not of courage.

The courageous person in that situation was Bhutto.

18 posted on 12/30/2007 8:56:07 PM PST by wideawake (Why is it that so many self-proclaimed "Constitutionalists" know so little about the JuConstitution?)
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To: ventanax5

Everything I’ve read about terrorist killings includes such things as (1) assassin promised 72 virgins AND assassin promised that if he/she fails, his/her family will be annihilated, or, (2) #1 plus the assassin’s wrists are handcuffed to the steering wheel of the auto/bomb, or, (3) assassin drugged and driven into a suicidal rage by goofball ragheaded perverters of religion.

None of this sounds heroic or brave to me; it all sounds more like the actions of an ignorant, juvenile coward.


19 posted on 12/30/2007 8:57:45 PM PST by Rembrandt (We would have won Viet Nam w/o Dim interference.)
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To: ventanax5

I’m sorry .. this doesn’t take courage .. it takes LUNACY!


20 posted on 12/30/2007 8:58:00 PM PST by CyberAnt (AMERICA: THE GREATEST FORCE for GOOD in the world!)
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To: ventanax5
It's a matter of conviction. Theirs islamist. Ours Judeo-Christian.
A secular system will gradually collapse to theirs.
21 posted on 12/30/2007 8:58:12 PM PST by onedoug
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To: ventanax5

We went round and round on this after 9/11.

We understandably object to referring to these guys as brave or courageous, since courage is considered a virtue and we dislike assigning any virtue to these guys.

Yet courage is defined as, “The state or quality of mind or spirit that enables one to face danger, fear, or vicissitudes with self-possession, confidence, and resolution; bravery.”

Nothing there about the rightness or wrongness of the cause in which courage is employed.

The Waffen SS was one of the most evil organizations in history. Nobody ever realistically denied their courage. The world would be a much less dangerous place if evil men were always cowards.

While there are some senses of the word “courage” that do not apply to these guys, the most common ones certainly do.


22 posted on 12/30/2007 8:59:11 PM PST by Sherman Logan
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To: ventanax5

suicide bombers are often on drugs.
no courage involved


23 posted on 12/30/2007 9:03:12 PM PST by patch789
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To: durasell

Agreed. All this form of attack requires is an acceptance that you are already dead. For a man that has nothing left to loose is then free to perform any atrocity, any savagery, any act to support his “cause”.


24 posted on 12/30/2007 9:03:14 PM PST by taxcontrol
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To: ventanax5
The recourse to the word “cowardly” is another symptom of liberalism. Liberal politicians don’t want to call the perpetrators of these crimes “enemies” or “evil,” since liberalism prohibits the recognition of the existence of enemies and evil. So they call them “cowardly,” which makes the speaker sound tough and determined, when in fact he is only being absurd.

Excellent point.

Courage refers strictly to the attitude with which one faces a challenge. It makes no moral judgments about the challenge itself.

Evil men can be courageous, and good men can be cowards.

25 posted on 12/30/2007 9:04:35 PM PST by Sherman Logan
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To: ventanax5; Jim Robinson; Ernest_at_the_Beach; dalereed; Grampa Dave; tubebender; hedgetrimmer; ...
This is some of the most vexing, insipid puke I've ever seen in print in the English language in my 66 trips around the sun!!!

This is beyond human comprehension to attibute any possible redeeming social value to assassins and/or homocide bombers! The word assassin speaks for it'self in that it starts with two complete asses and reminds me of this coward loving writer!!!

26 posted on 12/30/2007 9:04:46 PM PST by SierraWasp (Too much religion mixed with politics just leads the participants into too much hate & discontent!!!)
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To: BenLurkin
Oh, I have an idea that Daylrymple is a harmless, bespectacled academic/English language analyzer with no agenda other than to stretch 500-word articles into 1500 words on what the meaning of "is" is....and in this case, bravery vs. cowardice.

After writing these dull essays, the old coot probably takes long walks in the woods with his walking stick, pipe and dog, wearing his tweed jacket with leather inserts in the elbows.

Leni

27 posted on 12/30/2007 9:05:20 PM PST by MinuteGal (Three Cheers for the FRed, White and Blue !!!)
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To: Sherman Logan

I agree Auster makes an excellent point.


28 posted on 12/30/2007 9:06:11 PM PST by ventanax5
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To: taxcontrol
I wouldn’t underestimate the enemy, but at the same time I refuse to credit them with anything that could possibly be misconstrued as a moral justification for their actions.
29 posted on 12/30/2007 9:08:58 PM PST by durasell (!)
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To: dr_lew

If you have something to live for, sacrificing yourself is a courageous act. If you have nothing to live for, or worse, you think you will get something better by dying, then killing yourself is selfish.

Bhutto had blood on her hands and $1.5 Billion dollars in the bank allegedly pilfered from the Pakistanis. Supposedly, the assassin missed and she killed herself while ducking for cover after foolishly exposing herself.

She was no saint, The assassin failed. Karma prevailed.


30 posted on 12/30/2007 9:10:21 PM PST by Soliton
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To: ventanax5

It ain’t courage or bravery, it’s indoctrination and brainwashing.


31 posted on 12/30/2007 9:10:35 PM PST by BuffaloJack (Before the government can give you a dollar it must first take it from another American)
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To: ventanax5

Frankly, I think it’s irrelevant and immaterial to the MAX!!!


32 posted on 12/30/2007 9:13:57 PM PST by SierraWasp (Too much religion mixed with politics just leads the participants into too much hate & discontent!!!)
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To: MinuteGal
After writing these dull essays, the old coot probably takes long walks in the woods with his walking stick, pipe and dog, wearing his tweed jacket with leather inserts in the elbows.

Hey that's what I want to do when I retire!

33 posted on 12/30/2007 9:14:05 PM PST by BenLurkin
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To: MinuteGal

http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/williamdalrymple

Willian may be a brother. ;))


34 posted on 12/30/2007 9:16:31 PM PST by BARLF
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To: Soliton
Bhutto had blood on her hands and $1.5 Billion dollars in the bank allegedly pilfered from the Pakistanis. Supposedly, the assassin missed and she killed herself while ducking for cover after foolishly exposing herself.

She was no saint, The assassin failed. Karma prevailed.
2 points.

First the Pakistani gov. didn't allow an autopsy. From what the coroner's said she had wounds consistent with a bullet.

Second this isn't a battle of good versus evil per se. It's between the secular and military powers of Pakistan. Neither of which are saints. The Pak military gambled that by engaging in a "decapitation operation" against Bhutto's PPP they could head off any challenges to their rule.

Now that Pakistan is descending into anarchy they don't look too smart. Time will tell.
35 posted on 12/30/2007 9:20:42 PM PST by ketsu
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To: durasell

I am there with you man....

Dictionary.com defines courage as:

the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.

When the tactic is to shoot a person, then press a button and have explosives rip you apart faster than your body can even recognize or register pain .... what courage is in that?

If you want me to believe the assassin had courage. Let him take his shots and then surrender to the crowd/authorities. Taking the bomb option is to specifically avoid pain, suffering, difficulty etc.


36 posted on 12/30/2007 9:22:08 PM PST by taxcontrol
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To: ketsu
Now that Pakistan is descending into anarchy they don't look too smart. Time will tell.

We've had worse riots after a bowl games. There is no anarchy. There was no autopsy, and yet you quote a coroner. No one knows what happened, however, she was smiling and waving while standing through the sun roof, so presumably she chose to do it. Hubris killed her one way or another and she was a crook and a daughter of a crook. Good Riddance.

37 posted on 12/30/2007 9:31:50 PM PST by Soliton
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To: Sherman Logan
Exactly. Lots of folks here apparently missed this line in the article:

Courage in pursuit of a despicable goal is no virtue, quite the reverse in fact.

38 posted on 12/30/2007 9:41:34 PM PST by GATOR NAVY
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To: ventanax5

That wasn’t courage; it was fanaticism.


39 posted on 12/30/2007 10:07:02 PM PST by SuziQ
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To: GATOR NAVY
In my view it was neither courage or depravity. No, it was pure greed. The thought of 72 virgins for eternity and adding a big atta boy from the local mullah (for the children), is what pushed these guys to blow themselves up.
40 posted on 12/30/2007 10:07:14 PM PST by Wingy
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To: ventanax5

I often find myself in agreement with Dalrymple, but not here. To my mind, courage can only be manifest in a selfless and virtuous act; courage is a sacrifice, or a potential sacrifice, so that good may vanquish evil. Assassins and suicide bombers, no matter how reckless, no matter how fanatical is their belief in their evil cause, or their eagerness to die for it, can never be courageous. Their goal is only to inflict misery and fear. A zealot who dies for his cause is not courageous because he doesn’t care whether he lives or dies. A hero wants to live to see a good cause triumph, but is prepared to die to deny evil a victory.


41 posted on 12/30/2007 10:14:30 PM PST by mojito
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To: ventanax5

Incredibly silly arguments.


42 posted on 12/30/2007 10:22:57 PM PST by GregoryFul (is a bear a bomb in a bull?)
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To: ventanax5
and above all then to blow yourself up just to make sure that you have succeeded.

I'd wager he blew himself up to keep from getting torn to pieces by the crowd.

43 posted on 12/30/2007 10:25:12 PM PST by Mr. Mojo
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To: tx_eggman

I agree...when you value life, it is brave to give it up...when you believe that you will receive 72 virgins upon your death, the same act may be lustful, but it isn’t brave.


44 posted on 12/31/2007 1:02:08 AM PST by willyd (Tickets, fines, fees, permits and inspections are synonyms for taxes)
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Interesting point to ponder, one that theologians have grappled with for ages...was Jesus’ sacrifice courageous given that he was in the unique position of eternal salvation being a certainty without the need for faith?


45 posted on 12/31/2007 2:37:43 AM PST by Dave Elias
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To: Dave Elias

No disrespect meant by the way - I’m just interested to hear other’s take on the nature of Christ’s sacrifice.


46 posted on 12/31/2007 2:40:37 AM PST by Dave Elias
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To: ventanax5
It's a long drive between courage and just plain stupid. The enemy isn't in any way courageous. They are brain washed and don't know any better because they've been programmed to NOT think for themselves. A person allowed to think for himself wouldn't buy into that 70 virgins and whatever else they are told from the time they can hear.
47 posted on 12/31/2007 2:49:50 AM PST by Picklezz (HUNTER: SOLID - A Conservative's Conservative. He's the man for the job.)
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To: Dave Elias
Good grief man, Jesus didn’t need salvation. He provided it. He was doing the will of God the Father. It had nothing to do with courage. He asked if “this cup could pass from me....)but he freely and willingly accepted what He came to do. To save our miserable souls. Not His. He always knew what His purpose was in coming to earth. No surprise to Him.
48 posted on 12/31/2007 2:56:52 AM PST by Picklezz (HUNTER: SOLID - A Conservative's Conservative. He's the man for the job.)
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To: Picklezz

His soul was not then and is not now, miserable. Sorry to have accidently implied that.


49 posted on 12/31/2007 2:59:33 AM PST by Picklezz (HUNTER: SOLID - A Conservative's Conservative. He's the man for the job.)
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To: ventanax5

It’s an idiotic point of debate.


50 posted on 12/31/2007 3:05:12 AM PST by Glenn (Free Venezuela!)
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