Skip to comments.The Pleasures of Assassination
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 dont.
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 ...
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?
Piss off Theodore .. not many people have that degree of depravity, courage has nothing to do with it.
It was demon possession.
“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?”
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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.
HA! Bush was right. Theodore Dalrymple is wrong.
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”.
What is Daylrymple’s agenda?
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.
As I recall, Bill Mahre lost his gig at ABC over this very point.
Its only courageous if you enjoy being alive. Those fanatics could care less about that.
The assassination was an act of cowardice, not of courage.
The courageous person in that situation was Bhutto.
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.
I’m sorry .. this doesn’t take courage .. it takes LUNACY!
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.
suicide bombers are often on drugs.
no courage involved
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”.
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.
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!!!
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.
I agree Auster makes an excellent point.
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.
It ain’t courage or bravery, it’s indoctrination and brainwashing.
Frankly, I think it’s irrelevant and immaterial to the MAX!!!
Hey that's what I want to do when I retire!
Willian may be a brother. ;))
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.2 points.
She was no saint, The assassin failed. Karma prevailed.
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.
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.
Courage in pursuit of a despicable goal is no virtue, quite the reverse in fact.
That wasn’t courage; it was fanaticism.
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.
Incredibly silly arguments.
I'd wager he blew himself up to keep from getting torn to pieces by the crowd.
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.
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?
No disrespect meant by the way - I’m just interested to hear other’s take on the nature of Christ’s sacrifice.
His soul was not then and is not now, miserable. Sorry to have accidently implied that.
It’s an idiotic point of debate.