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 ...
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.
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.
No, he is one of the most insisive minds in conservative thought in Europe.
He is defining the difference between bravery and courage. Something that the west doesnt get.
—he is a retired doctor who usually writes scathng articles on the failure of the Brit socialized medicine scheme or the deterioration of British society—
>> and above all then to blow yourself up just to make sure that you have succeeded. <<
Suicide does not take courage; it is the ultimate cowardly act. Courage is being willing to risk what you desire to keep.
But what was the sacrifice?
Happy New Year!
Dalrymple takes the time to explain exactly what he's saying. And he is correct.
Otherwise good men can be cowards.
And evil men can be courageous.
But neither would be an admirable man.
Dalrymple is a superb essayist...he always makes his readers think.
this is the same thinking as Bill Maher regarding the ‘courage’ of the hijackers who flew the planes into the World Trade Center compared (per Maher) with the cowards in the US military who merely drop bombs from several thousand feet in the air.
Interesting. I wonder if the shooter knew about the bomber; or vice versa.
Why go off topic?