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Well it looks like we're shaping up for WW3 and no adults appear to be in the room. I assume the people who are beating the war drums are fine for their sons to go off and fight and die for Israel.

Instead of fuelling the hysteria we need to try to walk this back, because when it escalates into a global conflict the current death toll of 1400 Israelis and 5000 Palestinians will look small in comparison.

See Tucker Carlson's interview with Colonel Macgregor:

https://twitter.com/TuckerCarlson/status/1716574971206500570

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I've told my study group that if they see a supposedly Christian leader engaging in moral equivalence or worse about this, they can know that leader is not to be listened to any more.

Sadly, I've seen two young woke (or woke adjacent) Christians I once thought highly of engage in sentimental moral equivalence. American evangelicals are prone to confuse sugary pious sentiment with truth, justice, and morality. Wokeness and idealism only makes that worse among the young.

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I will directly and forthrightly declare my allegiance to and endorsement of another form of "yes- buttery:"

Yes, what Hamas did was an atrocity, but no, it is not an atrocity against me or one that should justify the intervention of my government into the conflict on my behalf. Especially since it seems clear from the very day that it happened that our blood thirsty neocon puppets like Lindsey Graham and Nikki Haley are prepping us to use it as an excuse to attack Iran.

Rod is correct that 10/7 is a lot like 9/11. It's being used as an excuse to move forces against a different target. They're trying to use our anger at atrocity to motivate us to attack a bigger target than a few Palestinians crammed into the open- air prison that makes up the Gaza strip. Just as the real target after 9/11 shifted from killing goatherders in the mountains of Afghanistan to rolling tanks into Iraq on the pretext of WMDs, they are running the exact playbook to get a wider war with Iran.

We fell for it once before. Rod admits that he did. I admit that I did. To the extent that the young people of 2023 who will be asked to do the fighting and dying in Tehran for the glory of the Great American Empire are saying "No," for whatever reason, I'm willing to support their decision.

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In the Mouth of Madness (1994) the book editor Linda Styles introduces what I can only describe as demonic logic to the main character, “reality is just what we tell each other it is. Sane and insane could easily switch places, if the insane were to become the majority.”

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"There are people who were more morally certain of denouncing people who went to the beach and to weddings and funerals in 2020 than are about the beheading of babies in 2023."

"Because people who believe that anything at all justifies these kinds of atrocities are people who can be convinced that it is good and necessary to do it to you, for the sake of a cause."

Could there have been some conditioning in the Covid panic to allow this latter response. People went to extremes to punish those who legitimately questioned mitigation efforts (and in large measure turned out to be right.). I even had doctors tell me that they would not treat anyone unvaccinated - something I have never seen even during the height of the AIDS epidemic. Non-personhood was accepted in the face of manufactured fear. It only takes one more step from there.

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Rod,

Thank you for this amazing column. You have said what needs to be said.

I want to be of a little help, if I can. My PhD is in Mathematics Education, so I hope I have credibility when discussing numbers here. The poll you reference, **quoted in the way it was**, does not appear overly credible. You are very credible, but regarding this, I don't want to give anyone an opening to fault you.

(1) The methodology of this poll is suspect. I drilled down and found the original source, linked below. Note the following from the source – quoted below - this means, for instance, that if pollsters believe more youth side with the left, they could “weight” those responses higher.

<<<”Results were weighted for age within gender, region, race/ethnicity, marital status, household size, income, employment, education, political party, and political ideology where necessary to align them with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online. The margin of error for the poll is +/- 2%.”

>>>

(2) Next, not the lack of care in presenting results. The word “blaming” appears to be omitted in the stating the poll question -

<<<”Do you think the Hamas killing of 1200 Israeli civilians on Israel can be justified by the grievances of Palestinians or is it not justified?”>>>>

(3) Finally – and probably most important -this poll eliminates respondents who answered, “I don’t know”. Other polls have shown significant numbers who answer, “I don’t know”, of course, either because they truly do not know, or because they do not want the poll taker to know their opinion.

Most polls I see that break down numbers for youth and include "don't know" responses do not say a majority of youth agrees with Hamas. But you are so right to say that the number of youths supporting Hamas is heartbreakingly large. (It just does not appear to be a majority.)

(4) Strangely, here are the results of the same poll for the question <<<”Do you think that the attacks on Jews were genocidal in nature or not genocidal”>>> Ages 18-24 say genocidal 62%, not genocidal 38%. Those are not typos.

(5) And of course with a margin of error of +- 2 percent, it might not be 51-49 for Hamas. It might be 49-51 for Israel.

(6) Last - this was a survey of 2119 people. We are to "trust them" that their sample was normally distributed, and thus claims like "margin of error +/- 2%" are accurate (these claims fall apart if the distribution is not normal). But look how credible their "normally distributed" election surveys tend to be. Hmmmm.....

Link to the full poll:

https://harvardharrispoll.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/10/HHP_Oct23_KeyResults.pdf

My recommendation: Look at a lot of polls, not just this one. The ones I see, that show "don't knows" do not say it is a majority of youth supporting Hamas, but again, yes, it is far too many.

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Sounds like a good time for our borders to be wide open. You just can't make this stuff up......

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It sounds like what you are proposing, Rod, is a clean war. One where people are killed without a lot of blood and gore and torture.

Snark aside, your incessant emphasis on the torture and gore plays right into the hands of the forces that are seeking to draw the US into war precisely by appealing to people's emotions. Is the burned body of a Gazan baby any less horrific than that of a Jewish baby? Of course not, but we are not being bombarded with pictures of those. Is the corpse of a Jewish mother mutilated by Hamas fighters any more awful than that of the corpse of a Gazan mother mutilated by an Israeli bomb? Of course not, but we are not seeing those images.

My plea is that you stop focusing on the images, which are designed to manipulate and evidently are succeeding.

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"Let’s do a thought experiment."

Try this one, which I mentioned in the comments of a previous post. In the Wasaw ghetto uprising, would the Jews there have been justified in, say, torturing their Nazi opponents, gouging out their eyes, disemboweling them in front of their children (right, I know, but just go with it).

The assassins who killed Reinhard Heydrich - rather than blasting him with a mine, would they have been justified in, say, crushing his testicles slowly beneath a jackboot or giving him the "secret brand?"

In other words, if you consider something to be monstrously evil, as our leftist friends apparently consider Israel - is it it morally legitimate to respond with atrocities and monstrosities? Some obviously think so. But then an eye for an eye leaves everyone blind.

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When I was younger, I spent a lot of time talking with and getting to know bikers, neo-Nazis, Russian mafia, hardcore militia types, etc. I was curious, I suppose because I had told been of the evils of these things and wanted to see what made it all tick. I came away realizing that the media had vastly overstated the reality, that it sold a lot of press to treat these things all as dragons lurking behind the horizon. I won’t deny that violence happened, but it was a weird combination of being inherent to the culture and part of doing business. Entitlement to violence was never really something I found. By this, I mean being able to incorporate violence into a moral framework that blessed it as inherent to the lifestyle or existence. Justifications for it almost always came from an atmosphere of circumstance, not an inherent justification that the act was acceptable because of the status of each person involved. In other words, a person might be beaten or killed, but it was because that person acted in a way that made it necessary in the beater or killer’s mind. This justification on a personal or individual level made it possible to commit violence and maintain position within that in-group, because it was seen as essential to the survival of the group.

I also spent time talking with others, including the various leftist racial supremacists of the day. Black supremacists in particular. It was harder talking with them, because they would converse for a while, then they remembered they hated whites, and that would end the dialog for a while. The contrast was that the justification of violence did not exist in the same sense, if at all. It meant that violence did not need to be restrained, as it wasn’t seen as a threat to the survival of the in-group.

In other words, white-descended cultures, where violence permeates the culture, still have the idea that the existence of the group depends on interactions that are rational in an external framework. An external framework in this sense is a moral origin external to the in-group. In non-white cultures, the need to justify doesn’t exist, that there is no need because the morality of an action is separate from the action, and justification, if it occurs, happens externally.

A stark example of this years ago was when I was at a chain grocery store in the ‘hood. A black woman was being detained by two white security guards. She didn’t go quietly, and a crowd of thirty or so blacks had gathered and were shouting things like “let her go, she didn’t do nothing!” So, the in-group morality overrode a larger framework, because the in-group did not see this as a crime and did not need to justify it to the out-group.

There is a lot more to it, and I could fill a book if all this hadn’t happened a long time ago and anyone was willing to publish anything connected to reality, but I think it explains an awful lot. Cruelty, as it occurs in such vivid tones, can do so because of self-justification. Restraint doesn’t exist, because restraint is a product of a moral framework. If you have no moral framework - because the in-group threat doesn’t exist - then anything is possible.

When reading about the Holocaust some time back, three things stood out to me at the time and I did not understand them. The first was why the Nazis started using gas chambers, when bullets were simpler, easier, and safer than trying to use mass quantities of poison gases to kill. The second was why corrupt camp guards and administrators were themselves punished at times. And the third was why Oskar Dirlewanger found himself on the outs with a regime that was itself notorious for cruelty. Fourth, I suppose, was why the murder of Jews and others, was not public and widely celebrated. Obviously, it was because Nazi cruelty didn’t happen, but because there was a need for justification. Restraint, however weak and superficial, was still necessary to maintain in-group integrity.

The left has spent decades tearing down the frameworks which supported justification. If it feels good, do it. A motto also adopted by the Church of Satan, if you want to raise an eyebrow. Restraint forced by constraint doesn’t happen. It is a reversion to barbarism, because an uncivilized culture lacks frameworks and survival is emphasized above all other things. God and natural law doesn’t enter the mind at all, only the optimal path for the in-group. Anything is justified, because the framework itself does not exist.

In the eyes of Hamas, smashing a baby’s skull may happen, but without greater meaning. Likewise, it could not happen, and there would be no more meaning then, either. This is the psychopathy of culture. It is satanic in a very literal sense. The brutality of communism in the last century was the same kind of thinking on a large scale, where out-group justification did not exist, only in-group. It was perfectly fine to commit any form of violence against anyone seen as part of the out-group, because there was no external framework.

This really should terrify anyone who is paying any attention. What the left is doing here - and I think covers both of Rod’s idea of summoning demons and of an apocalypse - is simply abrogating millennia of trying to form the framework of civilization. The pick-mes in the crowd will happily point to all the failings of civilization, while ignoring the reality of the statement. In-group integrity no longer depends on demonstrating a thing as a threat, but simply it can be dealt with as people want. By not condemning this, the left has opened the gates of hell, perhaps quite literally.

What then is the appropriate response? Islam itself does not appeal to a higher moral framework, which is why a thing like 9/11 can happen and why terrorism is a regular tool. The left believes that it cannot condemn, but condemnation is the building block of restraint and civilization. Without it, justification becomes internal again, the psychopathy of barbarism.

I am not sure where this ends up, but I do not think that it was inaccurate for people in 2001 and before to describe this as the clash of civilizations. Or, really, the clash of civilization with barbarism. The problem now is defining what that means and what it means to be living in a time when people with the loudest voices rush all over themselves to proclaim sympathy for the devil.

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Interesting discussion yesterday with Aaron Mate and Katie Halpern with Norman Finkelstein describing the baby killing etc. during Nat Turner’s slave rebellion.

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Rod, please don't apologize for continuing to talk about the Hamas atrocities. You're doing a noble work. Also, I've been reading Paul Johnson's "A History of the Jews": it couldn't be more apposite right now. So many themes seem to be repeating themselves today. But in this case, it's amazing to read how many did not want to know (or admit) what was happening. If the Jews had left rectification of the injustices they suffered (or even their very survival) to others, they would be only a memory by now. Also, both in "A History of the Jews" and his masterwork, "Modern Times", Johnson targets again and again as the central theme that moral proportionalism of *doing evil for the sake of good* undermining whatever good had been sought, as well as paving the way for more wicked actors to do worse things (colonialism is the classic case here). He also shows how the Israelis own willingness at times to descend to this moral equivalency engendered the same kind of cruel calculous in their antagonists. Worth checking out, if it's been a while since you've read them.

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No disagreement with a word in here, but up to and including "Israel will rightly work to minimize the deaths of innocents, but it cannot allow Hamas to get away with what it did, period" you lose me. "Get away with"? Not going to argue the case, but let's just hope I don't get to say "I told you so" on the other side of World War III. Col. Macgregor told Tucker yesterday that if Israel wants to destroy Hamas, it has to destroy Gaza.

Yet and still, can we agree that the story is NOT Bari Weiss turning right?

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Not sure how we as common citizens can do much of anything in the face of this hatred. Vote? Please. When you get down to it, isn’t “doing something about ‘it’ “ i.e., the current importation of violent Islamicists” really about stopping immigration of Muslims? Didn’t the last administration get excoriated for even the most limited suggestion of that?? If that is not what is being suggested here, albeit perhaps cloaked in the interest of civil discourse, what does “doing something” mean? Anyone?

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