In yesterday’s Europe’s Concerned, Worried, and Doubting , I wrote on the reaction of the European left to the killing of Osama bin Laden. I thought, and think, even after the distressed responses, that one can legitimately be pleased that justice has been done by an action that seems to have satisfied the criteria of just war theory .
But not everything goes. We cannot do anything we can do even to achieve a good end. Arriving this afternoon in my inbox for my personal e-mail address was a column by Wesley Pruden, the long-time editor of the Washington Times , for which he still writes a column. I’m fairly sure I didn’t sign up for it.
Pruden writes in defense of “enhanced interrogation techniques” (which he does, to his credit, put in quotes), because torturing various prisoners reportedly led to bin Laden’s discovery. He is pleased that President Obama reversed his campaign promise not to torture prisoners for information.
We can be grateful that Mr. Obama is capable of distinguishing between then and now, between theory and real life, between moonshine and the expensive bonded stuff even if members of his cult cant. One day, when man is finally perfected and all rough places are made smooth, we can live by the Golden Rule. Until then presidents now and in future will do what they have to do, and leave the boilerplate piety to the blowhards of press and tube.
This is the ethic of the abortionist. It is one of those statements about which one could say much, but doesn’t need to. You don’t, at least, if you try to follow the boilerplate piety of that blowhard Jesus.