Partisan Morality: All Too Common

AntiWar.com’s Justin Raimondo discusses “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart’s recent flip-flop on whether or not Truman committed a war crime in dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Stewart originally argued with obvious conviction and forethought that, as Raimondo summarizes, “if we had first demonstrated the power of this new weapon on an uninhabited atoll somewhere, and then informed the Japanese government that they’d better surrender, or else that would happen in Japan, then and only then would it be okay to drop the Big One. The audience cheered him on.” Only several days later, however, Stewart was on air apologizing for his former statements, presumably at the request of Comedy Central executives.

Raimondo argues that this is sadly to be expected:

If you’re on the Left, you can take on George W. Bush, murderer of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis – but not Harry Truman, killer of even larger numbers of innocent Japanese civilians. Rightists regularly excoriate the crimes of Stalin, yet they are expected to remain silent when it comes to war crimes committed by the U.S., such as the “Phoenix program” during the Vietnam conflict – and they rarely disappoint…

Thus what passes for the Left in the America of 2009 is perfectly happy to make demands they know will never be met and rail against a practice that even those who advocate it in certain circumstances seem uneasy about. It’s so much easier than coming out against the foreign policy of a popular president whom liberals regard as the second coming of Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King combined.

In other words, condemnation of select members of the parade of horribles of war and government we’ve seen over the last century typically occurs on a partisan basis, with each side simply accusing the other rather than expressing a reasonably consistent horror at unnecessary pain and suffering. Read the rest of Raimondo’s article here, and go here for condemnations of the bombing from the likes of Einstein, MacArthur, and Eisenhower.

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