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Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Adolescent moral preening

Jon Stewart admitted to Cliff May that he was willing to consider Harry Truman a war criminal for giving the order to drop the atomic bomb on Japan. There were a number of revisionist books on this matter many years ago. In doing the homework on the matter it became clear how nonsensical the revisionist notion was on this matter. It requires real historical ignorance and denial of the nature of the moral choice confronted by Truman to fault him.

The video of Bill Whittle fisking of Jon Stewart is extremely well done. Also, a guest blogger at Bookworm Room has a meaningful contribution.

Must see material!


erp said...

Whittle fisking Stewart is like using a bulldozer to kill a fly.

Judging history by a different set of standards like the example in your post is basically dishonest as is calling Jefferson and Washington's fine words lies because they kept slaves.

It's easy for people like Stewart and Obama to lead our fellow citizens around by the nose because generations of public school attendance have robbed them of the ability for critical thinking and left them ignorant of history.

I've taped the last couple of College Jeopardy and was sad to see that while these bright kids are fast with answers to pop culture and science, they're stumped by what I always considered common knowledge of the past.

Bret said...

I think that the definition of "war criminal" has been changed by Barack "I won" Obama and his followers to mean "anybody who opposes us or who does or did things we don't approve." (I guess this is part of what's said at the Bookworm Room).

Thus, regardless of Whittle's excellent analysis, Truman is probably a "war criminal" by that current definition.

Bret said...


"These bright kids" may not be well verse in (accurate) history/common knowledge, but on the whole, I've found that they have a lot more common sense than the baby boomers. Stewart and Obama lead the boomers around by the nose, not the young, again from my observations. I'm working on a short post about this.

Harry Eagar said...

You guys won't read newspaper but you take a stand-up comic seriously enough to fisk?

Whittle's rebuttal was about half-right. He forgot to mention the little matter of the Red Army.


Truman -- and everybody who carried a gun during World War II -- would now qualify as war criminals, under the Geneva conventions. Which were passed with bipartisan glee.

I don't recall anybody from any side advocating their abrogation, either.

Only some weird blogger at Restating the Obvious.

erp said...

Changing the rules during or after the game is dirty pool.

Harry which newspaper do you suggest we read?

Bret said...

You mean other than the Maui News?

Howard said...

I noticed what a fine job the newspapers did in vetting El Presidente during the campaign.

The was good material in unconventional sources online.

Harry Eagar said...

Your hometown newspaper plus at least one big daily. It doesn't matter much which one, as long as it isn't the New York Post.

The Wall Street Journal has pretty good crime and cultural reports, but avoid the poisonous editorial pages. But it isn't a daily.

If you live in a metropolis (I don't), you could buy a different out-of-town daily every day. I recommend that.

You never can tell what you'll learn. A cosmopolitan friend of mine who reads big city papers in French and English found that some of the best newspaper opinion writing was in the Lewiston, Idaho, paper.