This Is What Evil Looks Like *Open Thread*

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Jonah Goldberg had an excellent post recently in my local paper (Post and Courier) and in Townhall.com on ISIS and the use of the term “evil” to describe this radical Islamist organization.

It may, or may not, surprise you that some people have a problem with that description. Goldberg makes an excellent case, I think. From his post, “If ‘Evil’ Doesn’t Apply to Islamic State, What Does?”:

[…] For most of the Obama years, talk of evil was largely banished from mainstream discourse. An attitude of “goodbye to all that” prevailed, as the war on terror was rhetorically and legally disassembled and the spare parts put toward building a law-enforcement operation. War was euphemized into “overseas contingency operations” and “kinetic military action.” There was still bloodshed, but the language was often bloodless. Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, a protege of al-Qaeda guru Anwar al-Awlaki, shouted “Allahu Akbar!” as he killed his colleagues at Fort Hood. The military called the incident “workplace violence.”

But sanitizing the language only works so long as people aren’t paying too much attention. That’s why the Islamic State is so inconvenient to those who hate the word “evil.” Last week, after the group released a video showing American journalist James Foley getting his head cut off, the administration’s rhetoric changed dramatically. The president called the Islamic State a “cancer” that had to be eradicated. Secretary of State John Kerry referred to it as the “face of … evil.”

Allow me to digress for just a moment here since Goldberg mentioned Major Nidal Hasan. Well, it isn’t much of a digression since we are discussing ISIS. Fox News reported this morning that – get this – Majro Hasan wrote to ISIS about joining their club. No, really, he did (link to follow when available). Yep, he was praising them for not backing off of their rules against those infidels. Uh huh. “Workplace violence” indeed. Only in some crazy, psychopathic universe, that is.

And along those lines, while I am digressing on Hasan and his Islamist attack at Fort Hood characterized in insane language by the Obama Administration, Sgt. Kimberly Munley, who helped take down Major Hasan, was on Fox and Friends this morning discussing this very issue:

I cannot even begin to fathom how hard this is for her as well as the other survivors and families of the fallen to still, five years later, not have the acknowledgement that this was terrorism, nor the benefits they SHOULD have gotten as ult of this terrorist attack.

But as she makes clear, and as Jonah Goldberg makes clear, language matters. Back to Goldberg’s piece:

Although most people across the ideological spectrum see no problem with calling Islamic State evil, the change in rhetoric elicited a predictable knee-jerk response. Political scientist Michael Boyle hears an “eerie echo” of Bush’s “evildoers” talk. “Indeed,” he wrote in the New York Times, “condemning the black-clad, masked militants as purely ‘evil’ is seductive, for it conveys a moral clarity and separates ourselves and our tactics from the enemy and theirs.”

James Dawes, the director of the Program in Human Rights and Humanitarianism at Macalester College, agreed in a piece for CNN.com Using the word “evil,” he wrote, “stops us from thinking.”

No, it doesn’t. But perhaps a reflexive and dogmatic fear of the word “evil” hinders thinking?

For instance, Boyle suggests that because the Islamic State controls lots of territory and is “administering social services,” it “operates less like a revolutionary terrorist movement that wants to overturn the entire political order in the Middle East than a successful insurgent group that wants a seat at that table.”

Are you kidding me with this? What the hell kind of warped thinking is THIS?? From the arrogant, condescending, belittling, assholic, characterization of people who use the term “evil” as unthinking to claiming that ISIS are good guys for providing “services.” Are you KIDDING me with this?? Good heavens, what a disturbing mindset Boyle has. It explains a lot though, like how Hamas has gotten so much support from those on the Left.

But I digress again. Following is Goldberg’s conclusion:

Behold the clarity of thought that comes with jettisoning moralistic language! Never mind that the Islamic State says it seeks a global caliphate with its flag over the White House. Who cares that it is administering social services? Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot did, too. That’s what revolutionary groups do when they grab enough territory.

There’s a more fundamental question: Is it true? Is the Islamic State evil?

As a matter of objective moral fact, the answer seems obvious. But also under any more subjective version of multiculturalism, pluralism or moral relativism shy of nihilism, “evil” seems a pretty accurate description for an organization that is not only intolerant toward gays, Christians, atheists, moderate Muslims, Jews, women, et al. but also stones, beheads and enslaves them.

Who are you saving the word for if “evil” is too harsh for the Islamic State? More to the point, since when is telling the truth evidence you’ve stopped thinking? (Click here to read the rest.)

I concur – absolutely, ISIS is evil, for all the reasons Goldberg cites and more. It is appalling, abhorrent, that excuses are being made to NOT consider this terrorist organization what it is: evil. Hell, even Al Qaida says ISIS is too radical for them. THAT is saying something, isn’t it? Well, not to ISIS apologists like Boyle, I guess.

Yep, Goldberg’s last point says it all, and highlights yet another way speaking the truth is demeaned by those who prefer we sweep it all under the rug. We are “un-thinking” if we name events or groups for what they are. In this case, ISIS is what evil incarnate looks like.

Oh, and I would argue it takes actual thought to come to arrive at actual conclusions rather than simply rely on ideological talking points. But that’s just me. How about you?

This is an Open Thread.

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53 Responses to “This Is What Evil Looks Like *Open Thread*”

  1. HELENK3 Says:

    http://www.breakingnews.com/topic/ukraine-protests-over-eu-agreement-delay/

    in addition to isis , it looks like all hell is breaking out in the Ukraine

    • Katherine B Says:

      I was doing an early morning scan of news sites and I saw a headline on Drudge shouting that Russia had invaded Ukraine. Because Drudge can often be melodramatic, I decided to see what the Lame Stream Media had to say. CBS had nothing. ABC had THREE stories about Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie and a small story about Ukraine scrolling way down on its site. CNN did carry the story as a headline.

      The depressing lesson I took away from this is that ABC wouldn’t be carrying three stories about Brad Pitt and Angelina Joie if it wasn’t sure that’s what the American public wants.

  2. kenoshamarge Says:

    Jonah Goldberg, as usual, gets to the heart of things. Why is it so hard for liberals to admit that evil exists? They don’t seem to have much trouble calling Republicans every name in the book, but scurry to find excuses for evil-doers.

    The problem is that many ignorant libs, incapable to common sense and rational thought will not follow through on the idiot words of Michael Boyle and his insane rambling about the Islamic State controls lots of territory and is “administering social services” . Does he not know that one of the things that some Germans bragged about Hitler for was that the trains ran on time. Right into Dachau.

    I cannot fathom why anyone would want to make excuses for ISIS/ISIL. Evil exists and is at this time manifesting itself under the banner of ISIS/ISIL. To be too sophisticated to recognize it and asknowledge it is disgusting.

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      I love Goldberg – he really does have a way with words, doesn’t he?
      And he is so right abt this, too.

      I simply cannot understand people who excuse this kind of behavior, or try to soften it, or justify it, or anything like that. Makes no sense to me.

      And excellent example abt Hitler. That is just the kind of mentality with which we are dealing, shockingly.

      No doubt at all, in my mind, that ISIS is evil, just as Al Qaida is, and Hamas, and the Muslim Brotherhood, and on I could go (sadly)…

  3. HELENK3 Says:

    if the obots can not see this and see EVIL in capital letters they are dumb beyond belief.

    http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2014/08/isis-commits-mass-slaughter-murders-hundreds-of-syrian-soldier-prisoners-films-it-all/

  4. Katherine B Says:

    One almost got whiplash watching Obama go from calling ISIS “the JV” to now designating them as a “cancer.” Unfortunately, I read a piece online somewhere yesterday that the Free Syrian Army, the “moderate Islamic” force that some wanted to arm in the fight against Asad also beheaded some of their captives. So, dare I say out loud, evil and barbarity seem to be hallmarks of all Islamic forces.

    • kenoshamarge Says:

      Isn’t it amazing that there is no outcry in the media about Obama being a flip-flopper? /s

      I don’t watch “The Five” anymore but loved this quote from Greg Gutfeld:

      • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

        Marge, it is amazing, isn’t it? The media continues to cover for Obama no matter what.

        Katherine, it just boggles the mind the ways in which people find to declare behavior that is truly barbaric as “moderate.” Compared to WHAT, exactly?? Just SMDH…

    • mcnorman Says:

      Minor details to the savages Katherine B.

  5. HELENK3 Says:

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2014/08/28/hannity_explodes_on_muslim_cleric_defending_islamic_state.html

    glad someone is speaking out

  6. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    Without a doubt, they are enemy combatants and traitors: http://thehill.com/policy/defense/216133-graham-americans-fighting-with-isis-are-enemy-combatants

  7. HELENK3 Says:

    http://foxnewsinsider.com/2014/08/24/judge-jeanine-obama-if-your-goal-isn%E2%80%99t-destroy-isis-%E2%80%98you-need-leave-white-house%E2%80%99

    I love this lady

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Amen to what she said, and to loving her. She is something else. She is so, so right – if only Obama would listen…

  8. HELENK3 Says:

    http://www.jihadwatch.org/2014/08/at-behest-of-hamas-linked-cair-doj-sues-minnesota-town-for-rejecting-mosque

    about that separation of church and state: that is so yesterday for certain religions but not others

  9. HELENK3 Says:

    http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2014/08/28/al-qaeda-magazine-hints-at-future-lone-wolf-attacks-in-the-us/

    jihadist magazine hints at future lone wolf attacks in USA

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      I heard abt this – they have a number of targets picked out, and the list is mighty scary…

  10. HELENK3 Says:

    http://weaselzippers.us/197954-holder-to-give-funds-from-dojs-16-billion-settlement-with-bank-of-america-to-radical-leftist-groups/

    gee why this is NOT a surprise.
    holder’s dept of crime gives settlement money to radical leftist groups

  11. HELENK3 Says:

    http://cnsnews.com/news/article/penny-starr/mayor-adult-illegal-aliens-graying-hair-enrolled-public-schools

    you got to be kidding

  12. HELENK3 Says:

    http://www.wimp.com/gotalong/

    I love when people come up with ideas to make my life easier

  13. kenoshamarge Says:

    This quote from T.S. Eliot seems appropriate for this post:

    However you disguise it, this thing does not change: The perpetual struggle of Good and Evil.

    T. S. Eliot

  14. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    So, Obama spoke out today on the important matters of the day (I am watching “The Five” right this minute). To hear Obama talk about protecting “the homeland,” and reminding everyone that he is the “Commander in Chief,” in a bit of a lackluster manner, does not breed a whole lot of confidence that he will be able to handle ISIS or Russia invading Ukraine.

    Well, that and his claim that he doesn’t HAVE a strategy (Eric Bolling is going off on THAT little claim).

    WOW. Just freakin’ WOW.

    And Helen, thanks again for the heads-up on the invasion. It is really just hard to believe.

  15. HELENK3 Says:

    weird thought
    did backtrack color his hair during the election , or is he coloring it now to look like he is working and worrying about the country?

  16. HELENK3 Says:

    https://newsbusters.org/blogs/kyle-drennen/2014/08/28/nbc-and-abc-ignore-obama-fundraising-trip-snarling-holiday-travel-cbs-#main-content

    backtrack off to work again this weekend. he thinks it his only job
    fundraising

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      You should have heard (maybe you did) Eric Bolling going off abt Obama basically saying he has no plan, and now he is going to run off to a wedding and more fundraising. It’s amazing Obama didn’t step up to the podium and say, “I have no plan, but I have plans, so See ya!”

  17. Katherine B Says:

    So I see that Hillary has made a statement about the situation in Ferguson saying, “We can’t ignore the inequities in our legal system.” How pathetic. She’s afraid of alienating the black vote. Well guess what, sweetie, all those middle class white voters in places like PA are going to look at that statement and say “goodbye” or perhaps something a little more lively.

    • HELENK3 Says:

      guess she is trying not to be called racist this time. guess what hilary it will not work

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      What the hell?? What “inequities”?? That the looters and rioters seem to have gotten away with their rampant lawlessness? Them??? Because I gotta tell you, the cop’s response was training in action. With a broken eye-socket, something a friend who is a nurse told me is VERY hard to do, and with a concussion (I asked if he wouldn’t have one after getting hit that hard, and she said there is no way he COULDN’T have had one), he had that same guy, a CRIMINAL, charging him after already assaulting him and trying to get his gun. How is that, in any way, an “inequity”???

      GRRRR. This kind of thing just makes me nuts.

      As for her being called a racist, Dems will call anyone a racist if it suits them, Hillary included.

  18. HELENK3 Says:

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/08/28/Flashback-Palin-After-Obama-Accepts-Pres-Nom-What-Exactly-Is-His-Plan

    interesting fact

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      She was right abt a lot – no wonder the JournoListers and Dems went after her so much…

  19. Katherine B Says:

    I’m reading at another blog that Obama made a statement today that he has no plan for ISIS yet. WHAT? Jimmy Carter redux!

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Exactly – that was abt what I was talking in a reply to Helen up a few from here. Obama basically came out and reminded everyone he’s the Commander in Chief, mentioned keeping the “homeland” safe, but he has ZERO plans to do anything abt ISIS or Russia.

      I just heard on Greta van Susteren’s show in a conversation with John Bolton that Obama said he and Merkel had talked, and agreed that Russia was the aggressor. I was saying to the radio, “No DUH!” That was basically what Amb. Bolton said, too, but a little more diplomatically. Was that in question in anyway?? Did we not already KNOW that Russia was being the aggressor?? Ugh.

      Yeah, and then Obama was gonna take off for a wedding and more fundraising. That’s how he rolls…

  20. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    Charles Krauthammer had a lot to say about Obama’s “no strategy” revelation today: http://dailycaller.com/2014/08/28/krauthammer-shocked-by-obamas-admission-that-he-has-no-isis-ukraine-strategy-video/

  21. Cindyindie Says:

    http://news.yahoo.com/audacity-taupe-obama-suit-creates-sartorial-stir-222521652.html

    There were no follow-up questions (in the press conference today) about Obama’s plans (NONE!) for ISIS, because the press and other tweeters were madly commenting on his beige suit!
    “The Audacity of Taupe”, etc!

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      They are talking abt the beige suit right now. Amazing that there were no follow up questions. That’s our press corps for ya…

  22. HELENK3 Says:

    just heard the best description of backtrack’s foreign policy.
    a ” Barney Fife” run foreign policy

  23. HELENK3 Says:

    http://weaselzippers.us/198025-ft-hood-jihadist-nidal-hasan-writes-letter-to-isis-leader-asking-to-become-a-citizen-of-the-caliphate/

    here is the article you were talking about earlier today

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Thanks so much for this, Helen. Yes, this is the one. Isn’t that so amazing? Yet Hasan, even though the FBI knew how radicalized he was, wasn’t a terrorist according to Obama, et. al. Right…

  24. Cindyindie Says:

    Cuz, et al—-I’m wondering if this “we’ve got no strategy re: ISIS” is a red herring…Is that possible? Could it be that the CIA and military bigwigs marched into the Oval Office, “Seven Days in May”-style, and told Barry to act as if we’re doing nothing (which the world would believe!!) while they’re plotting to blow the ISISians off the face of the earth in Syria and Iraq?
    I guess we’ll know within the week. Fingers crossed!

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Hmm – I suppose it is possible his advisors finally got through to him to stop telegraphing every major security decision they were making. I wish I could say I was hopeful, but I would love to be wrong!

      And “ISISians” is funny!

  25. Cindyindie Says:

    P.S. Cuz and everybody—I just LOVED Greg Gutfeld on O’Reilly tonight…He did a fabulous job, IMO!

  26. kenoshamarge Says:

    Another fabulous Branco cartoon!

    Branco cartoon from Legal Insurrection http://legalinsurrection.com/

  27. HELENK3 Says:

    http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/susan-jones/wh-scrambles-explain-obamas-dont-have-strategy-remark

    doing the wiggle worm on backtrack’s press appearance

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