Category Archives: Ethics

UPDATED: Standing Armies Are Worse Than Useless (Israeli Major Gen. To US: Pot. Kettle. Black)

Ethics, Israel, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Just War, Middle East, Military

First up today, a think-tanker with the surname of Haas told CNN’s Don Lemon that Hamas kills Israelis and exploits Palestinians. No doubt. However, if given the option—something the dead are not afforded—would I rather be exploited by Hamas or killed by an Israeli bomb? I think you know the answer. (I was unable to locate the interview online.)

Next, this time on Fox News, a gentleman by the name of Adam Ereli, former U.S. ambassador to Bahrain, informed anchor Shepard Smith—and I paraphrase—that too much emphasis is being placed on Palestinian civilian casualties. Really? Are their lives forfeit for the sins of others?

This does not look good for Israel. My sense of this Gaza offensive is that a standing army such as Israel’s is unequipped to deal with guerrilla warfare. Standing armies are fat, lazy, imprecise and careless.

Not much has changed since I wrote, in 2012 (“Standing Armies Commandeered by Cowards”), the following about Israel’s previous futile confrontation with Hamas:

… The fight was started by Hamas. Hamas hides among unwitting civilians, who have no way of controlling its activities. This fact does not give Israel the right to kill innocent non-combatants, not even unintentionally.

Besides, murder is not “unintentional” when you know it is inevitable.

To make matters worse, Gazans are helpless—they are without siren systems to warn them of an impending attack, or bomb shelters in which to hide.

After its 2006 Lebanon fiasco, I proposed that Israel deploy the best of its special-operations units. Israeli commandos such as the “Sayeret Matkal” are trained in surgical strikes, including modern urban counterterrorism operations. “Sayeret” soldiers can trace and neutralize the source of an attack against Israeli civilians sans “collateral damage.”

Yes, what’s the matter with Israel’s Special Operations capabilities? Where are Israel’s precision Pac Men? Did the Israel Defense Forces rain bombs, willy-nilly, on the civilians at the Entebbe Airport—in Uganda, on July 4, 1976—where the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine held 100 hijacked Jews and Israelis hostage?

Not on your life.

Led by Lt. Col. Yonatan Netanyahu, Bibi Netanyau’s late great brother, 100 members of the “Sayeret” traversed 2,500 miles to rescue their brethren. They killed only those who needed killing.

It used to be that leaders like “Yoni” Netanyahu charged with their men into battle. Not anymore. Nowadays, celebrity, champagne-swilling generals give the order to chubby men in armored machines, who then bomb the anthills from above and afar. …


UPDATE: Israeli Major Gen. To US: Pot. Kettle. Black. Retired Major General Amos Yadlin responded to the moralizing of CNN’s Wolf Blitzer brilliantly:

BLITZER: Should Israel, the IDF, be doing more to prevent civilian casualties?

YADLIN: The IDF are doing more than the Americans have done in Fallujah and more than the Americans have done in Germany in the second world war. We are the moralist army in the world. We have a code of conduct that we are allowed to attack only terrorists.

This too is true, but how much does it mean, and is it enough?

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UPDATE II: Navy SEAL’s Bad Karma Continues (LIBERTARIAN LAW of Libel)

Ethics, Free Speech, Justice, libertarianism, Military

Deceased Navy SEAL Chris Kyle lived by the sword and died by the sword (BAB 02.03.13). “Or, in hippie speak: Kyle had bad karma”; he was “shot point-blank” by “another soldier who was recovering from post traumatic stress syndrome.”

In a book detailing his life as Uncle Sam’s assassin, Kyle libeled another Navy man, former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura. It proved the wrong move. “Kyle’s estate,” reports The Daily Caller, “which is run by his widow Taya,” will be liable for “$500,000 for defamation and $1.3 million for unjust enrichment.”

UPDATE I (7/30): Soldiers Against Due Process. Fox News, predictably, reports “Outrage After Jesse Ventura Wins Lawsuit Against Chris Kyle”:

Ben Smith, Kyle’s roommate during SEAL training, still disputes that his friend lied about the confrontation, which occurred at a memorial service for a SEAL who had been killed when he jumped on a grenade.
Smith said he’s having trouble “grasping” how the American judicial system could come up with a verdict like this, recalling that Kyle had told him about the confrontation with Ventura.
“He was running his mouth and saying some really vile stuff, saying we should lose more men, more heroes, more guys out there who were fighting the fight. Is that not almost treasonous? Like you’re anti-American, saying we should lose? [Chris] said ‘you say that again, I’m going to pop you in the — I’m going to get ya.’ And he did and he came over and did it,” said Smith. … Later on the show, the hosts expressed their own thoughts on the shocking ruling, questioning how Ventura could go after the widow of an American hero.


UPDATE II: LIBERTARIAN LAW of Libel. There is the controversy over libel in libertarian circles. Most of us think that speech ought to be unfettered and that a person has no right in his reputation. I suppose I ought to have mentioned the libertarian law of libel, which I like a lot and support. Instead, I got carried away with my feelings about this much-worshiped killer.

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When An Exceptionally ‘Good Country’ Downs A Plane

America, Crime, Criminal Injustice, Ethics, Iran, Reason, Russia

To extrapolate from Dinesh D’Souza’s illogic (explained nicely by Jack Kerwick), when an exceptionally ‘Good Country,’ as the US surely is, downs a plane, that country deserves mitigation, for it is good. In other words, the properties of the crime, which are the same whoever commits it, somehow change, depending on the identity of the perpetrator.

Thus, because he belongs to a good collective, D’Souza, presumably, would diminish the culpability of the “U.S. Navy captain” who shot “Iran Air Flight 655″ out of the sky, on July 3, 1988.

“A quarter-century later,” writes Fred Kaplan of Slate, “the Vincennes is almost completely forgotten, but it still ranks as the world’s seventh deadliest air disaster (Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is the sixth) and one of the Pentagon’s most inexcusable disgraces.”

Kaplan compares the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 to “The time the United States blew up a passenger plane—and tried to cover it up.”

… In several ways, the two calamities are similar. The Malaysian Boeing 777 wandered into a messy civil war in eastern Ukraine, near the Russian border; the Iranian Airbus A300 wandered into a naval skirmish—one of many clashes in the ongoing “Tanker War” (another forgotten conflict)—in the Strait of Hormuz. The likely pro-Russia rebel thought that he was shooting at a Ukrainian military-transport plane; the U.S. Navy captain, Will Rogers III, mistook the Airbus for an F-14 fighter jet. The Russian SA-11 surface-to-air missile that downed the Malaysian plane killed 298 passengers, including 80 children; the American SM-2 surface-to-air missile that downed the Iranian plane killed 290 passengers, including 66 children. After last week’s incident, Russian officials told various lies to cover up their culpability and blamed the Ukrainian government; after the 1988 incident, American officials told various lies and blamed the Iranian pilot. Not until eight years later did the U.S. government compensate the victims’ families, and even then expressed “deep regret,” not an apology. …

Read “America’s Flight 17.”

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Lawless Lynching Of Mississippi Tea Partier

Democrats, Elections, Ethics, Journalism, Left-Liberalism, Media

From her position as a lowly reporter at CNN, dumbo Dana Bash—whose love for Barack Obama is second only to Jessica Yellin’s, another of CNN’s pack animals—often allows herself to editorialize. Today Dana was doing Jackson, Mississippi, where she campaigned (oops, reported) for establishment Republican Thad Cochran, urging Democrats, via her “suggestive reporting” and selective interviews, that, “African-Americans … do have a stake in this runoff election.” In other words, vote against anti-establishment Republican Chris McDaniel if you don’t want to witness a reinstatement of Jim Crow laws.

Dana assures her readers and viewers that, “Mississippi law allows anyone to vote in the runoff, meaning Democrats can go to the polls so long as they didn’t vote in the Democratic primary and they don’t plan to support their party candidate in the general election.”

Not everyone agrees with Dana, who is no more than an Obama devotee, parading as a journalist. J. Christian Adams, “an election lawyer who served in the Voting Rights Section at the U.S. Department of Justice,” has this to say:

Mississippi law has a prohibition against voting in the Republican primary if you do not intend to support the nominee in November. The law is still on the books. A case which undermined the statute was thrown out and vacated by a federal appeals court. The closest thing there is questioning the law is an old attorney general’s opinion questioning the enforceability of the law.
The attorney general’s opinion, issued by a Democrat in 2003, doesn’t do what the left is claiming it does. For starters, it is simply an attorney general’s opinion. When I went to law school, we learned that such opinions are not binding authority. These days it seems that they are binding authority, as long as the left agrees with the outcome.
But the AG opinion cites eight reasons a voter may be challenged. Number 8 says “(g) That he is otherwise disqualified by law.” “Otherwise disqualified by law” certainly might mean they aren’t supposed to vote in the primary because they don’t qualify under Mississippi Code 23-15-575.
When I went to law school, we also learned about the canon of statutory interpretation that “courts must not construe statutes so as to nullify, void or render meaningless or superfluous.”
The chairs of the Democrat Party and Republican Party recognize what the academics apparently do not. Both are calling for Democrats not to raid the Republican runoff Tuesday. … MORE.

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Democrats, Ethics, Liberty, Republicans, Taxation

Seventy one percent of Americans want the Internal Revenue Service investigated for targeting tea-party groups (presumably for opposing Barack Obama).

Pat Caddell is perhaps the only Democrat (other that Dennis Kucinich) capable of expressing righteous indignation over such stuff—stuff that should outrage every moral human being with some affinity for the principles of liberty, namely a government subject, at the very least, to the same laws as the governed.

“Establishment Republicans want the IRS to go after Tea-Party groups,” contended Caddell. These groups “are an outside threat to their power hold, the lobbying-consulting class of the Republican party. The IRS now may also proceed against businesses that are cutting their work force. It is a lawless organization that no one will investigate.”


“This is about preserving privileges and arrangements that benefit these people over the country. And I’d say… it is worse than seedy. It is worse than corrupt. It is the issue that no one is allowed to speak up and the American people in the polls know it. This is a corrupt political system that doesn’t function, and as Michael Dukakis once said: It rots from the head down.”

Lest you think I’ve been taken in by Caddell, here is another instance, documented on BAB, where Caddell cannot contain his visceral revulsion for the abuse of power to which Americans are subjected. Is Caddell perhaps an Old Democrat; one of those good Dixiecrats?

Former polster Caddell was able to get to the crux of the arrest and attempted prosecution of a parent for questioning the pedagogues about the Common-Core Curriculum.

“What we saw here is bigger than just this. The people are the slaves to the office-holders: superintendents who won’t take questions, the EPA that goes to Alaska on to conduct a … raid, SWAT converging with guns on a gold-mining operation in a little town; the things that government does now to oppress people; the laws that we have, the NSA, the fear people have of the state spying on them and imposing on them–this is a kind of soft despotism, whereby if you get out of line, we’ll get you. We work for them. Public servants are the masters; we are the servants of the political class.”

UPDATE (6/24): “Seventy six percent of voters think IRS emails were deliberately destroyed.”

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UPDATED: Breaking News: Tectonic Shift At CNN

Barack Obama, Ethics, Journalism, Law, Left-Liberalism, Media, Rights

Did CNN just break a pattern by reporting on Barack Obama’s law-breaking?

Today, Jeffry Toobin, a senior legal analyst and one among an army of Obama sycophants at CNN, was briefly seen admitting that Obama did indeed break the law when he arranged the Bergdahl prisoner swap without giving Congress 30-day notice, required when releasing detainees.

Then, when I went in search of this historical event—a CNN pundit calling a spade a spade vis-a-vis Barack Obama—I was unable to trace the snippet.

Was The Event a figment of my imagination, or did this BHO shill tell it like it is, for once?

It happened! Via National Review:

The Obama administration’s failure to notify Congress of the release of five Guantanamo Bay detainees ahead of his exchanging them for American soldier Bowe Bergdahl is a direct violation of the law, according to CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.
“I think he clearly broke the law,” Toobin said on Monday, adding that the president’s signing statement in which he called the law unconstitutional does not automatically make it so. “Certainly this is an example of a signing statement where the president is taking power for himself that the law didn’t give him — he’s explicitly contradicting it.”

As the articulate Nathan Bradley Bethea seconded today, also on CNN, unaltered is the ethical obligation to retrieve this man (whose parents are pretty off-putting).

The 30-day, notice-to-Congress law is procedural in nature. In exchanging Taliban terrorists for Bowe Bergdahl, Obama, who most certainly tramples rights daily, was, this once, flouting protocol, not rights.

UPDATE: WHAT DOES ROBERT REDFORD THINK? Yeah, that’s CNN’s headline with respect to “Obama’s big green move”:
What Robert Redford thinks about it.

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