Skip to comments.STEPHANOPOULOS ON ASSASSINATIONS
Posted on 08/24/2005 7:46:49 AM PDT by .cnI redruM
Pat Robertson? No....George Stephanopoulos, in the December 1, 1997 Newsweek, explaining why Bill Clinton should have Saddam Hussein offed:
But what's unlawful -- and unpopular with the allies -- is not necessarily immoral. So now that I'm not in the White House, I can say what I couldn't say then: we should seriously explore the assassination option. Even though the current crisis may be subsiding temporarily, we don't know what the future holds. A direct attack on Saddam would no doubt be politically risky -- the president, concerned about his place in history, would be torn between the desire to get rid of a bully and the worry that an assassination plan gone awry would embarrass him late in his term. But the president should think about it: the gulf-war coalition is teetering and we have not eliminated Saddam's capacity to inflict mass destruction. That's why killing him may be the more sensible -- and moral -- course over the long run.
Readers want to learn more. Here are some extra excerpts from his article:
Philosophers have long argued that there are times when murdering a murderer is not only necessary but noble. "Grecian nations give the honors of the gods to those men who have slain tyrants," wrote Cicero. Targeting Saddam also seems in accord with the "just war" principles first developed by Augustine and Aquinas. We've exhausted other efforts to stop him, and killing him certainly seems more proportionate to his crimes and discriminate in its effect than massive bombing raids that will inevitably kill innocent civilians. To those who argue that assassination is the moral equivalent of terrorism, Michael Walzer's "Just and Unjust Wars" reminds us that "randomness is the crucial feature of terrorist activity." Terrorists kill the innocent to coerce the powerful. Assassination, by contrast, is the least random act of war. Relaxing the moral norm against it is a regrettable but justifiable price to pay when confronted with someone like Saddam who is unique in his capacity to inflict evil on his own people and the rest of the world. It's one of the extremely rare circumstances where killing can be a humanitarian act that saves far more lives than it risks....
....Overcoming the practical difficulties is much more problematic. Experts like former CIA director Robert Gates have said that assassination is a "non-option" because Saddam is so elusive and well protected. That's the strongest argument against assassination. But it loses some force when stacked against the alternatives: an indefinite extension of the sanctions that punishes the most vulnerable Iraqis without weakening Saddam or eliminating his ability to build weapons of mass destruction; or a massive military campaign that will crack the gulf-war coalition, risk allied troops and kill innocent Iraqis without ensuring Saddam's fall.
And here's the last line:
A misreading of the law or misplaced moral squeamishness should not stop the president from talking about assassination. He should order up the options and see if it's possible. If we can kill Saddam, we should.
Wasn't it that p*ssy Gerald Ford who outlawed assassinations of foreign "leaders" like Saddam?
From a pragmatic stand point, it's not a good idea to say things like that, but really, in both cases, the actual idea isn't the worst in the world.
(If what I just wrote makes you sad or angry,
Maybe Ford read the stuff that wasn't in The Warren Commission Report.
Well, as long as we are tarring all Christian's with Pat Robertson's remarks, I guess we can start tarring all Clinton-admin-mediazoids for Steffy's pro-assassination commentary. Right?
Tarring a dark and filthy object would have minimal impact. But don't let that stop you. Bill left his share of stains on the nation's honor, among other things, while he occupied the Oral Office.
No but we sure have had a belly-full of Cindy the useful idiot's unchallenged commnets all this month. The publicity attributed to Robertson's comments are just an attempt to change the subject now that veteran families with the same loss as Cindy are standing up and telling her that she doesn't speak for them. Pat Robertson is a private citizen and can say what he likes...just like Mother Sheehan and Snuffleupagus.
This is SO wrong!
"The Powerful", as a rule, generally are only concerned with themselves and thier power. Attacks against the innocent actually provide them with a platform where there can appear to be compassionate and caring, but, the only real effect is an INCREASE in thier power.
Terrorists kill the innocent to instill distrust among them! Based on the distrust of "The Powerful", and all thier attempts to control terrorism (mostly by implementing draconian policies among the innocent!) - the innocent are expected to one day demand that "The Powerful" give in to the terrorist in exchange for security.
take for example the Patriot Act. Many here decry that these measures were implemented, but few if any see that the implementation of such measures is EXACTLY what the terrorists wanted to achieve! The existance of these measures, and a later demonstration that they are inneffective in the WoT will cause widespread disillusionment with the Government and ever increasing demands to "Bring the troops home", etc...
This is the real goal of terrorism!
AND, for a really interesting twist, compare what I have said above to the tactics of the left from the 60's through to today...
Can we say Trujillo, Noriega (alive, but captured) or Saddam, for that matter?
"and a later demonstration that they are inneffective in the WoT "
Can you substanciate this statement with facts?
The liberal love affair with Fidel is amazing. Here we will have a man whom Khrushchev regarded as a raving fanatic. He was willing to let his country be blown up just so as the US could be injured by nuclear missles.
Am I supposed to be outraged because Bush tried to "take out" Saddam on the first day of the Iraq War, during "shock and awe"?
I can't figure out why Rummy was saying "that's illegal, we don't do those things", in response to Robertson's suggestion.
That partial quote is part of the conjecture offered immediately after - it has not happened to date in the US - but if and when an attack occurs in spite of the Patriot Act, and all the other measures implemented, a vast number of people will join the already large number of malcontents in calling for an end (Give the Terrorist what they want and they will leave us alone).
I get it. But are you trying to say that we would be beteer off without the PA? What's the alternative? That was an immediate response to a dire situation. Maybe it has outlived it's usefulness. I don't know. What would you suggest? It seems like the Brits are implementing similar measures.
What's frustrating to me is when I lived in the Soviet Union, we did not have free press (see my tagline) and thought that there is one in the West. I came here and see that there is no free press here either in the sense that people caot get fair and balanced info but are being fed semi-digested lopsided propaganda. How is it different from the Soviet Union?
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