Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Wednesday, July 31, 2002

So, was it George W. Bush that invented the idea of evil that the US had to face and defeat? Or he is mearly one in a chain of Presidents who saw clearly what we faced and the need to do something?

"When we resort to force, as now we must, we are determined that this force should be directed toward ultimate good as well as against immediate evil. We Americans are not destroyers — we are builders."

Unilateralist George Bush or FDR?

Were there others?

Evil is not a new concept, nor is reference to it by American presidents. John F. Kennedy said that communism's negation of personal freedom and dignity were profoundly repugnant and evil.

Even the former Adulterer in Chief (while in office) was not squeamish about labeling evil when he saw it:

Bill Clinton used evil to describe the Oklahoma City bombing, the murder of James Byrd and ethnic cleansing in Bosnia. Clinton, in fact, described Saddam Hussein not just as being ordinarily evil but "truly evil."

Did the media, intenational community and human rights groups get the vapours when these men spoke these words? Or did they applaud the strong stance against the wrongs that were denounced? (except of course for communism, which as Martin Amis points out, still gets a pass)

Reinhold Niebuhr, a liberal, Protestant, socialist theologian, wrote an essay for The Nation magazine titled "The End of Illusion."

In it he stated a basic truth that all of the detractors should keep in mind:

"The civilization we are called to defend is full of capitalistic injustice, but it is still a civilization."

< email | 7/31/2002 11:00:00 PM | link

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