Debbie Schlussel's Darkness At Noon

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12 Responses

  1. David Schwartz says:

    Are law breaking and law enforcement really equivalent enough to justify calling them both the "she was asking for it" card? A person who breaks the law *is* asking for trouble, right? And a person who is a victim of someone else who breaks the law isn't, in a very important sense.

    I don't agree with Debbie Schlussel, but she's not wrong for the same reason saying rape victims were asking for it is wrong.

    And, by the way, if a person does walk down dark alley after dark alley, there is a very important sense in which they do bear some blame for whatever happens to them. I don't walk in bad neighborhoods with $100 bill sticking out of my pockets. (And this, of course, in no way diminishes the blame that should be placed on those who harm them, there is simply more blame to go around when the victim is culpable as well.)

  2. Patrick says:

    Are law breaking and law enforcement really equivalent enough to justify calling them both the “she was asking for it” card?

    If you believe that Roxana Saberi was spying for the CIA David, you're the only person in the world who does.

  3. David Schwartz says:

    I don't believe she was spying for the CIA. However, there is a massive difference in kind between choosing to go to a country where there is no respect for the law and falling to victim to individuals who have no respect for the law. Debbie Schlussel is absolutely right to point out that on the list of victims of rogue regimes, those interacting with the regime by choice deserve a lower place. Note that this in no way reduces the culpability of the regime.

  4. Victoria Raverna says:

    David Schwartz and Debbie Schlussel both has same initials. Maybe they're the same person? ;)

  5. Shkspr says:

    The decision to present lists of victims ordered in the rank by which they "deserved" their fate certainly livens up the debates over how to list them. Maybe you could do one of those "Towering Inferno" things where one name is slightly below and to the left of the other one if you decide two people are EXACTLY deserving of the same place on the list.

  6. David Schwartz says:

    So you think we should treat all victims of rogue regimes precisely the same? Will you condemn those who specifically ask for Saberi's release then? Or, if we do need to work for release one person at a time, do you suggest we select the people randomly?

    Nobody is arguing that Saberi deserved her fate. And nobody is saying we shouldn't work for the release of everyone held by rogue regimes.

  7. Will says:

    Dear God. One would think that going to Iran voluntarily for a new agency would be considered admirable, even heroic. What bizarre parallel universe does Schlussel inhabit?

  8. David Schwartz says:

    I completely agree with Will's criticism of Schlussel.

  9. Joel Rosenberg says:

    One of the things that saddens me is what I think of as the "disempathy creep" that seems to be getting worse. I really do understand folks who don't mind, in terms of a lack of sympathy or empathy for the pains and discomforts suffered, at various times, by Eichmann, or KSM, or the Al Qaeda folks who left those little girls' heads in coolers in Anbar pour encouragez les autres, as well, I'm one of the folks who has no sympathy for any of them.

    But, gee [bleeping] whiz . . . the folks who were gleefully looking forward to Scooter Libby being ass-raped in prison and were disappointed in the pardon because of that are just like Schlussel is in this: jerks. Her criticism of Saberi's writing is right on the money — yes, she's been just as bad a cheerleader for the Iranian thugocracy as Schlussel says (a bit more sophisticated than Schlussel is suggesting, sure, but that's not important, and it's probably worse, anyway). Yup, her plight is not as bad as that of others there who can't get out and didn't choose to go because they were stuck being born there, which Saberi wasn't.

    But so what? If we're going to only care about the freedom of Americans who have sensible opinions, I'm going to get awfully lonely out here with the rest of you in jail.

    Malkin — and all the other folks on the right and left — who are trying to put pressure on the Iranians to let her go are right, and those on the right who don't get it are every bit as bad as those on the left who figured that a bit of nonconcensual buggery was appropriate punishment for being on the other side of their own politics.

    Shame on all of them.

  10. Marc Costigan says:

    You all do not know the half of it!

    Schlussel has become intolerant of criticism and vindictive.
    I will not go into details but if you try to warn her about her acrimony, her rancor that she now dishes out to fellow conservatives, she will imply that you are muslim millitant threatening her life.
    Then she will say she has reported you to the FBI!

  11. jb says:

    This could easily be turned around to talk about "the troops."

    "They went there of their own accord to fight an imperialist war. They knew the risks. Now, we’re all supposed to pay more attention to them than persecuted Iraqis who aren’t soldiers and didn’t start the war voluntarily."

    I recall people who said far milder things than this being called traitors a few years back (I do think that statement is despicable). What Schlussel is saying is exactly the same thing.

  12. David Schwartz says:

    JB: I thought that was something pretty much everyone agreed on. For example, if we captured two Taliban forces on the battlefield, one shooting at US troops but avoiding local civilians and one shooting at both US troops and local civilians indiscriminately, wouldn't we jude the one shooting civilians as being worse?

    There is a sense in which armed combatants are legitimate targets and civilians are not. (Not that this justifies killing troops, of course. If your cause is not just, any killing for it is wrong. But even if your cause is just, it doesn't justify killing civilians as it does justify those fighting against it.)