Ken points out an interesting quote regarding assassination. Let's compare.
We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability,"..."We don't need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator," ..."It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with."
That's right, Pat Robertson. Now, who said:
A misplaced moral squeamishness should not stop the president from talking about assassination. ... If we can kill [him], we should. ... What's unlawful and unpopular with the allies is not necessarily immoral. ... The president would no doubt pay a heavy political price if the operation failed but he would be a huge winner if he succeeded.
If you answered "George Stephanopoulis", you win a prize!
Stephanopoulis's comment drew a rebuke in the article from Chris Matthews, but beyond that, I don't recall nearly the furor being raised by that comment that Robertson has caused. In fact, these days, George is one of the Democrats' point man in media circles.
So what's the difference between the two? Some would argue it's Robertson's position as a leader in Evangelical Christian circles, and the bad light in which it casts us. But just doesn't cut it, because Robertson's "fan base" within the Church has been slipping for some time -- for both religious and political reasons. His influence over and position as a voice for Evangelicals isn't nearly what it used to be. But he's still watched like a hawk by those outside the Church, especially the detractors of Evangelicalism. As I stated over at Ken's Blog, I suspect that the reason for this is that as long as they can characterize Robertson as our leader, the media and the left can summarily dismiss all conservative Christians as being as "loony as Robertson", without having to consider our points. As I said, he's a living, breathing, walking, talking straw man.
Furthermore, as I've mentioned before, Robertson was not appealing to religious authority as his reason for espousing the view he did. He was speaking on a practical matter, not a theological one.
And the irony is, in this case, he's absolutely right. And so was Stephanopoulis. Or at least, if he was wrong, it was in that this may not be the time and place to assasinate Chavez. But that doesn't mean it will never be the time and place. Yes, you heard me, I'm saying that I think that in certain specific situations, assassination is a valid strategic weapon. For example, the ambush of Japanese Admiral Yamamoto, or the bombing of Saddam's presidential palace.
There's a story that's part of Churchillian apocrypha -- sometimes related as being told BY Winston, about an anonymous man and an anonymous woman, sometimes in the story Churchill is the man. Either way, the gist of the story is that the man in story asks the woman if she would sleep with him for a million pounds. After a shocked pause, she admits that yes, she supposes she would. He then asks her if she would sleep with him for ONE pound. She indignantly asks him wehat kind of woman he thinks she is! His reply is, "Madame, we have already determined what kind of woman you are. Now we are merely negotiating a price."
The same principle applies to assasination. I believe that in certain situations, the pplication of deadly force, the taking of one or more humann lives to defend other humans, is justifiable. That means a criminal in the act of murdering an innocent victim, that means an enemy soldier aiming at your platoon mate, and that certainly means the commander in chief of an enemy force. In for a penny, in for a pound. That doesn't mean I think assasination should be a commonly used option, nor an easily reached conclusion. Like any decision to take a life, it is not an easy one to make, and must be weighed as carefully as the situation allows against other options. But once you've established that deadly force CAN be justifiable, you cannot summarily rule it out.
I Scooped my Blogfather!