Friday, October 12, 2007

In Which I Try To Get Bill Maher His Old Job Back

WAMK, bless his conversative heart, challenged me yesterday. I alluded to Ann Coulter's remark about wanting to convert all the Jews to Christianity, and he offered this:

I don't buy EVERYTHING she says (including this appearance on CNBC), just like you don't buy everything Bill Maher says. I do agree with some things Ms. Coulter has said/written, but I view her thru a filter. Do you buy everything Maher says? Did/do you agree with his comments that the 9/11 hijackers were "brave" for flying into those buildings?
That's in interesting question. Because the answer is no, I don't agree with everything Bill Mahar says but that famous remark, the one that got him kicked off ABC in the early weeks after 9/11, I do agree with.

See, the hijackers gave up their lives for something they believed in. While their actions were despicable, and while they themselves were evil for killing civilians, it takes courage to sacrifice yourself for a cause. Just because I don't admire them, it doesn't mean they weren't brave. Unfortunately they were also wrong as hell.

Maher was riffing off the remark that the hijackers were cowards, and that simply doesn't make any sense. The hijackers were all brave, evil men. I certainly wish they had died alone!

Where Maher and I part company in on the Iraq war. He was one of the biggest supporters of it when we went in. Either he really believed we need to take out Saddam or he was trying to repair his public image, but either way he thought it was a good idea and I never did. I also think he should lay off the ganja, but that's for his own good.

Interestingly, both Maher and supposedly make their living saying "what we're all really thinking." That's what scares me so much about Ann Coulter, because she thinks we secretly want to annihilate the Arab world and force everybody to become Christians. Also, apparently I am an enemy of the state for being a liberal. Bill Maher thinks we all secretly smoke weed, are annoyed by celebrities, and find the phrase "crack whore" hilarious. Okay, and that we all think George Bush is an incompetent idiot. I guess you laugh at whatever seems truest to you.


WAMK said...

Just trying to understand your logic here.

Based on your belief that while despicable, the hijackers were brave in their actions, because they died for what they believed in.

I'd say that the wacko at Virginia Tech believed in what he was doing. So did the Columbine shooters. I'd venture a guess that the Unibomber believed in what he was doing as well. I'm sure Hitler felt his methods were pure and honest.

You can't attach moral equivalance to evil actions, because the perps "believed in what they were doing". These guys flew planes full of INNOCENT people into buildings full of INNOCENT people. That's not "brave". That is nothing but pure evil.

That is one of the big things separate the Left from the Right. The Left wants to understand/rationalize the "why", while the Right sees evil for what it is.

Danielk said...

Wanting to understand versus seeing evil for what it is - I'll buy that, but understand that moral certainty is something you guys have in common with the terrorists. The fact is you violently disagree on what is right, but you're both dead certain you know what it is. Me, I like to do a little more research.

I think at the root of this discussion is a problem a lot of people had when the whole incident took place: mistaking the opposite of 'brave." It's not "evil." It's "cowardly." Bravery by itself is neither good nor evil, though it is a good quality.

WAMK said...

Having a strong belief in something (your original argument) does not make one brave. Bravery requires one to actively face a serious threat.

It's not brave to take out innocent civillians in a non-military target. It wasn't "brave" of the US when we firebombed Dresden.

I'll agree that bravery sees neither good or evil, it sees the act of daring in the face of tremendous adversity.

The 9/11 highjackers were not brave.

The fire and police personnel that ran INTO those burning buildings to save lives faced adversity and a pretty threatening situation. They were both brave and courageous.

See the difference?

Danielk said...

I'd be completely with you IF they terrorists hadn't been on the planes. Again I don't agree with them, but they prepared for years to strike a blow against what they saw as a great evil, and they knew they would go down with their victims. Brave. Horrifically wrong as well.

As for the police and fire personnel, they were brave AND risking their lives to save the lives of total strangers. Brave. And noble.

We'll probably start repeating ourselves if we keep this up.

WAMK said...

I'll throw a little curve into your argument then..

It has been reported that only the highjacker "pilots" knew what the final outcome of their mission was. The other highjackers were under the impression that it was a "routine" highjacking.

Therefore, only 4 of the highjackers "knew they would go down wih their victims". Does that then create a difference between the highjackers "in the know", and those that didn't?

Danielk said...

It does, absolutely. If they didn't know they were going to die, then I can't see 'em as brave. The question is, is that report true or is it an attempt to shoot down this argument. Not by you. I've heard it elsewhere before.

WAMK said...

I believe it was also in the 9/11 Commission Report.

However true THAT thing is..