Was it a Hate Crime?
In my opinion, yes and no. As far as I’m concerned, any cold-blooded murder of an innocent person or persons is a Hate Crime, so in that sense, yes, it’s a Hate Crime. However, as far as it being a Hate Crime because it is somehow more pernicious than what I just described and deserves special characterization and concern — that’s political & legal nonsense. So let me get this straight for those who disagree — a serial rapist murderer who has raped and murdered nine women is somehow less of an offender than this shitbird Dylan Roof who senselessly murdered nine parishioners? Liberals, as much as Conservatives, are constantly getting their contradiction jockstraps tangled around their ankles and end up tripping all over the place. And I say Liberals, because it is mainly Liberals who are clamoring for the #CharlestonShooting to be charged federally as a Hate Crime since South Carolina doesn’t have Hate Crime legislation on the books. Why do Liberals hate women so much that they consider hate against Blacks and Jews and any other group or minority to be deserving of special and more severe punishment than hate against women? Liberals sure are some sick bastards. Screw you, you women-hating hypocrites, and that includes a whole lot of Liberal females who will smite their own gender to flaunt their faux White privilege apologia.
With that aside, I would like to explore this notion of Hate Crime a bit further. Those who have clamored for Hate Crime legislation, largely the Liberals, imply that Hate Crime is a worse sort of crime and deserves a special designation and more punitive sentences because it is the worst of the worst crime. Using their logic, I disagree — it isn’t the worst of the worst, and Noam Chomsky agrees with me, or, I agree with Noam Chomsky. See, at least the perpetrator of a Hate Crime acknowledges that his/her victim(s) is/are a force to be reckoned with, whereas, there are those who commit crimes who see no value whatsoever in their victims and in fact, don’t even acknowledge the victims’ existence — as though the victims were ants. Most people will kills ants with impunity or without a second thought. And there are people who treat human beings, many times from countries that are not “advanced,” like ants. People like Bill Clinton, for example. I’ll let Noam Chomsky explain this distinction per the following informal email debate with Sam Harris. Chomsky is a master logician, and in my opinion he makes mincemeat out of Sam Harris and all Liberals for that matter let alone Conservatives. Here’s the link (The Limits of Discourse) to the email debate from which I’m quoting Chomsky below.
I am sorry you are unwilling to retract your false claim that I “ignore the moral significance of intentions.” Of course I did [consider the significance of moral intentions], as you know. Also, I gave the appropriate answer, which applies accurately to you in the al-Shifa case, the very case in question.
If you had read further before launching your accusations, the usual procedure in work intended to be serious, you would have discovered that I also reviewed the substantial evidence about the very sincere intentions of Japanese fascists while they were devastating China, Hitler in the Sudetenland and Poland, etc. There is at least as much reason to suppose that they were [as] sincere as Clinton was when he bombed al-Shifa. Much more so in fact. Therefore, if you believe what you are saying, you should be justifying their actions as well. I also reviewed other cases, pointing out that professing benign intentions is the norm for those who carry out atrocities and crimes, perhaps sincerely – and surely more plausibly than in this case. And that only the most abject apologists justify the actions on the grounds that perpetrators are adopting the normal stance of criminals.
I am also sorry that you evade the fact that your charge of “moral equivalence” was flatly false, as you know.
And in particular, I am sorry to see your total refusal to respond to the question raised at the outset of the piece you quoted. The scenario you describe here is, I’m afraid, so ludicrous as to be embarrassing. It hasn’t even the remotest relation to Clinton’s decision to bomb al-Shifa – not because they had suddenly discovered anything remotely like what you fantasize here, or for that matter any credible evidence at all, and by sheer coincidence, immediately after the Embassy bombings for which it was retaliation, as widely acknowledged. That is truly scandalous.
And of course they knew that there would be major casualties. They are not imbeciles, but rather adopt a stance that is arguably even more immoral than purposeful killing, which at least recognizes the human status of the victims, not just killing ants while walking down the street, who cares?
In fact, as you would know if you deigned to read before launching accusations, they were informed at once by Kenneth Roth of HRW about the impending humanitarian catastrophe, already underway. And of course they had far more information available than HRW did.
Your own moral stance is revealed even further by your complete lack of concern about the apparently huge casualties and the refusal even to investigate them.
As for Clinton and associates being “genuine humanitarians,” perhaps that explains why they were imposing sanctions on Iraq so murderous that both of the highly respected international diplomats who administered the “Oil for food” program resigned in protest because they regarded them as “genocidal,” condemning Clinton for blocking testimony at the UN Security Council. Or why he poured arms into Turkey as it was carrying out a horrendous attack on its Kurdish population, one of the worst crimes of the ‘90s. Or why he shifted Turkey from leading recipient of arms worldwide (Israel-Egypt excepted) to Colombia, as soon as the Turkish atrocities achieved their goal and while Colombia was leading the hemisphere by far in atrocious human rights violations. Or why he authorized the Texaco Oil Company to provide oil to the murderous Haitian junta in violation of sanctions. And on, and on, as you could learn if you bothered to read before launching accusations and professing to talk about “ethics” and “morality.”
I’ve seen apologetics for atrocities before, but rarely at this level – not to speak of the refusal to withdraw false charges, a minor fault in comparison.
Your effort to respond to the question that you had avoided in your published article is, I’m afraid, indeed embarrassing and ludicrous. The question was about the al-Shifa bombing, and it won’t do to evade it by concocting an outlandish tale that has no relation whatsoever to that situation. So you are still evading that question. It takes no telepathy to perceive that.
So let’s face it directly. Clinton bombed al-Shifa in reaction to the Embassy bombings, having discovered no credible evidence in the brief interim of course, and knowing full well that there would be enormous casualties. Apologists may appeal to undetectable humanitarian intentions, but the fact is that the bombing was taken in exactly the way I described in the earlier publication which dealt the question of intentions in this case, the question that you claimed falsely that I ignored: to repeat, it just didn’t matter if lots of people are killed in a poor African country, just as we don’t care if we kill ants when we walk down the street. On moral grounds, that is arguably even worse than murder, which at least recognizes that the victim is human. That is exactly the situation. And we are left with your unwillingness to address the very clear question that opened the passage you cite is, instead offering evasions that are exactly as I described. And your unwillingness to address the crucial ethical question about intentions.
To adopt your terms, the matter of “altruism (however inept), negligence, and malevolence is absolutely clear” in the case of the al-Shifa bombing. There wasn’t even a hint of altruism, inept or not, so we can dismiss that. There was clear negligence – the fate of probably tens of thousands of African victims did not matter. As to whether there is malevolence, that depends on the ethical question I raised, which you seem not to want to consider: to repeat, how do we rank murder (which treats the victim as a human) with quite consciously killing a great number of people, but not caring, because we treat them as we do ants when we walk down the street: the al-Shifa case?
And a further question. How do we regard citizens of the country that carried out this atrocity who seek to provide some justification in terms of clearly non-existent altruistic intentions.
As you know (apologies for the accuracy), I described 9/11 as a “horrendous crime” committed with “wickedness and awesome cruelty.” In the case of al-Shifa, I said nothing of the sort. I described it as an atrocity, as it clearly is, and merely stated the unquestionable facts. There is no “moral equivalence,” the term that has been regularly used, since Jeane Kirkpatrick, to try to undercut critical analysis of the state one defends.
As for intentions, there is nothing at all to say in general. There is a lot to say about specific cases, like the al-Shifa bombing, or Japanese fascists in China (who you should absolve, on your grounds, since there’s every reason to suppose that their intention to bring an “earthly paradise” was quite real), and other cases I’ve discussed, including Hitler and high Stalinist officials. So your puzzlement about my attitude towards intentions generally is quite understandable. There can be no general answer. Accordingly, you give none. Nor do I.
I’m glad that you are interested in looking at the other cases I’ve discussed for 50 years, addressing exactly the question you claim I ignored. These cases shed great light on the ethical question of how to evaluate “benign intentions”. As I’ve discussed for many years, in fact decades, benign intentions are virtually always professed, even by the worst monsters, and hence carry no information, even in the technical sense of that term. That’s quite independent of their “sincerity,” however we determine that (pretty easy in the Japanese case, and the question doesn’t even arise in the al-Shifa case).
Let’s turn finally to your interpretation of al-Shifa: Clinton “did not want or intend to kill anyone at all, necessarily. He simply wanted to destroy what he believed to be a chemical weapons factory. But he did wind up killing innocent people, and we don’t really know how he felt about it.”
I’m sure you are right that Clinton did not want or intend to kill anyone at all. That was exactly my point. Rather, assuming that he was minimally sane, he certainly knew that he would kill a great many people but he simply didn’t care: case (2) above, the one serious moral issue, which I had discussed (contrary to your charge) and you never have.
As for the rest, you may, if you like, believe that when Clinton bombed Afghanistan and Sudan in immediate reaction to the Embassy bombings (and in retaliation, it is naturally assumed), he had credible information that he was bombing a chemical factory – which also was, as publicly known, the major pharmaceutical factory in Sudan (which, of course, could not replenish supplies), and he judged that the evidence was strong enough to overlook the human consequences. But, oddly, he was never able to produce a particle of credible evidence, as was widely reported. And when informed immediately (by HRW) that a humanitarian catastrophe was already beginning he ignored it, as he ignored the subsequent evidence about the scale of the casualties (as you incidentally did too).
On your assumptions, he’s quite clearly a moral monster, and there’s no need to comment further on people who seek to justify these crimes – your crimes and mine, as citizens of a free society where we can influence policy.
It seems to me clear what your response should be on elementary moral grounds. I’m not holding my breath.
Chomsky’s analysis combined with the logic of Hate Crime legislation advocates necessarily means that Bill Clinton is an even more heinous murderer than Dylan Roof and should therefore be, along with his aiders and abettors, subject to even harsher punishment than Dylan Roof. Of course, I’m not sure what harsher punishment there is than the death penalty which Dylan Roof will in all likelihood receive considering South Carolina is a death penalty state. For Bill, I’m guessing a worse penalty would be preventing him from ever touching, smelling, looking at or fucking another woman for the rest of his born days. That would be pure torture for Bill — worse than death. And think how many women will be spared the lewd and lascivious advances of this cheesy, slimy nymphomaniac in that process. It would be a win-win.
I think I’ve proven my point quite adequately. Take your Hate Crime self-righteousness and stuff it unless you’re willing to put that self-righteousness where your mouth is and serve Bill Clinton, guilty of the worst of the worst crimes of all, his sentence.
Have a Great Day!!!
Cold N. Holefield