It is hard to imagine a world in which acts like the murders of James Foley and Steven Sotloff simply as Americans, in connection with an American decision to rescue others from imminent annihilation, did not produce among Americans a demand for punishment as both practical and moral necessity. Yet there is a tendency even among many would-be supporters of President Obama, or of his plans to “degrade and ultimately destroy” “the group known as ISIL,” to diminish and disdain politically aggravated homicides as actual and compelling bases for a specifically American reaction.
Carl Schmitt might have been amused by the criticism John Kerry has received for declining to characterize operations against ISIS as “war”: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday would not say the United States is at war with…
The sound strategy, in expressing and re-producing as well as in defending or advancing the order on behalf of which it is conceived, represents the world as though orderly – as though knowably causational and susceptible to agency, one might say for Elkus – with one’s own side properly and thoughtfully led by qualified and ethically sound commander-politicians, their stratagems effectuated by courageous, skilled, and virtuous warriors supported by a willing and sympathetic people, all together on the way to deserved victories, with God in His Heaven and, eventually, all right with the world or anyway as right as the world ever is. The opposite, put as starkly, is “sauve qui peut,” each doing right in his or her own eyes, or the state of nature, and, on the way to that dreaded condition, the commander perceiving and pursuing a treasonously merely private interest at the expense of the general good.
Summary: A year ago, Americans were being asked to kill non-enemies because it was abstractly right; now are being asked to kill enemies at war with us.
Describing “Why ‘never again’ happens again and again: Stopping state repression,” at the Center for Political Studies (CPS) Blog: After analyzing the 220 cases, the authors find essentially no support for the international efforts to stop repression, though Preferential Trade…
A post by guest author KatherineMW at Ordinary Times, written on the occasion of the controversial Israeli decision to expropriate land connecting the West Bank settlement bloc of Gush Etzion to Jerusalem, explicitly as retaliation for the murder of Israeli…
As for our Achilles-Nemesis, what reason is there to believe, along with apparently the professor, that it is our decision alone, or within anyone’s ability, to define the fight in some essentially different way, and still to fight at all?
Posted in Art
, Political Philosophy
, The Exception
Tagged with: Iliad
, Islamic State
, The Exception
Leon Wieseltier, in “Obama Was Wrong[:] The Era of Humanitarian Intervention Is Not Over”: Barack Obama believed that he could preside over the end of humanitarian intervention, which he called simply war. He was momentously wrong… History, whose course he…