This article makes the great point that nothing is really that simple. Torture and war are very complicated and those who try to make it black and white are not being intellectually honest.
John Stewart is rarely intellectually honest. He just makes fun of people hoping that his humor will have the subliminal affect he desires; those people are stupid, and I’m not.
But people like Stewart would have a very difficult time were they the ones that actually had to make the tough calls. Picture Stewart as a cop on a car stop. He approaches the driver’s side door with due caution, stepping outside the arc of the car’s side mirror so the driver can’t view his approach. Stewart’s doing what’s right, like he’s done on hundreds of car stops. What he doesn’t know, is that the driver has just murdered his wife and has his infant son in back in a safety seat.
When Stewart gets to about 15 feet from the vehicle, the driver whirls in his seat and points the Glock 22 pistol out the window at Stewart. The driver pulls the trigger as fast as he can, without aiming. Before Stewart can even touch his own weapon, he’s struck once in his protective vest and once in the leg. He responds in the way he’s been trained, though. He draws his weapon and returns fire through the back window of the car. Two rounds from his .40 cal handgun strike the driver in the head, killing him instantly. Another round strikes the infant, whom Stewart still has no idea is there. The child dies.
Where’s the simple answer, John? Where’s the quaint judgemental, denegrating comment now? What else could you have done, if you wanted to go home to your wife and children that night?
Truth is, Stewart’s the kind of guy who’s never been in physical danger. I guarantee it.
But I do love the Jack Nicholson quote from A Few Good Men, that the author of the article quotes:
“I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said ‘thank you’ and went on your way.”