File spoon-archives/lyotard.archive/lyotard_2001/lyotard.0109, message 133

Date: Mon, 24 Sep 2001 21:31:35 -0500
Subject: Re: [P_F_P] Sontag on the current crisis


I am saddened to hear the quality of news does not significantly
increase when one travels across the pond.

Since we have been discussing the recent remarks of Susan Sontag, here
is a recent pit bull attack by media whore Charles Krauthammer who
severely chastises Sontag in a recent column. He basically spends his
column baiting her for having the audacity to suggest to the American
people the incident of 9/11 might have more complex reasons than simply
being an attack on "Civilization" itself.

He accuses her of the following (all in one column):

1. Muddled thinking
2. Compares her to the isolationist movement that existed before WWII
3. Implies Neville Chamberlain was more astute than she was regarding
the perception of evil
4. Accuses Sontag of "moral obtuseness"
5. Says that Sontag's comments are as disgusting as those of Jerry
6. Declares that we are not bombing Iraqi civilians
7. Declares Israel made an "astonishingly generous peace offer" to the
8. Declares that the Gulf War, Bosnia, Kosovo were all linked by the
common denominator that "in every one we saved a Muslim people"
9. Declares that Somalia was "a military operation of unadulterated
10.  Charles then raises his profound and deep question that will
reverberate through history - "Has there ever been a time when
distinction between good and evil was more clear?"
11.  He finally ends - "This is a time for clarity, At a time like this,
those who search for shades of evil, for root causes, for extenuations,
are, to borrow from Lance Morrow, "too philosophical for decent

In other words, thinking and philosophy are dangerous because they risk
clouding Charles' own a priori assumptions regarding good and evil. To
ask questions is to risk ambivalence and doubt and that is moral
weakness for Charles.

For Charles to examine his own non-empirical judgements disguised as
declarations is to risk acknowledging the deep fear in his own mind,
that, as he puts it, "we had it coming" and this he can never do. He
hates Susan Sontag because she forces him to think rather than just
react. Better to bomb a nation back to the stone age than admit you
might be wrong!

This article is a good case study of the "self-righteous drivel" typical
of the America media today, about which Sontag complains.


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