Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Some Revenge is Justice

Prager mentions revenge and the new Spielberg film "Munich" today. He takes Spielberg and screenwriter Tony Kushner to task for their moral equivelence stance in the movie.
That's why the movie is a paean to "stop the cycle of violence." Its leftist writers and well-intentioned but naive director reduce wars against perpetrators of evil to "seeking revenge" or becoming "no better than their enemies," and other cliches that literally demoralize wars fought by good societies. The same arguments are given by the same people against executing murderers: "When we kill murderers, we are no better than them." As if killing Timothy McVeigh was morally equivalent to his murder of innocents in Oklahoma City.

Of course, none of this means that all revenge is moral. When revenge is unjust -- if, for example, the Israelis had murdered a group of Palestinian athletes -- it is immoral.

One could say the same about the peace activists and pasificsts who chide us for going after terrorists and terrorist sympathizers.

Speaking of the film, Mona Charen at National Review looked at the film last week. She gives away the ending... which shocked me. Not that she'd mention how the movie ends, but how Kushner and Spielberg did it.
The movie closes with [the protagonist] Avner in the foreground and the towers of the World Trade Center rising behind him. The unsubtle message: We have brought the violence of September 11 upon ourselves. How? By fighting back. One of the team members, the bomb maker, pleads with Avner to abort his mission, crying “Jews are supposed to be righteous.” This is the liberal view that we see adumbrated daily about America’s war on terror. To be righteous is to be passive and weak. To be righteous is, to use Spielberg’s words “to talk until we’re blue in the gills.” Robert Frost understood this mindset perfectly. He said “A liberal is man too broad-minded to take his own side in a quarrel.” We know what happens to Jews who don’t fight or can’t fight back. (Spielberg made another movie about that.) Now he argues that self-defense is a moral taint. He is confused. It is just a shame that he inflicts his moral confusion on the rest of us.
(Emphasis mine.)

Mr. Spielberg, your time is up... thanks for the memories. Please retire now.


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