THE BLOG

Responding to Andrew Sullivan, Part 2

05/25/2011 11:45 am ET

On his site, Andrew has graciously answered my earlier post criticizing his blanket description of the HuffPo as a site where nutty lefties advocate negotiating with al Qaeda. Okay, he admits, no one at THP actually called for negotiations with Osama bin Laden.

But he does link to three postings that, he says, give the impression that THP is filled with left-wing wackos: this, from Deepak Chopra; this, from Jann Wenner; and this, from Tom Hayden.

In fairness to Andrew, he's got a point; at least two of these postings imply a moral equivalence between George Bush and the London bombers, or suggest that Bush has some responsibility for the bombing. And that's a dangerous, wrong-headed road for liberals to go down.

Deepak Chopra's ode to peace doesn't bother me. We'd all like to believe that his vision of the world is plausible.

But it is disturbing to read Jann Wenner say this: "If the London bombings are the work of an Al Qaeda offshoot, then you have to fairly say, in the same way we condemn other's terror, this is in part the result of Bush's War on Iraq."

I know what Wenner's saying, but I can't support it: Even if you think that Bush is responsible for the killing of innocent people in Iraq, that doesn't justify others going out and doing the same. Anyway, 9/11 (etc.) happened before the war in Iraq, so al Qaeda clearly doesn't need that particular rationale to commit acts of terror.

Finally, it's infuriating to read this from Tom Hayden: "Imperial fantasies, as shattered as the London transit system. The G-8 leaders feign innocence while the innocents die."

That's not logic. That's warmed-over '60s rhetoric with more punning than thinking. To talk of the G-8 leaders "[feigning] innocence while innocents die" is the worst kind of bogus, lazy moral equivalence.

But as I said to Andrew, such rhetoric from the far left, while unhelpful, doesn't bother me as much as the analogous points of view from the far right, because the far left doesn't actually have any power, and the far right has a hot line to the White House.