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Response to Sofa Sogood's comment: [The Islamist-Leftist] Allied Menace

Reader comment on item: [The Islamist-Leftist] Allied Menace
in response to reader comment: Planes Into Buildings -- Not So Brilliant. Perniciously Turning Us Against Ourselves Is More So.

Submitted by Ellen Schneider (United States), Jul 4, 2008 at 14:07

This is a comment on the response by Sofa Sogood , who writes ". . .even if it were possible (which it's not) to take 9-11 on its face as an "act," excluding judgment of the immorality or pure evil of it, as Norman Mailer supposedly did."

Perhaps I am not understanding exactly what you mean. Do you mean to say that it is not possible to describe the degree of mental keenness behind a terrorist act without this being proof of a corresponding value judgment as to its morality? If its planners and perpetrators are described as dumb, then the writer should automatically be assumed to be condemning it, but if it they are described as smart, we may automatically assume that the writer is condoning the act?

Do I understand you to be saying that a commentator could not possibly have referred to the planners and perpetrators as evil geniuses, because, by your definition, there ARE no such things?

Context is of utmost importance, which is the basis of my original post. Taking what we may know or believe about Mailer out of the equation, just because an author might write that 9/11 was brilliant, this, ALONE, in my view, is not sufficient evidence that he is responding to the violence and brutality with exhilaration. I see it as equally possible that he could be responding to it with great alarm. In fact, one might readily assume that his alarm would be far greater than if he had described the planners and perpetrators as lacking in keen mental abilities, suggesting they were merely very lucky this one time only.

It was not my purpose in making the original post either to comment upon the brilliance or lack thereof behind 9/11, or on Norman Mailer's views. I simply thought that Mr. Pipes weakened his otherwise excellent and very convincing argument by including this one example, which I felt was not as well supported as his other examples of people whose comments showed them to have became exhilarated by the violence. I was concerned because sometimes a weak leak in an argument, like a sound bite, can be used to undermine the whole.

Submitting....

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