I was rereading parts of The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis for a forthcoming blog post when I ran across some interesting lines in the sixth letter. Screwtape is discussing the advent of the European war (Lewis was writing during World War II) and hopes his nephew Wormwood will not rely too much on the hatred that the war is likely to inspire in the British subject Wormwood is trying to lead astray:
The results of such fanciful hatred are often most disappointing, and of all humans the English are in this respect the most deplorable milksops. They are creatures of that miserable sort who loudly proclaim that torture is too good for their enemies and then give tea and cigarettes to the first wounded German pilot who turns up at the back door.We should be pleased, I'm sure, that during the Bush administration we decided that Americans are not such milksops as to stop short of torturing their prisoners of war—oh, excuse me! I mean to say, “applying enhanced interrogation” to them.
Yeah, that's what I meant.
And KSFO's Rabbi Daniel Lapin wishes to agree, except that he's worried we might be milksops after all. Here's a conversation he had on Sunday afternoon, May 30, 2010, with a caller from San Jose:
Carla: I called because my son has had fourteen months as a medic in Afghanistan. What the liberal press does not let us know is how our military medical people will treat anybody. Seriously. If it's a civilian that is in need they don't care, they take care of them. He sent me an e-mail when he first got there about a woman who had been shot in her nine-months-pregnant belly by her husband.Lapin and Carla continued to discuss how law-abiding Americans were hobbled by their respect for the Geneva conventions and international law, as if George W. Bush hadn't flouted both and Barack Obama hasn't been slow to walk it back.
Lapin: A Moslem woman shot by her Moslem husband.
Carla: Correct. The doctors thought the baby was dead so they just removed it from her belly and laid him aside and they went to work on the mother. My son was in the operating room at the time. He saw that baby's lips move.
Lapin: Oh, my goodness!
Carla: He notified the doctors and the doctors immediately went to work on that baby and both mother and son made it out alive.
Carla: So my thought is that our military medical people don't care. What they care about is saving life.
Lapin: And what do you think would happen if a wounded American soldier fell into the hands of an Iraqi medical unit, if there was such a thing.
Carla: They would not have a chance in hell.
Lapin: They'd cut off his head.
Carla: Of course!
Lapin: Yeah. And so, look, I understand how proud it makes you feel as a mother to have a son like that and I understand how proud it makes me to feel as an American that we are that compassionate, that good, that loving, but it also makes me very sad, because it means we will lose the war.
Carla: You know, it makes me sad to know that they don't have that capability. Some of those people don't have the capability for that kind of compassion.
Lapin: And therefore we should defeat them and impose our view of morality upon them, if we had enough conviction in it ourselves.
Carla: Well, I'm afraid that our liberal authority is not going to allow us to do that.
Lapin returned to this theme with a later caller when he referred to America's enemies as “fierce fanatics and frenzied fiends,” adding that “They have absolutely no doubt about the rightness of their cause.”
Sound like anyone you know?
I know, of course, exactly what needs to be done. Daniel Lapin should be kidnapped by some of Obama's secret stormtroopers and smuggled off to one of FEMA's hidden concentration camps. Once there, we can deprogram him and re-educate him à la Clockwork Orange. Eventually he'll abandon might-makes-right and the notion that moral certitude excuses barbarism. Of course, it might require extreme abuse, deprivation, and “enhanced” persuasion. That shouldn't, however, be a problem.
As long as I am absolutely certain that I am in the right, I'm sure that Lapin can't object on moral grounds.