The Activist Left's Poor and Paltry Rhetorical Toolbox, ISIS edition.

This exchange really does say a lot:

…not least because it illustrates the primary problem with moral relativism: that is, that moral relativism does not have a goram clue about how to handle capital-E Evil. Oh, Good it can deal with all the time, mostly by ignoring/liberal-explaining it away; but pretending that Evil does not in fact exist does nothing from keeping Evil from doing, well, evil. Rationalizing this problem away can lead to some rather startling mental contortions.

Hence the aforementioned exchange. Eli Lake is perfectly correct to call Islamic State (IS*) ‘barbarians,’ because that’s what they are; savages who do not conform to the usages of basic civilization, and who thus are not and should not be subject to civilization’s protection. That there are elements of the Left who wish to categorize what Eli said as ‘goofy’ should surprise no one. Because if what Eli said isn’t ‘goofy,’ merely accurate, then the implication is that possibly somebody should go out and shoot some barbarians until those barbarians are no longer murdering, ritually sacrificing, raping, and generally abusing people on a regular, organized basis.

But that’s me making a moral judgement on another group.  Of course, I am more than happy to do that, because the moral judgement in question is the Islamic State death cult is Evil and I am not.  What should prove interesting is seeing who among us cannot abandon moral relativism for even this case. Because it’s an extreme stretch right now to not call IS evil.  What do they have to do to be granted that title, anyway?  Engage in actual cannibalism?

Moe Lane (crosspost)

PS: As a somewhat related matter… I suspect that Barack Obama would probably not quite understand why a Republican would be able to get away with calling IS ‘un-Islamic,’ while he’s getting grief over it.  It’s really simple, though: it’s all a question about what actions the rhetoric is being recruited in service for.  Barack Obama could call IS ‘chipped beef on toast’ if that rhetoric was punctuated with regular reports of IS cult circles succumbing to acute kinetic energy poisoning.  As it stands, we just have to assume that he’s looking for an excuse not to shoot the barbarians.

Put another way: you shouldn’t call these guys ‘death cultists’ because doing so will make the rest of the Muslim world love you. You do it because that’s just your way of saying Hey! These guys? KILL THESE GUYS.

*Or ISIS. Or ISIL. You know the drill.