Commentary Magazine


Contentions

‘Wanting to Bomb the Hell Out of Someone’

Newsweek is dribbling out its quadrennial, always-riveting (no irony here) behind-the-scenes look at the 2008 campaign. In the first installment today, we watch Barack Obama as he slowly commits himself psychologically to the race throughout the year 2007. As he unsteadily begins the endless series of debates that consumed the year, he finds himself angered and discomfited by the format. That’s as it should be for any rational person. But look what made him especially uncomfortable:

Obama bridled at the sometimes mindless rituals and one-upmanship of a national political campaign in the age of cable news. He resented the pressure he felt to declare, as he put it to NEWSWEEK, that you “want to bomb the hell out of someone” to show toughness on terrorism.

I pray this sentence is a misrepresentation of what Obama meant, because if it is accurate, we have just elected a president who resents and resists the idea that a terrorist attack on the United States or its interests in the wake of 9/11 requires a military response if one is possible.

Of course, this was not a considered remark, not policy. But it may be an extraordinarily revealing glimpse into Obama’s gut feelings about these matters — that justifiable retaliation is nothing more than a psychologically satisfying act, a fulfillment of a primal revenge hunger, “wanting to bomb the hell out of someone.”

It is suggestive, as well, of the attitude he might bring to bear on questions about Israel’s response to terrorist acts.


Join the discussion…

Are you a subscriber? Log in to comment »

Not a subscriber? Join the discussion today, subscribe to Commentary »





Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor to our site, you are allowed 8 free articles this month.
This is your first of 8 free articles.

If you are already a digital subscriber, log in here »

Print subscriber? For free access to the website and iPad, register here »

To subscribe, click here to see our subscription offers »

Please note this is an advertisement skip this ad
Clearly, you have a passion for ideas.
Subscribe today for unlimited digital access to the publication that shapes the minds of the people who shape our world.
Get for just
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor, you are allowed 8 free articles.
This is your first article.
You have read of 8 free articles this month.
YOU HAVE READ 8 OF 8
FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
for full access to
CommentaryMagazine.com
INCLUDES FULL ACCESS TO:
Digital subscriber?
Print subscriber? Get free access »
Call to subscribe: 1-800-829-6270
You can also subscribe
on your computer at
CommentaryMagazine.com.
LOG IN WITH YOUR
COMMENTARY MAGAZINE ID
Don't have a CommentaryMagazine.com log in?
CREATE A COMMENTARY
LOG IN ID
Enter you email address and password below. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address that you provide.