One of our more thoughtful opinionistas has written a piece about the Left's "conflicted" state over ISIS. In his opining, he shows just how confused and conflicted he also is. Taken together, Karl Du Fresne and the Left have a deeply held common view about ISIS.
Firstly, let's review Du Fresne's analysis of the Left's position. In summary he argues that the Left is taking a moral view--a highly principled view--but it's blinkered. That is, it's hypocritical and compromised.
It's hard to think of a more challenging conundrum than the one posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Isis). Labour leader Andrew Little was right last week to describe Isis as evil. It's a word seldom heard these days because it implies a moral judgment, and moral judgments are unfashionable. But "evil" is the only way to describe men who coldly behead their captives, and then amp up the shock factor by burning one alive.Du Fresne goes on to paint the ISIS military threat as real: therefore, New Zealand cannot walk away.
There is an element of gleeful sadism in their barbarism. Last week they pushed a gay man from the top of a tall building - reportedly the fourth such execution for homosexuality. As with their other atrocities, they posted pictures and video online, a gesture that was part boast, part taunt. In doing so, they were saying to the world: "Look what we're capable of. There is no limit to what we will do. "Norms of civilised behaviour don't apply to us. In fact we hold the civilised world in contempt. You know, and we know, that you are too weak and divided to stop us."