Republican Presidential candidate Bobby Jindal, who, throughout the last five years, occasionally moonlights as Governor of Louisiana, recently published an opinion piece in the hometown paper of the Duck Dynasty clan, The Monroe News Star, to express his outrage about President Barack Obama’s response to the newest existential terrorist crisis in the Middle East. According to Jindal, President Obama needs to stop talking about “justice” and start murdering people, even if we have to go alone. Quoting Jindal:

The president said that when people harm Americans, “we do what’s necessary to see that justice is done and we act against ISIL, standing alongside others.” What? Here’s an idea — How about we offer these people death instead of justice?

I understand that the president of the United States should not be prone to wild rhetoric. But this is ridiculous.

“Justice” generally conjures up images of a courtroom with a government-provided defense attorney. Here’s another way the president could phrase it, “we will hunt them down and kill them.” And as for the president’s phrase “standing alongside others,” what does that mean? We should hunt and kill the people who did this completely, regardless of who stands with us.

Yes, “justice,” as Bobby Jindal suggests, is something that only people like Matlock and Perry Mason care about. To him, it’s beneath the President to talk about justice being done. Instead, the President should be talking, unequivocally, about savagely murdering people in the Middle East. Because, apparently, that’s the best way for a mature, industrialized country with the largest stockpile of nuclear weapons and the most sophisticated military force in the world to win hearts and minds and convince our enemies of the morals and the values of democratic government.

Either way, according to Jindal, who really cares if anyone “stands with us”? America apparently doesn’t need allies because it has God on its side, which, ironically, is the same exact thing that ISIS terrorists claim themselves, though their name for God is a couple of letters longer.

But in all seriousness, Jindal’s sudden hawkishness is so hyperbolic, so simplistic, and so heated that there’s only one possible explanation for it: He really, really wants to be the Republican nominee for President, and in order to do that, he needs to look like a war-monger. He saw an opening for his message after the savage beheading of American journalist James Foley, and he thinks Mr. Foley’s murder justifies large-scale war in the Middle East. There are a couple of problems, though: James Foley wasn’t murdered by a native of Syria or Iraq; according to voice recognition technology, Foley was killed by a kid from the UK, potentially a wannabe rapper and musician. And we’ve also learned recently that ISIS is recruiting American kids in Minnesota to join their cause.

So, who are we going to murder, exactly? Everyone in ISIS? What about recruiters? Should we consider targeting bombs against kids in Wales and Minneapolis?

Bobby Jindal concludes his letter with a quaint observation about World War II. Quoting:

In World War II we did not win the future by building, we won it by destroying. Uncomfortable or not, that is the truth. The murderous fools who cut the heads off of Americans must be destroyed, and sent to their reward, such as it is, in the next life.

While that is certainly one way to look it history, it’s just not true: We won by building– alliances, goodwill, intelligence, cooperation, and the weaponry of warfare. Yes, there was unimaginable death, and yes, there was destruction. But Bobby Jindal misreads history: The allied forces won in World War II precisely because they came together and built an alliance that, eventually, outmatched anything Hitler could have done. We used sanctions, smarts, spies, and surprise.

With the war closing in on him, we didn’t have the chance to destroy Hitler; he killed himself. And during the last seven decades, we’ve continued to hold former WWII criminals accountable, including some who thought they had escaped forever. There is justice, even international justice.

And perhaps if Bobby Jindal understood justice as a foundational value of American democracy and not merely some abstraction, he would understand that justice is much more powerful, more permanent, and more effective than any policy built on indiscriminate murder.

We’ve tried a type of Bobby Jindal’s “go it alone,” phony Cowboy, overcompensated machismo policy before: And it didn’t turn out that well. We spent trillions of dollars and more than a decade; we lost thousands of lives; we never found the weapons of mass destruction, and Osama bin Laden was living in a completely different country.

Maybe it’s not a bad idea to seek justice first, before we just start murdering people in the Middle East because of a savage crime committed by a kid from the UK against a journalist from America.

 

13 thoughts

  1. Bobby “wanna a be President” should look at the recent USA Today Iowa poll. No one in Iowa “wanna him to be President.” Nine potential Republican candidates with 5% or more of the vote and Bobby wasn’t in the pack. The dogs already left the porch and is sitting on it whining and watching them run. All we really have to do is look at Bobby’s record as a governor of Louisiana and we know that he has “justice” confused with corruption, lying and deceit.

  2. Poor lil Booby. He wants so much to be the next president of the US of A. Any who even begin to consider him for that office need to ask themselves why he has become the absolute worst governor of Louisiana. Why has he spent more time on the national trails than in the state he was elected to govern. He has been an absentee governor for the bulk of his time in that office. I doubt that any other governor of any other state in this nation has even one-third the frequent flyer miles lil Booby has amassed since he was elected to be the governor of our state.
    The man, and I use that term loosely, is a very poor joke. Between your blog, “Louisiana Voice” and CB Forgotston, I have learned more about lil Booby and other nasty aspects of politics in this state than I could have ever imagined. Herr Jindal and his “Louisiana miracle” are among the very sickest of sick jokes ever pulled on any state in recent times and possibly in the entire history of this country.
    My hope for Herr Jindal is that he has become such an embarrassment to the elephant gang that he is not even considered as a third backup dog catcher in any future presidential cabinet ever. The man is a waste of space and really does need to be in prison for the crimes and harm he has done to the state and the people of Louisiana.
    Thanks for all you do here to keep us informed sir.

  3. Even Jindal cannot think he’s got a chance of the nomination. Maybe he’s just keeping his hat in the ring to push the debate in the primaries farther right, like Ralph Reed used to do. There’s got to be money in that.

  4. “The president said that when people harm Americans, “we do what’s necessary to see that justice is done and we act against ISIL, standing alongside others.” What? Here’s an idea — How about we offer these people death instead of justice?
    I understand that the president of the United States should not be prone to wild rhetoric. But this is ridiculous.
    ‘Justice’ generally conjures up images of a courtroom with a government-provided defense attorney. Here’s another way the president could phrase it, ‘we will hunt them down and kill them.’ And as for the president’s phrase “standing alongside others,” what does that mean? We should hunt and kill the people who did this completely, regardless of who stands with us.”

    Lamar White, Jr. could not be more callous or ignorant. “Maybe it’s not a bad idea to seek justice first, before we just start murdering people in the Middle East because of a savage crime committed by a kid from the UK against a journalist from America.”

    Yep. That’s the ONLY thing ISIS has done. Just one guy killing an American journalist. No mass murders of innocent Christians and Muslims. No mass rape and torture of women, children, and men. No mass beheadings and cutting children in half. No forced conversion to their brand of Islam under the threat or torture or beheading. No genocide. No forcing hundreds of thousands from their homes into rugged terrain to die of starvation or thirst. No threats they they will destroy America and are already strategically working to deploy terrorists to our land. Just the killing of one useless American. No big deal.

    Obviously the enlightened Lamar White, Jr. is an ISIS sympathizer.
    I invite him to take a holiday in Syria or Iraq as soon as possible to meet some of his pals.
    Heck, I’ll buy him a ticket.

    1. LOL. “Obviously an ISIS sympathizer” because he doesn’t agree with the drum-beating of Bobby Jindal, huh? There’s violence all across the world; people like you, and like Bobby Jindal, only care when you get to use it to advance an agenda.

      1. Yes, stopping genocide and eliminating a terrorist threat to America is advancing an agenda. It’s called patriotism, moral behavior, selflessness. If you don’t care about the people ISIS is terrorizing, torturing, raping and maiming, then you are an ISIS sympathizer. What is YOUR agenda?

    2. Let’s get this straight: You want to pay someone you believe to be an ISIS sympathizer to go to Syria? Wouldn’t that qualify you as a sponsor of terrorism? I don’t think you thought this through.

  5. Earlier today, I received a comment that appears to have been written by Jody Eldred- a Louisiana native and Emmy-award winning videographer who once told the Christian Broadcasting Network that he is on a mission from God- arguing that I am an “ISIS sympathizer” and offering to purchase a ticket for me to go to Syria. Yesterday, someone else- a guy named Jason Wills from Gonzalez, Louisiana- suggested that I “would hug a child molester.”

    I criticized Bobby Jindal for being irresponsible with his words, and I stand by my criticism. As evil and as horrific as ISIS’s actions have been, when our leaders resort to the rhetoric of brutality and warfare, when they argue that “justice” is nothing more than abstraction and that the only real solution in the world is reciprocal destruction, when they suggest that those who believe otherwise are weak and unpatriotic, they aren’t just mocking the basic concept of justice (because international justice often requires the use of military force), they’re also feeding into the very narrative of unchecked, reckless American imperialism that ISIS and other terrorists rely on to justify their savagery. And that is precisely why it is responsible, wise, and patriotic to appeal to the need for justice– international justice– and the broad hope for peace. As history has demonstrated time and time again, we can’t win wars without also winning hearts and minds, and we can’t win hearts and minds when we’re foaming at the mouth.

    To win, we have to be smart, and Jindal’s statement- however much it reflects the visceral desire shared by most Americans (myself included) to eliminate terrorism- was not smart or sophisticated. At its core, Jindal’s argument was about diminishing “justice” and a system of law in favor of the rhetoric of war, because perhaps to some of his constituents, that sells.

    But this isn’t WWII. We are not fighting a nation-state. We are fighting against an internationally dispersed network of radical religious ideologues, and for the last twenty years, we’ve been playing a game of global whack-a-mole.

    If you think I am a terrorist sympathizer for believing that “ensuring justice” is a better rationale for international military intervention than “ensuring destruction,” then I am afraid you have things backwards: The most effective recruitment tool that terrorists have at their disposal is American politicians who talk just like they do.

    1. Thank you for your educated and empathic global-minded response. As citizens of the United States of America we must unite with our world allies and not attempt to take over other countries alone due to a desire from the,” get even mentality.” Building peace and securing freedom requires unified efforts. Our country cannot fight wars alone. We lose so many young American lives and send them out to areas where its guerrilla warfare and our soldiers are at a disadvantage. These soldiers who are fighting know they may not return but now they have to deal with our country lacking funding to care for their medical needs and manipulate a system which doesn’t even help them find gainful employment. Many of their bases are closing and they return from fighting for our country and settle for substandard housing. Having said all that, my point is this; saying simplistic opinions about getting even and eradicating that which cannot be eradicated such as countries who have been attacked for centuries is not a problem with a simple answer. If so, this war in the middle east would have stopped at some point a few thousand years ago. Its ongoing and historically that has been the case. Ignorance is one of the important lessons of World War II and having opinions without facts and knowledge of the culture and history of such wars is dogmatic.
      Thank you Lamar. When you do write an article it is enlightening and a well-informed body of information.

  6. To assume anything Governor Jindal says reflects sincerity is to give him credit where none is due. His statements to the national media on this issue, like all others, are mere preaching to the choir he apparently believes is large enough to launch him into the White House, coupled with attempts to pick up a few votes from those not quite so far-right, but who share with it opposition to everything the President does or says.

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