CNN Chief International Correspondent Christiane Amanpour flipped out on the AC360 Later Syria panel Thursday night, calling out the “false moral equivalence” of anti-interventionists. She clashed with blogger Andrew Sullivan over the emotion in the case, shouting down her fellow panelists to get a word in edgewise.
After Anderson Cooper and Sullivan brought up the need to separate the emotion from the policy, Amanpour sighed and said, “I can barely contain myself at this point.” She proceeded to go on a rant about the “false moral equivalence” in arguing against going in.
“How many more times do we have to say that weapons of mass destruction were used, and as bad as it is to decapitate somebody, it is by no means equal. We can’t use this false moral equivalence about what’s going on right now. They tried to do it in the second World War, they tried to do it in Bosnia, they tried to do it in Rwanda, and they’re trying to do it now. There is no moral equivalence.”
When the others tried to jump in, Amanpour shouted, “Wait just a second!” She firmly argued that Obama simply cannot allow Assad to get away with using chemical weapons, noting how Bill Clinton is still apologizing for Rwanda. Sullivan jumped in to say, “This is not reason, this is emotion.” Amanpour fired back, “It’s not emotion. This is history coming out.”
I’m not exactly sure what Ms. Amanpour is referring to when she says “false moral equivalence” but I am far more concerned about the number of dead than the means by which they got that way. When we focus on the chemical weapons it’s like saying that it is okay to kill people with bombs and bullets.
It is not necessary for us to take an inventory of the dead and determined which side is more culpable if there is ample evidence (and there is) that both sides are morally reprehensible. Let us not forget that without our encouragement and support there would be no civil war in Syria in the first place. We have unclean hands in this conflict and we also have ulterior motives.
As far as I am concerned our only appropriate role would be to try to bring about a peaceful resolution of the fighting and/or to prevent the flow of weapons and assistance to both sides. But that’s not what we are doing.
We have no business playing geopolitical chess using other people as pawns.