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Stewart Apologizes

4:40 PM, May 1, 2009 • By MICHAEL GOLDFARB
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To his credit, Jon Stewart acknowledges how "stupid" and "dumb" it was to accuse Harry Truman of war crimes his decision to use nuclear weapons against Japan. As we noted yesterday, the charge came in the middle of an interview with Cliff May, head of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, who appeared on the show Wednesday night. Contrary to Stewart's apology, the comment didn't just slip out. He seemed to think long and hard before making and then repeating it later in the show. As for the apology itself, I'll let Allapundit do the dissection:

The closest we get to an explanation is that the decision to drop the bomb was "complicated," but of course that's why Cliff May brought it up - to draw a parallel with the decision to waterboard terrorists. The moral calculus about how far to go in roughing up jihadis to save how many lives is difficult, as was the calculus about how many lives would be saved in the long run by incinerating Japanese kids in Hiroshima and Nagasaki to end the war. The fact that Stewart is a hard no on the former yet considers the latter iffy suggests a mentality I simply can't fathom. Is it just a matter of Truman having been a Democrat, whose motives were therefore pure, as opposed to Bush supposedly getting his Republican rocks off by torturing terrorists? Or is it that Truman's already been vindicated by history and isn't safe to criticize the way Bush still is?

At least, and for whatever reason, Stewart felt compelled to retract the statement upon further reflection, which is more than one can say for the lemmings who eagerly followed him off the cliff. How would history have judged a man who could have saved thousands of American lives but chose instead to adhere to some misplaced and misguided sense of idealism? We may yet find out.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10cHarry Truman Was Not a War Criminalthedailyshow.comDaily Show
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