Tim Blair


New Criterion



Tuesday, October 15, 2002

John Quiggins' first response to the Kuta massacre was to remind us of recent road deaths in NSW. A reader took him to task for implying moral equivalence between the two ways of getting torn to shreds.

This is John's response:I had thought about including a disclaimer about moral equivalence, but decided it was unnecessary, given that the point of the post was to say that we should take some time to think about grieving families before rushing on to the issue of how to respond.

To be absolutely clear before going on, there is no moral equivalence between a car crash (usually the result of negligence or recklessness) and a terrorist murder. I fully support our government in its determination to hunt down the killers in Bali and those who armed and financed them

In important respects, fighting terrorism is very like fighting road deaths. With determination and sacrifice we can make progress, but final victory is at best a long-term aspiration.

So our response to road accidents should be to hunt down those who make and service cars?

John, you're trying to nuance us into your own functional pacifism. It's not working.