A moral squint

Bombs and chaos

After a particularly heavy U.S. bombardment of Kunduz, al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters initially refused to surrender. Northern Alliance factions argued over how to arrange the surrender of Kunduz, provoking one U.S. official to describe the situation in and around the city as “chaotic.” His word reminds me of an exchange in Robert Bolt’s A Man for All Seasons. Cardinal Thomas Wolsey demands that Thomas More support a papal dispensation so that King Henry VIII can legally divorce his queen, who has failed to produce a male heir. When More refuses to intercede with the pope, the cardinal says, “You are a constant regret to me, Thomas. If you could just see facts flat on without that horrible, constant moral squint. With a little common sense you could have made a statesman.”

 

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