Harry Truman's "Courage"


A little late to the great Jon Stewart/Harry Truman war criminal debate, but I just came across it today, from the May 18 issue of American Conservative. (The article is not online for non-subscribers, alas.) Stuart Reid quoted English (and Catholic convert) philosopher Elizabeth Anscombe on Truman:

I have long been puzzled by the common cant about President Truman's courage [in dropping the A-bomb]…Given the right circumstances (e.g. that no one whose opinion matters will disapprove), a quite mediocre person can do spectacularly wicked things without thereby becoming impressive.