Sunday, August 22, 2004

Fatuous-Libertarian-of-the-Month Award

The winner is Gene Healy, for this post:
Questions on Iraq and the GWOT

Given that our intelligence agencies have a dearth of Arabic speakers, who's been reading Al Qaeda email traffic since the fall of 2002? [How about contracting-out Gene? Ever hear of it? It's a sort-of free-market way of performing government functions; it avoids the need to carry a permanent payroll of bureaucrats and, if done right, it's a more effective way of spending taxpayers' dollars. Haven't you noticed that the intelligence agencies seem to have been doing a pretty good job lately? And do you suppose they're really telling the truth about their capabilities. What kind of naive putz are you Gene?] I assume quite a few of the folks with the necessary language skills have been shifted from that task to dealing with Iraq. [See previous comment.] Who's reading it now while we're busy trying to deal with Moqtada al-Sadr or whoever the next enemy of the month is? [See previous comment, and stop trying to be so clever. You're not that good at it.]

If the "flypaper" theory is true, and there is a fixed number of terrorists and it's all about whether we want to fight them here or abroad, then why don't we invade Saudi Arabia, put mouse ears on the Kabaa, and start charging admission to fat Christian tourists? That would really rile up the terrorist monolith, at no extra risk to us domestically! [He's kidding, of course, because as a libertarian he doesn't really care where his oil comes from as long as he can buy it at a good price. And an invasion of Saudi Arabia would certainly disrupt his supply of oil for a while. He's too busy trying to be clever to understand that the Saudis must be worried about what happens when we're through with Iraq -- which is why GWB doesn't tip his hand about such things. One despotism at a time, Gene. Patience, please.]

More seriously, if the "flypaper" theory is true, then why do we need to "drain the swamps" by democratizing the Middle East? [Drained swamps don't always stay drained, dummy.] Doesn't the latter theory depend on the idea that there aren't a fixed (or relatively fixed) number of terrorists? (See the Rumsfeld memo.) If there's a fixed number of terrorists, what important war-on-terror goal is served by turning Iraq (and later, Saudi Arabia, Syria, et al) into secular liberal democracies? [See previous comment. Also, do you have something against secular liberal democracies? Or is that you don't think Arabs could possibly be as enlightened as we are? That's hardly a libertarian way of looking at the world.] Surely it can't be the case that already-practicing terrorists are going to lay down their arms in gratitude when democracy comes to the Arab world. [You're right, Gene, that's why we're also trying to kill as many of them as we can while we have the chance. Oddly enough, the more we kill the fewer there will be because (1) some will be dead and (2) others will think twice about getting their butts shot off. I mean, that would be your reaction Gene, and you're a fairly fanatical person yourself. Or do you believe that Arabs have a superior degree of fanaticism. If so, that's racial stereotyping. Tsk, tsk.] Or is the theory that since they hate us because we're free, once they're free, they'll hate themselves, and be too busy to bother with us? [If you've been paying attention Gene, you will have figured out that they will either be free, dead, cowed, or targeting bigots like you.]
Here's some free advice, Gene. Don't try to mix humor and serious commentary. You're not up to it.