1/08/2006

hook, line, and sinker

I was reading the Boston Phoenix on the train yesterday, and came across this gem of a ltte:
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COMMAND AND CONQUER

Apparently, Mr. Editor does not yet know that:

1) We are in a global war on terrorism.

2) Iraq and Afghanistan are only two fronts in that war.

3) During wartime sacrifices (needed to keep our nation and you, Mr. Editor, free) must be made when lives are at stake.

There isn’t time to check with a lawyer, a judge, a court, or the ACLU. Immediate action is needed to keep us all alive — even you, Mr. Editor (See "Bush’s High Crimes," December 30, 2005).

If you or anyone else who is afraid of having his privacy invaded, possibly because of "something you want to hide," I can understand your discomfort.

To compare the wiretaps of the Nixon administration, solely for political gain during peacetime, with wiretaps during wartime to prevent another 3000 or more of our lives being lost — remember September 11, 2001, Mr. Editor? — is truly a sign of immaturity.

And if one keeps hearing the same lies about why we are at war "over there," and keeps spreading those lies through columns such as yours, of course all the folks who read it begin to accept it as truth.

Would you rather be free to promote a promiscuous society and see our nation turned into a Sodom and Gomorrah, or, let’s see, remember what happened to the Roman Empire, sir? Or does history not interest you at all?

War is hell, Mr. Editor. Nobody wants it. But it has been a reality since time immemorial. It is not an exact science, and plans and tactics must change with the circumstances. And I would hope you have a dictionary at hand to look up what torture is. Abuse is not torture. Chopping off heads and dragging bodies through the streets for TV cameras, as the enemy — the terrorists — has done is torture for all humankind. How shameful of the press to put us in the same category.

Mr. Bush is doing God’s work and performing the duties of his office that he was sworn to do when he took the oath to be our president and the commander in chief of our armed forces. I support him, as does the entire voluntary military community (not counting the few bad apples you find in any group).

Happy New Year to you and your readers. Thanks to our armed forces, we will have many, many more.

Gordon Brown
Watertown, MA
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It's classic armchair warrior stuff, innit?

The gullibility of the letter writer is almost touching. It would be, in fact, if the taunting, sagacious Mr. Brown's faith weren't so thoroughly toxic, and didn't come at the cost of our civil liberties.

I particularly like the taunt: "If you or anyone else who is afraid of having his privacy invaded, possibly because of 'something you want to hide,' I can understand your discomfort." You all know I spent some time in the old Soviet Bloc, and Mr. Brown is precisely the type who would relish the possibility of going to the Party and informing on his neighbors. And this type was not exactly a minority.

We all know busybodies. Well, when they have the power of the State behind them, they easily become informants. And informants, under such regimes, have to know that for all intents and purposes they're murderers.

The thing to understand is this: the State needs no enticement to become more intrusive. The modern State tends naturally towards totalitarianism. It's just a fact. I know this will surprise you, but our own President once joked the best form of government would be a dictatorship. With him as dictator, of course. Can you imagine? But the truth is, from the State's point of view, dictatorship is certainly easier than democracy. From the ruling class's perspective it would be a lot more convenient if we could dispense with the niceties and just get down to good old fashioned masters and servants.

Keeping the State from overreaching into our private lives is like plugging holes in the dyke (we should use guys like Brown here to plug 'em up with). What I mean is it's always a losing battle, and it's never finished. There's absolutely no precedent to trust the wiley, evil bastards who usually end up in office (I mean, how else would you get there) to respect the limits for which our Constitution was written. Power corrupts. The more power you give 'em, the more corrupt they get.

I understand people want to believe in something. Something powerful, preferably. But Bush? That's a sorry-ass joke. And it's on poor sods like Brown, here.

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