Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Where the left has gone wrong

This is part of a discussion relating to the new ACLU suit attempting to force the USG to allow Mr. Ramadan to enter the US to take up a post at a university. Yes, this is an immigration lawsuit against the Patriot Act, disguised as a first amendment lawsuit.

If they want to argue against the patriot act, they have plenty of opportunity to do so while still following the principles which they claim to follow. I donated to them because I saw a pattern of defending the bill of rights, even when it was unpopular to do so. I have not seen that in quite some time.
Their originally chartered agenda has historically been quite successful, so I think they have just decided to 'extend' it, perhaps out of fear of losing relevance in a country where their principles are now accepted as "core beliefs" by both sides of debate. A victim of their own success, I guess.

I'm not saying they don't have issues to follow, heck, this wiretapping drama definitely requires litigation.

This all kind of reminds me of a discussion on torture which I had with a friend. I said the crux of the problem was that the US is unwilling to have a serious, realistic debate about when and where torture is appropriate, therefor no amendment has been enacted to deal with the issue. His response was: "No other President has ever needed to be constrained by laws on the use of torture before.." which is just such a huge fallacy, I really didn't know where to begin.
The obvious first order points being: 1) it's naive to think our government has never used torture previously, 2) no other President has faced this truly novel threat, so judging their response against that of peaceful times, is irrelevant.

I think it's really difficult for us to put ourselves in the President's shoes. Just imagine that you are elected to office, and eight months into your presidency, *wham*, largest attack in history on US soil. It is completely *your* responsibility and your responsibility alone to seek out and remove this meanace.
At what point would we stop and say: "That's good enough.." At what point would we say: "Those guys really weren't involved, let's forget about them.."

If I were in office, I would not be satisfied with just removing those who planned, executed, or were involved in the attack. What would be required of me, as the solely responsible party for preventing a future attack, would be to prevent the historical circumstances which in any way obliquely led to the attacks from occuring on my watch.
This would *absolutely* take precedence over capturing/killing those who planned this attack, because I would have absolutely no motive of vengeance or hatred towards those who perpetrated or planned the attack. The only way those involved in the attack would appear on my radar, would be as a potential future threat. I would only care about a cold, calculated, rational evaluation of what action would be the most likely the prevent another attack in the long term.

It'd be a big job, and I'd have to start somewhere. I'd spend a lot of time calculating which *somewhere* would be the most effective starting point.

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