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Monday, February 13, 2006

I wish I was this brave

Interestingly enough, the demonstration by the muslims is worthy of protection as free speech, but the demonstration by the two guys are incitement, and not worthy of protection. In other words, watch this video. These guys are pretty foolhardy, but I still envy their courage.

And as long as we're linking to video, here's the video of the Brits beating up some Iraqis. A lot of British people are outraged by the video. I'm a bit perturbed by whoever's doing the filming, because his comments are a little too gleeful. But I can't really feel too badly over what's going on. I understand that at home, a country at war and at peace, must balance civil liberties and security. I would tend to favor liberty over security, but that's just me. But when people are firing at you, and mobs are struggling with you, sometimes feelings boil over. I'm not saying all the actions taken in this video are right, but understandable.


Just out of curiosity, what is it about street thugs engaging in ethnic violence that constitutes "security" for which some people should sacrifice liberty?
Because they aren't "street thugs" nor are they engaging in "ethnic violence". They are soldiers who were fired upon by an angry mob. They then took steps to quell the violence. My point was that no longer was this an organized civil society in which the rule of law could be expected to be peacefully instituted. What I'm saying is that these people were under enormous pressure, and sometimes it's unreasonable to expect a person in a dangerous environment to simply handcuff their prisoners, while treating them with respect. The question of security v. liberty does not exist in the state of anarchy, in my view. I was distinguishing it from decisions made by those in command, or those in the government, who make decisions in more of a vacuum.
I'd say the "state of anarchy" ends sometime before the prisoners are captured, out-numbered, out-armed, and cowering on the ground.

While it may be understandable or even expected that people in tough situations get over-emotional, these type of reactions are counter-productive in our efforts to restore order and create a nation that isn't itching to learn how to hijack a 747 in some al qaeda-run madrassa. These sort of over-reactions, to the extent they were foreseeable, should have been part of our means-ends analysis regarding invading Iraq, but unfortunately I think it may have gotten lost in the hoopla over WMD before our goals for invasion settled into their current iteration. Not to say that this means invasion was wrong, but this is the sort of stuff that needs to be considered in deciding if we have the means (or are willing to use those means) to achieve our goals.
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