I’m not, note well, talking about any of those “Bush Lied” marginalia. To a dedicated hawk, the issue of whether the Bush administration provided disingenuous rationales for the invasion is secondary to the question of whether or not the invasion served America’s strategic interests. That is, for a war hawk, the end justifies, or at least excuses, the means.
For the sake of argument, I’ll grant the hawks’ dubious premise that the invasion of Iraq, if had been carried out properly, with opportunity costs duly considered, would have been the best possible use of America’s military might in the context of an ongoing global War on Terror. That stipulated, no one ought to have held out a shred of hope, when it became clear that the United States’ armed forces would be sent into Iraq, that their mission would be anything but bungled, and bungled badly.2
Why were all such hopes foolishly misplaced? Because the government of the United States is not the best medicine for what ails the West. It is the West’s most malignant tumor.
Is that too much to swallow? In lieu of a spoonful of sugar, I offer this:
An 11-year-old girl who threw a stone at a group of boys pelting her with water balloons is being prosecuted on serious assault charges in California. Maribel Cuevas was arrested in April in a police operation which involved three police cars and a helicopter. [Link]
A government of savages — that is, a government that is capable of this — cannot be trusted with any mission whatsoever, least of all a mission to protect life and property from savage assault.3 Not convinced? Consider whether the government that is capable of this or this or this or this or this or this or this ought to be trusted with any mission whatsoever.
“But this government is all we’ve got! We need it!” Wrong. What needs to be recognized is this: terrorism notwithstanding, Americans are in a state of emergency that can best be ended by ending the state.
Try to understand: the strategic situation of the world right now is a Rube Goldberg machine.4 The penultimate element in this weird contraption is a Damoclean boot, poised to stamp upon the face of humanity forever. Osama bin Laden is nothing more than the mouse, now forgotten, that nibbled at the balanced plate of cheese, and set the mechanism in motion. Who built this Dadaist doomsday device? If you have to ask, then, brothers, you asked for it.5
[For those who might wonder, this post is not part of the series of projected anti-state posts which began with “More Eggs” — TF]
1. ARI reminds me of the kid imploring Shoeless Joe: “Say it ain’t so!” It’s so. The U.S. Government has no intention of mounting an effective offense against the terrorists. The most charitable interpretation of the evidence (that retains plausibility) is that this is because the government is constitutionally incapable of conceiving of an effective offense, let alone mounting one.
2. If by some accident, Iraq turns out, years from now, to have served to secure the lives and liberties of Americans, it will be just that, an accident. National Defense is not a birthday party, and Iraq is not a piñata (or a roll of flypaper, or any other such nonsense).
3. If you miss my point just here, it’s probably because you’ve confused federalism with feudalism.
5. Objectivists especially. The Oval Office is your Room 101. You know what’s in Room 101.