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March 19, 2003

Robert Wright, in Slate, on why you should perhaps worry less about the next two weeks, and definitely worry more about the next ten years.

Writes libertarian Gene Healy, also linking to the Wright piece:

I don’t use the annoying phrase “must read” much. But I’ll make an exception here: you MUST READ the Wright piece (here it is again). After our quick victory, and after the “Arab street” fails to rise, you’re going to hear a lot of self-congratulation from the hawks. But the fallout from this war is likely to be long-term, in the form of a protracted and messy occupation, and an enhanced terrorist recruitment base. (The hawks were equally self-congratulatory after Gulf War I. The blowback from that splendid little war came 10 years later on a horrible fall day that none of us will ever forget. Funny, though, it hasn’t given the hawks a moment’s pause.)
Healy also quotes John Quincy Adams, on the subject of America’s fate should she decide to spread the “blessings of liberty” at swordspoint:
…she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom. The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force….She might become the dictatress of the world. She would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit.
[05:10 PM]
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Comments on Robert Wright,:

John Farrell ::: (view all by) ::: March 20, 2003, 02:40 PM:

All of Wright's points are well taken. But, I don't see why Valid Fear No. 2 wasn't already applicable to Afghanistan. In which case, they're already planning to attack us. The best case for going after Saddam I think remains the preventive one. Richard Cohen writes a nice piece on this today.

Dave H ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2003, 04:35 PM:

Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia:
"They should look forward to a time, and that not a distant one, when corruption in this, as in the country from which we derive our origin, will have seized the heads of government, and be spread by them through the body of the people; when they will purchase the voices of the people, and make them pay the price."