Wolf Pangloss's Fish Taco Stand

"But, reverend father," said Candide, "there is horrible evil in this world."

"What signifies it," said the Dervish, "whether there be evil or good? When his highness sends a ship to Egypt, does he trouble his head whether the mice on board are at their ease or not?"

"What, then, must we do?" said Pangloss.

"Hold your tongue," answered the Dervish.

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Location: Edge City, Titan

06 January 2008

Things I learned from the NH Debates

Best debate yet. On the Republican side, Romney was dominant but got hit with a lot of cheap personal shots. McCain was not likable. Giuliani was good but didn't engage in the debate. Huckabee lost his usual aw-shucks charm. Paul is a Libertarian, not a Republican. Thompson came out smelling like roses.

On the Democrat side, I learned many things that I never would have expected to hear.

First, Bill Richardson informed me and everyone else that since he left the position of Secretary of Energy for Bill Clinton with responsibility for nuclear non-proliferation (you will remember his signal successes in Pakistan, India, and North Korea) the loose nuclear weapons from the former USSR had all been going into the hands of terrorists. (!)

This will take some time to digest. Richardson claimed in tonight's debate that all the loose nuclear weapons since he left the cabinet had gone into the hands of terrorists. That is staggering news. How does he know it? Where do the terrorists live? What are their GPS coordinates? Is there anybody we can waterboard to find out for sure? 'Cuz if takes waterboarding someone to locate all these nuclear weapons that are in terrorist hands I think it's well worth the damage to our reputation. Reputations can be rebuilt. Nuked Americans are simply dead. By the way, would someone please declare war on the countries that harbor them this time so that the US can pull together to fight the next war instead of tearing itself apart?

Second, John Edwards said that since the British withdrew from Basra (he didn't seem to know its name, but he described it as the place that the British were stationed in Iraq) the local levels of violence had gone down. He said it was because the presence of the British was stirring up violence.

I think it's more likely that the drop in violence resulted from American forces with a higher operational tempo taking over duties from the overly passive Brits, and from concerned local citizens rejecting Iranian meddling. But I don't know. I'd be interested to see any evidence one way or the other.

Third, I learned that Barack Obama would strike militarily anywhere that lent refuge to terrorists that had struck against the USA, and when concerning nuclear and bioweapons against anywhere that sponsored terrorism and possessed such weapons.

This is precisely the Bush doctrine that led the USA to overthrow Saddam Hussein; precisely the Bush doctrine that Obama voted against in the authorization bill for Iraq. And now he extols it.

I guess he was against it before he was for it. That's a flip I can take, from nonsense to sense. Let us see if he follows the logic of his convictions in the future.

Fourth, I learned from several Reps (Romney in particular) and also from Hillary Clinton that the Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) policy that held the balance in the Cold War can not work in a world with the US as a hyperpower, the leviathan that maintains order over the commons for everyone else (and no, the UN is not appropriate for that role as it has been co-opted by thieves, corrupt bureaucrats and dictators, but that's another post), as destroying the entire rest of the world is not an option. Since MAD will not work, and since waiting until after the US homeland has been struck by nuclear or biological weapons (or by some sort of future nanobot-threat) is not acceptable, the corresponding policy to MAD is pre-emptive war.



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Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits.

                Matthew 7:15-16