Total Pageviews

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Why aren't we going after the bastards?

Like anyone else, I balk at confessing that I have arbitrary prejudices to certain groups of people, even to myself. But I have to admit that there is one particular group that I cannot seem to help feeling self-justified in maintaining some animosity -- namely, bastards. Of course, I don't mean those poor unfortunate ones who have been abandoned by neglect or circumstance by their parents -- may God have mercy such as these.

No, but you know who I mean. I mean THE bastards. It is hard for me to understand why they don't go back to Bastardland where they came from. I have certain reasons for my difficulty in suspending my hostility toward a peculiar minority. One is that it is not quite clear to me that such really are in the minority. It seems hard to sneeze without my phlegm hitting a bastard. Another reason is that I feel pretty safe in thinking that bastardhood is a ground for the defeasability of certain human rights, as in "Why is this person not entitled to avoid eating my shorts? Because he is a bastard." I don't know -- it just seems to ring true, a priori, self-evident.

You know, if we had to declare war on an abstract party, we probably would have avoided many of the difficulties if we picked the right sort of group. Declaring war on Terrorists seems to have not been as universally disapproborious as one might have thought. What if Bush had declared war on the bastards? At least, he might have declared war on those bastards -- you know, the dirty, meally-mouthed, pencil-necked, bottom-feeding bastards. Would Congress have difficulty sponsering such a war? Wouldn't they, in fact, be demanding "Why are you letting those bastards get away?" if the president didn't declare war? There would be an impeachment hearing with a special investigator.

Would we have had any obstructive tensions between factions in the Middle East if we were going after bastards? You can imagine a joint Israeli-Palestinian initiative trying to coerce the United States to go after the bastards. "The nations of Islam and Israel unite in sponsering and supporting the American initiative against the bastards", would be the caption of a photo of Arafat and Sharon shaking hands. What about the debate attending the arguments for an activist, international policyby the US? Certainly, the United Nations and old Europe would not aquiese in a quietistic policy. "Don't you see that with great power comes great responsibility? The very fact that you have the military resources oblige you to take the initiative against the bastards", they would say in the UN Security Council. It seems that Bush could have manged the rhetoric more effectively.

It might seem that there are good objections against trying to deal with bastards as a catagory. For example, bastards seem to be acting on an individual basis and not part of any organized effort at bastardry. But given the great similarities of individual bastards qua being bastards, can we really be sure that they aren't organized? They seem to behave as if they were rogue cells. How do we know that there is not some sponsering franchise encouraging individuals and even small groups that to act independently? I am sure it would be hard to find an agency who wouldn't be sympathetic with erring on the side of caution.

Still, we ought to love our enemies. So perhaps war is too strong and we should settle for quarantines.

Sorry, for the absenteeism!

I have been having to mitigate severely to catch up on my IRL responsibilities. As soon as things abate, I'll be back.