The comments sections of blogs are rarely places to look for demonstrations of ground-breaking and rational thought. This comment from Kevin Drum’s blog is no exception to the general rule – but it does shed worrying light on the right-wing psyche.
[in the event of a smallpox outbreak in America]
will Americans look to Ted Kennedy or Michael Moore to make speeches bashing “another Bush intellegience [sic] failure” if this happens? Will we want to convene a bipartisan investigation? Should we hurry to the UN and ask for the Security Council to pass a new resolution? Will we march in the streets, shouting “Bush is a chickenhawk! Release those National Guard pay records, Mr. Presdient [sic]!”
Or will Americans want to nuke Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, North Korea, and any other state that might possibly be responsible?
The sensible answer is A. The conservative who made the comment believes that the best description of what America will actually do is B. I’m not as convinced as I’d like to be that he’s wrong.
It’s far from implausible that bioterrorists will attack the West at some point during the next 20 years. If idiots were to deal with this by nuking millions of innocent Muslims, there’s a fair chance that the (rather more) millions of remaining Muslims would be quite annoyed. And any subsequent terrorist attack would be morally justifiable, since its targets would consist of perpetrators and tacit supporters of genocide. I don’t necessarily see this as a recipe for an end to terrorism.
Obviously, taking as many steps as possible to avoid a bioterrorist attack would be sensible. But we also need to ensure that in the horrible event that the intelligence fails, we don’t let the macho headcases dig our graves for us.
And if this involves rounding up the armchair hawks in the dead of night and shooting them in the back of the head, so be it.
(thanks to Chris Lightfoot for inspiration, and for proof-by-exception of the comments rule mentioned earlier)