Friday, July 05, 2002


The very lovely Don Arthur has sent me an email about my discussion of the Enemy. He’s also put up a separate response on his site, which I’ll get to tomorrow.

As I see it, I'm still more at risk from the bad driving of overexcited Alan Jones listeners than I am from Islamic extremists.

Of course you are. You are also more likely to be killed crossing the street than by that gang of 20 young men coming up the pavement towards you. So you look both ways before crossing the street to get out of their way.

And I'm sure some of these deluded fanatics really do want to rule the world - but they won't.

Somehow this will happen by itself.
when crazies from the NRA used the red scare as a reason for more relaxed laws on gun ownership I wasn't conned.

Starting to reach a bit here, using Alan Jones and the NRA in one email. Personally, I think Alan Jones is a demagogue, I am on record as supporting the Australian gun laws, and I enjoyed Red Dawn immensely by ignoring the clunking subtext. Calling communism a “red scare” doesn’t address the fact that for a long time, they were the Enemy.
the very things people ought to be fighting to defend (civil liberties, tolerance of minorities) start to get eroded. People start to look for enemies in their own ranks.

Examples, Don. Examples. Unpopularity is not censorship. Civil liberties are not carved in stone, set for all time. They ebb and flow, according to circumstances. In wartime, we would not be having this conversation. Neither you nor I have ever had absolute freedom of speech, and we never will. Where are the attacks on minorities? I don’t see carloads of white boys cruising Lakemba looking for a fight. I don’t see anybody’s right to dissent diminished. If a commentator feels he will get in trouble for saying what he thinks, It won’t be from the gummint, it will be from those recalcitrant member of the viewing public that think he’s full of shit. And that ain’t censorship, that’s showbiz.

When a democratically-elected government puts laws into place to safeguard the commonweal, and those laws in some minor way limit the right of some citizens to do whatever the hell they please, then the independent judiciary will safeguard the rights of the citizens.
The west didn't defeat communism by creating a police state - it collapsed because the communists created one.

Actually, communism collapsed because it attempted to equal or better the military might of the west, using an economy that was one third as efficient. Without western resistance, the Russians would have rolled over Europe like army ants.

Security is not a given. A nation, a way of life, a household is not secured by the good will of the criminal class. It is secured by the will of the owners to resist the Enemy. That resistance can be delegated (police, alarm system, armed services), or it can be personal (sit on porch, get liquored up, fondle shotgun menacingly). But resistance must take place. Without resistance, without force of arms, without the will to defend what is yours, then alas and alack, someone will take it from you.

It is not fear-mongering to accept that there is an Enemy, and that they want what is yours. You do that every time you lock your house, every time you walk your kid to school. People are usually capable of analysing risks, and making fairly rational decisions. And the more people you have doing the analysing (democracy), the better the outcomes.

The biggest enemy is our own fear.

I can’t speak for the rest of you, but my biggest enemy is heart disease, followed closely by CIA mind-rays. I am not advocating a state of fear, or even a substantial alteration of our lifestyle. Actually, I think our lifestyle is one of our greatest weapons. It’s already defeated one set of communists, and will do the same for the Chinese sometime in the next ten years or so.

What is needed is an acceptance of the threat, a clear and open assessment of the measures needed to combat the very real possibility that we will be attacked, and then action to make sure it doesn’t happen. If we are required to carry the fight to the Enemy, I would prefer that it be done where they live, rather than where I live. A pre-emptive strike is justified to eliminate a threat deemed, by appropriate authority, to be sufficiently dangerous. Pretty much every snake in Australia is protected, but do you know any camper capable of tying his own shoes who will choose an agonising death on bush, ahead of Kill it! Kill it!?

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