|Barbara: "I have been working, rather sporadically, on an article about the grotesque level of moral outrage in Objectivists and libertarians. Although it is not yet finished, I'm going to submit some of the completed sections as an article for Solohq. I hope Linz will publish it."|
Of course I'll bloody publish it ... if I ever *get* the bloody thing!!
Now look. I was wrong to call MH a little creep, etc., but I most assuredly was *not* wrong to take violent exception to the presumptuous, insolent post of his that provoked my outburst. So I withdraw, & apologise for, that part of the *letter* of my reaction that was unjust; but I make no apology at all for the *spirit* of my response. I took the trouble, Matt, to explain how I could reconcile my eulogy to Chris with my use of the term "Saddamite" to include people such as he & you & millions of others who speak out against the protection of America (and western civilisation) via the liberation of Iraq, even as it proceeds. I also observed that I'm not actually obligated to justify myself on my own turf (which, in any event, as Joe observes, I've already done, time & time again). You replied that you were "sickened" by my response & implied that I was obliged to satisfy *your* demands regardless of whose turf it was. That reply, I submit, is what was truly unjust here.
There's much more to this than "I said, you said." People criticise me for exploding. Actually, on many occasions I have bitten my tongue at what increasingly came to look like bad faith on the part of the Saddamites. Going right back to Logan Feys, they repeatedly accused me of not advancing any actual arguments on the matter of Iraq. In truth, as Joe's post eloquently reminds us, I have iterated & reiterated certain arguments over & over, from Day One, in *three* instalments of "Saddam's Succours" & in posts on various threads here. *None* of those arguments has been refuted. Let me just repeat the crucial ones:
1) Sight unseen, a free country has the right - but not the duty - to liberate a slave-pen. The Saddamites' blatantly dishonest retort to that was, in effect, that I was - or ought to be - arguing that America had the *duty* to liberate *every* slave pen. That pissed me off.
2) Saddam was not entitled to the benefit of a single doubt for a single minute. Regardless of what we now know about the extent to which he had redeveloped his weapons programmes, his own behaviour appeared to confirm what analysts believed: that he *had* redeveloped them to a menacing degree. *Not* that Iraq could necessarily, itself, unleash WMD on America, but would give WMD to terrorists who *would* unleash them. The Saddamites had no answer to this, but refused to budge nonetheless. That pissed me off.
3) This war is not a discrete event, whose outcome doesn't matter much, one way or the other. This war *is* apocalyptic. It is a struggle to the death between western civilisation - warts & all - & an unspeakably vicious ideology avowedly, unashamedly, explicitly intent on *destroying* western civilisation. This ideology and its practitioners do not sport mere warts - they are cosmic cancers. (The most appalling inversion committed by the Saddamites occurs when they dismiss the "apocalyptic" view of this war even as they tout the self-evidently preposterous view that the re-election of George Bush *would* be apocalyptic. Sheesh!) This war *could* have been played out elsewhere. If the Saddamites had their way it would be played out in America. As it happens, because Bush, with absolute justification, chose to go into Iraq, it's being played out *there*. Al Qaeda has gone there in droves, just as it was always going to swamp any other crucible of this cosmic conflict. Now, you'll excuse me, I'm sure, if in championing the cause of western civilisation I occasionally overlook diplomatic niceties or decline to participate in polite academic parlour games. No, Saddamites? The only issue that matters here is whether or not I'm polite? Well, yes, that too pisses me off.
4) America must not be paralysed by its own past mistakes. The fact & nature of those mistakes does not lessen the urgency or mitigate the peril of the current situation. The Saddamites acknowledged the "insightful" (ugh! Wanker-speak for "bleedingly obvious") nature of this observation - but blithely carried on saying America once backed Iraq & therefore was not entitled to topple Saddam *now*. That pissed me off.
5) America must not be paralysed by the fact that it is not at this point a perfect libertarian society. See above, & ditto. Had the Saddamites been around in the late 1930s, they would have been saying Britain had no right to declare war on Germany because it, Britain, wasn't fully libertarian. Their horrible whiney voices would have reached a crescendo in 1940 when Churchill took over from that revolting appeaser Chamberlain (a pre-Saddam Saddamite) because Churchill believed in God. And these Saddamites claim to be context-keepers!! *That* pisses me off!
So the Saddamites have been pissing me off constantly from the moment they began their appeasement. *Most* of the time I have kept quiet, in the interests of free & open discussion. Occasionally I have exploded - & then the issue has become ... not appeasement, not Saddamism, not the filth that is Islam, not the mass torture/murder that Osama/Saddam want to install in place of everything we hold dear ... none of those things ... the issue is: Linz hurt someone's feelings. For fuck's sake!!!!!!!!
Oh golly gee. I guess I shouldn't have said "fuck." Well, Saddamites, to paraphrase what I said last night - when Osama's dirty bomb rips you apart, I hope there's a moment when you can look me in the eye & say, "Waaaaaaa. You said 'fuck.'"