September 29, 2007

Just a short quote

This is from Plutarch's Lives. I just thought that it fit so perfectly with my position on the War on Terror that I had to post it.

"For there was no likelihood, if they suffered less than death, they would be reconciled, but rather, adding new rage to their former wickedness, they would rush into every kind of audacity, while he himself, whose character for courage already did not stand very high with the multitudes, would be thought guilty of the greatest cowardice and want of manliness."

4 Comments:

Blogger Shakespeare's Cobbler said...

What about those Muslims who would rather not be radicals but are unable to escape? Would you kill them too?

What about the fact that wars increase the government's power and the War on Terror has no defined limit? Are you willing to hand over extra power indefinitely to a government that often seems to know not the meaning of sanity?

I used to have exactly the same opinion on the war as you do, Ambrose. I waited for years to hear an explanation I'd believe from its critics. Finally I heard about half a dozen, primarily the two above. Now I'm waiting for the war's supporters to answer them.

~Scott

September 30, 2007 2:52 PM  
Blogger ~Ambrose said...

In the case of the historical scenario which this quote is from, Cicero had to weed out conspirators. Note that all the conspirators were Roman senators. He managed to weed them out without killing the entire senate, and without becoming like Stalin.

The enemy in Iraq refuse to comply by any standard of war in existence. They fight in civilian clothes, thus evading notice. They use their own citizens as kamikazes. Once, a child was instructed to put on a vest bomb and to go stand by the Americans and pull the cord, told that flowers would pop out.

As for the governments power, THIS IS THE REASON THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT EXISTS! I agree that extra government power is not really a good thing, but a federal government with executive power was needed because it is the most efficient method of repelling threats. This is undoubtedly a threat, and for the government to have power to defeat it is the power that the Constitution granted it.

~Ambrose

October 01, 2007 11:48 AM  
Blogger Shakespeare's Cobbler said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

October 01, 2007 5:59 PM  
Blogger Shakespeare's Cobbler said...

Okay, I'm sorry I was a bit imprudent with my wording of the first question. However, I still think...

You mention that in context it was a case where such was possible without killing innocents. That was precisely my point: that it was true in context, but wasn't necessarily true applied to the modern situation. You went on to talk about all the despicable tactics our enemies use; I don't see that changing the relevancy of my original question. It isn't chivalrous to stoop to your enemy's level or to think the ends (of how bad the evil to be defeated is) justify the means (of what we may do to defeat it), is it?

As for the government power, I wasn't berating it in principle. If you will kindly reread my comment, you will find I was questioning whether it is wise to give the government war-time powers indefinitely. How do you know the War on Terror won't eventually be extended to the Vatican by some nut? They already whine that the Pope proclaiming morality is breaking our Constitution (which is both untrue and stupid as the Constitution is hardly a universally applicable document). If there were a definite limit to the specific aim of our current war stance, that'd be one thing. But as far as I can tell, the overall strategy is to go after anyone who we think may attack us, which I do not consider definite.

October 01, 2007 6:00 PM  

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