What should we expect from The War Against Terror? Consider this:
Writers jailed in 2002 for political satire
After three years at Guantanamo, Afghan writers found to be no threat to United States
PESHAWAR, Pakistan — Badr Zaman Badr and his brother Abdurrahim Muslim Dost relish writing a good joke that jabs a corrupt politician or distills the sufferings of fellow Afghans. Badr admires the political satires in “The Canterbury Tales” and “Gulliver’s Travels,” and Dost wrote some wicked lampoons in the 1990s, accusing Afghan mullahs of growing rich while preaching and organizing jihad. So in 2002, when the U.S. military shackled the writers and flew them to Guantanamo among prisoners whom Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld declared “the worst of the worst” violent terrorists, the brothers found life imitating farce.
For months, grim interrogators grilled them over a satirical article Dost had written in 1998, when the Clinton administration offered a $5-million reward for Osama bin Laden. Dost responded that Afghans put up 5 million Afghanis — equivalent to $113 — for the arrest of President Bill Clinton.
Given this, and scores of similar items, given the demonstrated failure of central planning in general, how can this government be expected to conduct a War On Terror any better than it conducts any other affair? Supporters of the Terror War need to answer this, or ignore it, in order to proceed.
Nobody’s answered it yet. And why not?
Because the honest, rational answer is that there’s no reason at all to expect the government to handle the Terror War any better than it handles any other matter. That’s an awkward admission to make if you’re a supporter of the War On Terror:
“Yes, this government’s going to fuck the matter at hand up in a spectacular fashion, and likely enough will actually make whatever problem it supposedly started out to solve worse. Instead of fixing things, which it can’t do, it will create a self-perpetuating crisis managed by career bureaucrats whose primary motivations will be ensuring their continued employment and the steady growth of their mini-empires. Everything remotely connected with this will be deemed a national necessity and naysayers will be branded as unpatriotic. Dire pronouncements of doom will be forthcoming, based on rumors at best, at regular intervals or whenever the public starts to grow weary of the whole mess. Every election cycle, various candidates will make noises about “fixing” the matter, but their fixes will to a man involve increasing the budgets of the government agencies involved.
But you should support it anyway, because it’s all we’ve got.”
I could be describing support for AmTrack. In fact it’s a pretty fair comparison, since to make either of them work right, you need to do one thing:
Solve the socialist calculation problem.
Except, oops, you can’t. How does it get decided where trains run or who gets bombed? Not a price system, with near-instant feedback of market demand, but central planning overlaid with political patronage. Socialized trains don’t work any better than socialized Terror Wars, which is why you get what we have now: the Afghani Jonathan Smith in jail for three years, and a rail organization that loses money on three dollar hot dogs.
Thus the primary problem with the War On Terror: socialism.