Thursday, January 16, 2003

I sent a note to Martin Wisse since he linked to my post on civil liberties in the US and commented on what he considers my cynicism. By printing only one paragraph he took my words out of context and made it seem that I am in favor of government restrictions. I am not.
As I wrote in the next sentence of the post, I oppose limits on civil liberties and I oppose internment camps on principle, not because of their supposed lack of efficacy. Whether or not they would be successful is a different matter. They might well be, under certain circumstances, and I think it is false to assume otherwise. But we should weigh the risks one way or the other rather than merely wag our fingers and claim moral superiority. The decision requires a colder logic. Then if we say that our freedoms should prevail, and I think they should, we can also say we understand the risks.

I'll put this another way. If I am still going to give qualified support to Chavez and may still even after a crackdown, am I supposed to pretend that everyone else always must play by the rules? No.
Are we in such a situation in this country now? Not by a long shot.

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