Monday, October 11, 2004

Victimless terrorism, or mass murder as nuisance

John Kerry said something you'll be hearing again and again this weekend:
''We have to get back to the place we were, where terrorists are not the focus of our lives, but they're a nuisance,'' the article states as the Massachusetts senator's reply.

''As a former law enforcement person, I know we're never going to end prostitution. We're never going to end illegal gambling. But we're going to reduce it, organized crime, to a level where it isn't on the rise. It isn't threatening people's lives every day, and fundamentally, it's something that you continue to fight, but it's not threatening the fabric of your life.''
As the Volokhs note, he either picked one lousy analogy or he has a strange view of terrorism.

Why is it that gambling and prostitution are low legal priorities? The Volokhs address that here. IMO the essence is that they're victimless. The govt doesn't like for any economic activity to occur without being taxed, and prostitution in particular can become a significant public health threat if not kept within bounds, but for the most part they're simply personal problems. If we were having our kin killed by gamblers and hookers on a regular, random basis you can bet your sweet patootie the hookers and gamblers would be swinging from lampposts until the problem went away.

But that's altogether too dispassionate. Your murder is Kerry's nuisance?

Well, that's not what he meant, right? He's speaking in the legal sense, not the popular sense. He meant that the demonstrated existence and virulence of a cabal of lunatics, dedicated to killing Americans and others by any means necessary so we can live under sharia, is in principle no more serious than your neighbor playing his stereo a little too loud?

No, not that either! He just wants people to accept it, like the weather. (And maybe we ought to get rid of that nasty name "terrorists" too - how about "insurgents"?)

Yes, it's true that we can't eliminate *all* terrorism any more than we can eliminate mental illness. But these creeps aren't mentally ill - they know damned well what they are doing and they're loving it. They love death? Hey, I have a win-win proposition for them....

Sorry, but there's no talking around this one. Doesn't this man have handlers? Or is he just too arrogant to listen to them? Sheesh, I would have expected better from his wife

But it could have been worse - Kerry could have mentioned the real reason why he wants people to forget about terrorism. Democrats don't run well on foreign affairs issues. They can't see spending all that money on activities that won't buy them more votes back home. What's more important - your physical well-being, or their careers?

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