Monday, August 25, 2008

In search of a debatable proposition


I can't decide whether I should be amused or distressed. It's rather a bit of a toss-up, and I guess it really depends on whether the "Libertarian" "Defense" Caucus has chosen to dedicate 50% of its site content to slagging me because they regard little ol' me as a much bigger threat to their agenda than I plausibly am, or whether the they consider their stated principles to be so well- and fully-implemented that all they have left to do is play the dozens with hecklers.

The whole thing started with my assertion that former US Senator Mike Gravel's call for public harassment of a bad government actor is not, as the LDC puts it, "beyond the pale, certainly unlibertarian and possibly illegal." From there, it has escalated into full-scale symphonic whining on some LDC members' part that I refuse to "debate" them.

In point of fact, I've agreed to debate several times, and even offered to do so against the only LDC member who's likely to land a punch on me. All I've asked for is a debatable proposition, i.e. one that I disagree with and that is specific enough to meaningfully argue for or against. What's been proffered instead is a string of propositions which I don't necessarily disagree with. If I don't necessarily disagree with something, I'm hard put to debate it other than for narcissistic purposes. But, of course, the offered propositions carefully exclude issues on which the LDC and I dis-agree, followed by trumpet blasts and false innuendo to the effect that I actually agree with LDC's agenda and don't know it.

Gordian Knot time. I hereby offer the following propositions, and invite anyone and everyone, LDC members included, to debate said propositions in the comments to this post or in some other suitable forum.

First two propositions:

Resolved, that the invasion and subsequent occupation of Afghanistan as implemented by the US government have failed in their objectives if those objectives included liquidation, or even significant long-term degradation of, the Command, Control, Communications and Information functions, or the effectiveness of the operators in conducting terror attacks, of the terrorist organization al Qaeda.

Resolved, that the invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq as implemented by the US government have allowed al Qaeda to more than make good on any short-term degradation of its C3I functions and operational efficacy which might have occurred as a result of the Afghanistan invasion and occupation.

Secondary, nominally dependent propositions:

Resolved, that the primary effect of the alleged ongoing "war on terrorism," as launched and promoted by the Bush administration and embraced by the LDC, has not been significant progress toward the defeat of terrorism, but rather the maintenance of either the existence or the appearance of a significant existential threat to the United States which masks and/or purports to justify a massive transfer of wealth from the pockets of taxpayers to the bottom lines of corporations which support the American political status quo with campaign contributions, sweetheart post-government sinecures for cooperative public officials, etc. and other forms of bribery.

Resolved, that a secondary effect of the alleged ongoing "war on terrorism," as launched and promoted by the Bush administration and embraced by the LDC, is an expansion of the size, scope and power of the US government versus its own citizens which entrenches a kleptocratic status quo and shatters constitutional constraints versus violations of civil liberties.

Tertiary, nominally dependent proposition:

Resolved, contra the LDC's claim in its (exceedingly poorly written) Statement of Principles that "a global war on terrorism exists," that "the global war on terrorism" actually constitutes -- whether by design or through poor implementation -- unremitting economic and physical war on the American people by the very government which claims as its raison d'etre the mission of securing their rights.

I await the replies of the LDC debaters as to whether or not they are interested in debating any of these propositions, or in offering debatable propositions of their own.

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