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Beware of politicians with good intentions
Posted By Harry Browne On 05/16/2002 @ 1:00 am In Commentary | Comments Disabled
The death toll of innocent people killed in Afghanistan has exceeded 3,000 – at least as many as died in the Sept. 11 attacks.
But don’t concern yourself with this. As numerous readers have kindly pointed out to me, the Afghan deaths were unintentional – unlike those on Sept. 11. The dead Afghans were the unavoidable collateral damage involved in capturing Osama bin Laden and ridding Afghanistan of religious tyrants.
(And I’m sure that any day now, Osama bin Laden will be captured and the religious tyrants in the Northern Alliance now running Afghanistan will be converted.)
Supposedly, the fact that the U.S. military wasn’t gunning for innocent Afghans means the people aren’t really as dead as those who died in New York. And their families have no right to complain.
I’m sorry, but I just don’t see it that way.
If I give my car keys to a drunk, I may not intend for him to kill some family, but I’m responsible nonetheless. And as P.J. O’Rourke has pointed out, “Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.”
The politicians always put forward the best possible intentions.
When politicians enact new laws, they don’t say, “We’re doing this to enrich our friends, punish our enemies and wreck some important part of American life” – but that’s what inevitably happens.
Politicians always claim the best of intentions.
But when have they ever delivered anything but the worst results?
So if you’re in favor of the War on Terrorism, please don’t tell me that no one meant to kill innocent Afghans.
And please don’t feign surprise when the politicians pass a $40 billion “anti-terrorism” pork-barrel bill that doesn’t contain a single provision to stop terrorism.
And please don’t complain when the politicians say they have to monitor your e-mail, tie the airports into knots, conduct warrantless searches, suspend the Bill of Rights, and finish the transformation of America from the land of the free into an Old World empire.
You asked for all this when you supported the politicians’ request for the power to “rid the world of evil-doers.”
Didn’t it ever occur to you that it was politicians who gave us the Post Office, Waco, Ruby Ridge, and the bombing of a pharmaceutical factory in the Sudan?
Do you believe the politicians running the war effort are omniscient, compassionate, freedom-loving Gods?
Don’t you realize it was these same politicians who couldn’t defend New York on Sept. 11 – despite confiscating $2 trillion of our money every year?
Don’t you know that the Defense Department is simply the Post Office in fatigues?
Haven’t you been paying attention to what your government does?
If you have been paying attention to the government, why would you trust it with anything important?
More good intentions
Please consider this as the politicians get ready to impose more of their good intentions on us:
And all this will be done with the best of intentions.
The founding fathers understood what happens when you give power to people with good intentions. That’s why they wrote the Constitution and the Bill of Rights – to prevent politicians from foisting their good intentions on us. Jefferson said we must bind them down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.
The issue isn’t one of Republican vs. Democrat. They all have the same intentions – and they’re all politicians.
And none of them can make a government program work the way it’s promised.
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