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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Nefarious character or gullible fool?

[photo of Sarah Lawrence]

Sarah Lawrence: clearly up to no good

In May this year, I had the pleasure of meeting George Smith when we were both speaking at the Youth 4 Liberty Summer Camp in Orono, Ontario, Canada. I found him interesting, learned and charming, but my speech, which was an anarcho-capitalist argument for the war on terrorism, apparently made little impact on him, if a recent article of his is anything to go by. In The Laissez Faire Electronic Times, Vol 1, No 31, he says darkly:

If a crisis presents an opportunity, an endless crisis presents endless opportunities. With bin Laden off the radar, the administration is setting sights on Hussein. Is he now the linchpin of world terror or just the one we might get away with killing? Have we reviewed all tyrants and found him the most imminently threatening?

What is this conspiracy theory asking you to believe about yourself?

Suppose you think that Saddam Hussein needs to be disarmed, deposed and replaced by a democratic government. George Smith is asking you to believe one of two things:

  1. You are a nefarious character (in league with the US government and other reprehensible scoundrels) who thinks that Saddam Hussein is not a bad chap who should be taken out to protect the people of the world from whatever dreadful wrongs he might do next, but merely someone “we might get away with killing” OR

  2. You are a gullible fool who has been taken in by the dastardly US government’s anti-Saddam rhetoric.

If you came to this conclusion long before the US/UK governments did (and let’s face it, only a matter of ten days ago, Tony Blair seemed unconvinced), (2) would imply that you were taken in by people who did not themselves hold that opinion. So it follows that George Smith is asking me to believe (1) – that I am an immoral person who wants Saddam taken out merely because he is someone “we might get away with killing.”

George, George! Tell me you don’t really think this!

1 comment to Nefarious character or gullible fool?

  • “George, George! Tell me you don’t really think this!”

    No, I don’t think this.

    As I believe Sarah knows by now, the piece in question was written by George F. Smith, not by me, George H. Smith.

    george H. smith