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Rants, Raves, Interesting Science & Awful Puns
November 3, 2007

Unequal Rights

It Isn't Anyone's Freedoms That They Hate

I'm told that I must be pleased to see support for nuclear power growing these days because it produces no greenhouses gases. Well, to a degree, yes, I suppose; but it's not really evidence for any significant change when people start saying the right thing for the wrong reasons. The first negative reaction I have is the suggestion of nuclear being a lesser of two evils that we have to choose between. Not so at all. The benefits of going nuclear are strong enough to stand on their own merit, without need of this kind of justification. And second, such an argument lends legitimacy to the hysteria over global warming, which I consider baseless.

It seems that more people are turning against the Iraq war now, too. But once again, although I've been strongly opposed from the start, I find it to be similarly a source of cold comfort. The reasons given most commonly have to do with things not going well militarily, which carries the implication that there would be nothing wrong if they were going well. But launching an unprovoked attack under a pretext of lies against a nation that never was, and never could have been, a threat to the aggressors is wrong, period. Foreign armies have no business being there, and whether they happen to be faring well or badly doesn't change it.

Nevertheless, the view remains widesperead that the earlier invasion of Afghanistan was morally and legally justifiable as an act of retaliation following the Taliban government's alleged collusion in the events of 9/11. (A lot of people have apparently forgotten about it, and seem to think that attacking Iraq was some kind of payback.) In fact, the reason Bush ordered the Afghanistan invasion was the Taliban's failure to comply with his demand to unconditionally hand over Bin Laden. There was no extradition agreement between the two countries. Yet the Taliban did express a willingness to deliver Bin Laden to the United States or to a third country if convincing evidence could be shown that he had, in fact, been complicit in the 9/11 attacks--a perfectly reasonable request that any government would make in an extradition proceeding. But U.S. officials stated that they would not furnish any such evidence, and the rest, as they say, is history.

The hypocrisy of the whole business is made clear in a piece by Jacob G. Hornberger on Freedom Daily at http://www.fff.org/freedom/fd0707a.asp , where he compares it to the case of Luis Posada Cariles. Cariles, a former CIA operative, was the prime suspect in the 1976 terrorist bombing of a civilian Cuban airliner flight from Venezuela, in which 73 people were killed. After Cariles found his way into the United States, his extradition was demanded by the Venezuelan government, who did have an extradition agreement with the United States. But it was turned down flat, extradition agreement or not, however much evidence Venezuela was able to provide, on the thinly disguised grounds that anti-Castro Cuban exiles are to be supported regardless. So how is the U.S. response to Venezuela any different from the Taliban’s refusal to turn Bin Laden over to the United States? Would Venezuela be justified in attacking and invading the U.S. in retaliation? It seems that what's "just" depends on who's big enough to get away with it. So much for international law and the "war on terror."

The punch line to it all comes on Ed Haas's Muckraker Report at http://www.teamliberty.net/id267.html, according to which the FBI has admitted that it has no hard evidence connecting Bin Laden to 9/11 at all. What about the tapes? Well, all one can say is that they apparently aren't sufficient to convince the FBI.

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