Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Admiration For Billmon's Readers

from commentor Aigin at the whiskey bar:

The problem in fighting creeping totalitarianism is precisely that it is creeping. The descent -- the denial of rights, the consolidation of power -- is incremental. It is difficult for those who love freedom to identify a particular action that in fact marks the step into the abyss. Usually it is only far later that the historians can say "This was the tipping point. This is when people had to have acted."

Whoever leaked the Pentagon memo to the Wall Street Journal did American democracy, and the cause of freedom everywhere, a signal service. This is the point. The memo makes clear not the intentions of the Bush Administration, but something even more important -- its assumptions. We now know what they believe. Forget the environment and abortion and the deficit, as important as they are. Forget even Iraq. What we are fighting for now, and what we must make clear we are fighting for, is nothing less than the rule of law and the rights of man.

I thought we won this in 1783 and 1789. I guess I was wrong. It's time to grab our muskets and put on our ghost shirts.

the comment was in reference to this post.

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