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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Tim has some nice thoughts on enmity and honesty in the context of Al Qaeda's supposed endorsement of McCain.

The point here is that the war on terror, in a historically novel way, abrogates the basic conditions of veracity that make politics a meaningful category of human discourse. If the possibility of a "terrorist" uttering a true statement is permanently witheld, there is no real enemy to fight at all--there is only our mirror image of who we are as a people. We are damned to perpetually dream up our own worst enemy--and fight ourselves to the death.
We didn't need additional proof that I was a much less sophisticated and much more juvenile thinker than Tim, but my first reference for this incredibly silly argument was the Sicilian in The Princess Bride:

But it's so simple. All I have to do is divine from what I know of you: are you the sort of man who would put the poison into his own goblet or his enemy's? Now, a clever man would put the poison into his own goblet, because he would know that only a great fool would reach for what he was given. I am not a great fool, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you. But you must have known I was not a great fool, you would have counted on it, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me...