Monday, October 02, 2006

George Bush the Dictator

New York Times writer Robert Harris has written a hilariously alarmist column today equating ancient Rome's move towards dictatorship to the current war on terror. If you read Harris' frightening tale of good intentions leading to unintended dictatorial consequences and believe it then you truly may want to see a doctor.

First, Harris equates the attack and burning of the ancient city of Ostia to the 9/11 attacks. Ostia was attacked and burned by "terrorist" pirates that, when Pompey the Great was given more executive powers (akin to a dictator) he crushed them easily.

The fallacies here are numerous. First, comparing Ostia to 9/11 is inherently foolish. It's difficult to connect such an obscure historical event to the worst terrorist attack on US soil, and it is further difficult to compare al Qaeda to the loose band of pirates responsible for the destruction of Ostia who where then easily and utterly defeated.

Harris also tries to connect the Roman senate's law that granted Pompey ultimate executive power to the terrorist detainee bill that passed our senate last week. Claiming that the bill takes away the terrorists' rights of habeas corpus (since when do we give enemy combatants those rights?) he compares Rome to his belief in America's supposed descent into authoritarianism.

This scare article is laughable at best. I feel bad for liberals and the amount of cognitive dissonance they are going to experience when Bush steps down from the Presidency in less than two years from now. Indeed, the very problem with liberal's irrational fear and hatred of George W. Bush is one of their most ridiculous traits and one that, in Harris' case, removes all need to take one seriously.

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