[LINK] OT: Howards anti-terrorist mailout

James Pearce james.pearce@zdnet.com.au
Mon, 10 Feb 2003 18:50:43 +1100

> > We should not support unilateral action against Iraq by
> > America and allies
> > because-despite the fact that Saddam should not be running a
> > country-America
> > has never overthrown a government and replaced it with a
> > better one.
> Well ... agree generally, but I guess Nazi Germany and prewar Japan may
> count against this statement!

Hmm... possibly. I'm not sure how much America had to do with this compared
to the rest of the world. I'm quite happy for the UN to attempt to install a

> Now, about the "make yourself a target" thing. The hard question is "how
> can individual morality be applied to governmental responsibility?"
> Saying "bugger you Jack" is a great wrong at an individual level; but a
> government must think differently. The question, IM-(very arrogant!)-O is
> this: "under what circumstances can a government attract danger to its
> citizens?"

A government should do all it can to protect it's citizens without
destroying too many of their rights. You can keep a populace perfectly safe
by keeping them in a cell without any contact with the outside world-but
this is not a desirable outcome. Safety must be balanced with other factors.
Personally, I find myself inclined to desire freedom over safety more than
my fellow citizens (I think it's a great loss to Australia that fireworks
are mostly banned), but a broad spectrum of opinions is needed for a healthy

A government can attract danger to its citizens to prevent a greater danger
to its citizens in the future, or to prevent a great travesty from
happening. These situations are, of course, highly subjective.