Friday, December 11, 2009

John Bolton, There is a Multi-Legged Creature Crawling On Your Shoulder

Via Yglesias, John Bolton:
BOLTON: He says we have to acknowledge the hard truth we will not eradicate violent conflict in our lifetimes. Well, no kidding. You know, homo sapiens are hard-wired for violent conflict, and we’re not going to eliminate violent conflict until homo sapiens ceases to exist as a separate species. And the whole notion you could even think about eliminating it not just in our lifetime but soon thereafter I think reveals a fundamental misunderstanding of human nature.
If you think it sounds familiar, that's because you're thinking of that great statesman, Anan-7 of Eminiar:
ANAN: There can be no peace. Don’t you see? We’ve admitted it to ourselves. We’re a killer species. It’s instinctive. It’s the same with you. Your General Order 24.
I'm sure everyone is familiar with Kirk's response:
All right. It's instinctive. The instinct can be fought. We're human beings with the blood of a million savage years on our hands, but we can stop it. We can admit that we're killers, but we not going to kill today. That's all it takes - knowing that we won't kill today.

Death, destruction, disease, horror... that's what war is all about, Anan. That's what makes it a thing to be avoided...
I don't suppose that one can cite Kirk as a necessarily winning argument...but when you start sounding like someone who was deliberately written as a cartoonishly foolish advocate of permanent war, it might be time to consider that something has gone badly wrong.

Oh, I also like Yglesias's reaction; he's no James T. Kirk, but he's pretty good, too.

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