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Wednesday: February 21, 2007

Even Trolls Have Their Uses

Filed under: — site admin @ 10:38 PM UTC

Sometimes a troll will say something so stupid that it inspires thoughts that would not otherwise have been thought.

A law professor in Colorado has called Instapundit a “fascist” and suggested that he be fired for wondering “why the Bush administration wasn’t acting covertly to kill radical mullahs and atomic scientists, rather than preparing a major attack on Iran. (Silly me, I thought this was advocating a less warlike approach).” Part of Instapundit’s argument is that the ban on assassinations is not a law passed by Congress but an executive order, which means any president can rescind or amend it.

One of the trollier trolls on Protein Wisdom objects: “It’s not illegal if the President overturns the order. Isn’t that illegal now then?” Well, yeah, it is illegal now. I imagine Instapundit assumed that his readers were smart enough to realize that he thinks that the president should first cancel or revise the executive order, and only then start assassinating insane mullahs and the nuclear scientists who work for them.

So much was obvious, but it gave me an idea: Bush should ostentatiously rescind the presidential order while pointedly declining to say whether he intends to make use of the new (lack of) rules. That would concentrate a few minds, and not only in Iran. Kim Jong Il might start seriously thinking about doing a Kadhafi on his nuclear inventory, rather than risk dying much earlier than actuarial tables calculate. Bashar Assad might spend more time trying to make his Syrian subjects less miserable and less time making the Lebanese as miserable as possible. Cuban generals furtively planning for life after the Castros might start thinking a little more about topping up their Swiss bank accounts and contacting realtors on the Riviera and a little less about which colleagues they would have to kill to keep power over a country that no sane person would want to be responsible for in the first place. Examples could easily be multiplied. After a few months, when none of the plausible targets has died suddenly or of mysterious causes, they would start relaxing their guard. That would be the time for Bush to use his reclaimed powers, preferably all on the same day in several countries on more than one continent.

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