Friday, January 23, 2009

U.S. could gain a Dirty Harry Edge

1. We should keep Guantanamo detention and flip the finger at the rest of the world.

Such confers upon the U.S.A. an edgy aura; a "don't mess with us" dynamic. It's a Dirty Harry Edge, a "Do you feel lucky, punk" dynamic, and it would be valuable for us to possess it.

We never will possess it. We are wimpy fools who fantasize we can convince the rest of the world to "like us" even as we remain a powerful nation of nonvictims. Puke. In some respects, we have the mental toughness of puppies.

I once touched on the value of unpredictability inside negotiation and game strategy. I once mutually destroyed myself and my friend early in a Risk game. My friend had attacked me when he could have attacked others. I need him to know and remember there is a price to be paid. I need him to think: Greg is irrational and unpredictable; I don't want to mess with him if I don't have to. Exactly so. It is true.

I used to sell cars. In negotiation: keep the other party guessing. If the other party began to believe they knew what was going on, if they began to get cocky, I would go up on my car's price: Sir, I know I offered it a while ago for $20,375; now I'm offering it for $21,475. Which I actually was, no bull. The price of the car is whatever I say it is.

I needed to establish my unpredictability, my irrationality. This destroyed - like sweeping a partially worked puzzle off the table and into pieces on the floor - what the other party previously believed was a rational and understandable process. Suddenly they didn't understand. Suddenly I was irrational and unpredictable.

You would think some of those clients would've gotten angry and ended negotiation - and that would've been okay with me. Perhaps it was a fluke, but it never happened. Perhaps they were too discombobulated to process everything and walk out. By the time things made sense to them again, we were far beyond sweeping the puzzle to the floor. Perhaps, instead, they were too amused. If they had walked out: fine. I would rather have lost the sale than suffered through the process they had laid out in their mind. I would rather have kept the car.

Closing Guantanamo detention gains us nothing. Goodwill of the world? Horsefeathers. The world is pulling a public relations power play. The world is also probing for weakness. We are meekly submitting, which gains us nothing. If we close Guantanamo we actually lose: we are revealed as weak minded teddy bears: Please love us! Oh please, please love us! We are detestable.

We should stay right there: defiant, edgily unpredictable. When the world stays mad we have lost nothing. Repeat: we have lost nothing. The world is going to stay mad until our nation eventually becomes weak and frail. Beseeching the world gains us ... exactly ... NOTHING.

We should build a Statue of Liberty replica on Guantanamo soil. In place of a torch, the lady should be sticking a mighty middle finger high in the air. Her nails should be perfectly manicured; painted Old Glory Red. They should be the only color on the statue, emphasizing their preparedness and willingness to dig into some for'ners. The lady should be faced squarely towards the Cour Internationale de Justice at the Peace Palace in The Hague.

2. The second reason for keeping Guantanamo open (after the Dirty Harry Edge) is to keep imprisoned terrorists decisively separated from mainland legal rules, and decisively separated from moonbats in our domestic legal system - be they lawyers, judges, or juries. These terrorists were taken under war conditions. We did not stop to collect evidence for domestic criminal trials.

Slightly related political craziness
Citizens and politicians and media saying: Don't bring the terrorists to my state! They are dangerous terrorists who are a threat to public safety!

Horsefeathers again. Imprisoned terrorists are a very minor threat to public safety. We experience more danger during a drive to church. We should stop this fantastical hand wringing. We look foolish, and are being foolish. We have terrorists in Guantanamo for legal reasons, not public safety reasons.

If we close Guantanamo: put those terrorists right in my hometown: Fort Worth, Texas. Juice our economy by establishing a Super Max prison. Please. We love prosperity. Put that Super Max in Stop Six, or out by the Minimum Security Fed Prison just north of TCJC Southwest Campus, or smack in the middle of Z Boaz Golf Course, or on the old Carswell AFB, or north of the Stockyards - that area could use some economic boost. For gosh sakes, this whole town is armed. If the terrorists make it out of the Super Max, they'll still never make it to the city limits. The whole problem of their detention and legal status might become moot.

Our politicians and media are acting foolish. They should follow Crash Davis' advice:
Don't think. You can only hurt the team.


Rove, re Guantanamo detention(my paraphrase):
In a time of war, you don't wing it. You figure out what you are going to do before you make the big announcement you are closing Guantanamo.

Update: More Rove, during Q&A at Univ. of Miami:
“One year from now, Gitmo won’t be closed,” Rove said. “If it is, there will be an uproar in the U.S. about where to put these people.”

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