The Polite Liberal

A rant-free discussion of liberal philosophy and policies.


The Polite Liberal is the pseudonym of a "nontraditional" graduate student in mathematics (for nonacademics, "nontraditional," is a polite way of saying, "older than 25.") The Polite Liberal is an attempt to spur real policy debate, instead of partisan insults and conspiracy theories. Conservatives (and liberals, of course!) are welcome.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Becoming that which we were founded not to be

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
---Declaration of Independence

While it's true that we're finally cracking down on human trafficking by our current crop of mercenaries, the question is still there: What on earth are we doing, given our history, hiring mercenaries in the first place? Remember, this has been going on for more than two years now.

Americans have always held an almost visceral revulsion for mercenaries. Even more than two hundred years later, we still remember the depredations committed by the Hessians sent by Britain to quell our rebellion. Now we're the ones hiring mercenaries, and then as now we can't control them adequately. What are we doing?