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May 25, 2005

Dangerously Theocratic Islamist Iraqi Government... Legalizes Booze

Instapundit slices like a hammer, linking both this story and the one below. Hate to keep stealing from him -- I try to avoid that, as I figure most of you read him anyway -- but damn, what I wouldn't do for that man's gmail box o' magic tips.

At any rate... you know that crazy ultrareligious government they've got in Iraq now? The one that's no better -- worse, actually -- than Saddam's rape-ocracy?

They just allowed nightclubs and taverns to start pouring the good stuff.

Alcohol doesn't solve all of life's problems, of course. No more than, I'd say, 80-90%. So the Iraqis have more work to do, but this is a good start.

But seriously-- the idea that a government should basically leave people the f' alone to do what they want is a good one. Porn, booze, "marital aids," birth control -- it's not that we should exult in people engaging in what some consider immoral behavior, but that we should exult in governments that are wise enough to leave most such decisions to their citizens.

And the thought that such a progressive idea is infecting Iraqi politics is a hopeful sign.

Now, of course, anyone wishing to sell booze will of course have to apply for a license. And liquor licenses are basically just a vehicle for governmental corruption, even in more advanced democracies like ours.

But a bit of low-level graft isn't a threat to democracy.

In an odd way, low-level corruption is the canary in the coal mine of democracy. If the state is so omnipresent and powerful as to root out low-level corruption... well, in all likelihood, the state itself is engaging is very high-level megacorruption and kleptocracy.

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posted by Ace at 12:29 PM

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