Sunday, April 22, 2012

When the crunch comes

From one of our readers, this:
Excerpted from the script of Three Days of the Condor, one of my favorite movies. Cliff Robertson plays a realpolitik CIA agent, and Robert Redford plays his usual morally superior sanctimonious geek role. (I’ve deleted a few lines that were not pertinent to the point I’m trying to make).
RR: Do we have plans to invade the Middle East?

CR: No. Absolutely not. We have games. That's all. We play games-- What if? How many men? What would it take? Is there a cheaper way to destabilize a regime? That's what we're paid to do.

. . . . RR: Boy, what is it with you people? You think not getting caught in a lie is the same thing as telling the truth?

CR: No. It's simple economics. Today it's oil, right? In a few years-- food, plutonium, and maybe even sooner. What do you think the people are going to want us to do then?

RR: Ask them.

CR: Not now. Then. Ask them when they're running out. Ask them when there's no heat and they're cold. Ask them when their engines stop. Ask them when people who have never known hunger start going hungry. Want to know something? They won't want us to ask them. They’ll want us to get it for them.
Now, to my point: suppose the fantasy conversation – maybe set a few years in the future, maybe not -- was about a plan to institutionalize the “voluntary” execution of the old and the infirm, instead of a plan to invade the middle east. Suppose the conversationalists were President Black Jesus and, oh, Ab Dolan. Imagine the disdain of the president as he says:

BJ: Not now. Then. Ask them when they need money for an operation and their benefits run out. Ask them when they need a new organ and there are no stem cells available. Ask them when they see the final costs of taking care of old and decrepit baby boomers sucking their taxes dry. Want to know something? They won't want us to ask them. They’ll want us to do whatever it takes.

[Hat tip to R.R.-D.]