Monday, April 05, 2004

Its old news now, but the case of Maher Arar deserves a fresh look, given all that's happened since the story first broke. Arar is a Syrian-born Canadian citizen who was detained in the United States allegedly for having ties to Al Qaeda; he was then deported to Syria where he was tortured.

This makes me think: why do we need Syrians to torture Canadians? Lets cut out the middleman. We're capable of torturing Canadians ourselves.

Put this in context: its another insensitive move by the Bush administration. First, the administration's chief economist, Gregory Mankiw, declares that outsourcing is a good thing. Next, the Treasury Secretary John Snow echoes his comments. And now to put the icing on the cake, we find out that the administration has outsourced torturing to the Syrians.

People, lets not lose track of our ultimate goal here: job creation. Think of how many jobs would be created in the U.S. if we did our torturing locally. Its not just the torturers. The benefits ripple into other sectors of the economy. Think about companies that would spring up to manufacture torture equipment. Think of the employees of these companies. Think of the companies that supply the suppliers of torture equipment.

Some might appeal to the principle of comparative advantage: let the Syrians specialize what they are good at (torture) and let us specialize at what we are good at (sitcoms). These people -- and they are usually academics insulated from the danger of outsourcing -- just don't get it. People, these are american jobs. Lets be clear about this: every torture chamber in Syria means one less torture chamber in the U.S. There's no way around it.

Dear readers: write President Bush and tell him that torture is an American business.


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