Foreign Policy and Human Ignorance: The Attack on Non-Intervention

I have recently been having more than a few back-and-forth debates with my old sparring partner Jacques Delacroix concerning matters of foreign policy.  The most recent debate has produced a number of great insights and opportunities to further enhance an understanding of foreign affairs.

Against the backdrop of this lively and hopefully continuing debate is the recognition that both of us are extremely ignorant human beingsand that we know far too little about anything to be in a position to command or direct institutions that are not based upon mutual consent and agreement.  The one institution – government – that is widely regarded to be necessary for the use of coercion should have its monopoly on force widely distributed throughout various avenues of power and severely restricted by the use of legal precedent.  This small paragraph essentially sums up the foundation of both libertarian and conservative thought in the United States, and as you read through this essay (or any other writings believed to expound upon conservative or libertarian ideals) I would highly recommend remembering this small but important fact.

Indeed, if I had to pinpoint the exact locus of difference between a Leftist and a conservative/libertarian, it would be this fundamentally opposite view of man that each camp harbors.  Seldom have I met a Leftist who has not believed himself to be intellectually superior to his fellow human beings.  This pompous view that the Left has of itself is actually somewhat justified.  Leftists, by and large, tend to be better educated, more critical, more socially adept, and more intellectually curious than conservatives (libertarians are essentially Leftists with a pair of balls).  This observation on the foundation of Leftist thought should not be taken to say that I think Leftists are evil or malevolent individuals.  On the contrary, I believe that Leftist policies are ultimately flawed precisely because they are beholden to their hearts rather than to their keen and unceasingly curious minds.

Because of this flawed belief they have in themselves, though, Leftists often hold the Rule of Law (“men are governed by laws, not other men”) and specifically the federal constitution in contempt – unless it fits their cause.  The Right, to be fair, does this as well (especially since the end of World War 2), but historically this disdain for the Rule of Law and federalism – which essentially requires that ideas be scrutinized by all of the various factions involved in the legislative, judicial, and executive branches of government prior to being implemented politically – has had its roots in modern Leftism.

It is apparent that Leftists still hold this contempt for the Rule of Law and due process today – the Bush administration’s assaults on civil liberty notwithstanding.  Just look at its support for ObamaCare and the regulatory regimes that have been implemented by Washington over the past three decades.  Look at its support for policies that erode federalism and individual freedom in the spheres of free speech and freedom to smoke, drink, and eat what you want.  Look at Leftist support for policies eroding the protection of private property and contract.  Look at the Left’s support for wars – be they on poverty, dictators, or trading partners.

Since the end of World War 2 this disdain for the Rule of Law has been shared by the conservative wing of the Republican Party.  I must stress again the importance that the Rule of Law plays in checking the ambitions of men – no matter how well-intentioned the said ambitions may be.  While this disdain among conservatives has largely been confined to foreign policy the awful truth of the matter is that conservatives have become more contemptible for the Rule of Law domestically with each passing day, and this worrisome trend stems, I believe, directly from its approach to foreign policy.

Delacroix exemplifies the conformist, establishment belief held by many, if not most, intellectuals, politicians, and everyday citizens concerning the Rule of Law and foreign policy.  One of the most common arguments for intervention is that of the Balkans experience, in which the NATO systematically took apart Serbia’s military and saved countless Muslim lives.

Now, to be sure, the horrors of the Balkans – which has been a troubled spot for centuries – are grotesque and shocking, but that is not the point of disagreement between those who believe the US military should respond as rapidly as possible to the world’s problems because the dangers are so obvious and inimical to world stability, and those who believe we don’t know much about the world’s problems and should therefore slow down and debate the issue at hand – both in the halls of Congress and in public life.

Consider, if you will, the number of 10,000 dead in Sarajevo within four years time during the Balkans tragedy.  This is regrettable, but compare this relatively small number to the number of dead in Iraq for the first four years of American occupation there.  It was widely believed that prior to the Iraqi invasion its dictator harbored weapons of mass destruction and was actively funding terrorist networks that had just wrecked havoc on Western society.  That is to say, the people who engineered the invasion and occupation of Iraq believed that they knew more about Iraq than they actually did, and they were wrong about it.

If these policymakers were on the board of a corporation, or they owned their own small business, they would have been punished for their mistakes without any coercion being involved whatsoever.  Instead, what American society got from the irritable belief that some knew more than others and were thereby justified in their use of force was a heavy burden to bear and a lot of shrugged shoulders.  It is no surprise, then, to receive this type of reaction from Delacroix and other interventionists on the constitutional avoidance of actually declaring war on the Iraqi state:

“[libertarians] will sometimes maintain that a joint resolution of Congress passed with a huge majority is not a proper declaration of war.”

Indeed, it is a common tactic among the Left to claim that large swathes of the people demand progress or reform, and that the only thing holding back such reforms are the Constitution and the Rule of Law.  Delacroix’s blithe dismissal of congressional refusal to follow the law – however “technical” it may seem, is telling of the foreign policy establishment enmeshed within Washington’s political spheres of influence, which is weird because Delacroix resides in California.

There is more to this than just a condescending disparagement of the Rule of Law, though.  Delacroix, a self-professed conservative libertarian, believes the number of dead and displaced is in itself a justification to flaunt the Rule of Law and our nation’s legal precedents.  You can pinpoint the weakness in his argument by recognizing how he fails to see the other side of the conflict, which is especially important in foreign affairs where national security is not directly threatened.  Indeed, he is quick to label Milosovic – a dictator and a human butcher to be sure – as the bad guy.  With the blood of tens of thousands of dead people and the act of forcing hundreds of thousands to leave their ancestral homes on his head and hands, Milosovic seems to be – quite obviously to the more intelligent among us – the purveyor of all things bad in the Balkans during the ’90′s.

The question “why would somebody do such a thing?” is never asked in Delacroix’s (or many other advocates of a robust and profligate foreign policy) statement.  Yet tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of Serbians were also forcibly removed from their homes in the 1990′s – by Muslim Albanian and Bosnian forces and Christian Croatian forces.  Tens of thousands of Serbians were murdered by the Albanian, Croatian, and Bosnian forces.  This is a point that Russia tried to make prior to NATO intervention in the region.  It is a point that was not acknowledged by NATO, and the West subsequently lost a newly de-socialized Russian society.

The Balkans mess is further complicated when we remember that the Albanians, the Croatians, and the Bosnians all suffered under largely Serbian rule during the iron-fisted reign of the socialist dictator Tito.  When this factor is taken into account, can we accurately and confidently say that Serbians began the killing spree in the Balkans during the 1990′s?  What if the killing started when these formerly oppressed minorities decided to enact revenge?  To Delacroix, not only does the Rule of Law not apply to the actions of our political leaders, but it does not do so precisely because he is so confident that he is correct in analyzing the affairs of other states.

But what of the tens of thousands of Serbs who were displaced by the actions of the Albanians, the Croatians, and the Bosnians?  What of the thousands of dead Serbians massacred at the hands of the other Balkan peoples?  Not only did Western military action fail to account for these atrocities, the actions actually contributed to the further suffering of the Serbian people as they watched their homes and infrastructure get destroyed by NATO bombs, their sons get harangued by Western troops, their side of the story ignored by Western diplomats, and their reputation as a people sullied by a complacent and sloppy Western press.

Was it a good idea to go into the Balkans and stop the killing there?  Perhaps, but the story outlined by Delacroix leaves much to be desired.  What worries me most, though, is his profound disregard for legal precedent rather than his one-sided account of the Balkans crisis in the ’90′s.

Not content to bring up the Balkans alone, Delacroix and other interventionists are also anxious to bring up non-interventionist hypocrisy regarding the genocide in Rwanda during the 1990′s.  Set aside for a moment the Rwandan experience, and marvel at Delacroix’s assertion that libertarians – who generally oppose foreign intervention due to the negative externalities involved – are the hypocrites, while the conservatives and Leftists who anointed themselves as saviors of the Balkans during the massacres in Rwanda are not even mentioned.  He writes:

Non-interventionists must also think that the slaughter of between 500,000 and one million people in Rwanda in 1994, over only three months, would have been even worse had the US (or others) sent a dozen warplanes to bomb a single radio station directing the massacre[emphasis mine – BC] (The low estimate of the victims comes from the always cautious Human Rights Watch.) For me, it’s difficult to imagine much that would be worse than the attempted and largely successful violent liquidation of large minority of the population of a small country. By the same token, the continuing deadly ethnic cleansing of Darfur, in the Sudan, where rape is used systematically as a weapon of war, evokes only indifference among libertarians. By the way, the arguments for non-intervention in Rwanda, and now in Darfur, are such that it’s difficult not to think about racial prejudice: Black people in remote parts of Africa are eviscerating one another? What do you expect? That’s what they do!”

Well of course non-interventionists are racist.  Why do you think we actively advocate for a robust and profligate foreign policy in other parts of the world, but not Africa?  I am angry that Delacroix would actually put into print what non-interventionists only wink and nod to themselves about in private!  I thought we only had to worry about well-reasoned accusations of racism coming from the Left, but Delacroix has, once again, proved me wrong.  I can only hope he stops exposing non-intervention as racist before it’s too late!

All mocking aside, what I want to bring up here again is the “knowledge problem” that most conservatives and libertarians are concerned about and that I summarized in the introduction of this lengthy essay: we don’t know that much about anything, and even experts in their field of expertise only know a small portion of anything about that field.

In this particular passage I have emphasized an important aspect that I believe is at the heart of the disagreement between libertarians and conservatives/Leftists regarding foreign affairs.  Delacroix seems to believe that a few warplanes striking a single, state-owned radio station would have put an end to the violence in Rwanda.  His pretense of knowledge here seems a bit far-fetched.

Even if we set aside Delacroix’s far-fetched assertions, Rwanda deserves another look, if only because our elected leaders were indeed hypocritical on the matter.  So I have to ask this question: which side of the Rwandan war should we have intervened on behalf of?  It is not enough, I think, to assert that bombing one state-owned radio stations would have stopped the massacres in Rwanda.  It is enough to stress that most foreign military adventures are done so on behalf of one faction and against another faction, so the question is a pertinent one.  Or would Delacroix simply send our troops into Rwanda with no clear-cut goals – not even to kill a dictator!  Furthermore, was there a dictator in Rwanda at the time of massacres?  Who was in charge of the Rwandan state during this time?

I think it deserves to be mentioned that in the not-so-distant past the ruling Tutsi minority class was fairly brutal to the Hutu majority, and that the Hutu majority did most of the killing in 1994.  I am not condoning the violence, I am only providing some brief clarity to the situation brewing in Rwanda prior to the genocide. Some people may be comfortable in choosing a side that is perceived to be “less evil”, especially in the case of foreign affairs where it is highly likely that one will never travel to a war-ravaged area and meet an individual who is susceptible to one’s judgement.

Perhaps there is some “raw knowledge” that we can exploit regarding Rwanda to gauge whether or not an effective airplane strike could have been undertaken there during the 1990’s.  I would like to remind readers that this is a conversation being pursued under the acknowledgement that we are ignorant creatures, even specialists:

In 1990 a rebel group of Tutsi nationalists poured over from the Ugandan border (where they were driven after Hutu purges) to take over the Rwandan government (they succeeded in 1994, just after the massacres took place). From 1990 until at least 1996 (I will come back to this) – a civil war raged throughout Rwanda and intermittently spilled over into Burundi, Uganda, and even Zaire (as it was then called). In August 1993 the main Tutsi-dominated rebel group (which received help from Ugandan forces) and the Hutu-dominated government of Rwanda (which received help from Burundian, Zairean, and French forces) signed a cease-fire, but not all of the factions liked this, and fighting continued sporadically throughout Rwanda. In April 1994, the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi (both Hutus) were assassinated, and the infamous massacre then took place.

An analogy of the Rwanda scenario can be drawn with the Yitzhak Rabin scenario in Israel: leaders who tried to make peace with enemies were assassinated for doing so (though the assassins of the Rwandan and Burundian leaders have never been identified).

The main rebel group and the government of Rwanda then immediately began to ensue hostilities. The Tutsi-dominated rebel forces eventually took control of Rwanda. The end date of the war is still disputed among scholars. Some think it ended in 1994 with the surrender of the Rwandan government. Some think it ended in 1996 after the new Rwandan government pursued Hutu refugees in Zaire. Some argue that the war is still ongoing today. I happen to think it is the latter.

So the assertion that the West may have stopped the massacre with an airplane strike on a single radio station seems far-fetched. It is very clear that the animosities among the Hutus and the Tutsi are real, and that the storyline concerning the massacre is much more complex than interventionists would like it to be. Keep in mind that complexities are often disparaged by hawks in the West when they argue for a robust bombing campaign, or an invasion and occupation of a state (remember the case for invading Iraq and toppling Hussein?).

We can actually take Delacroix’s calls to “do something” in Rwanda a step further and picture an alternative scenario being played out.  Picture this three-step process: 1) Hutus pointing to the bombed-out shell of a popular, Hutu-friendly radio station and the presence of Tutsi militias wrecking havoc throughout the country 2) Hutu demagogues putting forth a theory that the Tutsis are working with Western imperial powers to impose their authority once again on the Hutu people 3) The previously apathetic now also take to the streets. Not only does most of the public believe that Tutsi factions are responsible for the assassination of two prominent Hutu politicians, but the West has just taken the side of the Tutsis…just as it did during the colonial era.  The massacre may have been even worse if a single, state-owned, Hutu-influenced radio station had been bombed by the West.

Is it any wonder, then, that hawks generally disparage due process and the Rule of Law when it comes to foreign policy? Conceptually, what makes Delacroix’s argument any different from Leftist calls to “do something” in regards to the economy during a downturn? Both camps seem to think their ideas and their morals are above the law and their fellow citizens.

By the way, ten years after the massacre and continuing on into today, Rwanda is a multi-party democracy, albeit a fragile one. In terms of low-levels of corruption, Kigali is ranked 8th (out of 47) in sub-Saharan Africa and 66th in the world. A reconciliation process has also been undertaken, though problems with the DR Congo (formerly Zaire) and Hutu militias are ongoing. Compare this with ten years of an occupied Afghanistan or eight years of an occupied Iraq or 16 years of an occupied Balkans region.

All of this brings up the issue of Truth, of course.  The evils of the world are to be regretted.  Sometimes they may be enough for a military intervention on behalf of the American republic.  The example of the Darfur seems fairly clear-cut in my eyes, though it appears that the people of the Sudan – with cooperation from Western governments – are handling their problems themselves.  It would be nice, though, if the politicians and the intellectuals who advocate on behalf of these interventions would at least submit their expertise and their knowledge and their ideas – no matter how beautiful they are – to the cumbersome inanities of the Rule of Law and the messy process of constitutional government.  I think the world would be a much safer, wealthier, and healthier place if this were the case.

27 thoughts on “Foreign Policy and Human Ignorance: The Attack on Non-Intervention

  1. 1. In a similar manner to policymakers in government, CEOs and bankers are not punished by their mistakes. There was no justification for CEO and banker bonuses after the crash of 2008.

    2. The Serbians were in fact the powerful majority in Yugoslavia. They dominated the central government and the army, so, when hostilities broke out, they were in a strong position. They acted in a restrained way during the ten day war with Slovenia but then, when Croatia tried to secede, they unleashed heavy weapons on Vukovar.

    The Srebenica massacre, the major Serbian war crime, was in response to a Christmas raid on Bosnian Serbs which resulted in a small number of Serbian deaths. The strategic goal at the top level was to eliminate all Muslim men and adolescent males. Although both sides were responsible during this conflict for war crimes, in the case of Serbia, the direct responsibility for using murder to further high level strategic goals goes all the way to the top.

    3. I don’t think you know many “leftists”. They (we?) believe in Constitutions and the rule of law. In particular, we don’t like it when it’s suspended on “private property”.

    The formalist rule of law is a joke to actual working people. They have very few recourses as compared to the wealthy when mistreated on the job or by landlords, for in most societies where the rule of law is in place, as it should be, it’s usually too expensive to retain an actual lawyer.

    Therefore, ordinary people need the rule of law in the form of labour unions which are treated as anathema by libertarians, for the most part.

    4. In your positive reaction to my amusing post on Saving Western Civilization as illustrated by my painting of a hot girl, I sense that you, like my many libertarian and conservative friends, have in William Butler Yeats’ words “fed yourselves with fantasies” so long that in satiety extending to bulimia you are wising up.

    Newt is telling you what you want to hear. He’s your creature. In Caliban’s words in the Tempest, “thou taught’st him language” and your profit on it is that you know him accurst. Three wives and a conversion to Catholicism that seems like hypocrisy, babbling nonsense here he comes. You made him. I accuse.

    5. The “rule of law” needs a foundation and it starts not in Locke but in Hobbes, with whom John Locke started.

    In Hobbes (and Locke) it’s recognized that we must in the final analysis stop talking about our liberty and be prepared to violate any of man’s laws in defense of our existence. But it is also recognized that this “right”, which is logically equivalent to our ability to take up arms, cannot itself by codified nor need not be. Charles Manson shared this right with us. We “can” (in the starter sense of physical possibility) be common criminals or terrorists.

    The libertarian wants these natural rights to be codified from his point of view and given his personal self-interests. But the only way we recognize this is in the Second Amendment which I support.

    But since as Hobbes knew, even white males have diverse interests and as soon as they, like Stephano and Trinculo in the Tempest, establish their dominance, they fall in turn to blows. Which is why in 1776 a white male society needed to create a basis for a rule of law.

    Constitutional socialists would merely add to this rule of law and not detract. Like Christ, they “come not to destroy the Law but to fulfill it”.

    In Political Liberalism, Harvard political philosopher describes “the fair market value” of political freedom and rule of law. This is their value to one person.

    He shows that if I’m Mitt Romney, political freedom and the rule of law mean a lot. I can pick up the phone and get things done. If I call my guy at the high-priced law firm of Sullivan and Cromwell, it’s done. If I call my Senator, dude picks up the PHONE.

    Now consider a single mother who works eighty hours a week. She ain’t never even SEEN three thousand dollars but that’s what a lawyer needs to get started. Likewise, her access to politics is limited. Lady can vote, period, assuming that her employer gives her time off.

    Now, hard leftists (Leninists) want to destroy the Law because in their view, the rule of law=the rule of bourgeois law. Essentially, they feel that Communism would be so great once we got there that nobody in their right mind would want to go back.

    But as Leszek Kolakowski showed in Main Currents of Marxism, Leninism always and apparently of necessity requires state terror on the way to socialism. This always creates a legacy of fear and hatred which causes even moderate leaders (such as the Soviet leaders after Stalin) to be continually unjust.

    Therefore, modern leftists do not in fact characterize the rule of law as bourgeois law and do not call for it to be jettisoned.

    And if we investigate actual cases, we find that since WWII, the rule of law and democratic forms are mostly violated by conservatives when those conservatives are in power.

    We can begin with Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh expected that the United States would be friendly with a democratic transition to socialism in Vietnam only to find that the United States supported the French.

    Then, in the name of open markets, Allen Dulles and the early CIA overthrew democratically elected, rule of law governments in Iran and Guatemala.

    Chile, uniquely among Latin American governments, prided itself on the continuity of its Constitution and rule of law, and under this a democratic socialist, Allende was elected only to be overthrown by a US sponsored coup in 1973.

    “Rule of law” is like “Western Civilization” to Gandhi: when asked whether he supported it he said “yes, it’s a good idea, and the West should try it”.

    • Spinoza1111,

      Thanks for taking the time to lecture me on a wide variety of pop culture facts and historical footnotes!

      You raise too many points for me to address here on this humble blog, but luckily for me I was taught to adhere to the “rotten apple rule.” What I mean by this is that if I spot one bad apple in the whole barrel, I want a new barrel of apples to look at. Capice?

      You stated, quite clearly, the following point:

      1. In a similar manner to policymakers in government, CEOs and bankers are not punished by their mistakes. There was no justification for CEO and banker bonuses after the crash of 2008.

      I have heard this argument made by more than one person over the past 4 years, so I figure I’ll try to bury this myth right here and right now, so that others may learn from it.

      You are arguing from anecdotal evidence. The actual percentage of businesses that get bailed out by the government is extremely small when one considers the economy as a whole. The ignorance on this topic is largely fueled, I believe, by the widespread attention that is given to bailouts and other aspects of cronyism in the media.

      The fact that we even hear about the salaries of some CEO’s in the news should be a giant hint to the critical thinker that bailouts and the like are abnormalities and not business as usual.

      None of this clarification should be misconstrued to claim that I am indifferent to the way the 2008 crisis happened, though. I am just pointing out some of the fallacies associated with the 2008 bailouts.

      Can I have a new barrel of apples Spinoza1111?

      • If you think, Chumpster, that Hobbes, Locke and Rawls are “pop culture”, you better go back to school.

  2. Actually, it is the rule that businesses and their CEOs escape the abstract free market. It’s their objective: the goal of any one individual player is to corner the market or find a new way of dealing that’s never been thought of.

    For this reason, small business try to curry favor with mayors. Medium size businesses try to get state contracts. And the big boys get bailed out.

    Whereas it’s almost impossible to start a new labor union in a “right to work state”.

    You’re basically like Lenin’s and Stalin’s “useful idiots”, but for capitalism.

    Lenin’s and Stalin’s “useful idiots” were Western journalists who made excuses for their crimes by saying, as needed, that Lenin’s suppression of independent unions and Stalin’s crimes were either unusual or necessary.

    You guys have been making excuses for capitalism since Reagan. Meanwhile, the middle class has been destroyed.

    Ever hear of the exception that proves the rule, buddy? James Hill built a railroad, the Great Northern (long since bought out by the Union Pacific) without government help. He was able to do so because everybody else thought it was a damnfool idea to try to build a railroad near the Canadian border, so in fact, he had no competition. The Great Northern avoided the far north.

    But this merely shows that most US railroads had to be built using government assistance primarily involving land grants (and union busting by Federal troops).

    Businessmen don’t want to take risks and don’t want to pay for their mistakes. Today, in the USA, there are kids, such as Romney’s, who will never, ever have to struggle to either punch in on time or meet a payroll because when you get five million dollars you live on the interest.

    And useful idiots like you applaud this…when even the real winners of the game, guys who took the few real opportunities because they were smarter than you, like George Soros, Warren Buffet and Bill Gates, are actually saying enough’s enough!

    • Spinoza1111,

      You are making yourself look bad. Incidentally, you are making my generous characterization of Leftists look bad, too.

      I don’t need a lecture on rent-seeking from a layman, nor does this blog need childish diatribes based upon sloppy readings of an argument.

      You are more than welcome to post away to your heart’s content, but try to do two things while you’re here: 1) stay on topic and 2) make an effort to understand the argument that you are trying to rebut.

  3. …might as well live on another planet,
    The planet of lies:
    For all you’ve hurl-ed (and you throw like a girl’d)
    Are unsubstantiated claims which miss their aims
    By several leagues, and fall into the sea.
    You are not qualified to speak to me:
    A mind filled with media, a mind filled with fantasy
    I suggest a job as insister of education
    In the land of Cockaigne, or Idiocracy.
    Pompous stuffed up little man
    You are made of ticking, buttons, straw and of bran
    Not worth a fight nor setting alight
    To light poor travelers in their distress.

  4. Being a poet and being a philosopher
    Are in the final analysis one and the same
    As opposed to being a husband and a philanderer
    Or combining shame, and immortal fame.

    But poetry today is inside of rock lyrics
    And as such it is unheard
    It’s just the music of twits and of dicks
    The songs of the doomed, and the songs of the turd.

    And this happens to be the reason in this dark season
    For this curse of Republican puke
    It’s just popular culture in the political sphere
    To the box it is no more than the juke.

    It feeds us all with falsity,
    Our hearts, as Yeats said, grown brutal with the fare:
    Get your ass to the public library
    If about this Republic you really care.

  5. Yeah, buddy, I figured that one out:
    It’d strangle ya to admit it:
    That I’m your league, like totally out
    And donchya wish I’d quit it.

    But render unto me the break what’s f*king:
    You advanced a dubious proposition:
    That outside your conservative BSing
    It’s nothin’ but popular culture against which you’re fightin’

    But this makes clear that in fact
    You need to clean up your act
    Hobbes and Locke aren’t popular culture
    Neither a dog’s dinner they, nor the vomit of the vulture.

    You live in a curious world,
    And it’s one into which I choose not to be hurled:
    A world of twittering ignorance
    And of the pose of superiority in uneducated rants.

    Trolls dance amongst the burning tires
    Trolls see shadows in the fires
    But all they have are opinions up the anus
    And based on these they think they’re Coriolanus.

      • To people who dine on garbage, food is bad. It makes you wince when it scans or rhymes since you’ve probably grown up with rock and roll lyrics howled by apes like you.

        And, apes like you have a strange indeed notion of “insult”, for “insult” implies some kind of pre-existing relationship…but apes like you come in here expecting to be pandered-to and when you’re not, when someone is so far above you, you stamp, you gibber and you rage.

        Any questions?

  6. “Indeed, he is quick to label Milosovic – a dictator and a human butcher to be sure – as the bad guy.”

    It’s Milosevic, isn’t it. And if one’s a “dictator and a human butcher” then one’s a bad guy, I’d say. THE bad guy, according to the late Richard Holbrooke for minus Milosevic, he breakup would have been peaceful as it was in most of the rest of the Soviet-Yugoslavian Communist bloc outside of Romania.

    Likewise, derivatives and naked options were not exactly marginal in 2008. From homeowners to brokers, everyone was trying for the easy dollar in 2008 in a society in which all poetry is bad because slobs and apes can’t write it.

    Thinking can never by itself generate a ban on thinking. You’re trying to create a regime in which we don’t do much of anything especially when the good and evil of a situation seems clear cut. One in which the former thinkers have learned their lesson in a variety of graduate skewls and dedicated their careers to enforcing the universal ban on thinking especially if it results in eleemosynary or heroic action. It’s much easier to think of oneself as being so special as to be insulted, and to actually try to start abusing a person months later when that person has moved on.

    Attributive adjectives such as “far fetched” are attached to the views of opponents to conceal the lack of any argument for the attribution that would be seen as needed had you used the alternate syntax of “the view is far-fetched”.

    “Unintended consequences” are claimed to occur if we act from partial knowledge which is to ignore the fact that non-action (not bombing the Hutu radio station) is also action which has the consequence of emboldening the Hutu.

    • Spinoza1111,

      It’s Milosevic, isn’t it.

      Is this a question or a statement?

      As I have already stated earlier, I adhere to the rotten apple rule. I don’t have time for uneducated 50-year-old men who live with their mothers at home and pose as intellectuals.

      Spinozza1111, you and your trolling efforts are officially unwelcome here at the blog.

      • Then why did you re-open a long dead conversation? You’ve borne false witness against me (I’m 62 and my mother is long dead, asshole) and embarrassed your fellow bloggers since I assumed, naturally, that this is a one-author blog and replied at first to Delacroix.

      • You can’t even turn off these comments, can you, so let’s not make an issue of competence, you will lose. As I have said, asshole, you resumed a flame that you’d abandoned in February and got your ass kicked, because as an ape, you couldn’t leave well enough alone.

        Now that I know that this blog is multi-author, I am looking over your pompous ramblings to find that you certainly do belong at UCLA, not anything higher, since you demonstrate Pope’s axiom, that a little learning is a dangerous thing, and you better stay out of the Pieran spring.

        It is simply false, for example, that European states were successful (successful what?) because of decentralization and capitalism after Waterloo. Where did not learn that? History class? Between recess and nap time?

        In fact, the major rising power of the 19th century was of course a unifying and above all centralizing Germany which instituted a welfare state right after unification. Know that date of German unification?

        With the exception in fact of Britain, all European states instituted controlled economies and proto welfare states as part of their rise to hegemony. And insofar as Britain failed to control its economy with an industrial policy (as the United States was doing throughout this time through preferential tariffs to protect its industry) Britain rapidly lost ground starting in the 1860s to the USA and to Germany.

        Indeed, no historian ascribes the rise of Europe to decentralizing or free markets. The competition for empire as it started in the late 16th century had nothing to do with either for the reigning philosophy was mercantilism and not laissez faire.

        There is quite a lot of other evidence at your pathetic blog that you should be reading books and not airing your idiot opinions, nor insulting people after several months of psychotic stewing after they’ve kicked your ass, metaphorically.

  7. Jeez. I think he proved your point about “lefties” thinking they are superior. I have always hated poetry, as a rule. Soooo pretentious. There are exceptions of course, such as my own.

    • This crackpot has been put on the spam list, and for good reason. He sent you the following message Hank:

      The problem is, fruit face BOY, you probably didn’t even read to the end, because most of you young faggots have zero attention span owing to your overuse of video games and junk food and hatred of books […] Fuck you many times over, and I hope Faggot Boy Brandon has the courage to start posting these replies.

      And for me:

      What an asshole you are, Freak Boy! I mean, you even look like a stupid little prick! Get a haircut and clean up your act, because if I were your father, I’d kick your ass.

      Yikes. At least we now know why he lives alone…

      • That makes my day. Brandon, you must have really hurt this guy. In my experience it is a lot harder than this to expose someone’s hypocrisy. I thought he had a problem with people making false claims about other people. Maybe that only applies to him. For the record, I do not own, nor have I ever owned a single video game or game console. I have played a few, to be sure, but generally I find them to be a waste of time. Also, I don’t even like twinkies or cheetos. But if I did, I don’t see what that has to do with anything. Unless of course there is something wrong with consumerism and bourgeois snacks. And finally, I read any book I can get my hands on, from all points of view, but also the occasional work of fiction (such as poetry and writings of the left).

      • Hank,

        The secret to exposing one’s hypocrisy can be found in my first reply to our pervert stalker’s comment.

        It’s called the “rotten apple rule” and it’s something that Dr. Delacroix taught me. Basically, if I spot one bad apple in a whole barrel of apples, I request a new barrel of apples to look at, even if there is just one bad apple in the whole barrel.

        It sounds simplistic, but it works like a charm. Scroll through this dialogue and just look at how devastating the rule was to the pervert’s argument: he stopped arguing about the issue and starting trying to insult me first with bad poetry and then later with “violent” threats.

        Did I mention how scared I am of a 62 year old internet pervert threatening to “kick my ass”?

Please keep it civil (unless it relates to Jacques)

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