Libertarian Foreign Policy: A Dialogue on Imperialism

Libya will be in worse shape than it is now? In worse shape than it was under Kadafi? (He sure could keep order.)

I have already spoken to much of what you are saying: Suppose your prophecies turn out to be completely right. Would it mean that we should prefer the bloody tyranny of terrorists like Kadafi? Isn’t this simple?

Perhaps, but we don’t know what would have happened to Ghaddafi if the US had stayed clear of this problem (which had nothing to do with national security or defense).

Civil war was inevitable, given the nature of the Libyan state, but introducing a superpower into the struggle has only complicated Libyan matters.

A civil war sometimes helps a people to iron out their differences. I think our involvement there only enhances the creases that need ironing.

What problem (singular)?

Civil war was inevitable? After forty years? You’re kidding, right?

Yo are almost forcing me to write an essay just for you about Arab tyrannies, 1960 – 2011.

What problem? The Libyan state falling apart.

Civil war was inevitable? After forty years? You’re kidding, right?

Um, the rebels and Ghaddafi’s henchmen went after each other in the wake of revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia. Ghaddafi struck back quite effectively, but the violence didn’t end after those first strikes.

Ghaddafi may have eventually won the civil war, but he would either have had to eliminate his rivals completely (which he was certainly capable of doing) or he would have had to come to some sort of agreement with some of the factions he was fighting.

Helping the rebels eliminate Ghaddafi only removed one faction from the fight for Libya’s future. Many, many different factions believe that Libya should move in their direction. Most of the efforts to come to some sort of agreement with each other are going to be wasted on other priorities, though – namely the influencing of Western powers to support their specific cause.

With the West out of the picture – or at least off to the side where neighbors usually reside – the Libyans would have to work together to come to some sort of agreement for their state going forward. This is unlikely to happen now. Instead, what we’ll see is a prolonged conflict that will look a lot more like Iraq rather than Tunisia, as each faction uses the hapless and naive West for their own purposes of attaining power over a massive, oil-rich state that has known nothing but rigid central control for almost a century.

I would love to read an essay on Arab dictatorship over the past half-century. Don’t forget to include the involvement of the West in the process. Name names and spare nobody from your rancorous wit!

2 thoughts on “Libertarian Foreign Policy: A Dialogue on Imperialism

  1. It’s amazing how when one thinks of self-determination, one immediately thinks of someone else doing the hard work of earning and protecting that right. We in the U.S. are surrendering the self to the collective in the same way that brought Rome, Greece and other great civilization into the pit of dusty history books.

Please keep it civil

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