Yes, folks, things just got way more real in the Levant.
Here is NOL‘s first-ever post on Syria (by yours truly). It’s from 2012 (which means NOL is nearly four years old!) and it holds up pretty well if you ask me.
Jacques Delacroix, an ardent hawk who recently quit NOL (again) and who ironically criticizes libertarians for being “dogmatic” and “predictable,” had this to say about Syria in 2012:
Russia would not risk to go to war with us on behalf of Syria because that country is just not important enough to the Russians’ game.
And also this:
The current murderous situation [in 2012 Syria] is not acceptable. Therefore, the risk of some sort of Islamist take-over is worth running.
Jacques and other military interventionists have been getting the Middle East wrong for decades, and yet people still take them seriously. Just to be clear: Jacques and other hawks were perfectly aware that attacking Assad would mean opening up a space for ISIS and other nasty Sunni organizations to grow. Jacques just thought Islamists would be better than Assad because they’d at least have some form of democratic legitimacy. Then, after the recent massacres in Paris, Delacroix and other hawks began arguing that Islamists have to go, too (along with Assad). The Russians, who Jacques (and other hawks) confidently told the public would not dare intervene in Syria, think that Islamists have to go (too many Russian commercial airliners are blowing up in the sky) but not Assad. Not a pretty picture, and Western hawks are largely responsible for the mess.
Here is an old post detailing just how wrong Jacques was on Libya, and instead of acknowledging just how wrong he was (he was really wrong), Jacques changed the subject and repeated oft-debunked litanies.
Anyone can be wrong, of course. I thought Mitt Romney would beat Obama back in 2012 (the economy was in terrible shape…), but I learned from my mistake and people can generally learn something from me (even if it’s only to see things from a slightly different angle) when I write on American politics.
When Jacques and other hawks are wrong they become dishonest about their past mistakes, though. They don’t acknowledge them. They don’t try to learn from them. They instead repeat their sacred litanies over and over again, hoping that they will eventually be proved correct (a broken clock is right twice a day, after all). This moral failing on the hawks’ part is what’s responsible for the violence and carnage in Syria. It might be responsible for World War 3 (Turkey is a NATO member). Their dogmatism and the dishonesty it entails is far more of a threat to individual liberty than Islamist terrorists or even the violent policy prescriptions (and cultural chauvinism) Jacques and his ilk call for (and rely upon in the public sphere) on a daily basis.
Jacques and the interventionists (cool band name, by the way) are responsible for hundreds of thousands of dead people and millions of displaced ones. They initiated this carnage using made-up “facts,” poor logic, and appeals to violence. Where is the outrage? How can we change the climate of opinion so that those who lie constantly and unabashedly lose influence and prestige? Is incompetence that prevalent in our open society, or is dishonesty to blame?