Libertarian Foreign Policy: A Dialogue on Imperialism

Like shooting fish in a barrel…

I think that’s not the Libertarian position. The party’s position instead is to wait until we are attacked, as in Pearl Harbor, to engage in active defense on the basis of a military establishment much smaller than the current one. Please, correct me on these specific points if my perception is wrong.

To be honest, I have no idea what the LP’s position on foreign policy is. I don’t think it worth my time to even look it up either. I don’t know why you keep conflating libertarians with an irrelevant political party, either. It probably helps your position to look better, I suppose, but most libertarians vote and participate within the two parties that are dominant today. Just look at yourself. I know I do.

This particular aspect of your argument is disturbing though:

The party’s position instead is to wait until we are attacked, as in Pearl Harbor, to engage in active defense on the basis of a military establishment much smaller than the current one.

First of all, the United States didn’t “wait around” for Japan to attack us at Pearl Harbor. Nobody saw it coming, including, I am sure, a large number of Japanese policymakers and elites. The assumption that the U.S. was innocent in the whole affair is disingenuous as well. Did Roosevelt not impose an oil embargo on Japan? Is that not, essentially, an act of war? If we remember our Bastiat, then we must surely realize that when goods stop crossing borders, armies will.

I think it is also a mistake to confuse Japan – an industrialized imperial power – with the likes of North Korea and Iran. I have already addressed this in a number of other arguments, so I don’t think it is worth repeating here. Free men have nothing to fear from toothless despots. It is our own government that we must be wary of, first and foremost.

Drumming up fear and suspicion of far-away despots has never had a place at the table of Liberty. It is not hard to see why.

You refer mysteriously to the constitutional limits of military actions. I think both the Iraq war and the Afghanistan wars are constitutional. I think, the help to Libyan is borderline.

What part of “only Congress can declare war” don’t you understand? Tinkering with words is something only liberals do, I have found.

Speaking of bleeding hearts, my answer to your strange question regarding Rwanda is a wholehearted and resounding “yes“.

The people who took part in those massacres were all or mostly adults. That means that they are capable of making decisions for themselves. Paternalism is another idea that has no place at the table of Liberty. The people responsible for the massacres in Rwanda were the Rwandans. If we stretch this, we can even pin some of the blame on European imperialism. But to the bleeding heart liberal, living safely and comfortably in the United States, the Rwandan massacres were all our fault! We didn’t do anything about it!

95% of all terrorist acts in the world in the past twenty years have been committed by people who call themselves Muslims and most often, in the name of Islam.

It would be nice if you could provide some statistics to back up this rather mendacious claim. What about Columbia? Sri Lanka? What about the fact that most terrorist acts committed by Muslims kill other Muslims?

The rest of your argument I can mostly agree with. Except, of course, for the part where you have celebrated the successes of removing dictators from Iraq and Libya. Although I usually don’t have any problem wading in to a fight to help out a friend, I think I would be better to let you stand on your own for this one. Libya and Iraq are successes of American bombing campaigns and “nation-building” exercises. Yeah, sure, Dr Delacroix, and fairies sometimes fly out of my butt when I fart.

Libertarian Foreign Policy: A Dialogue on Imperialism

I am flattered, Brandon and I am sure I don’t deserve all this attention. I did not merit these detailed rebuttals and your rebuttals don’t deserve that much either. Sorry if this sounds dismissive b, it’s not my attention but your arguments seem to proceed from some debating class that I have not taken. He are your words:

It is not enough for you to have an adequate defense force that protects the territory and integrity of the Republic.

I think that’s not the Libertarian position. The party’s position instead is to wait until we are attacked, as in Pearl Harbor, to engage in active defense on the basis of a military establishment much smaller than the current one. Please, correct me on these specific points if my perception is wrong. Please, don’t run all around the chicken corral!

You charge me with saying that “we must bomb, maim, and bully other peoples in the name of peace as well.” Of course, it’s a caricature but it hides an important truth. We have different perceptions of recent events. Here it is in a capsule: The Iraqi liberation war did not do as well as it should have; it went much worse, in fact. Yet, knowing what I know now, if I had to make the decision I would do it again. The Libyan operation went as well as one could expect. As I wrote on my blog, it’s an Obama success.

You refer mysteriously to the constitutional limits of military actions. I think both the Iraq war and the Afghanistan wars are constitutional. I think, the help to Libyan is borderline.

I can’t take your otherwise thoughtful critique seriously because of all that you leave out of my clearly expressed position. I want to try one last time to elicit your response one something that is important to my military posture. I assume that you and I could easily agree that the US had no vital interest in Rwanda at the time of the genocide.

Was it fine to let thousands of Rwandan massacre hundreds of thousands of their fellow-citizens with machetes and bricks?

It seems to me that the first answer has to be a “yes” or a “no.”

One more thing, Brandon: I don’t know where in my writing you see anything resembling anti-Muslim statements. What I have done repeatedly is:

  1. denounced the hypocrisy of American Muslim organizations;
  2. deplored the blindness, the confusion of ordinary Muslims;
  3. attacked the mendacity of political correctness in this country, all with respect to the following simple fact: 95% of all terrorist acts in the world in the past twenty years have been committed by people who call themselves Muslims and most often, in the name of Islam.

I mean by “terrorism” violent acts directed deliberately against civilians.

Just to be superfluously declarative: I don’t think Muslims are evil; I think they are in massive denial. There are Muslim commentators who say exactly the same. There are too few and they are not heard much.