The Past Is Another Planet

Glenn Reynolds, writing in Reason in 1999:

[O]ur current situation--with so many foreign troop deployments that even military buffs can't keep track of them all and with wars initiated essentially on presidential whim--would have horrified the Framers.

Update: Glenn projects all kinds of meaning onto this post, denies (not very convincingly) that his views have changed, and claims, bizarrely, that the Afghan and Iraqi campaigns were preceded by congressional declarations of war. He headlines the post "When Mindless Snark Substitutes for Thought," to which I can only reply: "Indeed."

Update #2: Glenn has added another response to his post, the most salient line of which is "I'm not really sure what point Walker was trying to make in his post anyway." You can say that again. His earlier comments said I took a "cheap shot" at him, even though my post contained no shots at all; that it was "mindless snark," even though it included no snarky commentary; and that it is "typical of what passes for antiwar analysis," even though it said nothing about the war. Yes, I'm against the Iraq war, but so what? The most die-hard hawk could find it funny that Glenn used to use that sort of rhetoric.

My sole observation in the original post was the title: "The Past Is Another Planet." Glenn could have responded, "Ho ho, yes, September 11 did change a few things." He could have responded, "I know that doesn't sound like me, but it's actually pretty consistent with my current views." Instead he took it as a personal attack.

He also says this:

Walker responds that I have so changed my views. Er, no. He also says that the Congressional declarations were not declarations of war. Actually, they were. But even if one were to accept what I think is his argument -- that they were authorizations to use military force against a named enemy, but not technically declarations of war -- they surely undercut any claim that we went to war on President Bush's "whim."

Glenn is correct that I believe a declaration of war and a military engagement authorized by Congress are different animals. I'm not the only one who draws this distinction. As any competent historian will tell you, the U.S. has not formally declared war since 1941. We've been at war since then, but that's not the same thing. (In a weird touch, Glenn states that Eugene Volokh agrees with him that the congressional authorizations of force are declarations of war. To demonstrate this, he links to a Volokh post headlined "More on Why War Doesn't Require a Declaration of War." It concludes with a comment that whether "the Congressional authorization of the use of force is legally tantamount to a declaration of war" is "a separate issue.")

Has Glenn changed? Reread the original quote, which not only mentions wartime whims but complains that there are "so many foreign troop deployments that even military buffs can't keep track of them all." Read the original context -- an exchange in our letters section -- and chew over this part:

When it comes to projecting power abroad, militias aren't as good....To the Framers, who feared not only standing armies but also the imperial ambitions they would bring, this unsuitability for foreign missions was not a flaw but a feature: A militia-based defense strategy was far less likely to produce foreign entanglements and wars.

Read the original article that inspired the exchange, too. Then ask yourself, "Can I imagine Glenn Reynolds writing that today?"

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  • Taylor||

    When the Framers wrote the Constitution there was a total of like 25 countries.. in the 1950s there were about 50, and today there are some 150. In no way could the Framers even imagine what it would be like.

  • Jeff P.||

    Wait, I thought the Clinton Administration was the longest ever period of peacetime growth...

  • ||

    And, of course, fat-assed coward that he is, Glenn Reynolds has yet to volunteer to fight even one of the US's many committments.

  • ||

    Sept. 11 didn't change anything substantial either.

  • ||

    "And, of course, fat-assed coward that he is, Glenn Reynolds has yet to volunteer to fight even one of the US's many committments."

    Well so far, he's supported 2 of them. How about some armchair activists sign up for some of the opeacekeeping missions? Those girls in Somalia won't rape themselves.

  • Timothy||

    Ohh, here we go with the ever-so-insightful "Chickenhawk!" "Terroristlover!" exchanges. Let the enlightening begin!

  • ||

    Timothy, you, sir, are a chickenhawk.

  • ||

    That guy's transformation from independent with plausible libertarian cred to A-List Bush apologist (internet division) remains a mystery. It was not "9/11 changed everything" . . . it happened more in the runup to Iraq.

  • ||

    That guy's transformation from independent with plausible libertarian cred to A-List Bush apologist (internet division) remains a mystery.

    No mystery, just market forces at work. Reynolds saw a niche and occupied it. He would have nowhere near the influence he has today if he had stayed with a libertarian philosophy.

  • David Ehrenstein||

    Instacracker is a first class Wanker.

    And that's the long and the short of it.

  • ||

    What's the mystery? He's probably getting paid by your tax dollars. Payola is a great thing, if you can get it.

  • ||

    Clinton's problem wasn't that he started wars, it's that he started wars that didn't have a particularly coherent narrative.

    Next time you start a war, Dems, be sure to make them *INTERESTING*!

  • ||

    "That guy's transformation from independent with plausible libertarian cred to A-List Bush apologist"

    What is plausible or credible about the Perfessor's anarcho-capitalist libertarianism?

  • ||

    Clinton's problem is that he was serious about stopping genocide and bringing peace. That's silly, ya know. The only reason to go to war is to bring glory to the good old USA #1 rah rah rah cis boom bah what sound does an exploding sheep may...

    Wait a minute, where was I again? Oh, yeah. Clinton was an honest "draft dodger," not a pretend national guardsman, hero wanna be awol deserter Bush II or mr. soundstage I fought in WWI army man Raygun. Now those guys knew how to wrap themselves in the flag. Being batshit crazy helps, ya know.

  • Jammer||

    Clinton's problem is that he was serious about stopping genocide and bringing peace.

    Like in Rawanda?

  • ||

    At least Clinton wasable to get the U.N. to help on most of his conflicts. Arguably, not having the the weight of the rest of the world weighing in with us is compounding the problems in Iraq.

    As far as coices goes, right now I'd say the incoherent, draft-dodger has it in spades over the weekend warrior wannabe.

  • ||

    vanya - ok, that's plausible. Reliable partisans do get more hits.

  • ||

    Sadly, I'm not really surprised that a change of administration can change the tunes that people sing.

    Here's a scenario: Say that there's a Democrat in the White House at some point in the future. And say that two abortion clinics in the DC area are hit with simultaneous bombs. If this hypothetical Democratic President were to order warrantless wiretaps of pro-life activists and claim that this is an "inherent power of the executive", I think we all know that a whole bunch of people would do 180 degree reverses of their current stances.

  • Wintermute||

    Ha haaaaaaaaa!

    Well, I tried to keep track of all those foreign troop deployments in Bring All the Troops Home.

  • Paul Dirks||

    >At least Clinton wasable to get the U.N. to help on most of his conflicts<<br />
    But ending the influence of the UN WAS the primary objective in Iraq. Were going it alone and Congress and the UN don't matter is Mission #1. Iraq was just the means to the end.

  • ||

    Like in Rawanda?

    Since we were knee deep in what is now the former Yugoslavia and were also trying to manage some traction with the whole Isreal/palestinina thing AND the World Trde Center had recently been bombed, I imagine he (wisely) determined our fingers were in enough pies.

    Also, I imagine he realized there was NO way - at THAT point, anyway - that he was going to get either the U.N. OR the (now Republican-led) U.S. Congress behind any efforts in Rawanda. Especially since Somalia had gone so swimmingly.

    I wouldn't be too hard on him for that one. The U.N. was already there and they high-tailed it out as quickly as possible.

  • ||

    Actually, Reynolds is under the influence of my mind control ray. In fact, you are under alien control. I, and my alien hordes, have been manipulating events on planet earth for the past six years.

    We're having a good time and don't plan to stop anytime soon. Right now, we're all hiding behind the moon, laughing our asses off.

    Suck it, humans!

  • ||

    Ken,

    You said

    "Sept. 11 didn't change anything substantial either."

    I disagree, the Sept 11 attacks showed how much damage terrorists could cause if they had enough time and space to put together an attack. If the planes had hit the towers later in the day or had managed to topple either of the towers the number of people killed would have been much higher.

    The 9/11 attacks showed the previous US policy (in place since at least Jimmy Carter's presidency) of waiting for an attack and then responding to that attack was no longer tenable policy.

  • ||

    Clinton said that Rwanda was one of the biggest mistakes of his presidency. So it doesn't do any good to excuse him for his actions, but it also doesn't do any good to use it as an example of him being unprincipled. He was wrong. He said so.

  • ||

    But ending the influence of the UN WAS the primary objective in Iraq. Were going it alone and Congress and the UN don't matter is Mission #1. Iraq was just the means to the end.

    I'm aware of that. I just happen to think that, while it hits home with a lot of conservatives frustrated by the U.N., that doesn't necessarily equate to it being a good reason to do it.

    It also bucks up my point that NOT having broader support has probably hurt us more than helped us there.

    As for Clinton no having a coherent narrative, Bush may have a brilliantly coherent narrative...but he lacks a sufficiently coherent plan for achieving it.

  • ||

    What was that slogan Instacracker used to have on his home page? Oh yes, "If you've got a modem, I'm an a**hole".

  • ||

    Madpad,

    Given behavior like

    1. The failure of the UN to respond to previous genocides in Rwanda, or Yugoslavia, and their ongoing failure to do anything to intervene in the genocide.

    2. The corruption of the oil for food program

    3. The UN sex for food aid scandal in refugee camps

    4. The appointment of countries like Libya and Sudan to sit on the UN human rights council

    I strongly believe that relying on the UN to work for peace or human rights is an absolute fools errand and postpones meaningful reform of the UN

  • ||

    I think we all know that a whole bunch of people would do 180 degree reverses of their current stances.

    Many will, but most won't. And when that day comes, we'll need those of you on the right to stand up for the Constitution just as those on the left do today.

  • ||

    TJIT writes: "The 9/11 attacks showed the previous US policy (in place since at least Jimmy Carter's presidency) of waiting for an attack and then responding to that attack was no longer tenable policy."

    Actually, what it showed was that Bush's policy of living in a bubble, especially during his August vacation, is not a tenable policy.

    And it was confirmed by Katrina.

    We only waited for the attack because Bush sat on his ass.

  • ||

    The UN isn't the world's savior, but it's always a good idea to get as much of the world as possible to contribute money to a mission, and most importantly, to be politically vested in its success.

    The UN doesn't hold a monopoly on this. Kosovo was not a UN mission, but Clinton did get most of Europe politically invested in its success.

  • ||

    Jon H - Bravo! Fucking republicans gave us a "president" who responded to "Bin Ladin to attack US" by sticking his thumb up his ass and going off to his pig farm on holiday. And then they have the fucking nerve to blame the liberals for what happened on their damn watch. Personal responsibility is a term that republicans cannot understand at all.

  • ||

    "The 9/11 attacks showed the previous US policy (in place since at least Jimmy Carter's presidency) of waiting for an attack and then responding to that attack was no longer tenable policy."

    Therefore the United States apparently is entitled to attack any country it damn well pleases because there is a SMALL chance that some time in the future it MIGHT attack us, even though there is no evidence that it actually would.

  • ||

    "the Sept 11 attacks showed how much damage terrorists could cause if they had enough time and space to put together an attack."

    The Sept. 11 attacks did a lot less damage to the U.S. than the Pearl Harbor attack did. Yet after Pearl Harbor the United States only went to war with the countries actually involved: Japan, and, because they declared War on the U.S., Germany and Italy. After WWII the United States did not engage in a policy of engaging in preemptive attacks against countries that MIGHT attack us, even though there was a serious danger that the Soviet Union might.

  • ||

    "Fucking republicans gave us a "president" who responded to "Bin Ladin to attack US" by sticking his thumb up his ass and going off to his pig farm on holiday."

    You're sick. Please don't ever tell that to the parents of soldiers we lost fighting Al Queda and the Taliban in Afghanistan.

  • ||

    After Pearl Harbor, the first US land invasion was into Morocco, where we fought the French. Just sayin'.

  • ||

    Judging from Instapundit's reaction, Jesse seems to have struck a nerve.

    And as substituting "mindless snark" for thought, the master of "Heh!" has no room to point fingers at anyone else for lack of thoughtful analysis.

  • ||

    (cough)Guadalcanal(cough)

  • ||

    Well this thread is turning into a pointless flame war. Though I imagine that was Mr Walker intended effect. Way to elevate the level of discourse at Reason.com!

  • ||

    If these comments represent the current level of libertarian thought then it's no wonder this party is moving further out on the fringe. This is like listening to a political conversation in the freshmen dorms... sheesh

  • ||

    Comment by: SirArthur at April 18, 2006 10:47 PM

    Hitler declared war on the US after Pearl Harbor.

    And BTW I'm not the numbskull posting at the top of the thread.....

  • ||

    And Glenn denigrates the commenters here as well. Time to raise the level of discourse here guys. Maybe we can all be like Instapundit and bravely attack the courage and integrity of our military officers. Belgravia Dispatch has a great post today just taking Mr. Reynolds to town for his mendacity. Does Reynolds actually have a reputation left to protect at this point?

  • ||

    TJIT,

    I was not suggesting - in any way - that the U.N. is some paragon of competence or moral superiority.

    And I wasn't suggesting that we needed include the U.N. in our efforts. I was suggesting that we should have gotten more countries on out side before attacking Iraq and that doing so might have made a great deal of difference over our current situation.

    I used Clinton's gaining the involvement of the U.N. as an example of doing just that.

    I also suggest that going more or less alone into a situation like Iraq - where we
    1. get to write the rules (yippee!)
    2. get to suffer ALL of the consequences and we
    3. get to write ALL of the checks (my tax dollars) while at the same time
    4. pissing off allies and
    5. creating new enemies we didn't have before
    6. and exposing our capabilities and weaknesses to more imminent growing threats and
    7. preventing us from actually fighting terrorist and any meaningful way...


    is probably an example of how "going it alone" is probably not the best approach to fighting a war just because a bunch of angry right wingers don't like the u.n.

  • Walter||

    I remember when Hit & Run had the best comments in da whole blogosphere. Seems like just hours ago.

  • ||

    "Clinton's problem wasn't that he started wars, it's that he started wars that didn't have a particularly coherent narrative."

    Uh, tell me, please, what war did Clinton start?

    And as far as Bush's "war with narrative", what narrative is that? The Three Pigs? Little Red Riding Hood? My Pet Goat?

    Bush's war had a "narrative" that the people of Iraq would rise up and greet us with flowers and candies, and that monuments in Baghdad would be named in Bush's honor.

    War as fairy-tale doesn't work.

  • ||

    Also, I imagine he realized there was NO way - at THAT point, anyway - that he was going to get either the U.N. OR the (now Republican-led) U.S. Congress behind any efforts in Rawanda.

    The Rwandan acts-of-genocide occured in August 1994.

    The Republicans were elected to Congress in November 1994, and took office in January 1995.

  • ||

    I really miss Clinton's foreign policy, where we got full UN sanction for every foreign action involving the US military. Missile strikes on Sudan? UN approved! Bombing Serbia and intervening in Kosov? UN Approved! Restoration of Aristide? UN approved!

    As to the level of the posts... bomb throwing and everything is fun and all, but wow, this is really bad. Incoherent ad-hominems and absolute non-sequitirs are satisying in a Kosian sense, but not productive.

  • ||

    After Pearl Harbor, the first US land invasion was into Morocco, where we fought the French. Just sayin'.

    Are you saying that we attacked the Free French or that Vichy wasn't Hitler's puppet, because either way you don't come off too good.

  • ||

    TJIT gets bonus pts for blaming 9/11 on Carter instead of Clinton.

  • Tim Lambert||

    I noticed that Glenn has linked here. Instapundit readers are strongly advised to read this post by Greg Djerejian because I don't think that Glenn will be linking to it.

  • ||

    Actually Walter, I think it was right before most (and I stress, only most) of the Reason staff decided that Republicans love of big government (Italian style circa 1935 to 45)could be ignored.

    Who knows, maybe this is a sign that they are going to be more than a Republican Booster Club. But I'm not holding my breath. Yet I am still hopeful.

    (This is not meant, in any way, shape or form, as an endorsement of Demos, only a suggestion that "Libertarian" should rarely be said in the following way, Libertarian Conservative, it has always puzzled me that, the two seem mutually exclusive, at least if you've read Kirk or Burke. If someone only supports the Republican POV exclusively, they, like Mr. Reynolds are republicans)

  • ||

    The posters on this thread remind me of LGF/Kos.

  • Matt S||

    I would love to see some real debate here, too. We've got enough Kos in the world, no? I may not be able to help myself though...

    Regarding the Clinton peacetime, was that coincident with those "50 years of stability" in the Middle East? Do we really believe that fewer innocents died during Clinton's time? More Iraqis (and Iraqi neighbors) died in Clinton's first five years than in Bush's.

    Oh, and suburban rappers care about "cred". The rest of us prefer, you know, honesty. I think Glenn is pretty good at both honesty and savvy.

  • ||

    Just more confirmation on why he doesn't allow comments.

    Jesse, have you ever seen his old posts on the Fray?

  • Walter||

    Johnny, I'm thinking back to a pre-election issue of Reason, when a significant number of surveyed Reason contributors said they were going to vote for Kerry. I'm too sleepy to look it up right now.Amd I agree completely about the oxymoronic use of libertarian-conservative. The popularity of the term libertarian is in large part because the word liberal was hijacked by leftists, no? Hence libertarian being nearly synonymous with 'classical liberal.'

  • ||

    Awright, awright nitpicker. BTW, it was roughly 90 days from April 6th to July 4th 1994 - not August.

    It's an easy thing to hairsplit over dates in the midst of a much bigger election cycle. Nonetheless, I stand corrected and will rephrase.

    In the midst of an election cycle and a mere year following the events in Somalia AND already knee-deep in developing situations in the now former Yugoslavia, it's pretty certain that Clinton knew he wasn't going to get support anywhere in the U.S. Congress for a peacekeeping action in Rawanda.

    Better?

  • ||

    "Instacracker" (repeatedly)
    No surprise to see that Walker's fans use racist slang so casually. Nice group of haters you hang with, Jess.

  • ||

    And no one mentions any issues with Islam and its pacification above? - you know, like, to grow up to world class class? Or did we forget the Mo'toons war already? Or does no libertarian support the Borders boycot?

    Pretty soon this 35 year-long libertarian is gonna be an ex-lifelong libertarian, if the above is all the seriousness I can get from "our" side.

  • Peter||

    not that it matters, but i suspect Chalmers Johnson might be able to rattle off a few bases here and there...

  • ||

    9/11 would have changed everything, even if our response wasn't being run by incompetent baboons.

  • ||

    Damn TJIT, Let's get that humanitarian arm of the American World Peace Force movin along! I'm with ya all the way brother. Don't need no U.N., Don't need no allies who are too pussy to do it neither, so get with me here! Call out!

    I say Dar
    You Say Four
    Dar!
    Dar!

    I say Uzbek
    You say Iz Tan
    UZBEK!
    UZBEK!

    Damn dude. Can't hear ya.

    But I'm with ya if you want to get the chant going and fight for the freedom of the peeps gettin killed en masse and boiled alive.

    One more.

    Chi!
    Chi!

    Na? Never gonna see that happen.

    Looks like we got some we are gonna fight and some we just gonna let slide for now.

  • ||

    MArk A. I think it's the attraction of being a part of a tribe of "elites": More satisfying than being a small (but useful in most cases) part of the Republican or Democrat Parties.

  • ||

    Re: Clinton

    >>He was wrong. He said so.

    That helps.

  • Sandy||

    Glenn neatly elides the point by claiming his central thrust was "wars initiated on presidential whim"...whereas any reasonable reading of his text shows it was the vast foreign entanglements that were his primary horror.

    Back then.

    Now after Iraq attacked us on 9/11, he's all about defending ourselves with limited engagements with clear end points and no danger of expansion to unrelated countries.

    Except Al Qaeda wasn't Iraq or in Iraq, our engagements aren't limited and they're growing in number, and we're threatening to get involved everywhere else on the planet we can think of in all kinds of foreign adventurism--oh, and we have no way of knowing when we'll be done fighting "Terror" or even an exit strategy for Iraq.

    But yay, Congress approved it. Presumably they approved the wiretapping and suspension of habeus corpus as well.

  • M. Simon||

    Why is it important to have the support of Dictators R Us (the UN)?

    Iran is on the non-proliferation committee and Sudan had its place on the human rights commission.

    BTW Congress authorized the Iraq adventure. Which would have never happened if we had had a Libertarian Congress. Hahahahahahahahaha. ROTFLMAO.

    Well any way. I quit the communists to join the libertarians because I thought the libertarians had a better program - free people, free markets etc. Then I find come 9/11 the Libs are spouting the communist line on foreign policy.

    So I gave up the party and generally vote and support Republicans these days.

    I mean really. Libs supporting the communist line. Swell. Just swell.

    BTW libs are ignorant of the alpha male problem, the control of the lines of supply, etc. etc. And yet, despite this huge hole in their understanding they think a simple formula is the answer to all questions.

    Evidently the Libs have never heard of Goedel. i.e. no system can answer satisfactorally all questions. There will be holes. Especially when dealing with the unreasoning side of men - which comprises about 90% of the nature of man.

    No system of reason can deal with unreason.

    BTW threat of the use of force without a motive of self defence is assault. So where is the Lib response to Iran's religiously motivated threats against the world (the institution - allah willing - of a universal caliphate)?

    I know. They take the Iranians as seriously as the diplomats of the 30s took a certain Austrian corporal. With the usual results unless wiser heads prevail.

  • M. Simon||

    Glenn is against the drug war, government intrusion into the bedroom etc.

    I do not think these are standard Republican positions.

    He pretty much fits the Libertarian mold except he favors a dominant position of America in the world. He comes from the realist school of diplomacy Al Capone style. "You can get more with a kind word and a gun than with a kind word alone." Given so much natural (bad) government in the world, I think he has the correct attitude.

  • M. Simon||

    Iraq bought the support of France and Germany.

    The Russians did a lot of business with Iraq.

    So who else of significance was left? China? Well we may be a big customer but no way they want to see America directly astride their lines of oil supply.

    So who else besides those we got was going to come along?

    BTW the UN was at the heart of Saddams bribed empire.

    Well never let facts get in the way of Lib utopia. It harshes the mellow.

  • ||

    Sandy says...

    Except Al Qaeda wasn't Iraq or in Iraq, our engagements aren't limited and they're growing in number, and we're threatening to get involved everywhere else on the planet we can think of in all kinds of foreign adventurism--oh, and we have no way of knowing when we'll be done fighting "Terror" or even an exit strategy for Iraq.

    Except, according to CDLR (a London based Muslim's rights group)...

    Just recently, however, al-Massari confirmed that Saddam had joined forces with al Qaeda prior to the war. Al-Massari says that Saddam established contact with the �Arab Afghans� who fled Afghanistan to northern Iraq in 2001 and that he funded their relocation to Iraq under the condition that they would not seek to undermine his regime. Upon their arrival, these al Qaeda terrorists were put in contact with Iraqi army personnel, who armed and funded them.

    Huh.

    Interesting.

  • JP||

    Western powers creating Israel and stomping around the Middle East looking for oil is what brought on 9/11. 9/11 didn't change ANYTHING. It's about time somebody give George Bush a freaking history book and read it to him.

  • ||

    BTW libs are ignorant of the alpha male problem,

    Comment by: M. Simon at April 19, 2006 05:57 AM


    That's because libs don't have any alpha males...just alpha females. ;-)

  • ||

    Actually, Hurricane Katrina changed everything.

  • ||

    Disputo,

    "TJIT gets bonus pts for blaming 9/11 on Carter instead of Clinton."

    What I said was

    "The 9/11 attacks showed the previous US policy (in place since at least Jimmy Carter's presidency) of waiting for an attack and then responding to that attack was no longer tenable policy."

    In place since at least Jimmy Carter's presidency means it was the policy used by Reagan for two terms, Bush 1 for his term, Clinton for both of his terms and Bush 2 for the first part of his term. Hard to cal that blaming Carter.

    So Disputo you get a special prize for not paying attention.

  • ||

    holy roller,

    Could you provide a little more linear comment, I can't figure out what you are trying to say. Or at least provide a simple flow chart that might lead us to the point of your comment.

    Thanks,

    TJIT

  • RW||

    Western powers creating Israel and stomping around the Middle East looking for oil is what brought on 9/11

    Did anyone tell Al Qaeda? They seemed to play a bit of a role in the matter, yet so many seem to continually blame us.

    What more do they need to do, besides - you know - plan the thing, carry it out and then accept responsibility, before some folks actually say "gee, maybe it was Al Qaeda"?

  • ||

    You know, I get in some heated debates with war hawks here, but it's threads like this that remind me just how good the discussion here normally is.

    One link to insta-sellout and you get the comments above.

    For those who wish to avoid the mind-numbing incoherence, here is a good summary of Reynolds's supporters:

    Social engineering by the U.S. government doesn't work here in the United States, but you're a commie if you think it won't work in the Middle East!

  • ||

    Um, did Reynolds order a pizza and have it sent to your house, Jesse? Why all this animosity?

  • ||

    Jesse:

    Please never mention Glenn Reynolds ever again. It's like open mike night for idiots around here.

  • Jim Henley||

    What I said was

    "The 9/11 attacks showed the previous US policy (in place since at least Jimmy Carter's presidency) of waiting for an attack and then responding to that attack was no longer tenable policy."



    14,000 bombing runs and multiple attempted coups in a dozen years never did fit my definition of waiting around.

  • ||

    The term "cracker" might be classist and/or regionalist, but it isn't "racist" since it does not refer to all White people, just Whites of a particular socio-economic class from a particular geographic region.

  • Sandy||

    Wow, one source relays some hearsay about George Bush's wet-dream justification, something he never mentioned at the time and has failed to produce evidence of since despite controlling the country!

    Thanks, Mike Heinz, I'm convinced!

    Heh.

    Hew Hewitt has more!

  • ||

    so wait when i sat there for like 2 hours listening to KKK Byrd speak at the senate bitching about how the autorization of war was unnassary then after he got down and the senate voted like 99 to 1 to authorize military action against iraq...that was all a wierd fantacy dream i was having?

    Jesse walker needs to quit smoking crack

  • ||

    "KKK" Byrd? What kind os Dittohead loony would use that expression?

    Say there, Josher, what party do you think the KK prefers today?

    JMJ

  • ||

    It's always amusing to watch Jesse volunteer for a complete humiliation. You really shouldn't argue with the grown-ups, Jesse. You're just not bright enough...

  • R C Dean||

    That guy's transformation from independent with plausible libertarian cred to A-List Bush apologist (internet division) remains a mystery.

    Only someone who doesn't read his blog could post this. He has been consistently critical of both the Bush administration and the Republican Congress on a nice wide range of issues, and has, for example, done more to get a grassroots anti-pork campaign than, oh, just to pick a libertarian website at random, Reason.

  • ||

    "Glenn projects all kinds of meaning onto this post, denies (not very convincingly) that his views have changed, and claims, bizarrely, that the Afghan and Iraqi campaigns were preceded by congressional declarations of war."



    I suggest Jesse Walker find out something about what he is talking about before he embaresses himself again.

    Congressional Authorization of War in Afganistan



    Congressional Authorization of War in Iraq

  • ||

    "Say there, Josher, what party do you think the KK prefers today?"

    Uh, neither? Why are you implying that the KKK would vote republican?

  • ||

    "Only someone who doesn't read his blog could post this. He has been consistently critical of both the Bush administration and the Republican Congress on a nice wide range of issues"

    Which makes it all the more interesting that he supports the export (at gunpoint, of course) of our system of governance. "It's done wonders here, so of course you'll love it, and if you don't, well you're free to die and be liberated that way..."

    And while he has been critical of Congress (sometimes Republicans), I saw much more fawning over Bush and the neocons than criticism there before I realized that Reynolds was about as consistent as your average paid shill and stopped reading.

  • ||

    "No surprise to see that Walker's fans use racist slang so casually

    Yep! We're all racists, homophobes, mysogynists, and capitalists too!

    Your liberal arts degree has unmasked us!

    yawn.

    JG

  • ||

    Clinton's problem is that he was serious about stopping genocide and bringing peace.

    Like in Rawanda?

    He meant white people genocide. When I see people defending Clinton regarding Rwanda, I believe there is Clinton Kool-Aid like there is Bush Kool-Aid. While I'd take him over Bush, I don't think very highly of Clinton myself, and I'm continually amazed at the reverence he inspires on lefty blogs.

  • ||

    Let's try a little experiment:

    The term "nigger" might be classist and/or regionalist, but it isn't "racist" since it does not refer to all black people, just blacks of a particular socio-economic class from a particular geographic region.



    Does that work for you? Didn't think so.

  • ||

    JF =

    "It's like open mike night for idiots around here."

    Amen.

    There's also a bit of obfuscation going on about 'authorization of force' vs. 'declaration of war'.

    Anyway, i am not here anymore.

    JG

  • Michael||

    Fools calling fools fools. Move along. Nothing to see here.

  • neo red pill||

    whoops! was looking for "reason", seemed to have found the daily kos by mistake.

    hmm...stuffy adherence to the non-interventionist 'principle' [read: isolationist] vs. armed defence against global totalitarians. seems like an easy choice for a freedom lover.

    and some paleolibertarians wonder why they're so marginalized, while others revel in their political obscurity.

    damn, you make lyndon larouche look positively mainstream.

    this elitist attitude does nothing to effect real change in the direction of greater individual liberty. everywhere. and THAT is [or should be] our raison d'etre.

    neo red pill

  • ||

    Someone needs to explain to Professor Reynolds what a declaration of war is. the Bush Justice Department has specifically said that there was no declaration of war. The fake libertarians, of whom Reynolds is the unofficial leader, may get a thrill from talking about how we are "at war." But we are not at war.

    "hmm...stuffy adherence to the non-interventionist 'principle' [read: isolationist] vs. armed defence against global totalitarians. seems like an easy choice for a freedom lover."

    The more the State uses armed force, the less freedom there is at home. This is an invariable rule and it's happening again (with Bush using war powers against his own citizens, breaking laws in order to spy on Americans, etc). That someone can talk about "Freedom" while we turn Iraq into an Islamic theocracy and give the President the right to do anything to anyone he claims is a "terrorist suspect" is utterly hilarious. And scary.

  • ||

    Why are you implying that the KKK would vote republican?

    Uhmm...

    Yes. Yes they would. Are you seriously trying to say they wouldn't?

  • ||

    Glenn Greenwald had a post about this subject where he quotes Alberto Gonzales:

    GONZALES: There was not a war declaration, either in connection with Al Qaida or in Iraq. It was an authorization to use military force.

    I only want to clarify that, because there are implications. Obviously, when you talk about a war declaration, you're possibly talking about affecting treaties, diplomatic relations. And so there is a distinction in law and in practice. And we're not talking about a war declaration. This is an authorization only to use military force.

    It seems pretty clear from what he said that there was in fact no declaration of war.

    That should settle it for anyone who can read and comprehend.

  • ||

    Thank you, Tom.

    And thank you all you Libertarians - I've been saying "we are not at war" for what seems like forever to what seems like a brick wall. Thank God you guys are out there. We may not agree on everything, but I sure do appreciate you guys on this.

    JMJ

  • ||

    Personally, I think the president should receive one count of impeachment for each and every time he has said "we're at war."

    JMJ

  • ||

    TJIT seems unaware that, before 9/11, the WTC HAD BEEN attacked by Islamic fundamentalists with a truckbomb in the basement parking garage. In addition, terorists had ALREADY hijacked planes. A Muslim fundamentalist pilot in the 90's plunged an airliner into the Atlantic after screaming "Allah is good." Only Condi Rice thought using planes as a weapon was beyond imagination, and that's because she apparently never bothered to read her briefing materials and ignored CIA written warnings. It's OK now, because the people who WROTE those warnings have been forced out of office. So to be perfectly clear, 9/11 CHANGED NOTHING in terms of America's security. Were authorities unprepared? Well, 9/11 change nothing because they are obviously still unprepared (Katrina, Dubai Ports, 100% failure of airport security tests.) It changed the terrain POLITICALLY however, because once a terroriost incident happened following the installation of President Cheney, neo-cons had the pretxt they needed to initiate World War III (as outlined by the Project for a New American Century), worldwide data mining (a neo-con project headed up by John Poindexter for almost two decades now) and warrantless eavesdropping (a favorite project of nixon, who mentored Rumsfeld and Cheney among draft-evading chicken hawks). Which they did.

  • ||

    Uh... WTFO? Who let those guys from DU and Kos in and let them pretend to be Reason posters?

    My favorite is this laundry list:

    "I also suggest that going more or less alone into a situation like Iraq - where we
    1. get to write the rules (yippee!)
    2. get to suffer ALL of the consequences and we
    3. get to write ALL of the checks (my tax dollars) while at the same time
    4. pissing off allies and
    5. creating new enemies we didn't have before
    6. and exposing our capabilities and weaknesses to more imminent growing threats and
    7. preventing us from actually fighting terrorist and any meaningful way..."

    My response:

    The US always writes the rules, suffers ALL of the consequences, and write ALL of the checks,while pissing off allies, creating new enemies, exposing our capabilities and weaknesses, and we rarely fight the fights that we should be fighting IF ANY.

    This is not something new to the US, and blaming it solely on the current administration is so amazingly blind to history that it makes me think that the guy who wrote is actually crazy enough to think that there is any nation on earth with a totally rational foreign policy based on doing what's right and what's in the best interests of that nation. The U.S. is actually pretty good at defending its interests, and occasionally good at doing what's right (when it is it REALLY is, when it's not it can be pretty ugly).

    I think someone's been listening to too much "Rage Against the Machine" and not reading enough about realpolitik.

    One last point about joe p's comment: "Clinton said that Rwanda was one of the biggest mistakes of his presidency. So it doesn't do any good to excuse him for his actions, but it also doesn't do any good to use it as an example of him being unprincipled. He was wrong. He said so."

    Clinton will say anything, depending on his audience. When asked what his greatest regret from his presidency is in front of military troops he'll say it was the Black Hawk Down scenario in Somalia. In front of other groups it's not instituting universal health care, or Rwanda, or (fill in the blank).

    He's got a lot of regrets about his presidency all vying for first place, so getting hiim to admit he made mistakes - and even apologizing! - is the easy part. Holding him accountable for anything, even once in his life, has been the tricky bit. Not that other past/current/future office-holders are much different...

  • ||

    "The US always writes the rules," except in Iraq 91, when we decided not to continue to Baghdad because the coalition would collapse, and in Kosovo, when we had to get targetting sing off from our allies

    "...suffers ALL of the consequences," And piss on you, France and England, and piss on your war dead from the 1991 Iraq War.

    "...and write ALL of the checks," And piss on you, Japan, and the other countries who covered 90% of the costs of the first Gulf War.

    Bush is greatest president in history if, like rob, you declare 2001 to be Year Zero.

  • ||

    He's got a lot of regrets about his presidency all vying for first place

    Well, just goes to show that his presidency far less disasterous than our current president, who for some reason seems to enjoy the support of many a "libertarian" like Reynolds.

    I'll take Black Hawk Down over Iraq any day. I'll take failing to institute national health care over failing miseably after Katrina. I'll take an economy that generates 22 million jobs, reduces defecits and slows spending increases over record defecits, record earmarks, and no net jobs in the entire first term. And don't even mention the hundreds of billions wasted in the war on terror, so that we can fail to detect bombs and weapons while boarding planes. At least Clinton had accomplishments that did not involve creating huge future tax increases - tax cuts today + defecits = tax increases tomorrow.

    Of course I don't feel Clinton or Bush are really responsible for the jobs, but don't let Bush's people hear that when they're touting the low unemployment rate, which is still higher than what he inheirited.

  • ||

    whoops! was looking for "reason", seemed to have found the daily kos by mistake.

    Who let those guys from DU and Kos in and let them pretend to be Reason posters?

    I love it...all the people with this sick infatuation of dear leader and his followers love to label anyone critical of Bush a Kossack or a dirty liberal.

    People like that are the biggest joke on the planet. Critical thinking, independant ideas??? None for me thanks, real Americans just take marching orders from the President and his fluffers / echo chamber without question.

  • ||

    Reynolds's views have not necessarily changed. He is a party loyalist first and foremost. "Democrats bad, Republicans good" is a perfectly consistent position

  • ||

    Glenn neatly elides the point by claiming his central thrust was "wars initiated on presidential whim"...whereas any reasonable reading of his text shows it was the vast foreign entanglements that were his primary horror.

    My kudos to Sandy for the most perceptive comment; Reynolds attacks an easy point on which he wins, or at least can make a reasonable argument (see also Eugene Volokh), while avoiding the larger point that he was previously skeptical of interventionism, but now enthusiastically supports it.

  • ||

    One has to love the essential cowardice of Reynolds, who doesn't have comments on his own site but is all too eager to dispatch his flying monkey squad to spam other peoples' discussions-- then have the temerity to complain about the level of discourse! Heh. Indeed.

  • ||

    "I remember when Hit & Run had the best comments in da whole blogosphere. Seems like just hours ago."

    Seems like a lot longer ago to me. This is my first comment in months, because I stopped coming here. Pointless posts, infantile discussion.

    I saw the link on Instapundit, and decided to see how things are going at Hit and Run. Not so good, apparently, if this thread is at all representative. A bit more vicious than I remember, but the same general tone.

  • ||

    "Yes. Yes they would. Are you seriously trying to say they wouldn't?"

    Yes, I'm saying exactly that. What do you expect the republicans to do for the KKK? Legalie lynching? Ban interracial marriage?

  • ||

    Jim, the GOP replaced and absorbed the Dixiecrats in order to win the South.

    Live with it.

    JMJ

  • ||

    My, this is an odd thread. Other than the handful of regular posters, it appears that we're seeing what Instapundit's comments would look like.

    I'm a libertarian, but I'm not as anti-Reynolds as some here are. I think he's a little too supportive of the war effort (including the way we're conducting the war, which I have some serious issues with), but he is fairly libertarian in a number of other ways. Not to mention that he's a heavy duty technology optimist, which should win him some points hereabouts. I've never bought into the idea that libertarians have to be isolationists, so it is possible in some instances to be pro-war and libertarian. On the other hand, he's at UT, which offends this Gator :)

    As for the declaration of war argument, I don't think the issue is really settled as much as Prof. Reynolds says it is, but, even so, what is the real difference between a "formal declaration" and an "informal one"? I have a feeling the courts would treat either one the same way in most situations. I do believe, however, that the scopes of the authorization of force and a declaration of war could be viewed as different (with the latter being the broader authorization, of course). This is all mucked up by the War Powers Resolution, which is of dubious constitutionality. Incidentally, I think we intentionally avoid formal declarations because they imply "total war" against a country as a whole (witness the last two times we declared war). There's some distaste at that idea these days.

  • ||

    "I love it...all the people with this sick infatuation of dear leader and his followers love to label anyone critical of Bush a Kossack or a dirty liberal.

    People like that are the biggest joke on the planet. Critical thinking, independant ideas??? None for me thanks, real Americans just take marching orders from the President and his fluffers / echo chamber without question." - ChicagoTom

    Ah, sweet irony! Anyone who doesn't agree with folks like ChicagoTom is incapable of critical thinking, independent ideas, etc.

    Sure.

    Because not only is ChicagoTom a complete moron who can't even spell "independent correctly" but his post shows him to be the blindest sort of hypocrite.

    Yes, the stool in the corner with the pointy hat is reserved for you, Tom. Congrats - you should wear it with pride.

  • ||

    One has to love the essential cowardice of Reynolds, who doesn't have comments on his own site but is all too eager to dispatch his flying monkey squad to spam other peoples' discussions-- then have the temerity to complain about the level of discourse!



    It's called a hyperlink, and it's more common than you seem to think.

  • theOneState||

    Seems like a lot longer ago to me. This is my first comment in months, because I stopped coming here. Pointless posts, infantile discussion....I saw the link on Instapundit

    Ha ha!

  • ||

    I am a Libertarian. This is just a simple heads up that I also agree too many of the party are becoming anti-rational when it comes to the Bush administration. This blog entry serves no purpose other than to unleash these voices against one of liberties proponents in the blog-sphere. I am sure everyone has disagreements with everyone else at some point, but generally Instapundit is measured, rational, and tries to move in the direction of individual freedom and liberty, not away. Many of you are not measured, or rational. If you want to move the cause of liberty forward I suggest you address that.

  • ||

    Ah, sweet irony! Anyone who doesn't agree with folks like ChicagoTom is incapable of critical thinking, independent ideas, etc.

    rob,

    Obviously reading comprehension isn't your strong suit. I know that you are probably not used to seeing more than a "Heh" or "Indeed" and reading a whole paragraph is quite the chore, but if you are going to come and discuss things with adults, then you need to read and comprehend at an adult level.

    I never implied that anyone who doesn't agree with my worldview is "incapable of critical thinking, independent ideas, etc.". Hardly. In fact that is nowhere in my post, but nice try at putting words in my mouth.

    The obvious implication of my words were that people like you, who go around tossing insults like "kossacks" and "stupid crazy liberals" at anyone who disagrees with Bush and his echo chamber, are the worst kind of people: Simple minded people who view the world and everyone in it as "with us or against us" and who are incapable of understanding that people can have principled, non-partisan objections to the current leadership's decisions/actions. Anything your echo chamber posits, you people tend to swallow and regurgitate, no matter how wrong, innacurate, hateful, or whatever it is...because it comes from "your side".

    But when one has no merits to argue, they engage in name calling and spell checking. Well done rob, well done. You have shown me the error of my non-spell checking ways.

  • ||

    "BTW Congress authorized the Iraq adventure."

    actually congress authorized bush to get those responsible for 9/11...it says ABSOLUTLY NOTHING about iraq in there.

  • ||

    Someone needs to explain to Professor Reynolds what a declaration of war is. the Bush Justice Department has specifically said that there was no declaration of war. The fake libertarians, of whom Reynolds is the unofficial leader, may get a thrill from talking about how we are "at war." But we are not at war.

    While it's true that there was no declaration, and while I'd agree that we aren't "at war" in any meaningful sense of the word, those two facts are not connected. A declaration of war is not a necessary condition to our being in a state of war. If it was, then the Civil War wasn't a war. (In fact, that was initially the official position of the U.S. government regarding the hostilities with the Confederacy. Abe Lincoln issued a proclamation after Fort Sumter calling out the militia to suppress "combinations too powerful to be suppressed by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings," using the same language that LBJ later did to call out the National Guard to suppress the riots that followed the MLK assassination. In early June 1861, the U.S. navy captured the Savannah, a Confederate privateer. Consistent with the theory that there was no "war" going on and that the whole rebellion was just a law enforcement problem, the government planned on putting the crew on trial for treason and piracy. Jeff Davis sent a letter to President Lincoln warning that if the crew were hanged as common criminals, then the Confederacy would hang an equal number of Union prisoners to hang in reprisal. Eventually, wiser heads prevailed in the U.S. government, and the Confederacy was grudgingly acccorded the rights of a belligerent, and Confederate prisoners were treated as prisoners of war rather than as criminals. Lincoln soon discovered that maybe admitting there was a war (rather than a very large police action) wasn't such a bad idea, as it enabled him to invoke an ever-growing set of "war powers.")

  • ||

    [O]ur current situation--with so many foreign troop deployments that even military buffs can't keep track of them all and with wars initiated essentially on presidential whim--would have horrified the Framers.

    What an excellent assessment. ...and surely true of the Iraq War.

    I disagree, the Sept 11 attacks showed how much damage terrorists could cause if they had enough time and space to put together an attack. If the planes had hit the towers later in the day or had managed to topple either of the towers the number of people killed would have been much higher.

    The 9/11 attacks showed the previous US policy (in place since at least Jimmy Carter's presidency) of waiting for an attack and then responding to that attack was no longer tenable policy.

    As if accepting massive attacks on Americans was ever a policy! ...I repeat--nothing substantial changed on 9/11.

    The wisdom of our patriots and the framers is as valid today as it was 1776 and 1789. ...If we suffered a hundred more 9/11s, nothing substantial would have changed. ...and I'd still be pointing at those who would water down our Constitutional rights and calling them cowards.

    Iran presents a greater threat to the average American now than Iraq did on the eve of invasion; in fact, Iran presents a greater threat to us now because we've occupied Iraq.

    ...Whether invading Iran makes sense will be a function of the magnitude of the threat they present, the support of our allies, the availability of our resources, the likely benefits, the likely costs, the support of the American people, etc., etc...

    Nothing substantial changed on 9/11. ...and isn't that why Reynolds' is insisting that he hasn't changed his views? ...Isn't he basing his objection to Walker's post, primarily, on the war not being the "whim" of President Bush?

  • ||

    I have a feeling the courts would treat either one the same way in most situations.

    In that case Guantanamo Bay is highly illegal, since those people who were picked up in Iraq and Afghanistan are prisoners of war. And, Abu Ghraib was a violation of the Geneva Convention, since that would make them all irregulars in the Iraqi War. You can't have it both ways; either an authorization of force isn't a declaration of war, with all the baggage that comes with, or it is and the Geneva Convention and all the other laws of declared war come into play. Of course, this assumes that all those people were guilty, not really all that likely given what we've seen.

    I love these NRO/Instapundit link-ins. We're always inundated with all these missionaries determined to reconvert us back to the "True Church of Libertarianism," whatever the hell that is. They're so cute at that level of psychological development.

  • ||

    "But I didn't let my disappointment with Clinton turn into a hatred of all his policies, the way that some people seem to have let their dislike of Bush turn into a belief that all of Bush's policies -- and anyone who defends any of them -- have become evil."

    Do people really find this sort of thing persuasive?

  • Jesse Walker||

    Wow - so this is what happens when InstaPundit and Atrios link to the same post...

  • ||

    "Jim, the GOP replaced and absorbed the Dixiecrats in order to win the South.

    Live with it."

    'Live with it" is the rallying cry of someone unable to produce facts. Seriously, back up your claim and say why the KKK would vote for a republican, besides "they're all racists."

  • theOneState||

    Wow - so this is what happens when InstaPundit and Atrios link to the same post...

    Hey, maybe they can all come to the happy hour!

    I don't know why, but you really seem to have gotten under this guy's skin. His post is unconvincing and loooooongggg, which I suspect is only because he's nervous and annoyed.

    I never thought he was a libertarian anyway, but I didn't know him back in '99 (in those beautifully innocent years before 911).

  • ||

    Shem, like I said, I think the issue is less settled than Glenn and others have suggested. On the other hand, fighting against terrorists as opposed to nations does screw things up. I don't like that the Administration seems to be taking advantage of the gray areas here to commit questionable acts, but I'm forced to acknowledge that this sort of "warfare" (The War on Terror™, that is, not Iraq per se) does leave a lot of questions open about what we are and are not allowed to do, legally speaking. Leaving aside the moral questions for the moment.

    I would like to say to all of the conservatives and liberals posting here that, yes, we are mostly libertarians, and no, we don't agree on everything. Telling us we're a fringe group is well and good, but why bother? We've kinda figured that out already. Of course, we do have the moral high ground insofar as this nation was founded on libertarian principles. Principles not shared by the two major parties, I might add.

    Oh, by the way, some of the comments in this thread talk about how screwed up the commenters here are. Just to clarify, this ain't the usual group. Though a few people who post here regularly are, in fact, insane.

  • ||

    "Jim, the GOP replaced and absorbed the Dixiecrats in order to win the South.

    Live with it."

    'Live with it" is the rallying cry of someone unable to produce facts. Seriously, back up your claim and say why the KKK would vote for a republican, besides "they're all racists."

  • ||

    In the past, it was much more difficult to show changes in a person's thinking over time. ...much more difficult to demonstrate it to a group anyway. ...Now, in this medium, people can show you what you said years ago and can expect a response in almost real time. ...That's gotta change the dynamic some.

    Over time, perhaps we'll see people in the blogosphere make more of a virtue of being persuadable.

    If I had to account for the statement in question, I think I'd be sayin' that everything changed after 9/11 rather than tryin' to convince people that Iraq wasn't an elective war. ...or quibbling over the exact meaning of "whim". On the other hand, I might suggest that I was wrong way back when instead.

    I might even say that I was right way back then, and everything I'd said in favor of the Iraq War was wrong or based on bad information or something I hadn't accounted for... ...but then I'm kinda crazy like that!

  • ||

    "Let's try a little experiment: The term "nigger" might be classist and/or regionalist, but it isn't "racist" since it does not refer to all black people, just blacks of a particular socio-economic class from a particular geographic region. Does that work for you? Didn't think so."

    Maybe Gone with the Wind got the terminology wrong, but it was my understanding that "cracker" means a poor White person from the rural southern United States.

    Checking further, "Word Detective" confirms my understanding: http://www.word-detective.com/100699.html

    "cracker" is a derogatory slang term usually used to mean a poor white person resident in the Southern U.S., especially in the state of Georgia, which is sometimes referred to as "the Cracker State."

    "Cracker" is therefore not racist, because it does not refer to all Whites.

  • Matt Welch||

    I'm thinking back to a pre-election issue of Reason, when a significant number of surveyed Reason contributors said they were going to vote for Kerry.

    Actually, I was the only staffer to make such a shameful confession, and I'm no longer staff.

  • ||

    What a soap opera. And yes, vicious.

    The irony for me is that I would never have seen Instapundit except for Reason. For years it (proudly?) ran a kudo from Reynolds on it's masthead. And up until a few days ago it was running ads for his book.

    Maybe Carpet Humping Man is next.

    As some dazed poster put it after one of Matt Welchs's pieces a few months back, "Jeez, why have you guys got such a hard-on for Glenn Reynolds?"

  • ||

    "Wow - so this is what happens when InstaPundit and Atrios link to the same post..."

    Oh no! Someone crossed the streams!

  • ||

    I don't quite see where the confusion is. Glenn didn't like entangling wars when there was minimal benefit to the US, e.g. all of our peacekeeping missions. He does, however, find perceived direct threats such as Afghanistan and Iraq as necessary wars. You may not agree with this position, but it's a stretch to call it inconsistent.

  • ||

    I don't quite see where the confusion is. Glenn didn't like entangling wars when there was minimal benefit to the US, e.g. all of our peacekeeping missions. He does, however, find perceived direct threats such as Afghanistan and Iraq as necessary wars. You may not agree with this position, but it's a stretch to call it inconsistent.

    In his update, Glenn says that he supported the campaign in Kosovo. This fact would seem to undercut your claim, unless you believe that Serbia was a "perceived direct threat" to the US.

  • ||

    And it was confirmed by Katrina.

    We only waited for the attack because Bush sat on his ass.

    That is completely untrue, and smacks of Michael Moore talking points. U.S. Policy from as far back as the Carter administration led, in some way to these attacks. The Clinton administration even bristled at the notion that terrorism was a 'military' problem, and insisted it would remain a criminal justice problem. Oh, I don't directly blame Clinton for the attacks, either, but my guess is that lobbing cruise missiles at random buildings hoping to hit Bin Laden didn't help.

    We know that many factors played a part in this attack happening: Careerism at the FBI and CIA played a very prominent role in the attacks being allowed to be carried out.

  • ||

    Glenn is correct that I believe a declaration of war and a military engagement authorized by Congress are different animals. I'm not the only one who draws this distinction.

    It doesn't matter what you, or other people think. It matters what the laws says. And Gonzalez was wrong in his interpretation.

    In Doe v. Bush, The First Court of Appeals ruled that an AUMF, and Declaration of War, are the same thing. Period.

    This means that Iraq wasn't a presidential "whim", because Bush got Congress' permission. Which means Glenn Reynolds is completely correct. Which makes all of the gnashing of teeth here, moot.

    TV (Harry)

  • ||

    Jesse,

    I think your argument that there was no declaration of war _is_ an argument. Just not a very good one.

    I mean if congress can authorize the insertion of thousands of US troops into another country with the expressed purpose of removing that country's leader from power, and such an authorization does _not_ equal a declaration of war, the definition of war is pretty much rendered useless.

    More to the point, if somehow for some reason such congressional approval shouldn't count as war, is there any doubt that if for some reason it needed to be super explicit (IE, "We declare war on..."), that Bush would have had any trouble getting such a super-explicit declaration anyway.

    I think describing the war as strictly one of "Presidential whim" too easily absolves Congress of its culpability in the war. They had a chance to object, the ones that didn't should be held to that decision by a voter whether that voter thinks it was a good or bad decision.

  • ||

    "That is completely untrue, and smacks of Michael Moore talking points."

    I tried to read this comment, but I couldn't get past the term "Michael Moore talking points".

    I presume the rest had something ingenious to say about "latte swilling" something or other... Y'all 'll let me know if I missed anything interesting?

  • ||

    This means that Iraq wasn't a presidential "whim", because Bush got Congress' permission. Which means Glenn Reynolds is completely correct. Which makes all of the gnashing of teeth here, moot.

    I hit the link and read the whole quote. ...If I faulted Walker's post, I'd say he cut the quote off at the wrong spot--he might have left on the beginning. It reads:

    "To the Framers, who feared not only standing armies but also the imperial ambitions they would bring, this unsuitability for foreign missions was not a flaw but a feature: A militia-based defense strategy was far less likely to produce foreign entanglements and wars. As Gary Hart correctly points out in the book I reviewed, our current situation--with so many foreign troop deployments that even military buffs can't keep track of them all and with wars initiated essentially on presidential whim--would have horrified the Framers."

    Whether the war was elective is one question. Whether the war was declared by Congress is another. Whether the war was a good idea is another still. Why would I care about how the First Court of Appeals answered those questions?

    Oh, and there doesn't seem to be any question about whether the Framers would have considered the Iraq War horrifying. ...they would have and for a number of reasons.

  • ||

    We're just going to test to see whether Jesse's really deleting posts. I'd hate to think that Peter Jackson's response from pw's comments were unacceptable, but David Ehrenstein's casual bigotry is:


    Okay, for the umpteenth time, the AUF is a legal declaration of war as per the First Circuit Court of Appeals. Jesse Jackson, Jim McDermott, Dennis Kucinich and other luminaries of the left took Bush and Rumsfeld to court complaining that with the AUF Congress had ceded their constitutional authority to declare war to the President. The case is known as Doe v. Bush. The Federal District Court that heard it dismissed it and dismissed an appeal from plaintiffs. The First Circuit then heard an appeal and affirmed the dismissal. The courts all agree that an AUF doesn?t require the magic words ?we declare war? to be a declaration of war.

    As a former Libertarian, I used to be all hung up about this too, thinking that Congress was passing the buck so the President would be hung out to dry if a particular military action turned out to be a disaster. But the but the courts settled the whole question in a very elegant, logical way that holds Congress responsible.

    So it doesn?t matter what Scott McClellan says, or Gonzales, or Jesse Walker, or even actus believes: the Federal courts have determined AUF=act of war. Case closed.

    :peter

  • ||

    "The obvious implication of my words were that people like you, who go around tossing insults like 'kossacks' and 'stupid crazy liberals' at anyone who disagrees with Bush and his echo chamber, are the worst kind of people:"

    Along with those who think anyone disagrees with them are the sort of people who call other people kossacks. I've never done that, to my knowledge. Maybe it's YOUR reading comprehension that needs some work. I try to resort to ad hom attacks only as a Mutually Assured Destruction approach - I don't fire until fired upon.

    "Simple minded people who view the world and everyone in it as 'with us or against us' and who are incapable of understanding that people can have principled, non-partisan objections to the current leadership's decisions/actions."

    Yeah, because it couldn't be principled, non-partisans who genuinely disagree with you. Let me get this straight - you genuinely believe that those on your side of any argument are the only ones capable of taking principled, non-partisan stances?

    "Anything your echo chamber posits, you people tend to swallow and regurgitate, no matter how wrong, innacurate, hateful, or whatever it is...because it comes from 'your side.'"

    What exactly do you mean by "YOU PEOPLE?" Is that some sort of thinly veiled racist comment? (Just kidding, man!).

    Seriously dude, you're a lot like some other folks I've argued with around here. You assume I'm a Bush supporter and that just because I disagree with you I'm part of some 'echo chmaber' that pushes wrong, innacurate hateful postions? I think there's plenty of things to criticize the current administration about. I'm no fan of Bush, tho there are things I agree with the adminstration on occasionally. (Along the lines of either "no one could have done any better on this" or "even a blind squirrel will find an acorn now and then.") I've had some protracted arguments with Ken Schultz where he thought that because of my stance on certain things I must be a "Bushbot."

    Frankly, I find that people who sling those terms are just as offensive as the "Bushbots" they sling them at. Name calling on both sides is pretty ridiculous.

    "But when one has no merits to argue, they engage in name calling and spell checking. Well done rob, well done. You have shown me the error of my non-spell checking ways."

    Dude, you started insulting everyone who didn't agree with you and screaming about people calling other people kossacks and stupid crazy liberals and you couldn't even spell your insults correctly. Fact check - you're the only one who has used the word kossack word on this thread. Which is actually spelled "cossacks" - there's a spell check for you - unless you are referring to people who post on Kos (I think...)

    That's like getting angry at some guy in another town for something your next-door neighbor did.

    If you're looking for someone presenting no facts and calling a lot of names, I direct you to the nearest mirror.

    Your dunce cap and corner stool will fit you perfectly until you realize that not everyone who disagrees with you calls you a kossack, a stupid crazy liberal, or echoes some set of talking points.

  • theOneState||

    That this question of AUF versus DOW had to be settled by the courts and that there is STILL debate on the issue and that lots of people are confused by it suggests there is a distinction to be made, and people make it. For those about to post, read Jesse's Update #2 where he deals with folks like A, Again, and Inspector Callahan...um, shall we say, pre-emptively.

    This doesn't absolve Congress, they're the ones that signed the stupid aumf and then told their constituents they hoped it wouldn't be used to authorize force. So the whole things WAS sort of done at the whim of the President.

    Anyway, Glenn has gone squishy...we've watched it happen. He has changed his views. He can't be considered libertarian by any stretch anymore.

    Then again, and I bet Jesse would agree, so what?

  • ||

    So when do we get to the part where someone explains how Glenn Reynold's assessment of the founders' attitudes and beliefs has changed?

  • ||

    I remember when Clinton was in the White House, I used to hear the Administration's defenders respond to questions about what was ethical with answers about what was legal. Now that the Republicans are in the White House, I often hear the Bush Administration's defenders respond to questions about what was smart with answers about what was legal. ...Theoretically, aren't there an infinite number of unethical or foolish things that are pefectly legal?

    And to those of you fixated, for whatever reason, on what is legal, did the First Court of Appeals rule on whether the Framers would have thought the Iraq War horrifying? ...or what the Framers would have thought of the word "whim"? Did it rule on whether 9/11 really did change everything? Did the Court cite Reynolds' old piece, and rule on whether it applies to the Iraq War? ...I'd look it up myself, but, honestly, I don't care what the First Court of Appeals said about any of those things, and I don't understand why I should.

  • Thomas L. Knapp||

    Hmmm ... Reynolds seems to think there's some hairsplitting between "formal" and "informal" declarations of war. But that's not the issue. The "congressional resolution authorizing force" can in no way be construed as a declaration of war because it SAYS IT IS NO SUCH THING. It includes a "reservation of war powers" clause. There are only two ways of construing that clause. Either congress is reserving its prerogative of declaring war (in which case it is not declaring war), or it is reserving its prerogatives under the War Powers Act, which explicitly governs actions prior to the declaration of war (in which case it is not declaring war).

    Tom Knapp

  • ||

    Yup, I must have missed that day in Con Law when we learned that the First Circuit creates the Supreme Law of the Land.

  • ||

    I'm pretty sure that there are a lot of recent court rulings that would horrify the Founders.

  • ||

    "Nigger" is therefore not racist, because it does not refer to all blacks.



    Hmm... could be!

  • ||

    "I'm pretty sure that there are a lot of recent court rulings that would horrify the Founders."

    But that's a non issue. Considering congress' reaction, whatever the current legal standard for "declaration of war" happened to be, it is extremely likely Bush would have gotten it from the Congress. The legal standard as it is now and was at the time is that an authorization of the use of military force in the removal of Saddam Hussein meets the constitutional requirements for a "declaration of war."

    You can argue that it shouldn't, but it seems extremely likely that if you changed to law to make it more specific, then he simply would have used that more specific standard and gotten the same approval from congress on it.

    Saying this is war on a presidential whim is simply inaccurate. He asked congress and they said "yes," knowing full well the exact military action that was going to take place.

    You're at best making a semantics argument and one that doesn't happen to align with the current law of the land.

  • ||

    Question,

    If the Framers would be horrified by today's foreign expeditions, then what of the expedition to tame the Barbary pirates in the early 1800's?

    I understand that paying tribute to appease a foreign power that is attacking your merchant fleet is very different than today, but seemingly the concept of creating a professional Navy/marine forces under the aegis Thomas Jefferson does seem to undercut the notion that the Framers would always be against creating a professional army that can take action in foreign campaigns.

    On the subject of foreign tribute/entanglements, considering that Saddam Hussein repeatedly cheated on his deal with the UN and so the verity of his scrapping the WMD program was always a big question, and that we already were paying billions of dollars/year on our No-Fly-Zones, and that our stationing of troops in Saudi Arabia was one of the prime reasons Bin Laden attacked the US, and that Saddam Hussein had in the past used chemical weapons and sponsored terrorists like Abu Nidal, and that the sanctions/Oil for Food program strenghtned Saddam while famishing Iraqis and corrupting the UN, hawks like me found the situation ante-bellum untenable and so a war/occupation would be a better trade-off.

    Not many here would agree with this position, but if you're like me and try to call yourself a libertarian and pro-Iraqi war, then is a partial list of the reasons why we thought that even the Framers would agree that the situation ante-bellum was untenable and would have to be settled in some way that would be favorable to the US. So, people on my side believed that taking out Saddam and trying to at least create a less pathological government would be the best option, ie democracy.

    As for futility of democracy building, then what would people here suggest if we had invaded Iraq?
    Chalabi as Iraqi-strongman? A Baathist turncoat dictator? Another UN protectorate like Kosovo where our troops will not be out possibly forever?

    The situation in Iraq was a lose-lose situation, no matter what the neocons said. If we allowed Saddam to remain in power he would eventually get rid of the corrupt UN sanctions regime and be able to wield his new status as the man who defied a superpower, lived, and even thrived, and no I don not think that would be an acceptable solution considering that our allies and enemies would think that our power is toothless and would in turn start hacking at the superpower to get it down to size. If we took him down and set-up a strongman (most likely Sunni to boot), we would be fighting against the constant reminder that we the evil imperialist Americans installed a puppet regime that represses the memory of a glorius past under Saddam and so we'd probably be cycling through strongman/coups just like in Vietnam in order to keep Iraq compliant. So, IMAO, invasion + democracy building was the best option out of a gamut of bad options.

    Could the US have done a better job? You could write bulky tomes on the failures that occured in the various areas, such as coalition-building, occupation, etc. So, Bush is liable for the mess he created in Iraq, but the policy seemed to be the best at the time...

  • ||

    "I saw the link on Instapundit, and decided to see how things are going at Hit and Run. Not so good, apparently, if this thread is at all representative. A bit more vicious than I remember, but the same general tone." -Joe Bonforte (way back up-thread)

    Well lets see, 75% of posters on this thread are non-regulars and, I assume, regular Instapundit readers....so perhaps you should keep that in mind.

    Among the regulars there is a wide diversity of opinion ranging from anarcho-libertarian types (like myself), to more moderate libertarians, with a few political mainstreamers thrown in to ensure an always lively debate.

  • ||

    Well lets see, 75% of posters on this thread are non-regulars and, I assume, regular Instapundit readers....so perhaps you should keep that in mind.

    I don't think all the people calling Reynolds a partisan hack are his readership. :)

  • ||

    Clinton's problem wasn't that he started wars, it's that he started wars that didn't have a particularly coherent narrative.

    cf, apparently, bush's iraq war, the justification for which seems to change weekly.

  • ||

    So, Bush is liable for the mess he created in Iraq, but the policy seemed to be the best at the time...

    There are some among us who opposed the war on several grounds, one of which being that it would seemingly play into the hands of Islamic fundamentalists...

    ...and considering that, right now, unless I'm mistaken, we're supposed to be rooting for a group that calls itself the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), I'm not so sure his policy was the best at the time.

  • DC Metro||

    Since when did libertarians turn into a bunch of venom-slinging liberal wussies?

    No wonder your candidate only got 300,000 votes - nationwide - last election.

  • Michael Birk||

    M. Simon:
    "Evidently the Libs have never heard of Goedel. i.e. no system can answer satisfactorally all questions. There will be holes. Especially when dealing with the unreasoning side of men - which comprises about 90% of the nature of man."

    I am quite familiar with Godel's Incompleteness Theorem -- certainly familiar enough to know that it has absolutely no bearing on political policy or ideology.

  • ||

    "There are some among us who opposed the war on several grounds, one of which being that it would seemingly play into the hands of Islamic fundamentalists..."

    As someone who also opposed it on slightly different grounds ("Nice idea, we won't pull it off"), it still is worth bringing up that there is a similar concern to the concerns with the "precautionary principle."

    We really don't know what the costs of doing nothing would have been (though some here will claim they know precisely that there would have been no costs). Bush was not dealt a particularly attractive hand on September 12, 2001. He was given a problem that every politician of every different stripe in the past has been completely unable to solve, and for the first time there was now a hue and cry from the public to take steps to solve it now.

    Islamic terrorism has been on the front pages since the Munich Olympics and nobody has been able to abate the problem to any significant extent. Hard line approaches ahve failed, conciliatory approaches have failed, active approaches have failed, diplomatic approaches have failed...

    And Bush was the first president ever whose populace was now demanding it be fixed.

    I did not agree with the choice he did make, but to be realistic none of the other choices appear to me to have been all that attractive. The Libertarian (big L) response seems to have been to persist, more or less, in the status quo, but that's a tough argument to make to the people with 3,000 dead civilians, a hole in the Pentagon and two collapsed skyscrapers in our largest city. Status quo (more or less) may have been the best move, but how do you argue that on September 12th?

    I suppose you could say that justifies Afghanistan and not Iraq, but then you're still going to have to engage in the non-libertarian process of nation-building.

    Again, Al Qaeda forced us into a situation where there were no real appealing options. I don't think the Iraq invasion helped any, but lets not pretend we'd be problemless had it not occurred.

  • ||

    "Sept. 11 didn't change anything substantial either."

    Yes it did, as Ron Paul put it: it took a lousy policy and gave it fresh momentum.

  • theOneState||

    Shawn, that doesn't really pass for conservative argument these days, does it?

    Can you tell us why libertarians would be better off dead? I may have some rough now and then, but I certainly don't think I'd be better off dead.

    Or do you mean that YOU would be better off if libertarians were dead?

    In either case, why?

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