Nobel Peace Laureate Conducts Three-Front War in the Middle East

From the UK Guardian:

Muammar Gaddafi has been handed a "non-negotiable ultimatum" by Barack Obama to accept an immediate ceasefire, pull back from Libyan rebel strongholds and permit humanitarian assistance – or face the full onslaught of UN-endorsed air strikes.

In an attempt to reassure Middle East opinion and his own domestic audience, Obama said the US would help to co-ordinate a no-fly-zone, but not lead an operation that will include French, British and Arab jets.

I'm sure his enemies on the Right will note that he isn't even going to "lead", but, hey, here's another U.S. war for Middle Eastern peace for you.

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  • ||

    Yep, the wingnuts are all trying to call Obama weak or indecisive simply because he didn't blow in Bush--style like a cowboy with 150,000 troops backed by Curveball's and Cheney's lies then take out the honorary buttplug of the Middle East in the biggest foreign policy gaffe since Vietnam.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: shrike,

    Yep, the wingnuts are all trying to call Obama weak or indecisive


    That's obviously not fair, as he was clearly strong and decisive in his closing of Gitmo and pulling out of Afghanistan and not raising taxes a single penny to those making less than $250K... The man is pure decisiveness incarnate!

  • ||

    Bush cost to remove thug = $2 trillion and 4400 US lives.

    Obama cost to remove Mubarek = $0.00

    I am betting the Qadaffi cost will come in on the low end.

    Quit defending the Bushpigs - you look like an idiot.

  • jasno||

    Quit assuming people are defending the bushpigs - it makes you look like shrike.

  • Is Obama now a BushPig?||

    Hey, SHrikie? Tell me how much each drone costs, you sicko. Obama will catch and pass Bush before he's gone.

  • Is Obama now a BushPig?||

    Hey, SHrikie? Tell me how much each drone costs, you sicko. Obama will catch and pass Bush before he's gone.

  • sevo||

    shrike|3.18.11 @ 5:43PM|#
    "Obama cost to remove Mubarek = $0.00"

    Shriek claiming credit where none exists = priceless.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: shrike,

    Quit defending the Bushpigs - you look like an idiot.


    Who's defending them? Who even mentioned them? YOU are the one arguing that Obama is somehow a man of great determination. I am showing you that he's not.

    You sure know how to throw red herrings around. Maybe you should stick to crackpot finance.

  • DNS||

    Bush cost to remove thug = $2 trillion and 4400 US lives.

    Obama cost to remove Mubarek = $0.00

    I am betting the Qadaffi cost will come in on the low end.

    Quit defending the Bushpigs - you look like an idiot.

    Shrike, you nincompoop, have you failed to notice that The Obama hasn't been in any hurry to defund those (if any) Bush initiatives? In fact, he has done more to potentiate and exacerbate those spending sprees, both foreign and domestic. May I also remind you that all of Bush's legislation was rubber stamped by your precious Democrats?

  • ||

    I am betting the Qadaffi cost will come in on the low end.

    Famous last words.

    Bush made the similar promise about Iraq.

    Quit defending the Bushpigs - you look like an idiot.

    Funny coming from a guy who is supporting Obama who is about to make the same worse mistakes Bush made.

  • junior||

    I seem to remember some guys saying that the cost of the war in iraq would come in on the low end. Who was that again? Oh yeah...Hillary Clinton.

  • ||

    Open question for the H&R commentariat: would it be more correct to refer to the Shrikes, Tonys, etc. hereabouts as "Neo-libs" from now on... or would the simpler, more straightforward "chickenhawks" be preferable?

  • Foghorn Leghorn||

    I say, boy, listen to me when I yell at ya!

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Gotta love those who are part of the "party of peace" advocating and defending us getting in to yet another war.

  • Actor Ed Harris||

    Well it's like this, you see......

  • Tman||

    Yeah, what a disaster Iraq is turning out to be! Why, they have lowered unemployment, developed entire Judicial systems out of nothing, and surpassed the oil production levels from the Saddam days...

    Biggest gaffe since Vietnam!

    Your metaphors don't make your points any less stupid Shriek.

  • ||

    The new Iraqi Constitution is based on Sharia, they are aligned with Iran and the Shia' now, and that oil production does not benefit the USA.

    You are a bigger idiot Bush-neck than Old Taco.

  • Trespassers W||

    that oil production does not benefit the USA

    I gotta hear the explanation for this one.

  • ||

    The Bushpigs tried to ram PSA's into Iraqi Law - which give the Iraqis 6-8% of total oil revenue extracted by Exxon - which was Cheney's master plan.

    Instead they held off and created a Saudi-like national oil company where they sell their oil at OPEC prices.

    Bush, Cheney, Exxon, BP, Texaco, and Blair cried about that for a while!!!

    they said "You mean we killed 500,000 and didn't get a PSA?"

    (made the last part up - the sociopaths didn't give a fuck as it turns out).

  • ||

    made the last part up - the sociopaths didn't give a fuck as it turns out

    So they are sociopaths who did it for no reason and they did it for oil?

    Anyone ever tell you that you are your own worse enemy?

  • ||

    So, um, when do the UFO's land in this narrative? And when does Elvis come back?

  • sevo||

    shrike|3.18.11 @ 5:46PM|#
    "...and that oil production does not benefit the USA."

    And the "evidence" is?
    shrike|3.18.11 @ 6:08PM|#
    "Instead they held off and created a Saudi-like national oil company where they sell their oil at OPEC prices."

    Translation from brain-dead:
    'The Iraq government is betting it can make more money without PSAs'
    That's all; the US benefits exactly as it would otherwise since oil is fungible, and if Iraq is wrong, Iraq loses. Their oil; their bet.

  • Paul||

    The new Iraqi Constitution is based on Sharia, they are aligned with Iran and the Shia' now, and that oil production does not benefit the USA.

    Ah, so it didn't benefit your little boiler-room day-trading operation. Now it all makes sense. Say 'hey' to Vin Diesel as you unass the building when the feds bust in.

  • SHrike, the ObamaWarPig||

    You lust after that Sharia Law, don't you shireekee?

  • sevo||

    "I gotta hear the explanation for this one."

    Shorter shriek:
    "I took it in the shorts".

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: shrike,

    The new Iraqi Constitution is based on Sharia,


    It's actually a hodgepodge of the Islamic and the Statist, leaning more towards Central Planning. Example:

    Second: Economic, Social and Cultural Liberties
    Article 22:
    First: Work is a right for all Iraqis in a way that guarantees a dignified life for them.
    Second: The law shall regulate the relationship between employees and employers on economic bases and while observing the rules of social justice.
    Third: The State shall guarantee the right to form and join unions and professional associations, and this shall be regulated by law.

    Article 25:
    The State shall guarantee the reform of the Iraqi economy in accordance with modern economic principles to insure the full investment of its resources, diversification of its sources, and the encouragement and development of the private sector.


    I wonder what the rules of social justice are like, or say, or mean.

  • ||

    For great justice!

  • ||

    What is your point? "Social justice" - I don't give a fuck about that.

    Kudos for you for actually looking it up and skipping over Section One - the Sharia part.

    Most wingnuts would recoil in shame if they knew Bushy-boy killed 4400 of our soldiers in support of Islamic Law.

  • ||

    You are so fucking stupid, shriek. It's truly amazing. How do you dress yourself?

  • sevo||

    "Most wingnuts would recoil in shame if they knew Bushy-boy killed 4400 of our soldiers in support of Islamic Law."

    How many does it take for brain-deads to feel shame for Obama-boy?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: shrike,

    What is your point?


    That the Iraquis would probably be better off with a Sharia Constitution than that socialist monstruosity given to them by the Bushes and their Harvard/Princeton-educated eggheads.

    You seem to focus on the wrong thing, or the more trivial. You will find few here that would have supported the invasion of Iraq.

  • nekoxgirl||

    So Iraqi is like the anti-Vietnam. Instead of fighting a war to keep a group of people from becoming communists, we fought a war to allow a group of people to become communists.

    Explains why their economy is still messed up I guess.

  • ||

    ---"Instead of fighting a war to keep a group of people from becoming communists, we fought a war to allow a group of people to become communists."---

    I thought one stated purpose of the Iraqi invasion was to allow the Iraqi people self-determination. If they want Sharia Law or to be communists, isn't that their perogative. This illustrates the danger in trying to build a nation. You don't know what you are going to get in the end. It isn't our place to "allow" any result, the final form of Govt. is up to the Iraqi people.

  • Tman||

    Based on Shariah, eh? Show me where Shariah law covers this-

    Rights and Freedoms

    the rule of law,[18][19] equality before the law,[20] equal opportunity,[21] privacy,[22] inalienable nationality and dual nationality,[23] judicial independence,[24] the prohibition on ex post facto laws,[24] right to counsel,[24] a public trial unless the court decides to make it a secret trial,[24] a presumption of innocence,[24] the right to participate in public affairs and the right to vote, to elect and to nominate,[25] freedom from extradition,[26] political asylum,[26] "economic, social and cultural liberties",[26] the right to work,[27] the right to join trade unions,[27] ownership of personal property,[28] eminent domain powers,[28] rights similar to the Four Freedoms (European Union),[29][30] minimum wage,[19] universal health care,[31] free education,[32] dignity,[33] freedom from psychological and physical torture and inhumane treatment and the right to compensation,[33] freedom from "compulsory service",[33] limited freedom of expression, freedom of the press, and freedom of assembly,[34] the right to engage in sports,[34] limited freedom of forming and of joining associations and political parties,[35] requirement of warrants for wiretaps,[36] freedom of religion,[37] freedom of thought, conscience and belief.[38]

    That isn't "based on Shariah law" stupid.

    they are aligned with Iran and the Shia' now

    They are? They are neighbors, and the Shia's most holiest sites are in Iraq. Did you expect them to ban Iranians from visiting?

    that oil production does not benefit the USA.

    That is seriously one of the dumbest things you've ever written on this webpage.

  • ||

    "Islam is the state religion and a basic foundation for the country's laws,[3] and no law may contradict the established provisions of Islam.[4]"

    Wikipedia - sourced by note (4) if you need it.

  • Tman||

    You're still an idiot.

    "Established provisions of Islam" does not automatically mean "Shariah law".

    You do realize that there are several Islamic nations that have constitutions which say the same thing yet aren't "based on Shariah law", right?

    I guess this is a rhetorical question.

  • Almanian||

    But it was sourced from Wikipedia!!!11!

  • Shrike's Other Face||

    "THE WORLD CAN'T WAIT!"

    "THE WORLD CAN'T WAIT!"

    "NOT IN MY NAME!"

    "NO BLOOD FOR OIL!"

    ("... wha -- ? Obama, this time...?")

    "THEY SHALL LAUD US AS LIBERATORS!"

    "THEY SHALL LAUD US AS LIBERATORS!"

  • Cytotoxic||

    The new Iraqi Constitution is based on Sharia

    Wrong.

  • ||

    I wish Obama had remained weak and indecisive.

    If he had we might not be getting into our third war.

    With Obama we get the worse of all worlds. Weak and indecisive on keeping his promises to end wars...strong and decisive when deciding to start new ones.

  • commentkazi||

    Well said.

  • SHrike's Pet Threatens WAR.||

    HaaaaaHHHaaa. Your boy is the best. Will he threaten his Saudi masters next?

  • SHrikie, there are 72 virgins.||

    waiting for you in paradise -- half are men and half are women. Only one thing you have to do.

  • (||

    Obama is a WAR CRIMINAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • ||

    And the socialist left is trying to act like Obama's reasons for bombing a country are totally different from Bush's.

  • Old Mexican||

    Nobel Peace Laureate Conducts Three-Front War in the Middle East


    Muammar Gaddafi has been handed a "non-negotiable ultimatum" by Barack Obama to accept an immediate ceasefire, pull back from Libyan rebel strongholds and permit humanitarian assistance – or face the full onslaught of UN-endorsed air strikes.


    There's no irony here - he wants to bring peace to the region!

    By brutal force. Nobody said that the Nobel Peace Price precludes one from being a warmonger and a murdering savage after receiving it, it's not a restraint!

  • RyanXXX||

    Who was it that said Henry Kissinger winning the Nobel Peace Prize was the death of political satire?

    I honestly can't remember where I heard it, but it's a great line.

  • Old Mexican||

    Supposedly it was said by Tom Lehrer.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Lehrer

  • RyanXXX||

    Has Gadaffi's response to this rebellion been significantly different than, say, Lincoln's was to Southern secession? If anything, Gadaffi has more of an excuse, since the rebels want to take the entire country, rather than form their own state.

    For that matter, is the Libyan dictator's response any different than those of our "allies" in Yemen and Bahrain?

    None of that is a defense of Gadaffi's regime. But double standards and hypocrisy seem to abound. IS there anyone truly "shocked" or "outraged" that a State would use all the means at its disposal to defend itself?

  • ||

    Has Gadaffi's response to this rebellion been significantly different than, say, Lincoln's was to Southern secession? If anything, Gadaffi has more of an excuse, since the rebels want to take the entire country, rather than form their own state.

    You forgot the part where the confederacy wanted to leave so they could keep slavery permanently and the civil war was necessary to end it. The Benghazi rebels aren't making slavery the cornerstone of their revolution.

    For that matter, is the Libyan dictator's response any different than those of our "allies" in Yemen and Bahrain?

    The difference in response may be explained by Gaddafi's history of antagonism with the US and the west (though in recent years they have made peace and normalized relations somewhat). Also there is a plausible case to be made that Gaddafi is more repressive than the governments of Yemen and Bahrain.

    For what it is worth, I think the UN should try to end the violence in those countries by mediating between the protesters and government, and helping to work out a way for the protesters' legitimate grievances to be addressed. This is not to say the US should get involved in Yemen or Bahrain. If a Security Council resolution comes of for a peacekeeping force or no-fly zone in those countries, the US could simply vote fot it or abstain, but would not need to participate.

    If the US is to try to improve the human rights situation in those countries, it should probably do so by threatening to withhold aid if they fail to make improvements and/or offering more aid as a reward if they do. I don't think the US should try to stop the violence in Yemen or Bahrain (or Libya) by putting boots on the ground.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Holy. Shit. Fighting for slavery is the same as fighting for freedom.

  • tarran||

    You realize that Lincoln supported an amendment to the constitution that would have made slavery permanent in the United States in a bid to convince the southerners not to secede?

    Lincoln had no problem with slavery in the south. His big problem was with southerners not paying the tariffs needed to pay for railroad subsidies, and he was willing to kill thousands of them and work thousands of their dlaves nearly to death building earthworks to ensure that the southerners kept paying those tariffs.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Licoln, like Jefferson, though slavery would wilt on the vine and he took action when he saw the opposite happen. He wasn't perfect but great men don't have to be.

  • ||

    He was so great, he decided blacks didn't need the right to vote. He was so great he was willing to kill 2% of the population to keep from having to change the number of stars on the flag.

    "My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. "

  • RyanXXX||

    Your childish view of the Civil War aside, the point is that all States, all rulers, will act to defend themselves. But for some reason, we're all supposed to pretend that Gaddaffi is special somehow

  • Cytotoxic||

    He is a dictator and that has no moral equivalence to Lincoln. Gaddhafi has no right to do anything whatsoever. Only free nations have sovereign rights.

  • RyanXXX||

    Lincoln had no right to deport and censor his political opponents, either. He was quite dictatorial. Ever heard of Sherman's march to the sea?

    You aren't making arguments, you're just spewing Objectivist bullshit. No, Gaddhafi has no right to act as he does. But Obama has no right to tax you and I to use our funds to bomb people who pose no threat to us.

    The rulers of Bahrain and Burma and Sudan have no rights either, morally. Are you advocating military action in those places?

  • Cytotoxic||

    Please read what BG has posted just below. Yes, Lincoln was quite dictatorial but he was still morally superior to Qaddafi. While you are correct about Obama having no right to tax us for this BS, I was talking about rights as they pertain to nationstates. At that level, all free countries have the right to invade, bomb, annex, or otherwise intervene in unfree nations suchas as Bahrain, Burma, or Sudan so long as the state is freer afterward. That does not mean that we should do so. I am NOT calling for that and am against America's intervention in Libya, although it is nice that the Qataris have showed up to help. For whatever reason.

  • ||

    I am not surprised that Gaddafi would prefer to stay in power. Most rulers prefer that; though some are not willing to go all in the way Gaddafi has when the tide turns against them (see Mubarak and Ben Ali).

    My point was that the Benghazi rebels are more sympathetic than the confederacy because the confederates seceded in order to preserve slavery permanently, while the Benghazi rebels are fighting to get rid of a dictator. The south was afraid that with the Republicans in power; new states admitted to the union would all be non-slave states. If a sufficient number of non-slave states entered, the abolitionists could have had enough of a supermajority to pass a constitutional amendment ending slavery. That is why the south's explanation for the causes of succession includes making slavery a permanent cornerstone of the new country. It was not about tariffs (which were low at the time).

  • Jess Asken||

    the US would help to co-ordinate a no-fly-zone, but not lead an operation

    Who is leading the operation?

  • It will be leaderless||

    so no one can be blamed if something goes awry.

  • ||

    Maybe its just me, but Obama issuing a non-negotiable ultimatum makes me chuckle.

    Especially a vague non-negotiable ultimatum. Pull back how far from which strongholds? Allow what kind of humanitarian assitance, by who, and for who?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: R C Dean,

    Maybe its just me, but Obama issuing a non-negotiable ultimatum makes me chuckle.


    I thought ultimatums were by definition non negotiable. Otherwise it would be called a proposal.

  • That definition||

    needs to be more unique.

  • Neu Mejican||

    That should be covered in the UN resolution. Not sure why this isn't the UN sending the message.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12782972

  • sevo||

    Neu Mejican|3.18.11 @ 5:41PM|#
    "...Not sure why this isn't the UN sending the message>

    Because they'd rather be taken seriously?

  • The Nobel Wonder Boy's....||

    ....handlers thought it would make him look like a strong, decisive leader.

  • The Nobel Wonder BULLY.||

    Isn't Obama supposed to be against bullying?

  • sevo||

    The Nobel Wonder BULLY.|3.18.11 @ 6:22PM|#
    "Isn't Obama supposed to be against bullying?"

    Dunno. What are the latest poll numbers?

  • Almanian||

    Yep, I love when Our President™ plays International Tuff Gai® with the "let me be clear" pronouncements. Just saw it on the teeeeeeeveeeeeeeee. My reaction: "God, he comes off as such a pussy...."

    Putin and Kim and whatshisname in China are no doubt quaking in their boots at his steely nerve and keen and decisive grasp of military strategy.

  • Tuff Bully Gai||

    You should see the Mexican drug cartel leaders peeing their pantelones.

  • seguin||

    Nothing's more dangerous than a weasel with its back against the wall.

  • Ahab the Arab||

    Three-Front War

    Four! Make it Four!

  • Old Mexican||

    "one, two, three, four, six!"
    "Five, sire!"
    "Right! Five!"

  • Almanian||

    "One, two, three
    What're we fightin' for?
    Ho ho
    I don't give a damn
    We're all headed to the Land of Islaaaaaam....

    Five, six, seven
    Open up the pearly gates
    Ain't no time to wonder why
    WHOOPEE!!!
    We're all gonna die...

  • Trespassers W||

    The UN? Isn't that that cabal that's supposed to be forcing the Amero on us? I thought that was a myth, like witches and albinos and stuff.

  • Johnny Winter||

    Albinos? What you talkin' 'bout, Willis?

  • Edgar Winter||

    Step off, Old Man.

  • Old Mexican||

    "Only an idiot fights a war on two fronts. Only the heir to the throne of the kingdom of idiots would fight a war on twelve fronts."

    Ambassador Londo Mollari of the Centauri Republic.

  • yonemoto||

    war in afghanistan
    war in iraq
    war in libya
    war on drugs
    war on poverty
    war on cancer
    war on illiteracy
    ...

  • ||

    Three front war is pretty premature at this point.

  • ||

    More like a brie-front war, what with the French involvement.

  • sevo||

    "with the French involvement."

    Strongly-worded letter (in *FRENCH*) with a threat of four guys and a pop-gun!

  • ||

    The French were tougher when they were Franks. Maybe they need a name change.

  • BakedPenguin||

    People forget about Napoleon. Of course, his big mistake was invading Spain, and adding a constant drain on his resources.

    Sounds kind of familiar, actually...

    Also, it's old, but SHRIEK!!!!11!!

  • Gauls were tuff muthas||

  • ||

    I forget nothing. That was an aberration. And he was a Corsican.

  • Enemy Of The Revolution||

    It will be interesting to see whether the French get as worked up over this that they did at the prospect of having to free-load off of other people for a slightly shorter portion of their lives.

  • db||

    I had some nice baked brie last night. Tasty.

  • ||

    By my math the global police has no front.

    The UN has decided that the US is now and forever in constant war everywhere with everyone.

  • The Bearded Hobbit||

    The UN has decided that the US is now and forever in constant war everywhere with everyone.

    But we've always been at war with Eurasia/Eastasia/Oceania!

    ... Hobbit

  • ||

    Anyone put a stop watch on how long it took a No-fly zone to turn into troops on the ground?

  • GSL||

    I was more struck by the similarity between this speech and the ultimatum Bush gave to Saddam just before launching the invasion. Especially the whole "Qaddafi has a choice" bit.

  • ||

    Plagiarism, too? Frankly, I'd rip off a better speaker than Bush, but that's just me.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    I have to admit I'd give him a +1 if he referenced anything from Jefferson.

  • Old Salt||

    I'd give the fucker +1000 if he'd give a reference to George Jefferson...

  • Barry and Michelle||

    "....to a dee-luxe apartment in the sky...."

  • George and Weezie||

    Get outta here, we worked for ours!

  • ||

    "Muammar Gaddafi has been handed a "non-negotiable ultimatum" by Barack Obama to accept an immediate ceasefire, pull back from Libyan rebel strongholds and permit humanitarian assistance – or face the full onslaught of UN-endorsed air strikes."

    Generally speaking, the effective strategy with bullies is 1) you punch them in the nose and then 2) you threaten them.

    If you threaten them first before punching them in the nose? It's almost never taken seriously. It's very, very important to get the sequence right.

    Making threats is what women and children do. Threats make us look weak.

    I like the return of the Powell Doctrine by the way. ...but the Powell Doctrine wasn't about making threats.

    I'm sorry we didn't get Qadaffi back when Reagan bombed him the first time. Nothing wrong with bombing somebody and then threatening something more significant if he doesn't back the hell up.

    If Obama's gonna commit ground troops, then he should ask Congress first...in the meantime? I don't understand why we haven't hit all of Gaddafi's outdated air defenses with missiles already.

    This isn't like Iraq! That's one of the reasons Iraq was so stupid! This isn't the Pottery Barn rule now... We don't have to fix it! The aftermath is for the people of Libya and the UN to deal with now. ...which is perfect. We can turn our reputation in that area around without even deploying any U.S. troops! It's the UN's problem now. Using them as an escape mechanism is situations like this is the only thing the UN is good for!

    Why haven't the missiles targeting Libya's air defenses already been launched?

  • ||

    If Obama's gonna commit ground troops, then he should ask Congress first

    Why are ground troops so special?

    Shouldn't he also ask congress for warships and airplanes?

    Seems when Obama goes to war he is actually worse then Bush....W at least got permission from congress first.

  • Zeb||

    "Why are ground troops so special?"

    They tend to get shot and blown up more often, for one thing. Warships and airplanes are much more politically palatable.

  • ||

    I mean in terms of constitutional authority.

    The constitution did not reserve the rights of congress to declare war only when blood is at risk....War also involves monetary costs and giving the president special powers that do limit the rights of citizens and can effect trade and alliances with foreign governments.

    Anyway Ken is a smart guy and he knows what i mean...i should probably read what he said before i say that though.

  • ||

    Because we can take their air defenses and naval threats out with missiles--at no risk of our troops' lives. And once those targets are gone? The risk to our troops pilots is minimal.

    Committing troops on the ground means a couple of nasty things. 1) It means our troops on the ground are in danger and 2) it means we're occupying that ground and are responsible for the aftermath of what goes on there.

    How many troops did we lose by enforcing a no-fly zone over Kurdistan before the Iraq War?

    As compared to how many troops we lost during the Iraq War? That's a big difference.

    How responsible was the United States for what happened on the ground to the people of Kurdistan when we were enforcing the no-fly zone?

    As compared to how responsible we were for what happened to the people and government of Iraq when we committed ground troops? That was a big difference.

    The people who are due to be massacred by the Gaddafi regime don't have the time to sit around and wait for the U.S. Congress to debate for weeks about the merits of what should have been ordered yesterday.

    Gaddafi will massacre those people as soon as he gets a chance. I'm not willing to risk any significant American casualties on the ground in Libya--and certainly not in a long drawn out occupation while the Libyan people try to set up a new government.

    But dropping some missiles on some anti-aircraft batteries, and then bombing the hell out Gadaffi's forces who are on their way to massacre thousands of people for wanting to be free of his thuggery?

    I don't think it's in the best long term security interests of the American people to stand by, do nothing and watch that happen.

    You want to expose thousands of American troops to the danger of a land commitment--you need to ask the American people for permission first. ...but if you have the international agreements behind you already to do what's in the best interest of the American people? And the threat to our troops is almost negligable? Don't wait around for me to write a letter to my congressman telling him what I think. Just do it!

  • ||

    Sooooo.....

    Why again should Obama be allowed to use planes and warships and missiles without congresses authority?

    Are you saying the president has a license to kill so long as US forces are not at risk? When they are at lower risk?

    If so can you point out where in the constitution this provision is found.

  • ||

    I'm saying that if the President isn't committing much in the way of treasure and isn't committing hardly anything in terms of the risk to our troops...?

    That within the context of our pre-existing international agreements, I'm willing to give him a lot of latitude when it comes to acting in accordance with American interests.

    I'm a big believer in the Powell Doctrine. Especially point # 5...

    "#5. Is there a plausible exit strategy to avoid endless entanglement?"

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Powell_doctrine

    Surely, there must be some situations in which it's in the best interests of the United States to act--without necessarily making the United States the enemy of the state of Libya or making the eternal destiny of Libya somehow the United States' problem to solve for now and ever more!

    A lot of it's about avoiding that outcome for me. I wasn't too happy about the precedent of us invading the sovereign state of Panama--but if that was a bad thing, it was made a whole lot better by the fact that we stuck to Powell Doctrine and our exit strategy and got the hell out of there.

    That was one of my biggest beefs with Iraq. It completely ignored the wisdom of the Powell Doctrine. Not only did we not have an exit strategy in place before we went in? George W. Bush purposely burned all exits like Cortez scuttled his ship--so that there would be no way out but victory.

    I don't know if we're ever gonna get out of Iraq now...

    So, that's the main concern from me, and always has been. I'm not interested in getting into anything that involves a lot of American casualties, a whole ton of treasure, and what may be an eternal commitment without Congressional approval...

    Somehow, however, I think our president should be able to chase Pancho Villa without declaring war on the nation of Mexico--without having to go to congress for approval.

    There are times when time is of the essence, and it seems to me that this is one of those times. Gadaffi isn't going to wait around for Congress to get its act together. ...and I'm not sure it's necessary for him to do so.

    I think sitting around and doing nothing while Gadaffi slaughters the rebels could mean bad things for American security in the very near future. We have a chance to be on the side of good here in the eyes of the Arab and Muslim world, and I don't see why the president should need a congressional mandate to do what's in our best interest if it doesn't involve a troop deployment, doesn't involve much in the way of treasure--and it doesn't involve a long term commitment.

    I realize too that if we're trying to make a play for the hearts and minds of moderate Muslims everywhere, that the United States declaring war on the nation of Libya may ruin whatever advantage we were hoping to gain.

    Our beef isn't with the nation of Libya. It's with Gadaffi. So, why declare war on the nation of Libya if it's in our best interest not to do so?

  • ||

    If you remember my opposition to the Iraq War, most of it was about it being strategically foolish.

    I thought that what we were doing was going to end up in an eternal commitment, and I thought what we were doing was likely to strengthen our real adversary in the region--who really was a state sponsor of terrorism, who really did have a nuclear program!

    Even my critique of the Torture Memo and Abu Ghraib wasn't just about the immorality on display--it was the strategic blunder!

    George W. Bush and his merry band of stupid lawyers made such a blunder with torture--they did what I didn't think was possible! Torturing those people that way from Abu Ghraib, waterboarding people, treating them that way at Guantanamo--actually made Muslims all over the world feel sorry for terrorists!

    That was a stupid thing to do on that point alone!

    What does that have to do with what we're talking about here?

    I used to ask those of you around here who were defending the Bush Administration on torture at the time--don't you think this is stupid what he's done? Isn't shooting ourselves in the foot with the Muslim world a stupid thing to do if we want to win the War on Terror?

    And the Bush Administration's defenders would almost invariably chirp back with, "But it's all perfectly legal!"

    But legality wasn't the question! The question was whether it was stupid--not whether it was legal. There are millions of stupid things people can do that are perfectly legal--even if something is legal, that doesn't mean it's smart...

    Now that Barack Obama has a UN authorization to take out Gaddafi's anti-air batteries and enforce a no-fly zone, just like it was with Bush, my first question if he goes ahead and does it isn't going to be about whether it's legal!

    Not doing anything and watching Gadaffi slaughter civilians and rebels alike, while the Muslim and Arab worlds watch us sitting on our hands? I think that would be really stupid given what we're up against in the world right now.

    And if the United States Congress declaring war on the Arab and Muslim nation of Libya is a stupid thing to do for the American people? Then whether doing the smart thing is legal or constitutional or not just isn't my primary concern.

    If he wants to commit troops on the ground, I want to see Congress involved.

  • ||

    I realize too that if we're trying to make a play for the hearts and minds of moderate Muslims everywhere, that the United States declaring war on the nation of Libya may ruin whatever advantage we were hoping to gain.

    Our beef isn't with the nation of Libya. It's with Gadaffi. So, why declare war on the nation of Libya if it's in our best interest not to do so?

    War is a temporary status, and is ultimately directed at the current government and military structure of the country it is declared against. Keep in mind that every nation the US has ever declared war on (or its successor state) is now an ally. (UK, Mexico, Spain, Germany twice, Austria, Hungary, Turkey, Japan)

  • ||

    and Italy...

  • ||

    Say that all you want--and really mean it for all I care.

    It doesn't matter whether I believe it.

    It's whether the people of the Muslim world believe it, many of whom have a funny thing about non-Muslim countries declaring war on Muslim countries...

    That's the important audience here.

    Not Ken Shultz. Not Americans who are upset about the Obama Administration not dotting its "i"'s according to the Constitution.

    If the U.S. declaring war on a Muslim state is not in the best interests of the United States, then we shouldn't do it.

    We should defend the civilians of Libya from slaughter if its in our best interest to do so--in accordance with international accords if it's in our best interest to do so...

    Regardless of whether some Americans think we shouldn't do the smart thing because it isn't technically constitutional.

  • ||

    The Kafduggy regime is not really a Muslim regime, any more than the US government is a Christian regime. Libya is currently ruled by a secular regime that is hated by most Muslims (the flerking Arab League wants him gone for chrissakes). Your worries about the reaction to declaring war (as opposed to warmaking without such declaration) are pretty weak tea, imho.

  • ||

    And really, what justification do you have for saying that Muslims would react differently to a declaration of war from Japanese, Germans, and Italians? It's not like time healed old wounds in those cases; they were staunch allies within a couple of years after the cessation of hostilities. And we were actually bombing them and killing their children in the army, not merely fighting against someone of the same religion.

  • ||

    It's whether the people of the Muslim world believe it, many of whom have a funny thing about non-Muslim countries declaring war on Muslim countries...

    I see no problem with congress giving war authority and calling it another name.

    Peace Keeping operation, humanitarian intervention...

    Bush in my opinion did get Congressional authorization for what he did....i the time i supported and now i think it was a bad idea but at least it met the constitutional mandate.

    The important point is congressional approval.

  • ||

    ---"That was one of my biggest beefs with Iraq. It completely ignored the wisdom of the Powell Doctrine."---

    That was one of my biggest beefs with Iraq. It completely ignored the wisdom of the Constitution and the Authority of Congress to Declare War.

  • ||

    Again, if it was stupid, I don't really care about whether it was legal.

    Rule #1: Don't do stupid things.

    Things can be stupid to do because they're illegal, but that rule's gotta be down in the 30s or 40s somewhere.

    There are lots of situations I can think of where I might have to do something that was technically illegal because it was smart--breaking and entering a burning house to save a baby for instance!

    But I can't think of any situation in which doing something stupid is smart just because it's legal!

    Legality is always [insert president]'s first response to questioning their judgment though--just about every time.

    President Clinton? Was accepting a $300,000 campaign contribution that was at best embezzled from the taxpayer bailout of Madison Guaranty a smart thing to do?

    President Clinton's response was always that it was perfectly legal--as if that mattered.

    Mr. Bush, the waterboarding, and the new "interrogation techniques" approved at Abu Ghraib--which was Saddam Hussein's former torture facility--wasn't that a stupid thing to do strategically if we wanted to win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people?

    President Bush's response was and is that what he did was perfectly legal--as if that mattered!

    Consistency may be the last refuge of the unimaginative--but legality is the last refuge of stupid behavior.

    Regardless of whether Libya is a legal thing to do, so long as it doesn't involve huge contributions from the American taxpayer or the commitment of American troops on the ground, I'll be judging what we do in Libya based on whether it's smart rather than legal.

  • Tman||

    Ken,

    I still think you deliberately downplay the fact that Saddam was absolutely a threat to the US and was already actively engaged in shooting at our pilots when we tried to keep him from gassing the Kurds again.

    For nostalgia, let's read the AUMF for Iraq in 2002-Iraq Resolution


    * Iraq's noncompliance with the conditions of the 1991 cease fire, including interference with weapons inspectors.
    * Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction, and programs to develop such weapons, posed a "threat to the national security of the United States and international peace and security in the Persian Gulf region."
    * Iraq's "brutal repression of its civilian population."
    * Iraq's "capability and willingness to use weapons of mass destruction against other nations and its own people".
    * Iraq's hostility towards the United States as demonstrated by the alleged 1993 assassination attempt of former President George H. W. Bush, and firing on coalition aircraft enforcing the no-fly zones following the 1991 Gulf War.
    * Members of al-Qaeda, an organization bearing responsibility for attacks on the United States, its citizens, and interests, including the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, are known to be in Iraq.
    * Iraq's "continu[ing] to aid and harbor other international terrorist organizations," including anti-United States terrorist organizations.
    * The efforts by the Congress and the President to fight terrorists, and those who aided or harbored them.
    * The authorization by the Constitution and the Congress for the President to fight anti-United States terrorism.
    * Citing the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998, the resolution reiterated that it should be the policy of the United States to remove the Saddam Hussein regime and promote a democratic replacement.

    Everything on that list was true except for the warehouses full of mustard gas that everyone thought was the ONLY reason we were after Saddam.

    Deliberate obfuscation of these facts is a cheap way that people criticized Bush, but the results are beginning to speak for themselves. The Iraqi people -the ones I've spoken with anyways- tell me that Iraq is much better off with Saddam gone. The US is much better off with him gone too.

    And honestly, since the Middle East is currently about as stable as a hotel room full of supermodels who've had all their drugs and makeup taken away, you have to admit that no Saddam is one less asshole to worry about.

  • ||

    * Iraq's noncompliance with the conditions of the 1991 cease fire, including interference with weapons inspectors.

    Weak tea. We'd be at war with half the world if this were a rationale for war.

    * Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction, and programs to develop such weapons, posed a "threat to the national security of the United States and international peace and security in the Persian Gulf region."

    False.

    * Iraq's "brutal repression of its civilian population."

    None of our biz.

    * Iraq's "capability and willingness to use weapons of mass destruction against other nations and its own people".

    False.

    * Iraq's hostility towards the United States as demonstrated by the alleged 1993 assassination attempt of former President George H. W. Bush, and firing on coalition aircraft enforcing the no-fly zones following the 1991 Gulf War.

    Weak. Again, wars over that stuff would be a full-time job.

    * Members of al-Qaeda, an organization bearing responsibility for attacks on the United States, its citizens, and interests, including the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, are known to be in Iraq.
    * Iraq's "continu[ing] to aid and harbor other international terrorist organizations," including anti-United States terrorist organizations.

    False. The al-Qaeda affiliated camp in Iraq that the straw-grasping neocons cite was actually in the Kurdish region that was de facto independent of Sadddam.

    * The efforts by the Congress and the President to fight terrorists, and those who aided or harbored them.
    * The authorization by the Constitution and the Congress for the President to fight anti-United States terrorism.
    * Citing the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998, the resolution reiterated that it should be the policy of the United States to remove the Saddam Hussein regime and promote a democratic replacement.

    These aren't rationales for war, so I'm not sure why you included them.

  • Tman||

    We'd be at war with half the world if this were a rationale for war.

    No dictator had a worse record in the last 30 years of ignoring international agreements than Saddam. Not even close. As PJ O'Rourke put it, Saddam had earned the "lifetime achievement award for evil". This doesn't describe "half the world".

    False.

    Saddam gassed the Kurds and the Iranians, several times. Absolutely he was a threat to the region.

    None of our biz.

    Maybe not, but it was a fact.

    False.

    This was also a fact. True.

    Weak. Again, wars over that stuff would be a full-time job.

    Again, where else did we have no-fly zones? What other countries attempted a state sponsored assassination of one of our former presidents? This is not false or weak.

    False. The al-Qaeda affiliated camp in Iraq that the straw-grasping neocons cite was actually in the Kurdish region that was de facto independent of Sadddam.

    Abu Musab al-Zarqawi

    These aren't rationales for war, so I'm not sure why you included them.

    I will agree to disagree. I'm not trying to convince you one way or the other, but the US Congress laid out factual reasons for why we went to war in Iraq and passed the AUMF with bi-partisan support.

  • Cytotoxic||

    I am sympathetic to Ken, but I have to take a diametrically opposed position: I was in favor and do not at all regret the Iraq invasion (just the admittedly successful but expensive occupation) and am, with much inner pain, against the US role in Libya (although it is thankfully very limited). I am a little more ambiguous about what Europe's doing; they can do what they want as far as I am concerned just don't come crying to America.

    I remember reading up on an NRO article detailing AQ's and Iraq's connections. I am skeptical of some claims but I wouldn't be surprised if the normally MSM-averse Reason is just bobbing its head in agreement because it likes what it heres from the MSM.

    @Tman: are you sure Zarqawi was in Iraq or getting benefits from Iraq before the invasion?

  • Tman||

    @cytotoxic:

    It wasn't just getting benefits from Saddam, it was Zarqawi supervising the flow of Jihadists in from Syria and Afghanistan. Our initial push against the Taliban pushed not only Zarqawi but a whole bunch of other dirtbags in to various areas of Iraq since they knew they were safe there.

    Saddam actually made attempts to barter with some of them as "captured terrorists" to hand to the US to prove he was clean but he knew that he'd still have to deal with inspections anyways.

    There were a BUNCH of Zarqawi like assholes that were in Iraq prior to our regime change, and plenty of evidence that Saddam had been using them for years. The Fedayeen militia were like Saddam's Islamic Terrorist Mod-squad.

  • ||

    Links?

    Preferably not WND.

  • ||

    The Kurd and Iran gassings were 15-20 years before the invasion of Iraq. It's kind of hard to claim that Iraq was capable of threatening others with WMD when he had none and no programs to develop them. So, both are false.

    And you'll find boilerplate about "bipartisan support" for your position doesn't help your cause much amongst libertarians. Bipartisan support is a bad sign if anything.

  • Tman||

    It's kind of hard to claim that Iraq was capable of threatening others with WMD when he had none and no programs to develop them.

    Statement by Hans Blix to the UN security council-2003

    I would now like to turn to the so-called "Air Force document" that I have discussed with the Council before. This document was originally found by an Unscom inspector in a safe in Iraqi Air Force Headquarters in 1998 and taken from her by Iraqi minders. It gives an account of the expenditure of bombs, including chemical bombs, by Iraq in the Iraq-Iran War. I am encouraged by the fact that Iraq has now provided this document to Unmovic.

    The document indicates that 13,000 chemical bombs were dropped by the Iraqi Air Force between 1983 and 1988, while Iraq has declared that 19,500 bombs were consumed during this period. Thus, there is a discrepancy of 6,500 bombs. The amount of chemical agent in these bombs would be in the order of about 1,000 tonnes. In the absence of evidence to the contrary, we must assume that these quantities are now unaccounted for.

    The discovery of a number of 122 mm chemical rocket warheads in a bunker at a storage depot 170 km southwest of Baghdad was much publicized. This was a relatively new bunker and therefore the rockets must have been moved there in the past few years, at a time when Iraq should not have had such munitions.

    Again, that statement is true.

    As far as the point about bi-partisanship is concerned I was using it to show that our elected leaders knew what the facts were and acted accordingly. You may disagree with their decision, but it doesn't change the facts.

  • ||

    "I still think you deliberately downplay the fact that Saddam was absolutely a threat to the US and was already actively engaged in shooting at our pilots when we tried to keep him from gassing the Kurds again."

    That was one hell of a price we (and the Iraqi people) paid for somebody shooting at our pilots.

    Saddam Hussein gassing Kurds? That was in 1988. If that wasn't a good enough reason to occupy Iraq in 1991, why was what Saddam Hussein did to the Kurds in 1988 a good reason to occupy Iraq in 2003?

    I think you're underplaying the countervailing role Iraq played in keeping Iran in check. If the Iraqi people are glad we bombed and occupied their country (something I doubt, quite frankly, given common sense and the fact that millions of Iraqis have fled the country since we invaded), then that's great news!

    But when I judge what we did in Iraq, I'm much more interested in what it did for the United States...

    Much of Iraq is essentially in Iran's orbit now. I don't know how to spin that in a way that makes it seem like good news for the United States.

    Our being bogged down in Iraq--if anything--has emboldened Iran to pursue its nuclear weapons program. Ever since the day we invaded, we've been responsible for keeping a powder keg under control--and the Iranians can light that fuse whenever they like...

    I can't spin that fact in any way that makes it seem like that's good news for the United States either!

    4,404 American troops died in the war, another 31,827 were wounded, and we spent a trillion dollars out of our future paychecks--and what did the United States get for that?

    *A power vacuum for Iran to fill.

    *The United States lost prestige, not just among our allies in Europe but throughout the Muslim world as well.

    *Nothing we did there stopped terrorism--in fact it inflamed and emboldened terrorism.

    *We did nothing there to stop the proliferation of WMD--in fact, I'd argue with emboldened Iran to pursue a nuclear program.

    Again, I don't give a crap about whether Iraq was legal. Anybody who thinks legality somehow justifies doing stupid things with predictably stupid outcomes--because it's legal? Is somebody I don't ever want making business decisions for me.

    How much does it cost? What do we get for it?

    We shoot some cruise missiles and offer some air support to an international coalition against Libya, without committing ground forces or troops? That's a low cost investment with a high probability of return in terms of fostering international cooperation in our fight with Muslim extremists and terrorism.

    The first step in being able to make good decisions is being able to tell the difference between good decision and bad decisions--and whether something is legal is only one consideration of many.

    I never make an investment unless I know how I'm getting out of it if it doesn't work out. When I buy land to develop buildings for lease and eventually sale? I don't buy it if I don't think I can sell the land once it's mapped for more than it cost me to buy and map.

    Iraq might have been different if we'd been able to get the UN's support and then turned Iraq over the UN once Saddam Hussein was gone!

    Again, we got in trouble there because we ignored the Powell Doctrine. If there's anything at all we should learn from Iraq, it's that the Powell Doctrine is always right. There is wisdom there we should never forget again. It would have saved us from our worst mistakes in Vietnam, and it would have saved us from some of our worst mistakes in Iraq.

    Whatever mistakes we make in Libya (if we make mistakes in Libya) can only be so bad--since we're following the Powell Doctrine. We haven't seen the end of Iraq yet. ...not by a long shot.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Ugh, there is no chestnut more tiresome than the one where Iraq kept Iran in check. It did nothing of the sort. Iran was pursuing nukes before the invasion and had been funding terrorism for the decades before. Also, there is nothing to substantiate the claim that Iraq is in Iran's orbit. The Shiite groups such as the Sadrists have been routed and Iyad Allawi holds the biggest bloc of seats. I wouldn't be surprised to see him PM someday soon.

  • ||

    It's nice to see that the assembly is no longer under the control of a group that called itself "The Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq", isn't it?

    Because if what we got for our treasure and soldiers lives and limbs was a government controlled by a political party that was started by and financed by the state of Iran--that would be really tragic, wouldn't it?

    ...and that's what we had right up until 2010. So, is this what you were saying between 2005 and 2010? Were you pointing to the Iraqi people electing "The Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq" as a victory against Iranian influence?

    "The Iranian Islamic revolutionary government arranged for the formation of SCIRI [The Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq], which was based in exile in Tehran and under the leadership of Mohammad-Baqir al-Hakim."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I.....il_of_Iraq

    And as far as Iraq not acting as a bulwark against Iran--that's laughable. Why do you think the United States was coddling Saddam Hussein during the Cold War?

    Why do you think the Saudis and Kuwaitis were loaning Iraq tons of money to fight Revolutionary Iran?

    Oh, and in regards to our occupation of Iraq not having anything to do with emboldening Iran in its nuclear weapons program? Correspondence may not necessarily imply logical causation--but it sure as hell doesn't rule it out!

    Iran agreed in principle to submit to inspectors to assuage the world's concerns about its nuclear program--only to turn around and ramp their program up big time in 2004 as we were struggling with the insurgency in Iraq.

    Again, whatever out of date terrorists of yesteryear Hussein may have been harboring, and whatever donations he may have made to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers--his support of terrorism pales in comparison to Iran's state support for terrorism.

    Saddam Hussein was falsely accused of procuring yellowcake in Niger--but Iran was the real deal!

    Anybody who thinks Iran's hand hasn't been strengthened since the U.S.-Iraq War isn't giving an honest assessment of what happened.

    Oh, and if you know for sure that the Iraqi people aren't ever going to vote back in those Muslim extremists--then that's great! You should go into palm reading!

    ...but if you didn't think Iran's influence hadn't increased in Iraq when an Iran initiated and backed political party was in control of the Iraqi assembly--right up until months ago?!

    You're blind.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Whoah whoah woah. Yes, Iraq was a great anti-Iranian ally. That power ended after the first Gulf War (which I think was a mistake for America to get involved in). But it just wasn't doing that anymore.

    FWIW, I want the US to withdraw troops from Iraq right now. To invade Iran with overwhelming force. I don't see any reason to tolerate either the Mullahs or Baathists.

    We don't know where Iran would be today, but I really doubt Sadaam's decrepit old regime would hinder it more than his footsy with Islamic Totalitarianism hinders us.

    SCIRI is bad, but it's only a part of the government. I see no indication of Iraqis moving towards Islamism.

  • ||

    Why don't we just invade every country on the planet? The world needs a reset button.

  • Esteban||

    As someone who has described himself as conservative but has moved towards libertarianism in almost all fronts, except foreign policy, I want to understand the libertarian view on this. Are most libertarians pacifist? Is defense the only justification for military action? Does the United States or any nation, or the community of nations, have any responsibility to intervene to prevent atrocities? Does the level of acceptable military action depend on the budget situation. I am asking all this genuinely, and I understand there is no 'libertarian' position on this, but I want to get a general feeling.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Esteban,

    Are most libertarians pacifist?


    Vonluntarysts, believers in not initiating aggression or violence. it's not the same as "pacifist." I am certainly more than willing to blow your head off if you even dare enter my house uninvited.

    Is defense the only justification for military action?


    Well, it has been used as justification so often by those that send troops overseas: "They want to kill us!!!" So what's the difference?

    Does the United States or any nation, or the community of nations, have any responsibility to intervene to prevent atrocities?


    Only individuals have responsibilities. Countries are nothing more than political constructs.

    Individuals have a responsibility to not infringe on other individuals' rights. If some do not, then you as an individual can always offer your help.

    Does the level of acceptable military action depend on the budget situation.


    Shit - what doesn't?

  • Esteban||

    By 'defense', I suppose I meant do you have to be attacked first? What kind of threat does a country need to show in order to justify attacking them before they attack you?

    While it's tempting to view everything from an idividualist point of view, it would be virtually impossible to have a viable national defense against an invading enemy if a nation acted accordingly.

    This is an issue that while I think I shifted somewhat, that I just can't come around on. Thanks for the response though.

  • yonemoto||

    I'd say you wouldn't have to be attacked first. If some country says via diplomatic channels, "we declare war on you, prepare to die" you can go ahead and take 'em out.

  • yonemoto||

    (I.E. what Japan tried to do on december 7 1941)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E.....gotiations

  • ||

    Libertarians are not pacifists, but work on the non-aggression principle. If one extends this principle to foreign affairs, you would never attack another country unless it attacked you first. Preventing atrocities is not our business.

  • Esteban||

    You always have to respond to an attack?

    I think the United States benefits from a freer and more open world. I don't think that means that we have to intervene in every situation where rights are attacked and atrocities are committed, but I do think that in limited circumstances, it is the right thing to do.

  • ||

    Please describe your criteria for when it "is the right thing to do". In detail.

  • Esteban||

    See, like now, with Libya where we will have a limited role with support from other nations. I don't think this is an egregious misuse of the American military.

  • Esteban||

    Must you always throw the counterpunch? Again, I'm not trying to argue, I'm trying to see where you're coming from.

  • ||

    I'm trying to get you to see that your nebulous definition of "when it's the right thing to do" is ripe for abuse, misuse, lies (Iraq, anyone?), and meddling.

  • Esteban||

    Sure, which is a good reason to be skeptical. I think it's impossible to have a concrete rule for when to intervene, as every situation is completely different.

    And again, must a country always throw the counter punch?

  • Jim||

    I think, Esteban, that you're putting a lot of emphasis on the "we" and "us" mentality. I gotta tell you, I'm borderline AnCap (still some things about it I question, but seems to be the most consistent position), and I don't consider myself tied to other Americans, part of some greater communal whole, just because of some lines drawn on a map.

    In keep with that, I fail to see how a dictator behaving how dictators generally behave on the other side of the world immediately impacts my family or myself. If a plurality of people want to volunteer their time and treasure to go fight him, then by all means. But don't involve me and my tax dollars in it. Frankly, I don't even think 9/11 had anything to do with me. No one I know lives anywhere near where that happened. When a Libyan committs aggression against me or someone I care about, then I will do something about it. Until then, I really don't care what they're up to over there.

  • Esteban||

    That's reasonable, but I think I just disagree. I'm from NYC, and though I didn't know anybody injured or killed in the attacks, it still affects me in that terrorist attacks are in the back of mind.

  • ||

    I lived in Manhattan on 9/11. The terrorist attacks are never in the back of my mind. It was 10 years ago. Why would you hold on to it so strongly?

  • Esteban||

    Who knows? maybe it's the sound of planes that fly over my house everyday on their way to LaGuardia.

  • Jim||

    I understand why you would want to punish the people responsible for the attacks then, but I don't think it should include forcing me to participate in said retribution. I just don't think of myself as a "fellow American". I'm just me.

  • ||

    though I didn't know anybody injured or killed in the attacks, it still affects me in that terrorist attacks are in the back of mind.

    THAT's your justification for incinerating innocent women and children?! The demons in the back of your head?

    Most Palestinians, Iraqis, and Afghanis do in fact know someone who's been injured or killed in attacks by US or Israeli forces, but I daresay you probably don't approve of them reacting to that by killing innocent civilians. Apparently only Americans' troubles justify a response, once again.

  • Esteban||

    That wasn't a justification for anything. That was just a response to what Jim said about 9/11. I made no claims about anything in that regard. On the other hand, there is a difference between knocking down two commercial and civilian filled buildings and the civilians that we have unintentionally killed. I've also said here on Reason that I don't think it's necessarily terrorism for Iraqis/ Palestinians/ Afghans/ whoever to attack military forces.

  • ||

    Yes, there is a difference, but as our friend RC Dean applies to every other issue besides "collateral damage", foreseeable consequences are not unintended. It's a well-known fact that air strikes kill civilians along with (or given the sloppiness of some of our target selection, instead of) the targets.

    When you make the decision for air strikes, you are deciding to kill innocent people. Now, in the abstract, perhaps there is some overarching reason behind the air strikes that justifies that. But there was never a good reason to do so in Iraq and hasn't been in Afghanistan since 2002.

  • Cytotoxic||

    But there was never a good reason to do so in Iraq and hasn't been in Afghanistan since 2002

    America has every right to kill whomever it needs to in these regions. The enemy here is anti-freedom and has no right cause to fight for. The blame for all civilians casualties lies with the enemy.

  • ||

    Keep telling yourself that.

  • Cytotoxic||

    I will because it's true. Beats whinging about "America...guns..teh EVIL!11"

  • RyanXXX||

    So, Esteban, do you favor these kinds of humanitarian, human-rights crusades in country's that can actually fight back? Should the U.N. have taken action against China after Tienamen?

    Should we take action against the rulers of Yemen and Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, who are acting just as ruthlessly as Gadaffi under similar circumstances?

    What's so special about Libya? What about the Congo and Burma?

    Or do you only favor humanitarianism when the bad guy is (or used to be) anti-American and third-world?

  • Esteban||

    It would be nice to have a perfectly principled foreign policy, but I don't think it's possible. Of course it's easier to intervene in situations where there is less chance of counterattack and where a possible intervention wouldn't harm the interest of the US.
    In this case, intervention in Libya has been backed by the UN and the Arab League and doesn't include ground troops.

  • ||

    Tell me Esteban, what's preventing us from simply minding our own business unless there's evidence another country is planning an attack against us? How is that "impossible"?

  • Bradley||

    At least he didn't say it was "unserious".

  • Esteban||

    If you believe that it's possible to use military in an offensive manner (ie, you are not reacting to an attack on your soil), and I think I do, it's not possible to have a completely principled and uncompromising foreign policy. It's not realistic to say that we can only intervene in Libya if we are willing to intervene every time there is a similar situation. And yes naturally, given that there are limited resources, we have to prioritize and determine places where military action is needed and the desired outcome is likely.

  • BakedPenguin||

    It's not realistic to say that we can only intervene in Libya if we are willing to intervene every time there is a similar situation.


    No? Why not? I have to think you feel that way because you want to intervene whenever you think a situation is "really bad" or whatever.

    That's the point - the government can't fix broken households where the dad is a drunk, the mom sleeps around, and the kids don't get the attention they need.

    Similarly, our government can't fix countries where the leaders brutalize their people, the people have no understanding of what individual rights mean, and they have no concept of freedom.

    Your version of foreign policy is the flip side of the liberal vision of the Great Society. Once you get that, it will fall into place.

  • Esteban||

    Panama seems to be doing ok (though, yes we may helped create the Noriega situation)

  • Plate-O||

    Not to mention that the atrocities themselves might have been oversold. Initial reports of 1000s dead and Quadaffi using mustard gas on his own people appear to have been exaggerated. The rebellion was started when security and army forces opened fire on unarmed demonstrators. Essentially the same thing that is occuring in our allies like Yeman and Bharain.

  • DRM||

    Libertarians are not pacifists, but work on the non-aggression principle. If one extends this principle to foreign affairs, you would never attack another country unless it attacked you first.

    How the hell do you reach that conclusion? Countries are not atomic entities; the Westphalian order is not a law of nature. When a state's forces commit atrocities against the state's own people, it's just as much aggression as when it commits atrocities against Americans.

    When the United States extracts money by force from its citizens to pay for a war, and when the United States kills innocents in pursuing the war, the non-aggression principle does not make any distinction in doing so as a response to an attack on Pearl Harbor as opposed to doing so as a response to an attack on Misrata.

    There are prudential reasons to treat such situations differently, but the non-aggression principle doesn't distinguish the cases in the slightest.

  • ||

    I asked these same questions here in 2004 and 2005 and 2006....during that time i supported The Iraq and the Afghanistan wars.

    I did not get very good answers here form the comments or from the reason writers.

    The best answers I got came from Ron Paul. I suggest you go back and read and listen and watch what he said during form 2001 to 2011 on the subject of intervention.

    that said i have this to say to you:

    This will end badly. It will cost us blood and money. Government fails with everything else it takes on from energy policy to health care to retirement to affordable housing why do you think it is somehow going to pull unicorns and fairies out of its ass simply because it involves the military flying under a flag of liberation?

  • Esteban||

    There have been positive outcomes to our military interventions.

  • sevo||

    Esteban|3.18.11 @ 6:44PM|#
    "There have been positive outcomes to our military interventions."

    Not sure about this. Governments love war; all wars increase the power of the warring government to the detriment of that government's population's liberty.
    I guess Hitler (GODWIN!) had to be stopped, but it doesn't take a lot of reading to realize that we allied ourselves with, and propped up, at least one bastard who had only a hidden antisemitism to make him preferable.
    And given the Nazi economy, it's not hard to figure he was gonna run out of steam trying to 'take over the world'.

  • ||

    it's not hard to figure he was gonna run out of steam trying to 'take over the world'.

    Given the stupidity of the New Deal administration I would say the possibility of them figuring that out is near impossible.

    That was the same group that invented social security.

  • ||

    There have been positive outcomes to our military interventions.

    Since 1945? No, no there haven't.

  • Esteban||

    How do you view Korea? Honestly? And the first Gulf War?

  • Esteban||

    Didn't mean to put a ? after honestly.

  • sevo||

    Esteban|3.18.11 @ 7:22PM|#
    "How do you view Korea?"
    Hard telling; Korea may have never happened if we hadn't allied with that bastard Stalin.

    "And the first Gulf War?"
    Uh, why were we there? Doesn't Saudia Arabia have enough money to raise an army?

  • Esteban||

    In terms of limited involvement/cost/fulfilling the objective, I think it was pretty successful. Was there a just casus belli is another story though.

  • sevo||

    Esteban|3.18.11 @ 7:47PM|#
    "...Was there a just casus belli is another story though"

    Absent that, how can there be a "success"?
    And see Voros McCracken re: Bastiat. How much added government power have we suffered as a result?

  • ||

    How do you view Korea?
    A positive intervention...we lucked out....The fact that we still have our troops there...for nearly 60 years is not so positive.

    the first Gulf War?
    Directly resulted in 9/11, emboldened and fed terrorist propaganda and recruitment, the current Iraq war and the afgan war. One HUGE negative.

  • ||

    I guess this goes back to Bastiat in that what's important in each case is what is unseen. We know what happened since we fought both, what would have happened had we not?

    Does the money not spent on those wars help accelerate certain advances. Does the absence of a war in Korea lead to the absence of a war in Vietnam? Does an absence of the first Gulf War lead to an absence of 9/11 and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq? Does all of this lack of intervention lead to a significant decrease in general military spending?

    I don't know the answers but the possibility that the benefits of not fighting were as large as the ones we got before even factoring in the cost of human lives.

  • ||

    I don't know the answers but the possibility that the benefits of not fighting were as large as the ones we got before even factoring in the cost of human lives.

    This^^

  • sevo||

    This^^

    Agreed.
    WWII was a horrible waste of lives and treasure; ignoring the treasure, some 60 million people died.
    By comparison, we propped up a bastard who had killed nearly that number of his own population, not to mention at least helping Mao, who later starved/killed an even larger number of *his* 'subjects'.
    We can't re-run it, but it sure is tempting to at least imagine a circumstance where we dealt with Japan and lent material aid to England.

  • ||

    By comparison, we propped up a bastard who had killed nearly that number of his own population, not to mention at least helping Mao, who later starved/killed an even larger number of *his* 'subjects'.

    Uh, if the USSR fell, that means the Nazis would be in charge of Russia. As Nazi ideology held Slavs to be one rung above Jews, that probably would have resulted in mass execution/slavery of Russians too. It's not much of a "what if" either, as they put Soviet POWs in the work/death camps.

  • sevo||

    "Uh, if the USSR fell, that means the Nazis would be in charge of Russia."

    Holding Moscow /= 'being in charge of Russia'

  • GSL||

    +1,000,000!

  • ||

    How do you view Korea? Honestly? And the first Gulf War?

    Korea was a civil war and not our affair. We had no business there, Chinese or not. Bu,t containing communism was the official policy of the US (NSC 68), so there we were. Add to that we've had 40,000 troops there for over 50 years and god only knows the cost of that.

    And it gave us seasons 4-11 of M*A*S*H. That's unforgivable.

    The first Gulf War was the business of Kuwait and it's neighbors, if Saddam was a threat to them. As it stands, all we did is prop up a wealthy monarchy and savagely kill a bunch of retreating troops, which was a clear violation of the Third Geneva Convention. Last I checked, we were still a signatory and bound by it's rules.

  • sevo||

    JW|3.18.11 @ 8:25PM|#
    "Korea was a civil war and not our affair. We had no business there, Chinese or not."

    I'll repeat:
    Had we *not* supported that bastard Stalin, there would have been hardly any chance of the Korean war.
    Kim Il Sung (installed by the Soviets) asked Mao, who asked Stalin who said; "OK".

  • ||

    Not that it justifies anything, but if we hadn't supported Stalin, the Nazis would have been extremely difficult to defeat.

  • Spazmo||

    You're overestimating the US's importance to the USSR.

  • ||

    I don't think so.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    And it gave us seasons 4-11 of M*A*S*H. That's unforgivable.

    The entire run of M*A*S*H, plus the movie that emanated from Altman's cocaine-blasted brain, was unforgiveable. Most overrated television series of the 1970s, and that's in a decade with Norman Lear using the medium as his own personal toilet bowl.

  • ||

    Since 1945?

    Um i would not call WW2 a military intervention. It was from the US perspective a defensive war.

    Germany and Japan declared war on us.
    you could make the argument that the European theater was interventionist but it would be pretty weak. Germany declared war on us and they were sinking our ships in the Atlantic.

  • Esteban||

    I used the term military intervention so that it would encapsulate everything, not just declared wars. That's all.

  • sevo||

    "Germany declared war on us"
    Yes, they did,

    "and they were sinking our ships in the Atlantic."
    Rarely until the declaration. We had already been (militarily) removing their weather stations from Greenland.
    Not aimed at you, j-c, but to short-stop a strawman: I am *not* claiming that FDR somehow 'conspired' the US into war with either Japan or Germany.

  • ||

    Well, they were only sinking our ships because FDR sent them to escort convoys to England. We only went to war against the Germans because FDR thought we should, and did everything he could to maneuver us into it. Arming belligerents (Lend-Lease) is an absolute violation of neutrality, and the Germans were fully within their rights to declare war once American ships with British crews were fighting them.

  • sevo||

    "We only went to war against the Germans because FDR thought we should,"
    Nope. FDR got 'lucky'; Germany declared war on the US for reasons that have never been adequately explained.

    "and [FDR] did everything he could to maneuver us into it. Arming belligerents (Lend-Lease) is an absolute violation of neutrality,"
    Yep.

    "and the Germans were fully within their rights to declare war once American ships with British crews were fighting them."
    But they didn't until the US declared war on Japan. And doing so was probably Hitler's worst mistake.

  • ||

    Well, they were only sinking our ships because FDR sent them to escort convoys to England.

    Since when is preventing another nation from trading with another not an act of war?

  • ||

    There have been positive outcomes to our military interventions.

    How many?

    Now how many had negative results?

    I do not play these odds personally. I supported Irag and Afghanistan and was totally fucking wrong. So I don't play them.

    You on the other had obviously do.

    So now that you got those odds of positive interventions vs negative interventions is it rational to invade Libya?

    Is American blood and treasure worth those odds?

  • ||

    The interventions in Panama and Grenada seem to have worked out, long term.

  • ||

    Our criteria for invading a sovereign nation is now that the ends justify the means?

  • ||

    Our criteria for invading a sovereign nation

    Should libertarians give a flying fuck about sovereignty? about nations?

  • ||

    Why not? There's nothing inherent about libertarianism that prohibits sovereignty.

  • The Bearded Hobbit||

    There's nothing inherent about libertarianism that prohibits sovereignty

    I haven't thought about it before, but isn't it the ultimate expression of a group of people with common interests binding together to protect their private property?

    ... Hobbit

  • ||

    I haven't thought about it before, but isn't it the ultimate expression of a group of people with common interests binding together to protect their private property?

    Sure I guess but that would be the sovereignty of a libertarian state. It is the libertarian part that gives the state its legitimacy. Why should we give a shit about the sovereignty of a tyrannical state?

    I don't see why sovereignty alone is the key ingredient for caring about it.

  • ||

    Why should we give a shit about the sovereignty of a tyrannical state?

    This sounds like Estaban's mythical "atrocity" that we know it when we see it.

    When is a state tyrannical and not merely unpleasant? What determines that it's the place of the US to invade? Which do we invade first? India, China or Russia?

  • Watoosh||

    Well, as a liberal turned libertarian I actually feel similarly about foreign policy - I'm still willing to accept there are prisoner's dilemma situations where the common good trumps rational self-interest, though libertarians have convinced me that justifying coercion even in those cases is never easy. Therefore I feel that an invasion could perhaps be considered under some provisions, but I still lean towards the libertarian viewpoint that it's prudent not to.

    The plumbline libertarian view seems to be that taxpayer money shouldn't be spent on foreign wars without the taxpayer's consent (meaning all of them). However, this seems to be tied into some sort of a constitutionalist account of US political economy, because if you took that natural law -argument to its logical conclusions, you would have to be an anarcho-capitalist - if a Californian taxpayer shouldn't have to finance wars against brutal dictators who kill civilians, neither should he have to finance the arrest of a rapist in Minnesota or even in his block. Many libertarians, myself included, favor consequentialist arguments against foreign wars, which there are many. 1. We don't know the possible blowbacks of foreign invasion (remember Afghanistan and the Mujahideen?) - the US has caused more than enough damage in the Middle East as it is, and most of it borne out of good intentions. 2. Politicians and military commanders are not angels and whoever's profiting from the war will persuade them to stay for as long as needed. 3. We are out of money.

  • Watoosh||

    An elaboration: what I meant that a completely isolationist view is inconsistent with minarchism, and that first principles-libertarianism is inconsistent with nation-states.

  • yonemoto||

    why do liberals worship the prisoner's dilemma? It's like their little wet dream of "acting in self-interst screws everyone" Well, there's this little thing called the ITERATED prisoner's dilemma, which really goes to show that self-interest is actually quite a complex thing which does involve collaboration and cooperation in the absence of coersion.

  • Zeb||

    This is one of those areas where there is is a broad range of opinion among libertarians. You will see the whole range from pacifist to fairly hawkish. OM and Episiarch are pretty firmly anarcho-capitalist, so they don't think government should do anything. I think that a strict application of the non-agression principle requires a non-interventionist (at least when it comes to use of force) foreign policy.

  • Watoosh||

    Well, NAP doesn't prevent all non-retaliatory force as far as I understand: if you see A initiating force on B, you have the right (some, though hardly many libertarians, would say obligation) to stop A. Therefore if Gaddafi and his lackeys are killing innocent citizens, anybody not involved in the killings would have a right or even a moral obligation to stop him. Geography or political economy plays no part in this, since NAP applies equally to everyone.

    Whether this is the best course of action is another matter, since wars rarely are this black&white;.

  • sevo||

    Watoosh|3.18.11 @ 7:02PM|#
    "Well, NAP doesn't prevent all non-retaliatory force as far as I understand: if you see A initiating force on B, you have the right (some, though hardly many libertarians, would say obligation) to stop A."

    Does that equate to a right/obligation to a properly-constituted government to do so in the name of 'the people'?
    I don't see it.

  • Watoosh||

    Well, if you want to be a deontologically consistent libertarian, the answer is obviously no. However, bombing Gaddafi to smithereens is not a violation of anyone's rights (if we assume he is in fact a criminal, and I think it's safe to do so), but the fact that taxes are being collected in the first place, is. And once you make that distinction, you realize that things like Medicare, food stamps and even minarchist strongholds such as national defense and the police are not in and of themselves rights violations (though in the case of cops and soldiers, they often include them), it's the way they're funded, and you can't have a vulgar attitude that basically says "We need to steal money to have a strong national defense and to enforce property rights, but giving poor people any help is theft!"

    So, if you're of the strict deontological persuation, you cannot consistently be for national defense and against all intervention, as all taxation is theft no matter what. However, a consequentialist will ask questions like "With a coercive tax system in place, and with most people supporting said system, what would be the most moral way to utilize it?", which cannot have any arbitrary geographical distinctions. (This doesn't mean a consequentialist must commit to statism - I'm an anarchist, but I'm willing to consider most situations on a case-by-case basis.)

  • Spazmo||

    Does that equate to a right/obligation to a properly-constituted government to do so in the name of 'the people'?

    No. And it also doesn't excuse injuring C (a bystander who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time) in your attempt to stop A from harming B.

  • ||

    "Are most libertarians pacifist? Is defense the only justification for military action? Does the United States or any nation, or the community of nations, have any responsibility to intervene to prevent atrocities? Does the level of acceptable military action depend on the budget situation. I am asking all this genuinely, and I understand there is no 'libertarian' position on this, but I want to get a general feeling."

    There is no one libertarian foreign policy.

    Many old school libertarians trend towards isolationism, but I'm extremely pragmatic...

    If we could have prevented Rwanada, for instance, by just presenting a condemnation, then by all means I think we should have.

    There are neoconservative libertarians. There were plenty of anti-war libertarians.

    That's the great thing about being a libertarian--we don't have to agree on anything except that more liberty is better. And foreign policy is one of those things we don't agree on.

    There are a couple of common trends though. One is that we generally agree that one of the few legitimate purposes of government is to protect people's rights--and any government that doesn't do that is bad government. We generally don't want violate people's rights whether they're within or without our borders--that's pretty much universally frowned upon by libertarians.

    The other trend? Is that anybody that disagrees with [insert whatever position on foreign policy] isn't a real libertarian!

    ...blah, blah...woof, woof!

    So, don't worry about whether your views on any particular aspect of foreign policy are libertarian. If you want to see more liberty for yourself and everybody else in the world too? Then you're a full blooded libertarian!

    The rest of it's just about different strategies.

  • ||

    "There were plenty of anti-war libertarians." as opposed, I guess, to the pro-war ones.

  • pmains||

    Leonard Peikoff.

  • ||

    Not to mention the whole Neo-Libertarian dealio...

    http://www.qando.net/details.aspx?Entry=650

  • cynical||

    Wasn't he an Objectivist?

  • Esteban||

    I didn't mean to suggest that there is one correct libertarian position. I wanted to see what the general feeling on this board was and to see what kinds of thoughts libertarians had in this.

  • sevo||

    Esteban|3.18.11 @ 7:29PM|#
    "I wanted to see what the general feeling on this board was and to see what kinds of thoughts libertarians had in this."

    Looks like you're getting answers to your questions.

  • Esteban||

    Yup, thanks dudes/ dudettes.

  • ||

    Are most libertarians pacifist?

    Speaking for myself, no. Non-interventionist.

    Is defense the only justification for military action?

    Pretty much.

    Does the United States or any nation, or the community of nations, have any responsibility to intervene to prevent atrocities?

    When do we invade? 10 deaths? 20? 100? Say we invade on the 100,000th death. The previous 99,999 were meritless?

  • Esteban||

    What do you think? Is there a number of deaths at which we should intervene. If the NAZIs had not declared war on us, should we have intervened to stop the holocaust anyway (if we had known the full scale of what was going on)? Again, just gauging opinion.

  • ||

    I'm asking you the same thing Epi asked. What is your criteria? What is an atrocity?

    Without some set of identifiable benchmarks and goals, all you have is a blank check for invading sovereign nations and war.

  • Esteban||

    It's impossible to have a set criteria, because all situations are different. But I started off this by asking what libertarians think on this, and I want to know from your point of view, is there a possible situation in which American citizens are not directly harmed but you would support intervening?

  • ||

    is there a possible situation in which American citizens are not directly harmed but you would support intervening?

    Anything is possible but just off the top of my head of the things i can think of the answer is:

    No.

    Note: we are talking about military intervention and we are talking about government doing the intervention.

  • ||

    How many civilians killed by **cough** friendly fire are acceptable losses? Is there a percentage of those lives against the lives saved that passes the smell test?

    Should we have intervened because of Tienanmen Square? How about Chechnya? Pinochet's Chile? Zimbabwe? South African Apartheid? How did Mogadishu work out for us?

  • prolefeed||

    is there a possible situation in which American citizens are not directly harmed but you would support intervening?

    Me? No. But then, I'm an anarcho-libertarian.

  • ||

    It's impossible to have a set criteria, because all situations are different.

    No, it's not impossible and most situations are very similar: the killing of civilian populations.

    When do you go in? When do we invade North Korea for the routine abuse of its citizens? Do we wait for chemical weapons or do we go as soon as they have firing squads for cell phones?

  • GSL||

    And I think you've gotten answers that reasonably depict the variety of libertarian opinion on the subject. I don't think one can be a libertarian without being at least somewhat suspicious about the power of the state, so it's tough for us to think up a scenario in which we'd grant the government unlimited discretion. And that's basically what you're asking.

    Also, keep in mind that many libertarians are NOT consequentialists.

  • Esteban||

    Yeah, this is what I was looking for, thanks everybody for the conversation.

  • prolefeed||

    Also, keep in mind that many libertarians are NOT consequentialists.

    I don't think you can be a libertarian if you think any action whatsoever is OK if you think it will likely turn out OK.

  • The Bearded Hobbit||

    How about this for an alternative?

    All of those people who supported intervention could pool their money and hire an army to, well, intervene. That salves the folks who want to "do something" without stealing from those who don't.

    ... Hobbit

  • prolefeed||

    Yep. The case can be made for WWII and taking out the Taliban in Afghanistan, because they initiated force. I will stipulate that even those could be questioned.

    This latest asininity by Obama, OTOH, will Turn Out Badly TM. And if you think it will just involve telling other sovereign nations how to wage war, and they will actually listen to Obama without any U.S. troop involvement, well, you're naive.

  • ||

    I think i am sticking with the fundamental problem that regardless of intentions the government will fuck it up.

    Your premise about the holocaust falls apart when the assumption that we would succeed in winning the war goes away.

    Obviously we would win WW2 simply because we did win. But your hypothetical assumes perfect knowledge of inaction and a perfect out come for action.

    "We had known the full scale of what was going on" and we know we won WW2

    So yes if i knew about the Holocaust and i knew i would win it would be a no-brainer. I would go win WW2 because i knew i would win and i knew the outcome of not winning.....but knowing the answer to that question does not illuminate what i would do if i do not know the extent of the potential atrocity and darkens it even more if i do not know the cost and do not know the outcome.

    In the case of any future war I do not know the outcome and cannot know the consequences of the outcome win or lose. That decision is nearly impossible for an individual to make...even without the details....and knowing how terribly government works the decision becomes all to clear.

    Never start a war of choice.

  • MWG||

    "Never start a war of choice.'

    I think you meant to say, 'never get involved in a land war in asia'.

  • ||

    No, I think he meant "never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line."

  • The DNS Grandson||

    "Is this a kissing book?"

  • ||

    I should also note i have no problem with killing murderers.

    In fact if i had perfect knowledge that a murderer was guilty and had perfect knowledge that i could get away with it i would have problem with killing a murderer.

    The problem is that the above example is impossible.

    It is for this very reason why i do not endorse the death penalty....because the thought of the state killing an innocent man is unacceptable...and the state being what it is and having the power to execute it is an absolute that it will kill the innocent.

  • ||

    But the thought of the state locking an innocent man in rape-land for the rest of his life is acceptable?

    The root problem is wrongful convictions, not executions in general. Bleeding hearts who oppose executing even guilty people have pulled the wool over your eyes with this crap. The reality is, an innocent person is better off being sentenced to death rather than life without parole, because the appeals process for the former is much more extensive.

  • ||

    But the thought of the state locking an innocent man in rape-land for the rest of his life is acceptable?

    First this is a strawman. second being locked up and alive in rape land is fixable...the innocent can be released.

    The dead never come back.

    Also you are pointing out that we have a broken system which can be fixed or at least improved. It should be fixed and improved, but on the flip side of that coin I am also saying that the system can and never will be perfect.

  • ||

    It's not a strawman, it's the logical conclusion of your position. You favor replacing the death penalty with life imprisonment, so you must find errors with the latter to be acceptable.

  • sevo||

    Esteban|3.18.11 @ 7:50PM|#
    "What do you think? Is there a number of deaths at which we should intervene. If the NAZIs had not declared war on us, should we have intervened to stop the holocaust anyway (if we had known the full scale of what was going on)?"

    See: Bastiat.
    How about if by (not really) stopping the holocaust (since most of the damage had been done), we then ended up propping up Stalin and at least giving Mao a chance at the cost of some 150-200 million deaths?

  • MWG||

    Excellent questions Esteban. I considered myself a pretty straight-line conservative as late as... probably 2007 (If I'm going to be perfectly honest). My conservative beliefs regarding the war in Iraq and Afghanistan (and the broader 'War on Terror') were the last 'issues' I probably changed my mind about. Even today, though I am opposed to US military intervention in Libya, I think it'll be pretty damn satisfying to see the dear Colonel get the Mussolini treatment (We can only hope).

    That said, if the US was to truly base decisions of when to intervene militarily on issues of human rights and freedom, countries like N. Korea and Zimbabwe would be MUCH higher on the list than Libya (In terms of economic freedom, Bahrain is just behind the US).

    http://www.freetheworld.com/20.....0_BOOK.pdf

    But alas, we cannot, nor should we attempt to bring about positive change through military force. With a few exceptions, the US record in this aspect has not been good.

    That's one of the reasons (albeit small) that I, as a libertarian, support extremely liberal immigration policies. We cannot free all the oppressed around the world, but we can certainly allow those who free themselves to come here.

  • yonemoto||

    goddamit MWG you gotta change your handle. I always see "MNG" and then do a double take after reading the cogent shit you write.

  • MWG||

    I know, I know...

  • The Ingenious Hidalgo||

    My position is technically it's okay to intervene in any country if you're going to make it more free - that is, there's nothing wrong with capturing or killing oppressors in defence of the liberty of innocent people, and I don't see any requirement to respect the 'sovereignty' of nations - since that's bullshit anyway. However, while doing this, you may not:
    1) Kill innocent people (without their consent).
    2) Damage the property of innocent people (without their consent).
    3) Institute a draft.
    4) Levy a tax to pay for it.

  • ||

    I am assuming restrictions 1 and 2 include even unintended but foreseeable damage to innocents. Does restriction 4 preclude availing yourself of the fruits of taxation of a government that is helping you?

    Show me someone who fights under those restrictions (whether it is a government military or rebel group or whatever) and I'll show you someone who is going to lose a war. If all well-intentioned people followed that advice, the world would have been turned over to totalitarian mass-murders a while ago.

    I can agree with the first part of your comment, in part. I don't accept the "state sovereignty" argument as an excuse for arbitrary violations of individual liberty. But the amount and kind of force you can justifiable use would need to be limited by the type of injustice you are alleviating.

    For example, I don't think one would be justified in killing prison guards in order to bust out people in jail for victimless drug or prostitution crimes. But one might, in principle, be justified in punching out prison guards during such an operation, or using knockout gas to render them temporarily unconscious. (Of course there are other moral and practical considerations in deciding whether to launch such an operation in the first place.) Although the laws against consenting adult prostitution and drug use are violations of individual rights, the magnitude of the injustice and the prison guards’ level of complicity do not rise to a level to justify killing.

  • I Heart Capitalisms||

    Foreign policy's interesting because this is where there's the most potential for disagreements among libertarians (and the most excommunications). A big part of the issue is the question of whether democratic governments (esp. the US govt) are malicious or just incompetent. Those who are more pro-interventionist will choose the latter. There's also the question of what the appropriate attitude is to take towards the rights to liberty of the citizens of foreign countries. The libertarian institutions (Reason, Cato, the L Party) lean heavily towards non-intervention.
    This article gives a good overview of libertarian FPs:
    http://www.atlassociety.org/tn.....ign-policy

  • yonemoto||

    Foreign policy's interesting because this is where there's the most potential for disagreements among libertarians.

    Actually after Ron Paul most libertarians tend toward the non-aggression/non-interventionist lean. If not because of internal conversion but because many new libertarians are of that persuasion thanks to him. I'd say the place where you get the most "internal fissure" among libertarians is intellectual property.

  • The Ingenious Hidalgo||

    Also abortion.

  • ||

    There's still a large Objectivist/CATO contingent among the cosmotarian track of libertarianism that supports foreign policy adventurism. Of course, you have cosmotarian groups like Reason that are die-hard non-interventionists.

    But yes, due to Ron Paul the converts are almost purely paleotarian, and thus disagree with the cosmos on abortion, gay marriage, immigration, and monetary policy, and with non-Reason cosmos on foreign policy.

  • Heart Capitalisms||

    American libertarianism has developed its own particular set of quirks that set it apart from the rest of the West. Non-Americans with libertarian/classical liberal leanings overwhelmingly tend to be pro-choice. They are also more equally divided on interventionism. Samizdata is a good example. As for intellectual property, since Hayek and Friedman are world renowned while noone outside of the US gives a toss about Rothbard, I'd say that it's much less of an issue for non-Americans. It's a good idea to differentiate between the US libertarian political movement and the classical liberal tradition in general.

  • ||

    Good analysis, but from what I understand, the libertarian movement is much less influential in Europe and practically nonexistent in Asia. So perhaps my bias may be understandable.

  • I Heart Capitalisms||

    I can understand the focus on the US on an essentially American website but the US is only 9th in the World Econ Freedom rankings. The 8 above it are either European or former Brit colonies. Apart from Hong Kong and Singapore, they're all socially permissive liberal democracies. It's too early to crown Ron Paul the king of libertarianism.
    http://www.heritage.org/index/topten

  • mr simple||

    Circumcision is also a hot topic, for some reason.

  • ||

    And toilet paper orientation.

  • ||

    Its kind of sad how the USA is slowly assembling all these bits of both the Roman and Alexandria Empires. But not the good stuff, not the fabulous wealth of Persia or Coele Syria, endless grain of the Nile and silver mines in Spain.

    Nope. Our Emperors manage to lose money in Iraq and 'own' Afghanistan. We'll get the dusty asswipe of the Carthaginian Empire in Libya but not beautiful Hammamet Bay or the vineyards of Tunisia. Beautiful Gaul of wealth and barbarian maidens? Nope. All the Tunisians and Libyans are moving there instead.

    Caesar laughs from his grave at his foolish neophyte successors.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    O tempora! O mores!

  • Paul||

    At this point, Gaddafi could pull back and present the U.N. with his own, hand-picked "opposition" party to receive aid as a gesture of his cease fire.

    What does the U.N. intend to do at this point if they're not putting boots on the ground?

    My prediction: The U.N. just solidified Gaddafi's power.

  • Underzog||

    What the f... (read without the ellipses) is going on? It has been a week and the misnamed "Reason" magazine has not mentioned let alone condemned the massacre of the Fogel family in Judea?

    Maybe the pro Muslim terrorist schmucks at Reason approve of the massacre since the Jewish state is the greatest criminal -- next to the U.S. -- in the geo political world.

    Maybe the drug addled brains at so-called Reason Magazine believe that murdering the Fogel family in their sleep, including the slicing of a three month infant's neck, is one of those bedroom acts between consenting adults that the Ernst Rhoem wannabes at Reason tout so much.

    In your narcotic ravaged minds, perhaps the terroristic murder of an innocent Jewish family morphs into private consenting acts done by adults in the privacy of their own bedroom.

    I wouldn't be suprised and why should such drugs be legalized if it creates such moral reprobates as the editors of Reason and yourselves at "Hit and Run"?

  • ||

    HAHA!!!

    I asked for a Friday afternoon thread on Libya and got one...

    You have been asking for a thread for the past week and haven't got shit.

    Loser!!

  • ||

    Oh Underschmuck, you're such a little racist scumbag. Don't you have a yarmulke you need to go put a swastika on?

  • Tony||

    Thank you, I believe I will have three drinks.

  • ||

    Underzog, as someone so obviously and incredibly delusional should you really be reprimanding people for drug use? I think you need to be on alot of drugs to even come close to your level of raving insanity.

  • ||

    But to reply to what can loosely be described as your "main point," about 40 people were murdered in the U.S. yesterday. Why weren't you speaking out against these murders? Oh I guess that means you approve of murdering Americans, you sick fucko!

    HERP DERP UnderZien, HERP DERP.

  • GSL||

    Stop, stop, I can't drink that quickly . . .

  • ||

    People here who want to call themselves libertarians, and then at the same time want to justify to themselves that intervening in random civil wars across the world somehow fits with libertarian ideas should perhaps call themselves something else.

  • Jerry||

    Globaltarians?

  • ||

    intervening in random civil wars across the world somehow fits with libertarian ideas

    If i bought a plane filled it with guns flew it to lybia then gave them to the rebels would that be unlibertarian?

    Is it the act of helping or sympathizing with a certain rebel group in some far off random civil war the unlibertarian part? or is it using our military to do something about it the unlibertarian part?

  • ||

    You are not buying planes filled with guns, you want tax money to buy planes filled with guns, see the difference.

    Also cough up your cash for Ivory Coast, the situation is bad there.

  • ||

    you want tax money to buy planes filled with guns

    I do?

    I could have sworn I didn't

    I was simply wondering if you made the distinction between government intervention and individual intervention as I do.

    I thought you might give me insight.

    For the record I oppose the US intervention in Libya....also I think we might have different reasons why we oppose it.

  • ||

    I'd say we only have a one front war. Iraq is clearly wound down from March 2003. I don't think an overt plane (knowing you we could already be flying clandestinely) has taken off against Libya.

    Don't we still have troops in the Balkin somewhere? Is that a front?

    Anyway, we don't need this three-front hyperbole to be ashamed of our foreign policy. Japan, an ally( an ally that is somewhat different than, say, Yemen or Saudia Arabia) has just taken 9.0 sucker punch and we don't seem to be done much to help them except sending some feds.

  • ||

    What else are "we" supposed to do to help Japan, Troy?

    We're running out of places to bomb, so the usual neocon method of dealing with foreign policy problems is facing some seriously diminishing returns.

  • ||

    Anyway, we don't need this three-front hyperbole to be ashamed of our foreign policy. Japan, an ally( an ally that is somewhat different than, say, Yemen or Saudia Arabia) has just taken 9.0 sucker punch and we don't seem to be done much to help them except sending some feds.

    I was looking at the playstaion store on my PS3 like 30 min ago and they have a Red Cross donation item you can buy. Pretty figgin awesome if you ask me. You even get a Red Cross save japan theme with any donation of $2 or more.

    I am willing to bet that US citizens will donate more then any government, besides the US government, in the world combined.

    Tony it is really stupid to call Americans uncharitable.

  • ||

    Yeah just about every online game that you can buy stuff from does charity items like that now.

  • ||

    Coming soon.

    The F-35 is the most expensive defense program in history, and reveals massive cost overruns, a lack of clear strategic thought, and a culture in Washington that encourages incredible waste.

    Money is pouring into the F-35 vortex. In 2010, Pentagon officials found that the cost of each plane had soared by over 50 percent above the original projections. The program has fallen years behind schedule, causing billions of dollars of additional expense, and won't be ready until 2016. An internal Pentagon report concluded that: "affordability is no longer embraced as a core pillar."

    We can't run the risk of getting outgunned by a bunch of camel jockeys.

  • ||

    We can't run the risk of getting outgunned by a bunch of camel jockeys.

    That's what Lockheed Martins says!

  • yonemoto||

    this guy is a douchebag. I emailed him telling him that accusing the Tea Party of not knocking on the Pentagon's door is a mischaracterization, (since one of the defining characteristics of the Tea Party is that they leave Pentagon cuts on the table), and he said some stupid shit about Republicans in general not wanting to make defense cuts. He refused to admit he was wrong.

    Also, Bernie Sanders isn't a Democrat.

  • Perfect chance ||

    to call out all the asshole D party pricks. R party should threaten to defund Obama's wartime adventures and bring the troops home, and then watch the "anti-war" D assholes squeal. Oh, well, too many R party pricks around to have much of a chance of that...

  • yonemoto||

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/....._blog.html

    Of course no one will notice it.

  • Alice Bowie||

    As a liberal (anti-war person), i' upset that Obama even accepted the Nobel Prize. That prize is a piece of crap. Even Yaser Arafat got a prize.

  • cynical||

    But doesn't it seem fitting? And given the president's ability to turn everything he touches to shit, from Chicago's Olympic bid to his party's reelection, maybe it will be the end of the prize altogether.

  • ||

    If i bought a plane filled it with guns flew it to lybia then gave them to the rebels would that be unlibertarian?

    Don't give, you fool; SELL.

  • yonemoto||

    he said libertarian, not ferengi. libertarians are cool with charity.

  • ||

    If individual Americans want to sneak over the border into Libya and fight against Khaddafi, I have no problem with that. If American entrepreneurs want to sell weapons to the rebels, I have no problem with that.

    If Amoco wants to hire mercenaries to defend their production and storage facilities, I have no particular objection.

    JUST DON'T COME CRYING TO THE US GOVERNMENT TO BAIL YOU OUT WHEN YOUR LITTLE WARTOURISM EXPERIMENT BLOWS UP IN YOUR FUCKING FACE.

  • sevo||

    "JUST DON'T COME CRYING TO THE US GOVERNMENT TO BAIL YOU OUT WHEN YOUR LITTLE WARTOURISM EXPERIMENT BLOWS UP IN YOUR FUCKING FACE."

    Hey, we were just kinda three 'hikers' who sort of wandered into Iran! That's all!

  • Rock Action||

    I have nothing to say about foreign policy, but that seemed entirely wrong. How, again, did you wind up in Iran? There's a smell test that ain't passing.

  • ||

    I wonder if Iran's Sheria law says anything about stupid hippies.

  • DNS||

    I wonder if Iran's Sheria law says anything about stupid hippies.

    It's listed under "dhimmitude".

  • Nobel Peacer Barry||

    I need some quiet time so I can write my Mission-Accomplished speech.

  • ||

    Yeah, what a disaster Iraq is turning out to be! Why, they have lowered unemployment, developed entire Judicial systems out of nothing, and surpassed the oil production levels from the Saddam days...

    Biggest gaffe since Vietnam!

    At the cost of a trillion dollars and counting, 5000 American lives and counting, thousands more permanently wounded Americans, and tens of thousands of dead Iraqi civilians.

    Not worth it, Tman. Even if the meager gains you cite hold up when US forces finally exit stage left, which is pretty doubtful.

  • ||

    Even if the meager gains you cite hold up when US forces finally exit stage left, which is pretty doubtful.

    The meager gains are doubtful or the US exiting stage left is doubtful?

    I'd say both.

  • ||

    The meager part, but you're probably right about both.

  • BakedPenguin||

    ...when US forces finally exit stage left...

    My Dubya has a country place, that we all know about...

  • Tman||

    I know a lot of Kurds here in Nashville so I'm aware I'm probably more biased about the pros vs cons in regards to the war in Iraq. And you're right, the costs in human lives and financial expenditures is beyond a real "qualification".

    But Saddam was more of a threat to the US than he was ever given credit for, never mind the proven threat he already was to his neighbors. There is no question whatsoever that Saddam was financing, training and housing Islamic terrorists.

    I still don't understand why people seem to ignore this.

    Qadaffi was scared shitless by the video of Saddams execution and he handed over his nuke program which now sits 220 miles west of my house in Oak Ridge. There are tangible benefits that have gone unmentioned in your assessment.

  • Cytotoxic||

    I still don't understand why people seem to ignore this.

    Because the people here who normally question MSM narratives just bobbed their heads when that narrative agreed with them.

    The 'tens of thousands of civilian casualties' point doesn't stand up. For one thing, preventing civilians casualties is not a legitimate function of the US government (especially if they are enemy civilians aiding hostiles); only protecting the rights of US citizens. Further, those deaths were inevitable. When the Hussein regime fell, I imagine Iraq would basically become the Balkans but with Iran and Syria as their neighbors. We just expedited that and established a decent government. Go us!

  • ||

    There is no question whatsoever that Saddam was financing, training and housing Islamic terrorists.

    You're right, there is no question; it's clear that he was not doing any of those things.

  • Knutsack||

    I just want to know when it's okay to start calling him a "chickenhawk".

  • ||

    I just want to know when it's okay to start calling him a "chickenhawk".

    Posted yesterday, above:

    Open question for the H&R commentariat: would it be more correct to refer to the Shrikes, Tonys, etc. hereabouts as "Neo-libs" from now on... or would the simpler, more straightforward "chickenhawks" be preferable?

  • ||

    Qaddafi is shelling Benghazi again, after tricking the UN with his ceasefire declaration. I would link to it, but Reason's ultra-interventionist spam filter won't let me.

  • MNG||

    They've declared a no-link zone. But don't worry, it's only being coordinated by Americans, Arabs, French and Brits are doing the filtering.

  • Eric||

    Well done.

  • MNG||

    On the no-fly zone: I guess I can see an argument that using force to prevent a dictator's use of superior arms to slaughter those bravely rising against him can actually be seen as a move towards peace (or at least a move toward ending a lopsided slaughter). On the other hand, no-fly zones and such often turn into extended operations. My beef is that they waited this long. Doing this when the rebels had the Big Mo would at least have had the advantage of maybe actually help topple the regime, but doing it now that the rebels are barely holding on strikes me as having all the disadvantages of adventurism when little of the benefits can be gained.

  • ||

    You hit the nail on the head. It also means that the civil war will drag on longer than if (a) we had intervened when Quae-gon was holding on for dear life in Tripoli, or (b) we never intervened.

    This administration is like a kid running with scissors in a crowded subway.

  • MNG||

    A question for minarchist non-interventionists: If you can compel people to support forces to protect the life, property and liberty of thrid parties (police forces paid for via taxes of some sort) for fellow citizens then why not for foriegners facing similar circumstances? Certainly foriegners have the same rights to be respected and supported by everyone.

    Just curious as to minarchist answer, those who do not support a police force paid through general taxes need answer.

    And I'm not trying to trick or trap seeing as how I tend to generally oppose military adventurism even with noble goals myself...I'm not sure my doesn't ultimately rest on some selfish and/or irrational preferences though...

  • ||

    A minarchist state would protect foreigners' rights while said foreigners were within its territory. The key distinction is the location, not the identity, of the victim of aggression.

  • ||

    And yes, that means I don't think the US government should employ coercive measures or the threat thereof to protect US citizens in other countries.

  • BakedPenguin||

    I'd disagree with this to an extent. In a situation like Libya, I think it would be okay to tell Qaddafy "let us evacuate Americans, or we will bomb the fucking shit out of you." Once the Americans (who want to leave) are out, then whatever happens happens.

    If anyone wants to form Abraham Lincoln brigades, then so be it.

  • ||

    What about Libyans who want to leave? Do we demand that Gadflagy let them on the evacuation planes too?

    If not, it would seem to contradict the beloved open borders principle that we should never discriminate on the basis of national origin.

  • BakedPenguin||

    If not, it would seem to contradict the beloved open borders principle that we should never discriminate on the basis of national origin.

    They would probably get a chance to leave. That doesn't mean we have to make room for them on our boats / planes. "Open borders" doesn't mean you provide the means for people to come into your country; it means you don't stop them from entering unless you have a damn good reason for doing so. (e.g., they are convicted murderers).

  • ||

    I know that's not what open borders means, but the principle usually offered for it is that govt should not discriminate on the basis of national origin under any circumstances.

    Your plan would provide transportation (and protection before transportation) for US citizens but NOT for non-citizens, so it violates that principle. If you either didn't coerce Gaydifuq into letting anyone evacuate, or coerced him into letting everyone evacuate regardless of national origin, then the principle would not be violated.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Okay. As I see it, US citizens are paying the bills. That means they get the protection. If others can use that as an umbrella to flee from a murderous scumbag, great; if not, it's not our responsibility.

    If you like, call me a non-open border-ist...

  • MNG||

    But why would the location of a person determine that? If I can expect you to support a police force to protect my life and property from thugs, why can't a foriegn person whose life and property are under assault by thugs expect the same thing? Geography?

  • prolefeed||

    If I can expect you to support a police force to protect my life and property from thugs

    You're being a collectivist there, MNG. It should not be my responsibility to pay for your personal protection, or for anyone else's, here or in another nation.

    Do away with the socialized police forces, and have everyone purchase their own private defense services from a free market provider -- or load up on guns and ammo and security alarms and do the job yourself.

  • ||

    Yes, geography. It's a mess if you try to apply minarchism outside the territory where the state has a monopoly on coercion.

    Minarchism isn't a purist philosophy; at its heart it represents a compromise of anarcho-capitalism, which represents the purist ideal of libertarianism, with the basic demands of our physical existence and need for stability. The point is to keep the compromises to a bare minimum.

  • prolefeed||

    Markets are quite capable of providing "the basic demands of our physical existence and need for stability". No need for a socialist police and army paid for by theft of taxes.

  • ||

    And what happens when one of your private security forces becomes strong enough to force people to pay for its services?

    Oh, yeah. Anarcho-God will prevent that eventuality from happening, so we must trust Him.

  • asdf||

    Anarchy clearly can exist and still produce wealth and freedom. We live in an anarchy of states right now. The UN is essentially powerless as a peacekeeper between states but the USA doesn't invade and pillage Canada even though it could or any other number of peaceful capitalist countries.

    Anarcho capitilism is this but on a much smaller scale.

  • ||

    Subdivision into smaller states is not anarchy.

  • Cynical libertarian||

    "The UN is essentially powerless as a peacekeeper between states but the USA doesn't invade and pillage Canada even though it could or any other number of peaceful capitalist countries."

    True but what happens when the world doesn't have any more dictators or communist states to go on field trips to kill? Would you be so sure the US wouldn't start invading peaceful capitalist countries?

  • prolefeed||

    And what happens when one of your private security forces becomes strong enough to force people to pay for its services?

    It becomes one of those minarchies you want to inflict upon us. =)

  • prolefeed||

    A question for minarchist non-interventionists: If you can compel people to support forces to protect the life, property and liberty of thrid parties (police forces paid for via taxes of some sort) for fellow citizens then why not for foriegners facing similar circumstances? Certainly foriegners have the same rights to be respected and supported by everyone.

    I've been arguing this point with Objectivist minarchists for the last week or so on a thread at rebirthofreason, pointing out that having a great deal of socialism in providing private defense against aggression is incompatible with the laissez-faire free markets espoused by Objectivists in every other endeavor.

    The statist indoctrination of Rand on that topic is strong with the Randroids.

  • ||

    How is it incompatible? Coercion is necessary to the existence of coercion-free markets, but clearly cannot plausibly be provided by participants in the markets, because then the market will not be free of coercion.

  • prolefeed||

    Coercion is necessary to the existence of coercion-free markets

    Citation needed.

    This is along the lines of "we had to destroy the village to save it."

  • Cytotoxic||

    You clearly do not understand the proper role of the state, which is to protect individual rights of citizens. The army and police are integral to this.

    Oh, and Rand=statist ===> DRINK!

  • prolefeed||

    The state is a large organized gang of thugs robbing you, but with better PR.

    Talking about the "proper role of the state" is like "talking about the proper role of the mafia", except the latter is more clearly stupid.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Even at its worst it's still better than Somalia.

  • prolefeed||

    The millions who starved to death in North Korea would disagree with you -- if they were alive -- or were allowed to use cell phones or the internet without getting executed.

    And Somalia is hardly a free market for protective services.

  • ||

    And Somalia is hardly a free market for protective services.

    You just answered your request for citation above.

  • ||

    I thought we already established that Somalia with a government is a worse place then Somalia without a government.

    In other words Somalia's general level of shityness is not because of its lack of government.

    Somalia is simply a shity place....and the lack of government makes it slightly less shitty then it would be otherwise.

  • ||

    I'm not sure that's been established, and even so, Somalia had a really terrible government before it collapsed into anarchy. Also, each warlord's turf really is functionally a "government", whether the West chooses to recognize them or not.

    The danger I see with anarchy is that it is incapable of preventing the formation of a force monopoly (ie, a govt), and just like the near-certain result of a bull let loose in a china shop, chances are the govt produced in this manner will have plenty of sharp edges scattered about.

    A shitty government being replaced by another shitty government is not a big deal. A slightly imperfect government being replaced by a shitty one, as would happen if the US govt fell, is another matter.

  • Framer||

  • ||

    Wow, MB really blew that one. Few china shops have regularly spaced, separate shelving units with nice straight bull-sized pathways between them. That episode should have been called "Bull in a bullpen with some china".

  • ||

    Would you prefer to be tried in a courtroom for crimes against the state, or tried in a warehouse for crimes against a mafia boss?

    Yeah, PR is the only difference. Keep telling yourself that.

  • ||

    Thats actually prety cool when you think about it.

    www.real-privacy.it.tc

  • ||

    Feeling a bit bloodthirsty, anonbot?

  • ||

    Certainly foriegners have the same rights to be respected and supported by everyone.


    Whirled Peas FTW!

  • BakedPenguin||

    They do have the same rights. If their government does not respect those rights, they can 1) foment change, as they Libyans are currently trying to do, or 2) move to a country that does respect those rights (or at least more of those rights than their current one.)

    It's not our job, and it sure as hell shouldn't be our mission, to force all the governments in the world to respect the rights of their citizens. Neither is it our responsibility to help them move here or to other countries that are better at respecting people's rights.

  • MNG||

    But it seems to me that we get a strange (for a libertarian) position that the rights a person has that I must support depends on...what government that person lives under...

  • prolefeed||

    But it seems to me that we get a strange (for a libertarian) position that the rights a person has that I must support depends on...what government that person lives under...

    I read that three times and I still don't know what the hell you're trying to say.

    Are you saying that it is strange for a libertarian to point out the obvious -- that some governments oppress their subjects and try to deny them the free exercise of their rights in different ways than other governments oppress their subjects?

  • ||

    If you want to support their rights, by all means head on over there and fight to defend them.

  • Fire Tiger||

    It would be a stranger (for a libertarian) position when someone says you "must" support anything.

  • Neu Mejican||

    MNG|3.19.11 @ 1:24PM|#

    But it seems to me that we get a strange (for a libertarian) position that the rights a person has that I must support depends on...what government that person lives under...
    reply to this

    You point is pretty ambiguous here, but I believe you are conflating the duty of an individual to respect another individuals rights, with a governments duty to actively protect the rights of its citizens. While libertarianism certainly has a diversity of opinion on the existence of individual moral responsibility to act in defense of another individual, the tendency is to askew the existence of "active responsibility" in moral decisions in favor of "active restraint." You have a moral duty NOT to do certain things, but no moral duty to ACT. Yadda yadda.

  • ||

    I have Judge Napolitano on in the background. Based on the ads which have run thus far, the primary demographic for the show is religious survivalists.

    Best ad so far was the emergency back-up "solar generator". I wasn't listening closely enough to hear if they touted the tax credits as a selling point.

  • ||

    Gasparino is such a useless idiot.

  • ||

    What about Libyans who want to leave?

    I realize that was a rhetorical question, but judging by the way we treated the Iraqis who actively helped us, I'll say they're on their own.

  • Mike M.||

    I'm sure his enemies on the Right will note that he isn't even going to "lead", but, hey, here's another U.S. war for Middle Eastern peace for you.

    In the same way that his liberal allies who screamed anti-war slogans all throughout the Bush presidency will now be so deathly quiet that you can hear a pin drop.

    The real belief system for the frauds is democrat bombs good, republican bombs bad.

  • ||

    The same way conservatives didn't give a shit about deficits and spending during the Bush years, but then suddenly became budget slashers on 1/20/09.

  • Mike M.||

    Most real conservatives that I know couldn't stand the spending policies during the Bush years. Are you perhaps conflating congressional republicans like Dennis Hastert and John Boehner with "conservatives"?

  • ||

    And "real" liberals can't stand Obama's failure to close Gitmo and continued waging of war in Iraq and Afg. Sticking a 'real' in front of the group accused of hypocrisy is begging the question.

  • Bush-Bashing Politician (D)||

    Well, I have XYZ Aerospace and GGG Dynamics in my district and goddamit, President Obama, let's go to war!

  • ||

    It's not our job, and it sure as hell shouldn't be our mission, to force all the governments in the world to respect the rights of their citizens. Neither is it our responsibility to help them move here or to other countries that are better at respecting people's rights.

    Exactly.

    If "we" are actively assisting the despots of the world in their subjugation of the masses (by, let's say, ARMING them) we should knock it the fuck off.

    If American citizens sincerely believe in freedom for Libyans (or Pakistanis, or Saudis, or Chechens, or [insert tyrant here]), I believe they have the right as free self-owned individuals to go fight. Even if you just want to send money, go ahead, as long as you're not stealing from somebody else.

    Again, I say, just don't expect the government of the United States to send the cavalry if things don't work out as you expected.

  • Neu Mejican||

    That's the great thing about being a libertarian--we don't have to agree on anything except that more liberty is better.

    That isn't even sort of true.

  • ||

    That isn't even sort of true.

    I will remember that next time you say we are all alike and lack diversity New Mex.

  • Neu Mejican||

    I will remember that next first time you say we are all alike and lack diversity New Mex.

    FIFY

  • ||

    That isn't even sort of true.

    Freedom!

    Horrible, horrible FREEEEEDOOOOOOOMMMMM!

  • ||

    I have to say, my dire predictions that the UN resolution would turn out to be meaningless are looking a little, umm, optimistic so far.

    I thought that Gaddafi would enter Benghazi while NATO planes circled pointlessly overhead on Friday. It actually took until Saturday.

    Consider me duly chastened.

  • ||

    I was afraid of that too.

    This all should have happened days ago.

    It's like Obama's reaction to the Gulf oil spill.

    When he's bold and decisive, it's because he doesn't know what he's doing on things like healthcare.

    When time is of the essence, suddenly he's indecisive.

  • ||

    I keep hearing this, but it doesn't match up with Obama's bouncing back and forth on the question of the public option during the health care debate.

  • ||

    while NATO planes circled pointlessly overhead

    Nonsense; that footage will be absolutely riveting when it airs on CNN and MSNBC.

  • Cytotoxic||

    I think Reason is being hyperbolic here. The US is (and shouldn't be) playing a limited support role in Libya but it is the French and co. who are really in there. FYI apparently Qatar has supported the uprising from go and Egypt's government is supplying arms to the rebels.

  • ||

    I hope you are right...and it continues to the case...and if the shit hits the fan that we will be the first to get the fuck out of there.

  • sevo||

    "the U.S. prepared to a launch a missile attack on Libyan air defenses later Saturday, according to two U.S. officials familiar with the unfolding intervention."

    Check your fave AP reseller.

  • sevo||

    Oops, CNN, 4:48 EDT:
    "U.S. Tomahawk missiles have landed in the western area around Tripoli and Misrata, a senior Defense Department official said Saturday."

  • Cytotoxic||

    Oops.

  • ||

    I don't suppose I should be surprised that liberals who were all about the separation of powers during the Bush years suddenly don't think it exists anymore.

    Will you start calling Obama "The Decider"?

  • ||

    And if there's any blowback from this, I wonder if Obama will be stupid enough to call it an "unprovoked attack". Or to call it "cowardly"; because, you know, it's just so risky to bombard somebody with cruise missiles fired from ships far out to sea. The only blood likely to be spilled on those ships would be from the careless handling of tools.

  • ||

    Probably the only good point Bill Maher has ever made in his entire life.

    That physically hijacking a plane then crashing it in a suicide terrorist attack is anything but cowardly.

  • sevo||

    "That physically hijacking a plane then crashing it in a suicide terrorist attack is anything but cowardly."

    Taking your own life may or may not be cowardly; presuming the answer to that question is presuming to judge the personal values of another.
    Taking the lives of others at the same time without allowing them a chance at self defense *is* cowardly.
    Had Atta stood before his captives and said 'I'm going to do this' and suffered the possible results, I'd call it other than cowardly. He didn't.
    So, nope, it was a cowardly action by a deranged bleever. No more, no less.

  • ||

    What you said.

  • ||

    Attacking unarmed civilians is cowardly whether you plan to die in the process or not.

  • sevo||

    "Attacking unarmed civilians is cowardly whether you plan to die in the process or not."

    I didn't even include the victims he claimed 'on the ground'; shame on me.
    Atta was every bit as 'brave' as Loughner.

  • Fire Tiger||

  • prolefeed||

    And what happens when one of your private security forces becomes strong enough to force people to pay for its services?

    It becomes one of those minarchies you want to inflict upon us. =)

  • ||

    Well, it will definitely become a government for practical purposes, which means your anarchy has been destroyed.

    But it probably won't be a minarchy. Minarchies require very specific circumstances to form.

  • prolefeed||

    The transition from the effective anarchism of the Articles of Confederation to the minarchy of the early Constitution to the mediumarchy now would indicate you're wrong.

    But, do tell about those specific circumstances that cause a gang to get an effective monopoly of coercion prior to tightening their grip ...

  • Neu Mejican||

    prolefeed,

    But in that case, at least you can have that discussion about the proper role of the mafia.

  • prolefeed||

    I thought I covered the entireity of the discussion about the "proper role of the mafia" above.

  • ||

    Probably the only good point Bill Maher has ever made in his entire life.

    That physically hijacking a plane then crashing it in a suicide terrorist attack is anything but cowardly.

    I believe I have reached the point in my life that even if Bill Mohair managed to coherently ooze out an opinion that happens to jibe 100% with my own on the same subject, I will have no choice but to repudiate that position based solely on his public support of it.

  • ||

    In case it was evident above, I don't give 2 flying fucks if they were the bravest souls on the planet. They were despicable, devolved and pure fucking evil. Full stop.

  • Nobel WarPig Obama||

    Mission Accomplished: I am now Strong and Decisive.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Related coolness: Syria protests escalate into burning of government buildings.
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com.....le1948865/

    http://www.businessinsider.com.....3?amp&

  • Matt Perry's 2nd Chin||

    According to Obama, the future has arrived in Brazil. So who won?

  • sevo||

    "WTF!"
    Who knows? Certainly not Obama.

  • ||

    Prize for most un-self-aware comment of the year:

    One of the more vocal skeptics in Congress, Sen. Richard Lugar, said he worries that the U.S. may have entered a conflict with unclear goals.

    "We really have not discovered who it is in Libya that we are trying to support," the Indiana Republican said on CBS' "Face the Nation." "Obviously the people that are against Gadhafi, but who? In eastern Libya, for example, a huge number of people went off to help the Iraqis against the United States in a war that still is winding down."

    Not only did Lugar support both Bush wars that had unclear goals, but I also wasn't aware that the US was fighting a war against "the Iraqis" during the past few years.

  • Plate-O||

    I was thinking of another unintended consequence of the overthrow of Quadaffi. Libya was to be the test case for one-time rogue states being rehabilitated once they agreed to drop their support for WMD and terrorism.

    The tacit understanding reached with the Libyan regime was that no matter how brutally you treat your own people, the US would leave you alone as long as you kept your promises.

    This was the primary carrot aimed at regimes like Iran and North Korea, countries who's human rights violations equal or dwarf that of Libya. Now that the west has decided to change the terms of that understanding, what incentive is there for Kim Jong Il or the Ayatollah to ever agree to give up their nukes?

  • RyanXXX||

    Exactly. No bad guy is ever going to "come to the table" now, or offer cooperation with us. What's the point? Gaddafi was making all the right moves in a realpolitik sense, cozying up to the West.

    We turned on him anyway.

  • Cytotoxic||

    To be frank I highly doubt NK or Iran were remotely sincere in their table-coming to but Plate-O is still right. This move totally bombs the bridge.

  • sevo||

    "This move totally bombs the bridge."

    Or the road not taken.
    I've got plenty of gripes about the Obama committing our treasure in another 'police action', but this isn't one of them.
    Any hope that Iran or NK would act differently if Obama hadn't broken the law is weak tea indeed.

  • Plate-O||

    You're right about North Korea--the bomb is Kim's only insurance policy and there's no way he's giving it up. But Iran hasn't fully developed the capacity to manufacture nukes yet. And before being pushed out by Ah-mad, there were pragmatic elements among the Iranian ruling class that were willing to compromise on that issue. This war pretty much hammers the last nail into their coffin and plays directly into Ah-mad and Khameni's hands.

  • Plate-O||

    Another unintended consequence: with the West now openly identified with the opposition in Libya, what is preventing Syria's Assad or Yemen's Saleh from tapping into the latent anti-Western, anti-American of some segments of his population? Quataffy's earlier wacko rants about the protesters being in the pay of America now seems somewhat plausible.

  • sevo||

    Far better argument.

  • Cure ear infection||

    Your post is really good providing good information. Food for fertility I liked it and enjoyed reading it.Keep sharing such important posts.Natural laxative foods

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