National Defense

Sorry Neocons, Adam Smith Was Not One of You

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Schooled

Defense hawks seem to be hitting Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations like sophomores cramming for an exam. In the last few days, three separate hawks have invoked Smith three separate times to excoriate the potential defense cuts in the phony debt deal.

John Bolton, the Bush-era neocon whose mustache makes everything he says more menacing, pulled a passage from the book that says that "the first duty of the sovereign" is "protecting the society from the violence and invasion" to warn darkly about all the bad things that would befall America if it doesn't keep pumping about $700 billion a year that it doesn't have into the Pentagon (even if it just goes down the $700 toilet, presumably). Meanwhile, Brian Stewart of National Review Online and David Frum no longer of the American Enterprise Institute paraded Smith's statement that "defense is superior to opulence" to suggest that anyone who questioned why America needs to spend more on defense than the rest of the world combined obviously has zero regard for national security.

Sadly, their interpretation of the great political economist's magnum opus is a bit sophomoric.

Here are the problems: First, Stewart and Frum got the quote wrong—and in an identical way, suggesting that one lifted it from the other without actually bothering to consult the actual text. The exact quote is: "Defence, however, is of much more importance than opulence." (Look it up yourself on page 465 of Volume I of the Liberty Fund edition.)

Two, they got the interpretation wrong. The operative word in the quote is "defence." But America does not have a defense budget—it has an offense budget to maintain far-flung bases and military alliances whose original rationale became defunct decades ago. This is not what Smith was endorsing.

Anyone with any familiarity with the book knows that Smith's whole project in it was to debunk the mercantilist mentality that was causing Britain to bankrupt itself by building a huge military to colonize the rest of the world in search of markets. The entire passage—in which the quote is but one throwaway line—is part of his broader plea to Great Britain to allow free trade. That means deploying its naval forces for defensive purposes—not to keep foreign merchants off its shores or, for that matter, search overseas for monsters to slay. Sacrificing its wealth or "opulence" might be necessary, he agreed, when England had to defend itself from hostile foreign powers, something few today would deny outside the small but eminently adorable band of anarcho-capitalists and pacifists. However, believing, as England did at that time, that it could actually enhance its "opulence" by using its navy to keep foreign merchants off its shores was dumb as hell. Here is the rest of the passage:

The act of navigation is not favorable to foreign commerce, or to the growth of the opulence that can arise from it…[I]f foreigners, either by prohibitions or high duties, are hindered from coming to sell, they cannot always afford to come to buy; because coming without a cargo, they must lose the freight from their own country to Great Britain. By diminishing the number of sellers, therefore, we necessarily diminish the number of buyers, and are thus likely not only to buy foreign goods dearer, but to sell our own cheaper, than if there was a more perfect freedom of trade. As defence, however, is of much more importance than opulence, the act of navigation is, perhaps, the wisest of all commercial regulations of England."

The act of navigation that Smith was referring to was a law that was passed in 1651 to build England's naval forces when it was on the verge of war with Netherlands—and he saw nothing wrong with that. Subsequently, however, the act morphed into enforcing Britain's bald-faced mercantilism—and he saw plenty wrong with that. But nowhere does he suggest that maintaining absolute defense supremacy in the world, as neocons who question any shrinkage of America's global military footprint want, is a remotely worthy goal. To the contrary, there are plenty of other passages in which Smith discusses the futility—both moral and practical—of keeping colonized people pliant to maintain an empire. Indeed, Smith was part of the Enlightenment's anti-imperialistic intellectual tradition whose other major protagonists were Jeremy Bentham and James Mill. Their anti-imperialistic ideas were ultimately challenged—successfully—by John Stuart Mill, who, when not writing genuinely brilliant tracts defending freedom of speech and property rights for white Brits, was busy apologizing for the British empire and its abrogation of those same rights for Indians and other uncivilized brown barbarians!

Actually, the political theorist who shares the neocon national greatness agenda most closely is not Adam Smith but Niccolo Machiavelli. In his Discourses on Livy he makes a case for Roman-style empire building not only to keep potential aggressors at bay—conquer them before they conquer you—but to promote the internal health of the republic itself.  A republic that sought only to maintain its boundaries and not expand its dominion was not sustainable, he argued, because it would have no cause around which to unite the citizenry:

If heaven were so kind [to a republic] that it did not have to make war [to fend off invaders], from that would arise the idleness to make it either effeminate or divided; these two things together, or each by itself, would be the cause of its ruin.

Neocons and defense hawks are using the moral cachet of Adam Smith to justify a national greatness agenda lifted from Machiavelli—which, if you come to think of it, is rather Machiavellian.

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203 responses to “Sorry Neocons, Adam Smith Was Not One of You

  1. Partisan shills are partisan shills.

    1. Don’t forget us!

  2. I’m all for having the world’s most powerful military, but you don’t need this much money to make it so. Fuck the rest of the world — let’s withdraw and save the cash.

    1. Agreed. Most powerful is one thing, most powerful by an exponent is another.

      And they’re really going to convince us that in what amounts to a $700 BB/yr bureaucracy, there isn’t any fat to cut?

      1. Here’s the irony: if we hadn’t spent the last 60 years being ever-expanding interventionists, the sort of money we wasted on our adventures could have been used for military research and betterment.

        Better weapons, better tactics, better everything. I wonder what would happen to a neo-con if you brought his attention to that theory.

        1. Nothing. “Government is inefficient and wasteful……except for us of course”

        2. And they’d probably point out that all the training in the world means nothing if you’ve never actually done it.

          1. That’s partly right, though. All the simulation and training in the world will not really fully prepare you for what it is like.

            Besides, warfare changes. After WW2, we were still preparing to fight a massive conventional war with USSR. But after their collapse, we had to face a different kind of enemy, in a different kind of environment, with different tactics.

            Our military has to train for all types of warfare because the enemy changes.

            1. Besides, warfare changes. After WW2, we were still preparing to fight a massive conventional war with USSR. But after their collapse, we had to face a different kind of enemy, in a different kind of environment…

              No we didn’t.

      2. Fat cannot be cut because that would mean some government drone losing their job.
        We’re talking about people introduce themselves with how many years they have until they retire and get their pension.
        It’s a game and they know it.
        Bureaucracies exist to send paychecks to the people in the bureaucracy.
        That is their sole function.

  3. the only way a nation can be great is to let people have the freedom to make their own choices.Many down play economic freedom,but, many of the most intrusive and unjust laws inhibit the freedom to to keep the fruits of one’s labor and be secure in your own property.With the war on drugs you even lose he right to the most basic property,your own body.If a government can control what you eat,drink,smoke and you life stle you have no freedom.

  4. I would agree that defense is more important than opulence if you are a player in an international system of relatively evenly-matched states that are all seeking to conquer and exploit each other, and that all have the capacity to do that to you if your guard drops.

    That hasn’t been the case for the US since the day all those Hiroshimans died.

    We are not participating in an international system of evenly-matched states.

    No one is seeking to conquer us.

    For the simple reason that no one has the capacity to do so, even if we let our guard down, as long as we retain our nuclear stockpile.

    In Adam Smith’s England every morning there was at least a theoretical chance that you’d wake up to find that the Spanish or the French had invaded and were conquering the country. There is zero – Z E R O – chance of that happening to the US.

    1. We seem to be doing a pretty fucking good job of conquering ourselves, though.

      1. Now you know how us Injuns felt. Agricultural civilization is consistently aggressive, invasive, and occupational.

        If it kills off the first families, don’t be surprised if it kills off other people, even those who support it, who get in the way of wealth concentration to the top of the pyramidal hierarchy.

        1. Wasn’t the whole point of the “White” in “White Indian” that you are not a genetic descendent of ancient North American hunter-gatherers? That would mean that you aren’t part of “us Injuns”.

        2. “Agricultural civilization is consistently aggressive, invasive, and occupational.”

          As opposed to peaceful, nomadic civilizations like the Mongols.

      2. There he is, Kant!

    2. I’m not sure I agree with this. The thought of 4th-Gen Warfare in a time where an old Soviet warhead can be bought for mere millions of dollars.

      1. Dammit!

        *”The thought of 4th-Gen Warfare in a time where an old Soviet warhead can be bought for mere millions of dollars is terrifying”.

        1. This is very true, but it’s also not a traditional defense issue.

          It calls for responses that are not analogous to the situation Smith described and faced.

    3. “No one is seeking to conquer us.”

      9/11 rendered the nuclear stockpile ineffective against some (potential) invaders.

      1. Terrorism is a threat that has nothing to do with conquest or invasion. Yes, the US is vulnerable to certain kinds of attack. That does not mean that there is any chance of a foreign power trying to invade or conquer the US.

      2. We could have wiped out the Taliban with nukes.

        Not the brightest move, but they wouldnt have been ineffective.

      3. We invited the 9/11 hijackers over. Wasn’t much of an invasion.

        1. No we just didn’t lock the cockpit.

          1. We let them in to take “flight training”.

  5. Excellent stuff. Here’s more on Adam Smith’s wise anti-imperialistic views from David Henderson – http://antiwar.com/henderson/?articleid=8159

  6. I wrecked Holland’s shit as England in EU3

    1. I’m playing an England EU3 game right now. Though, I’m keeping Holland in my good graces as a way to ensure a flank attack in case Burgundy gets uppity.

  7. Machievelli was an IRC troll before their was an IRC.

    1. Actually, Mach gets a bad rap. He was talking a lot of shit on the Medicis through nom de plumes, until they broke both his arms for his troubles.

      The Prince was a mea culpa. And then a few years later, he went right back to his rabble-rousing.

      1. And how does this contradict my statement. Trolls be trolling…

    1. Sure you do.

      And you are no less odious and untrustworthy than neoCONS.

      1. One part of neoconservatism is having ideals, but using realist means to achieve them. I think libertarians could use more “real people care about prosperity,” not “public roads are fascism.” Then we can start turning heads in a good way.

        1. Nice try.

          But you don’t need to be a neolibertarian to state that “real people care about prosperity”. Not only can you be a real libertarian for that, you can also be a neocon. The question is who actually means it, rather than supports the fascist fraud that you have now.
          And “public roads are fascism” is for the advanced. That is a LONG way down the list of priorities; to pretend otherwise is a strawman.

          So if you use the words “realist means” (aka accepted opinion) in combination with prosperity, i’m already clenching my buttocks.

          You need to be a neolibertarian to grovel before the feet of statists and their widely accepted status quo views in order to be accepted by the establishment. You will ask to return to the constitution – not even demand it – and will be happy with the meaningless scraps you get and call it “progress” because you have to be realistic.

          You need to show your “tough on defense” credentials by supporting aggressive wars as long as there is a pretext to hide behind. Wouldn’t want to be seen as one of those loopy real libertarians that think blowback may be a problem.

          You need to get on your knees and beg the state for school choice by supporting school vouchers, like for instance Wayne Allyn Root of the “Libertarian” Party does.

          You need to show your kind heart by praising the civil rights act, and in so doing piss all over private property rights.

          You need to mock, ridicule or distance yourself from people like Murray Rothbard or in some cases even Ron Paul, like Young Americans for Freedom or individual neolibertarians have done in order to still be acceptable to the establishment.

          You need to do things like these, and others, to be called a neolibertarian. You know, take it up the rear by the state while paying libertarian lip service with your mouth.

          Neolibertarians are the statist establishment’s bitches, hoping to get thrown some of the scraps at the table, and wagging their tails if they do.

          1. Oh and i forgot Ronald Reagan.

            Ronald Reagan tends to be a BIG hero to many neolibertarians.

            But in short, as i said, neolibertarians are like neocons. They are the LINO to the RINO. They are untrustworthy as expedience and “realism” always adapts to the accepted propaganda of the day.

            Sure, there is a variety among them. One is worse than the other.
            None of them are principled, and thus none of them will ever properly defend liberty. And this is how 18th century America became 21st century America.

          2. Everyone is either a faux-libertarian, who, like many Tea Party Republicans, pretends to love freedom until it involves freedom in one’s personal life such as choosing someone to marry, the unabashed NeoCons who have set the stage for the Decline and Fall of the United States of America, and the idiotic interventionists who refuse to give up power over peoples’ lives and money while the country comes crashing down around them and America wallows in red ink and economic stagnation. The leftists are by far the worst crowd…

            I was just reading some comments on a Guardian article and every single one of those 400 comments (no I didn’t read every single one, just skimmed them) was about how people who support free markets are greedy, selfish bastards who steal money from the poor and want people to die in the streets and how they engineered the economic collapse. My experience everywhere except on libertarian blogs is that this view is extremely prevalent and that public sentiment is that libertarians are selfish and don’t care about other people…the stereotypical Marxist image of the bourgeois.

  8. The Neocons want people to seriously believe that Iran is a threat to America ? Even if America had absolutely no army, how is Iran going to ship millions of its soldiers to America ?

    I have also come across a fair share of standard Fabian socialists who also claim that Adam Smith is theirs.

    1. Iran is certainly not a military threat, to us. If they can cobble together a nuke-boom, Israel might have reason to be a bit worried.

      But, don’t think for a second that they’re not an existential threat, given enough time and enough multi-culti apologists in our own midst.

    2. I have also come across a fair share of standard Fabian socialists who also claim that Adam Smith is theirs.
      http://www.commondreams.org/ar…..09/23/4046

    3. Iran most certainly is a military threat to the U.S. They can close the Strait of Hormuz for a while with conventional weapons and indefinitely with nuclear weapons.

      If they do – get used to $10 a gallon.

      I know there will be all kinds of smarmy Libertarian replies – but none will change the price of for years to come.

      1. Of course. The Iranians will stop selling that oil to the world’s largest consumer of oil. They’ll just drink it all instead, which will make them much richer.

        1. If they close the Strait, nobody in the Gulf sells oil which is about 40% of the world’s supply.

          1. I’m sure that is true, but why would they do that? What is to gain? Lots of things could happen, but that doesn’t mean we should worry about everything that is conceivable.

          2. If Iran stops selling oil or blockades Saudi Arabia, Iran will implode first, not the rest of the world.

            But that is beside the point blocking some straits on the other side of the world is NOT a military threat. A military threat is when an army is massing at the border. The only threat is high oil prices, how that equates to a military threat is as stupid as the excuse for the British to start a war in South Africa for the gold.

          3. If they close the strait, Saudi attacks them.

            1. Unless they develop nukes. Then they become the regional power. Do you want to wait for that Pandora’s box to open (within the next 5-10 years)?

              1. Once we acquire this nuclear arsenal, we will be able to cut off our nose to spite our face in complete security!

                The Great Satan will be powerless as we destroy our economy!

                (Exeunt, cackling madly)

              2. The Iranian government at least half of its revenue from oil. Are you seriously suggesting that they’ll collapse their own government to raise our oil prices?

  9. I wonder which of our resident statists will be along to explain that only those weird extremist libertopian dopes read the whole book. Good pragmatic statists just cherry-pick the helpful parts.

  10. ” something few today would deny outside the small but eminently adorable band of anarcho-capitalists and pacifists.”

    Even in anarcho-capitalism people would need to defend themselves. It would just be more efficient. Few of us would deny that. Most of us believe such responsibility would fall to insurance companies.

    There are some true pacifists among us ancaps but they are not the majority.

    1. “insurance companies.”

      That worked out so well for columbian farmers…

      1. 1) Don’t invoke the personification of my beloved United States in mockery.

        2) You mean Colombian?

        3) Nobody gives a shit about some third-world banana republic.

        1. 1. ???

          2. Yes

          3. How about somolia? I can haz RoAdz?

      2. damn threaded comments. My answer to you is below. I replied to myself apparently ….

    2. Columbia is a city in South Carolina. Colombia is a country in South America.

      Colombian farmers were (and still are) operating in a world of nation-states that impose an taxes, tarrifis, prohibitions of certain products and many other hardships upon them. You are not dealing with an ideal environment there to test your theories. Nice try though.

      1. Columbia is a flying commentary on imperialism and anarchosocialism.

  11. What do you guys think about the People’s Republic of China? Anybody worried about a country like that rising onto the superpower scene in the next few decades?

    1. I’d be worried if they had an excess male population with no chance of a wife or a decent job. Oh, wait a minute…

    2. I’m learning mandarin as we speak.

      1. Whedon clued me in — I’m just going to learn their curses.

    3. Economic superpower, yes. Military? no.

      1. Sure about that? 😛

        1. I fear the Yellow Hordes so much, I think we should only park 3 of our carrier battlegroups, 3 Air Wings’ worth of planes and standdown 6 maneuver brigade teams. Once cut down on the 4-5 wars we are fighting, we can standdown further brigades and air wings.

          1. Sure – it’s real easy to stand up a brigade or carrier group when you need it – maybe a three year process.

            But let’s keep 2 million civilian drones in the federal government including 700k in the DOD. Those people are key to our current prosperity.

            1. I am aware of how long it takes to stand up a carrier group or brigade – maybe more than three years if it includes equipement upgrades.

              Thats not a bug but a feature.

              Being a little tight on the number of spearpoints might give our over-interventionist political leaders a bit of hesitation before they jump into a new war every other year.

              I’m sure the remaining 8 carriers, 5000 manned aircraft and 42 combat brigades will be able to hold the Chinese at bay as they slowly march across the Pacific.

      1. China is surrounded by Russia, Japan, India, Vietnam and a future united Korea. The Chinese militarys only goal is to keep China together, the aircraft carriers are just national chest thumping like the Olympics and their space agency, they serve no real purpose other than to instill national pride.

        1. They are going to be busy trying to keep those excess males with no hope of decent jobs or wives in line.

        2. Korea is re-uniting? Great news, got a date for us?

          China will certainly not allow Korean unification. Mao tossed away a million lives in the 50’s to keep them separate – that was before they had 9 million extra bachelors.

          1. Within the next 20 years. Once the son takes over and is forced to make reforms, things will move quickly, kind of like East Germany. Which no doubt people like you never thought was possible.

            1. People like me thought it was possible that the Warsaw Pact would collapse – the cracks had been showing for years. Lech Walesa was even allowed to live.

              Are there similar cracks showing in NK? I would love to see a peaceful re-unification of Korea, but I’ll stay skeptical.

    4. No biggie. Just rearm Japan. They used to kick China’s ass every couple of decades just to remind them they could do. And they did it so well that, even today, the Chinese are paranoid as hell about them.

      1. The fact that they are paranoid as hell about it is why rearming Japan, as much as it should be done for our security and because everyone in Japan is 85 years old and even if they wanted to do what they did in the 30s and 40s they couldn’t. Try to rearm Japan and watch anti-Japanese sentiment in China reach a boiling point. The Chinese will be pissed at us and would very likely send their gunboats to the Japanese coast to send them a message.

    5. I imagine that they will grow more powerful over time, unless of course they become socialist like the US.

      If you want to compete with China, then having a bankrupt economy is not the way to do it.

  12. A lot of claiming of Adam Smith being done all around.

    Maybe people should start realizing that ‘appeal to authority’ is a logical fallacy.

    In other words, WHO GIVES A SHIT what Adam Smith said about defense anyway? When someone is right, he’s right. When he’s wrong, he’s wrong. Either Bolton and his cronies can justify warmo…excuse me…defense spending with their own valid arguments, or they can’t.
    Presenting some well-known dead guy as if he’s a prophet of truth and reason by default doesn’t impress me in the slightest.

    1. We should all be appealing to STEVE SMITH’s authority anyway, lest he rape you.

    2. We should be respectful of people like Smith who were right when so many other people – especially in the political establishment – were wrong.

      Bolton and the others are probably trying to use a few out-of-context Smith quotes in their campaign against the paleocons – “I thought you isolationists were into Adam Smith, but I just Googled a misleading quote which makes it seem like Adam Smith agrees with me! Ha, ha, I win!”

      1. I respect Adam Smith – where he was right.

        I have no intention of regarding him, or anybody else, as an ‘authority’ whose name merely be invoked to have people gasp in wonder and fall in line. Which is always the intent of people who use the appeal-to-authority fallacy.

      2. Who says Smith was right?

        The British ignored his advice and kept their colonial empire until WWI – And remained the richest country in the world until we passed them.

        1. Tell that to the Irish who were part of Great Britain then and starved and were dispossessd in part because the same Navigation Acts prevented rapid import of commercial grain in the acute famine times. Smith had a point even if it landed one island over from the center.

    3. Appeal to authority is a logical fallacy.

      That doesnt make it a fallacy in general though.

    4. A lot of claiming of Adam Smith being done all around.

      Maybe people should start realizing that ‘appeal to authority’ is a logical fallacy.

      In other words, WHO GIVES A SHIT what Adam Smith said about defense anyway? When someone is right, he’s right. When he’s wrong, he’s wrong. Either Bolton and his cronies can justify warmo…excuse me…defense spending with their own valid arguments, or they can’t.
      Presenting some well-known dead guy as if he’s a prophet of truth and reason by default doesn’t impress me in the slightest.

      ^^^^^F’ng THIS!!

  13. Does anybody here think we never should have let the Philippines go? 51st state, and all?

    1. No. After a hundred years the US still has not assimilated Puerto Rico.

      We should never have conquered the Philippines in the first place. One of the worse days in US history was when Admiral Dewey sailed into Manila Bay and the US ended up with a colony which cost more money then it was worth and which the US was not able to defend.

      1. It which point his armies spent years killing a bunch of Filipinos to no discernible purpose.

        1. At which point…

          1. Training guerillas to fight the Japs…

      2. Without the Spanish American War and those new colonies in the Pacific, would we have even bumped heads with the Japanese in WW2?

        1. Probably later when they would have been harder to beat. Maybe when they invaded Australia or New Zealand.

        2. Probably not. The US wouldn’t have had much of a presence in East Asia without the Philippines as a base, and probably wouldn’t have had the means to provide a backup to the UK. A preemptive strike on the US would have been irrelevant.

    2. 52nd – after Cuba.

  14. Not worried, they have their own huge set of problems to deal with.

  15. Just one of the many reasons Pat Cadell said Americans are in a “pre-revolutionary” mood. I’ve been telling the wife since about 2005 that we would experience a Second American Revolution in our lifetimes. Question is, will it be Velvet-Havel style, or something else?

    1. The military will be the determining factor.
      If they follow orders then the defenders of liberty will be crushed with an iron fist, and the Imperial United Socialist States of Amerika will emerge.
      If they refuse and we end up with a Constitutional Convention, things like “health care” and “a living wage” will be declared to be rights, and the end result will still be a socialist state.

      No matter what we’re fucked.

      1. It won’t be peaceful – the two sides are diametrically opposed (freedom versus statism).

        The government alphabet agencies will obey their statist masters. Most military personnel won’t – we take our oath to the Constitution seriously.

        1. The problem is, there are a lot more than two sides. If the current political structure collapses, you’re going to be seeing a whole lot of different factions competing for power. And it’s not likely to be pretty.

          1. There are only two sides.

            Those who want to control people and those who do not.

            “Political tags ? such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth ? are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surly curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort.”
            -Heinlein’s Lazarus Long

            How can those of us who value liberty triumph over those who want power, without seeking power?

            There are no George Washingtons left who would voluntarily step down after two terms.

            We’re fucked.

            1. Bullshit. At some level, all of them want people controlled. I doubt even the most pacifist anarchists would want to tolerate roving bands of marauders pillaging their villages for long.

              The only distinction is what behavior they want controlled, and by what mechanisms. And that’s where you find quite a bit of variety.

              1. Reacting to the initiation of force is quite different from wanting to control people.

                1. But being proactive against inevitable breaches of the “initiation of force” rule is anti-freedom.

                  Your utopia is a society in which the guy with the biggest gun wins, whether you voted for him or not. You do realize that don’t you?

                  1. I have no idea what you’re talking about Tony the Troll.
                    Then again I doubt you do either.

            2. sorry, it didn’t happen in the 1930s – when there was an active and viable communist party, large labor movements, and a big state to the east to provide “legitimacy” – so it’s not going to happen now because some 401ks lose value and people have to go on government unemployment for a few months. it’s threads like these why no one takes libertarians seriously.

              1. it’s threads like these why no one takes libertarians seriously

                Are you trying to imply that you are taken seriously by anyone other than yourself?

                Please.

                1. Your mom doesn’t count.

        2. “Most military personnel won’t – we take our oath to the Constitution seriously.”

          You do?
          Then what are “most military personnel” doing around the world now – from Iraq to South Korea and from Germany to Somalia?
          Let me guess: defending America?

          1. Don’t be an ass – adults are speaking.

            1. haha, old statist is butthurt. Trident left out all those military/DOD personnel who are engaging in indefinite detention and “enhanced interrogation”. Not to mention those piloting attack drones into countries congress has not formally declared war upon. The military is the praetorian guard of the executive branch with no constitutional scruples to speak of. fuck off statist.

        3. The military will be on whichever side promises to keep their paychecks and pension checks coming. fuck off statist.

      2. We’re fucked if we have healthcare and a living wage?

        Conservative idiots need to grow the fuck up. A Democrat in the White House is not justification for armed revolution.

        1. We’re fucked if our Constitution is rewritten to look something like this.
          Not that I would expect you to have a problem with this country adopting the Soviet Constitution of 1937.

          1. Tony would LOVE that.

    2. My guess is that it will look a lot more like the French revolution.

      1. Time to work on my guillotine manufacturing business plan.

  16. small but eminently adorable band of anarcho-capitalists

    Adorable? Umm, I got one example to counter that idea: Episiarch.

  17. So, we have the entire ME going up. We have the Iranians racing to go nuclear (the Iranians are behind AQ btw) and we have a terrified House of Saud, who is also seeking nukes. The entire military is already demoralized, so let’s cut the military. Not sure who’ll go first; Tehran nukes Tel Aviv, or the House of Saud nukes Tehran, or Israel goes with the Samson option perhaps. Any of those scenarios will first collapse the global financial system, followed by global mass starvation. Unless, of course, you libertarians think we can put solar panels on tractors and combine harvesters? Someone will have to get the oil wells functioning again, so I guess we’ll have to go back to the draft? Well done guys, well done.

    1. B-B-BUT WE INSTALLED THE SHAH HALF A CENTURY AGO! /s

    2. Statists have had more than enough time and opportunity to realize that when government sticks its nose in the free market, it hinders technological advancement.
      Whatever it is, we could have had a completely different energy source by now.

      So stop whining about the party of oil-by-force and rule-by-puppets coming to an end. You’ve made yourself and the rest of us dependent on that shit.

      About going back to the draft? Good luck with that. Let’s see how the American people will take it, now that they now what it’s like NOT to have to sacrifice your life and limbs for some politician’s personal mass murdering plot. It’ll make the 60s look like a fucking kindergarten playground.

      1. Draft or global mass starvation? Scientists have been searching for an alternative to oil for how many decades now? Good luck with that – might as well order the law of gravity repealed. Consider how many times oil is used to produce a loaf of bread. Soil has to be tilled, crop planted, weeded, harvested, wheat transported to mill to be made into flour, flour transported to a bakery to be made into bread and then delivered to various supermarkets.
        And that’s just food – did not realize that libertarians were in favour of autarky. Good luck with that.

        1. Industrial agriculture today is using 10 calories of petroleum for 1 calorie of food gained.

          Unsustainable griculture is the “fiat money” of food; it’s a short fun ride that consistently ends in disaster.

      2. If you like the agricultural City-State (civilization,) you too are a Statist.

        1. Hunter-gatherers would never invent an internet. Your very presence here betrays your lack of seriousness.

    3. We start drilling for oil in the US again. We keep importing oil from Canada, Mexico and South America. We quit paying farmers to not grow crops. We sell those crops to the rest of the world. The ME is none of our business.

      1. North America is a veritable pin cushion of oil wells. Which fraction of a square inch did we miss?

      2. Can we make up the loss of 40% of oil?

        1. We only get about 10% of our oil from the ME, not 40%.

  18. What do you guys think about milk? Is it good for you or not?

    1. God-awful troll is fucking God-awful.

  19. The neocons, as evil as they are, understand Civilization much better than the simpering Libertarians who want to have their cake and eat it too.

    What the neocons understand is the game theory called “Prisoner’s Dilemma” in which civilization puts mankind – GROW OR DIE.

    Sustainability, or evolutionarily stable lifestyle, is not an option for the aggressively invasive and occupational human organizational scheme called civilization.

    To clarify my point, I’ll quote the following passage:

    The Prisoner’s Dilemna provides the logical foundation of why civilization must always continue to grow. Each society faces a choice: do we continue to intensify production, adopt greater complexity, and increase the size or scale of our society, or do we happily accept the level we’re already at? If you choose not to intensify, you will be out-competed by those who do?and your lower level of intensity and complexity will become a resource they can absorb to fuel their further acceleration, whether by outright conquest or more subtle forms of economic or cultural exploitation.

    This is the underlying logic of Joseph Tainter’s argument concerning collapse in peer polities in The Collapse of Complex Societies. If one peer polity does choose to collapse, that region becomes a resource that can be exploited by its neighbors. Whoever conquers it first will have an advantage over the others in the continuing race of escalation.

    Thesis #12: Civilization must always grow.
    by Jason Godesky
    23 October 2005
    http://rewild.info/anthropik/thirty/

    1. Or on the other hand civilizations can trade with each other, talk to each other and all grow together without killing each other.

      Your bleak world view is probably a reflection of your bleak life. Libertarians enjoy life, and frankly the future is going to be better than ever before, despite all the roadblocks your governments want to throw in the way.

      1. Only in Liberarian’s novels and dreams.

        Trade is just another method of plunder.

        Ever read either of these guys?

        Confessions of an Economic Hit Man
        en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confessions_of_an_Economic_Hit_Man

        or

        Plunder by Raids to Plunder by Trade
        J.W. Smith
        http://www.ied.info/

        While free trade is doable in Non-State* societies, within the State society, civilization, it usually has an element of coercion.

        And no, my life isn’t bleak. I’m blessed and envied by most who encounter me. You would be jealous too.

        * NON-STATE AND STATE SOCIETIES
        faculty.smu.edu/rkemper/cf_3333/Non_State_and_State_Societies.pdf

        1. Trade is just another method of plunder.

          Fail.

        2. Trade is plunder, got it. So next time you buy your loaf of bread and bottle of milk, what you are really doing is plundering the shop, or are they plundering you ?

          1. We’re plundering the earth and the natural first families (hardly any left) via agriculture. Ask the Indians on the Trail of Tears. Their land was invaded for agriculture purposes and is still being occupied for agricultural purposes.

            1. Andrew Jackson was a dick to the natives, but he did completely pay off the national debt.

              1. There is no single person to be blamed for the genocide that took place. Sadly, even Jefferson was vicious.

                “We will never lay it down till that tribe is exterminated, or is driven beyond the Mississippi.” ~Jefferson to the War Department, 1807

                “Pursue [the Indians] to extermination, or drive them to new seats beyond our reach.” ~Jefferson, 1812

                1. True, but there is a specific person who can be blamed for the Trail of Tears that you specifically mentioned. And that would be Andrew Jackson who said of the Supreme Court ruling he couldn’t do it “John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it!”

                  What a dick.

                  1. Because Indians were such peaceful, non-violent beings who, not unlike those angels on Avatar, were completely innocent when whitey came to corrupt their societies.

                    Whatever. They killed each other for land and ladies and just got whiney when someone came along who was much better at it than they were.

                    1. Incorrect, Stephen; consider anthropologist Jason Godesky’s essay, an excerpt which follows:

                      “Primitive societies did engage in violence, and without a permanent class of professional killers, it fell to primitive peoples themselves to execute what violence became necessary. Perhaps that is in part why such societies also did so much to limit violence. Contemporary charges against primitive warriors rely on observations of a “post-apocalyptic” society decimated by European contact, ignoring the evidence that violence in these societies has been increased significantly because of the overwhelming impact of European contact. What we do see, however, is ample evidence of means to limit violence?emphasis placed on bravery and intimidation to avoid violence from breaking out, ritual approaches aimed at reconciling enemies, and alternative forms of contesting differences, such as song duels or counting coup. To properly compare the effectiveness of such approaches to our own, we need to take an honest accounting of violence in our own society?wars, murder, violent crime, incarceration, police brutality, and the full impact of our professional violence class. We need to look also to the ubiquitous violence inherent in our social system: the threat of violence that lies behind paying your rent, obtaining your food, and every other aspect of civilized existence. Primitive societies were not devoid of violence, but they did limit it, and it was a much rarer thing. Among them, violence was something that happened. For us, it’s a way of life.”

                      Noble or Savage? Both. (Part 1)
                      by Jason Godesky
                      11 January 2008
                      http://rewild.info/anthropik/2…..index.html

                    2. I am aware of that myth.

                    3. It’s not myth; it’s evidenced by archeology and anthropology.

                      But I assume you have as much regard for science and inductive thinking as a Fundamentalist Creationist.

                    4. But I assume

                      And you assume wrong. If you would like you may ask those things about me, and I might even answer.

                      Or you can argue against a straw man of your creation. It’s up to you.

                      But the natives did chop down forests, they waged war against one another, they drove species to extinction… they were only human.

                    5. What I am addressing is the mythology that Non-State sociopolitical typologies (band, tribe) are as violent as the State sociopolitical typology (agricultural civilization.)

                      It’s ironic that Libertarians so often deprecate Non-State typologies while defending agricultural City-State.

                      No, the Natives of band and tribe Non-State sociopolitical typologies did not constantly war against each other. (Cheifdoms, still considered Non-State by Elman Service, do have more conflict, but then they are usually agricultural, or at least proto-agricultural with extensive domestication of plants and animals.)

                      That warring tribes and bands notion as disproven by archeology as the Lockean myth that our ancestors lived a life “nasty, brutish, and short.”

                    6. It looks to me like you are arguing against a straw man, and an elaborate one at that.

                      Most libertarians will grudgingly defend the existence of government as socialized justice and defense, but not much beyond that.

                      The unfortunate reality is that the very moment a power structure for organized defense is created, corrupt and evil men are vying to use it for offense.

                      But I would still prefer living in such a society over the abject poverty of self sufficiency.

                    7. No, the Natives of band and tribe Non-State sociopolitical typologies did not constantly war against each other.

                      How can you actually know that? It was a very long time ago and there is little historical record.

                  2. Yes, I know Jackson went over the Supremes, but he wouldn’t have done it without popular opinion behind him.

                    The agricultural City-State (civilization) is aggressively invasive and occupational.

                    1. Jackson went over the Supremes

                      Did Dianna Ross sing on that one?

        3. Ever heard of Jagwash Bhagwati? You keep citing incredibly controversial and disputed authors, while simultaneously asserting that we’re the ones following scripture blindly.

          1. Inductive thinking from empirical science beats deductive syllogisms every day.

  20. To clarify my jibe of “simpering Libertarians who want to have their cake and eat it too.”

    Neocons love the agricultural City-State, all of it.

    Libertarians, bless their heart, hate the State part of it, and think they can divorce the State from the agriculture and City part.

    The POLIce and POLItics are all part of the POLIs, or Greek word for city.

    POLI just means people who are organized in groups way bigger than the neuro-biological limit of humans, known as Dunbar’s Number.

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunbar’s_number

    1. Thanks. I was confused until you pointed out the etymology of “police” and “politics”.

      I am now prepared to subscribe to your newsletter, should the opportunity arise.

      1. Damn.
        Cut me to it.

    2. Nah…

      Still not convinced government aggression against myself and others is for our benefit.

      But maybe if you quote some more books or give us another etymological lesson, we’ll finally see the error of our ways.

      1. Not convinced of the benefits of government aggression?

        Are you enjoying your middle eastern oil that we found under their sand? (I never have figured out how our oil got under their sand. LOL)

        Enjoying a banana for breakfast from PRIVate Property that dePRIVes the natives of land, via invasion of Honduras by the US Army?

        Sure is nice being in the center of the Empire. Not so nice in the outlying satraps.

        1. Etymological lesson of the day:

          Government’s primary job is dePRIVing others. This function of dePRIVation fulfills its primary enTITLEment program in granting land TITLE for PRIVate property.

          Neocons love the whole process.

          Libertarians, bless their heart, are conflicted about it, but still mainly support government functions (albeit with caveats about “private defense companies” and other fantasies) as long as they aren’t the victim.

          1. Government’s priMARY job is depriving otHERS. This function of deprivation fulFILLS its primary entitlement proGRAM in granting land title for private proPERty.

            The government is trying to get lesbian coke dealers the highest price per gram.

            1. So… we should stop eating food.

              Thanks, White Indian… you’ve schooled us well.

              1. In conversations about private property, nearly every Libertarian friend I have is surprised by the fact that deprivation and private and privilege come from the same Latin root. If you were aware, great, Mr. FIFY, but most have never considered private property deprives by privilege.

                1. How exactly can Injuns have no concept of private property rights, yet somehow we “took” “their” property?

                2. You’re claiming to have friends.

              2. Negative. Horrible interpretation.

            2. hell yeah! hehe

        2. Nope. Still not convinced.

          It’s probably because of that false choice fallacy.

          You know the one, where the only alternative you offer to reality as it has now occurred, is one i would find the least pleasant, therefor finding myself “forced” to accept that reality as it HAS occurred is one i should appreciate all the more?

          Who knows what kind of world we would be living in now if no government force had occurred at all?
          Apparently, not only do you know, but better than us dummies too.
          You’ve got chaos theory all figured out.

          Come on, try a little harder.
          Throw me another etymological lesson to amuse myself with in the meanwhile.

          1. Look up the etymology of the words private and deprive.

            I expect you’ll remain as unconvinced as a Fundamentalist Creationist who sees light from the Andromeda Galaxy that has traveled for 2.5M years, and thinks the earth is 6000 years old.

            Because your secular religion, now called “free-market economics,” takes as much faith.

            Yep, yours is a religion.

            Rome under the Republic had a civic religion, consisting of the reading of entrails and other sensible precautions. The civic religion of the modern world is social engineering, which depends on similar techniques of divination?

            The members of the American economics profession, as [Thurman] Arnold contended, performed a vital practical role in maintaining this unique system of corporate socialism American style. It was their role to prevent the American public from achieving a correct understanding of the actual workings of the American economic system. Economists instead were assigned the task to dispense priestly blessings that would allow business to operate independent of damaging political manipulation. They accomplished this task by means of their message of “laissez faire religion, based on a conception of a society composed of competing individuals.” However false as a description of the actual U.S. economy, this vision in the mind of the American public was in practice “transferred automatically to industrial organizations with nation-wide power and dictatorial forms of government.” Even though the arguments of economists were misleading and largely fictional, the practical ? and beneficial ? result of their deception was to throw a “mantle of protection ? over corporate government” from various forms of outside interference. Admittedly, as the economic “symbolism got farther and farther from reality, it required more and more ceremony to keep it up.” But as long as this arrangement worked and there could be maintained “the little pictures in the back of the head of the ordinary man,” the effect was salutary ? “the great [corporate] organization was secure in its freedom and independence.” It was this very freedom and independence of business professionals to pursue the correct scientific answer ? the efficient answer ? on which the economic progress of the United States depended.

            ~Robert H. Nelson, REACHING FOR HEAVEN ON EARTH

            Economic efficiency has been the greatest source of social legitimacy in the United States for the past century, and economists have been the priesthood defending this core social value of our era.

            ~Robert H. Nelson, ECONOMICS AS RELIGION

            1. Well if someone said that in a book it must be true.

              1. I bet you came up with all the free-market ideas in your head all by yourself. Admirable. It’s amazing you can even type, since you don’t read any books yourself.

                You know, Fundamentalist Creationist often us the same silly “universal skepticism” for science books, even though they are steeped in selective biblolatry.

                1. Ladies and gentleman, may I present to you – the anthropology major with a minor in sociology.

                  1. LOL, not so. Still, when economists like Mises, etal make absurd statements as “a priori” premises for their deductive syllogisms, and empirical observation invalidates an economic premise, well, I change my mind.

                    I’m one of you who read outside of the holy canon and actually learned something other than parroting a religious catechism from the economic priesthood.

                    1. Because you’re the only guy who has ever read a book outside the holy libertarian canon. None of us ever has.

                    2. Provide a single shred of evidence that intervention in markets is a good idea on economic grounds or that it has ever worked in history. You never back up your rants against libertarianism with a single source or argument that shows you understand economics even in the slightest or have any knowledge of history or current affairs.

                      Libertarianism is not a religion. The writings of Smith, Friedman, Hayek, Rothbard, von Mises, Bastiat, etc. have been confirmed numerous times not only by logic but also by evidence from history. Your interventionist pipe-dreams that government intervention, despite all evidence to the contrary, solves problems is a religion, and it has even less evidence than creationism.

  21. “Sacrificing its wealth or “opulence” might be necessary, he agreed, when England had to defend itself from hostile foreign powers, something few today would deny outside the small but eminently adorable band of anarcho-capitalists and pacifists.”

    Few today would also deny that most of the other government programs are unnecessary, so what’s the author’s point?

    Widely accepted public opinion should be taken as a self-evident truth when he agrees with it, otherwise it shouldn’t?

    1. It’s called game theory. Civilization must always grow (like a cancer) and thus puts people into a Prisoner’s Dilemma – grow or die.

      1. If civilization grows like cancer, does that mean language is a virus?

        1. Smart cancer!

          The Wit & Wisdom of Cancer
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3C-ERBfCms

          1. Just to head off the tired bromide that anybody who is concerned with Gaia’s health hates humans as cancer:

            Not so.

            A single sociopolitical typology – the agricultural City-State – demonstrates the constant growth, invasive, and occupational traits of cancer.

            Humans in evolutionarily stable sociopolitical typologies are great for the earth; they garden it.

            Did you know that the Amazon rainforest is now being viewed by archeologists and anthropologists largely as a human artifact?

            For more evidence, see:
            1491
            Charles Mann
            http://www.theatlantic.com/mag…..1491/2445/

            1. …aaaand you just all credibility. Mann’s book was trashed as mostly speculative garbage by actual professors.

              1. Not to mention, that peaceful people of American plains weren’t the only civilization this side of the Atlantic – the Mayans, Incas, etc… all had structured city states with institutionalized violence. Get over yourself.

                1. End of the review of 1491 from Science:

                  “Unfortunately the book also contains overstatements, errors, and speculations of the kinds that creep in when an author’s purpose is to make a strong case for a thesis. Again, I will cite just a few. It is unnecessary to argue that Europeans were “unbearably dirty” to make the case that Indians were not filthy savages or to repeat Henry Dobyns’s wildly inflated population estimates to make the case that colonial era epidemics were unprecedented in their devastation?everybody was smelly in 1491, and 60% mortality is horrendous no matter what the absolute size of the population. Older is better in popular books, and Brazil’s Lagoa Santa skeletons are dusted off again. But none of the surprisingly early dates claimed for these and other finds in eastern Brazil meet minimum scientific standards for reliability. The Great Law of the Iroquois is very different from the U.S. Constitution. The framers of the latter were inspired mainly by European philosophy, yet Mann repeats the modern myth that the framers of the Constitution “were pervaded by Indian ideals and images of liberty.”

                  The book is a good read. For the most part, Mann paints a fair picture of American Indians, and his account is largely free of fawning political correctness. But readers who know the subject well will question the polemics, erratic organization, and various factual statements. Critical readers should use 1491 only as a starting point, following the author’s excellent notes and bibliography to explore more specific topics in the vast literature pertaining to Columbus’s Other World.”

                  1. I concur with the Science review of 1491. You’re grasping at straws if you want to totally trash the book.

                2. I’m well aware that there was State society (civilization) in America before 1491.

                  My name White Indian comes from James Axtell’s book with a chapter title like that, and American usage generally refers to tribal Eastern Woodland Indians or Plains Indians, both of which had Non-State societies.

              2. You wish.

            2. Humans in evolutionarily stable sociopolitical typologies are great for the earth; they garden it.

              Not if they’re always thinking up destructive stuff like agricultural civilization. Our darned Big Brains always get us in trouble.

      2. You’re repeating yourself, and in places where it is not paying attention to the point at hand, since the author is not talking about your pet-topic “Game Theory”.

        1. “defend itself from hostile foreign powers” has everything to do with Prisoner’s Dilemma game theory – grow or be conquered.

          1. Except no. Canada and the US completely ruled out the possibility of ever going to war with each other in the 1920s – before the US had its pre-eminent global military. Here are some authors you should read: Keohane and Nye “Power and Interdependence” – the primary thesis that more and more, there are regions and states in the globe who no longer worry about existential threats.

            1. I doubt the good political professor considers the US and Canadian police force as an internal occupation force of the invasive and occupational agricultural City-State (civilization.)

  22. Alexander Hamilton definitely was a neo-con.

  23. I can make up rhymes too:
    If you are Boltin’ for a war, you should
    be a Stew-ard of your car. Don’t worry about the Frum on his face, just put that money into space (weapons). Listen up, be Sharp(ton), we can be free-my buddies on MSNBC!

  24. By coincidence, I am just now reading Wealth of Nations. In reading the work, it is immediately clear how Mr. Smith differed from the typical neocon. Mr. Smith had a brain and was not afraid to use it.

    Troy L Robinson

  25. having a well funded military is a great thing to have, but I am certain we can shave plenty of billions of funding off our military and still stay number one, that would mean reducing its size, not it’s sophistication.

  26. Actually, the political theorist who shares the neocon national greatness agenda most closely is not Adam Smith but Niccolo Machiavelli.

    Machiavelli was arguing for a nation state. Florance, to which he advised, was only a city state in an ocean of other city states and as such was susceptible to conquest.

    It should be noted that France did make Florance surrender and play host to its armies.

    Machiavelli wanted a nation state like France so it could not be conquered.

  27. So, instead of actually refuting the substance of Bolton’s points, the author wants to get into a pointless debate about interpretation of Smith’s work. Clever debate tactic, but in the end — pointless. The ultimate issue (one which intellectually honest people can disagree on) is whether or not America’s security is threatened by developments overseas and whether or not those threats require a forward military posture.

    But, hey, let’s just debate labels and use of quotes so…here goes.

    The author calling Bolton a “neocon” is inaccurate. He is not, nor was he ever a “neocon.” There is nothing “neo” about his conservativism. She should be smart enough to know that.

    1. Dalmia wasn’t writing about your ultimate issue. She made it clear at the beginning what the topic of this post is, and she stuck to her subject.

      1. And she did not defend her position. The theoretical issue, not in dispute, is that Smith would have supported the sovereign aka government doing whatever is necessary to defend the security of the realm aka nation.

        Smith may not have supported Britain’s security policies at the time, but that is an empirical question.

        The empirical question as it applies to modern day is whether or not in a world of assymetric threats, etc., defense budgets / forward military posture are justified. Bolton says “yes” and defends his argument. One can disagree with him, but as the commenter below me points out, she uses pithy generalities, attacks his facial hair, mislabels him a neocon, — I could go on.

        Point being: I read Reason because I like informed, and, well, reasoned debate and this column didn’t provide that service. The reason I commented on this article (something I have never done) is because the author accuses Bolton of being sophomoric, which is absurd. I don’t always agree with Mr. Bolton, but sophomoric he is not and it is hypocritical for the author to accuse him as such given the tone and tenor of her own column.

  28. Oh come on now, a journalist who has actually read Smith? That’s a first.

    I’m constantly amazed at how misquoted and misunderstood Adam Smith is.

    The hidden hand for crissakes.

  29. This article is like the mood music in a movie that tells you whether to be fearful or happy. The mood here was signaled by the reference to Bolton’s mustache and $750 toilets, and resort to the generalities expressed by Adam Smith in i776. Not relevant to real life.

    1. Right. ‘Cause in real life, you just gotta bomb villages on the other side of the world. If you don’t, you’ll be overrun by barbarian hordes.

  30. It’s pretty tough to “defend” yourself if you allow your enemies to gather, mobilize and consolidate their forces freely outside of your “defense”. As they say, sometimes the best kind of defense is offense.

    I’m sure we can cut chunks from the defense as well as ease off on the global policing, but rash cuts to defenes is counterproductive. I sure as hell don’t think South Korea can defend herself against the NorKos, who sort of bombed one of their remote islands earlier this year.

  31. It’s just nice to know that Europe, S. Korea, Japan, Afghanistan, Iraq, most of Africa, Central Asia, and every other far flung place can rely on good ‘ol Uncle Sam to waste his blood and treasure to ensure that they don’t need to waste their own tax money for their own defense.

    Basically it goes like this: Our S. Korea and Japan policy is basically, let’s ensure that they have a nice base to destroy our auto and tech industry and we’ll provide the troops to make sure of it.

    Let’s build an untested multi-billion dollar missile defense shield in grateful Europe so they can be “protected” from Iran since that is our interest that they don’t waste tax money for defence.

    Let’s be at the beck and call of every Middle East nation that claims they have Al-Qaida in their backyard (while they are secretly funding such cells to get our attention).

    For bonus points, I hear from open source information that the US Air Force is building an airbase in Poland. That’s great news for male US Air Force service members. It’s also a relief that we have the ability to go into the USSR at a moments notice. Too bad for the US economy and tax payer since that does not contribute much to our defense.

    Anyways, what rely gets me is that these countries are full of armchair generals/quarterbacks who talk bad about the US but willfully accept their “imperial” presence in their nations.

  32. Speaking of “conservatives”, a member of the “greatest conservative administration” (by NRO’s admission), created a policy called the Weinberger Doctrine that included the following which the Neocons would have called defeatist or French 7 years ago:

    The Weinberger doctrine:
    The United States should not commit forces to combat unless the vital national interests of the United States or its allies are involved.

    U.S. troops should only be committed wholeheartedly and with the clear intention of winning. Otherwise, troops should not be committed.

    U.S. combat troops should be committed only with clearly defined political and military objectives and with the capacity to accomplish those objectives.

    The relationship between the objectives and the size and composition of the forces committed should be continually reassessed and adjusted if necessary.
    U.S. troops should not be committed to battle without a “reasonable assurance” of the support of U.S. public opinion and Congress.

    The commitment of U.S. troops should be considered only as a last resort.

  33. Many different groups believe counterfeit israel will nuke an American city to manipulate us into attacking Iran FOR THEM (while they hide as far away from the front lines as they can get, as usual). Why wouldn’t they? It’s the “jews” modus operandi. For decades, mossad (parent company of the CIA) has been bombing “jewish” targets then calling in as Hezbollah, Hamas, PLO, etc., to take credit for it. During the Six Day War, israeli planes murdered 40 American sailors aboard the USS Liberty, then blamed it on Muslims, to con us into fighting that war FOR THEM. A generation later, they brought down the Two Towers on 9/11 so America would be sure to take over Iraq and Afghanistan FOR THEM. WILL AMERICA ONLY WAKE UP WHEN IT’S TOO LATE?

    http://tinyurl.com/JewsNukeAmericanCity

    DEAN BERRY MINISTRIES

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