Foreign Policy

The Open Society and Its Worst Enemies

One can have an open society or a militarist foreign policy, but not both.

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Last week's bloody events in Paris demonstrate yet again that a noninterventionist foreign policy, far from being a luxury, is an urgent necessity — literally a matter of life and death. A government that repeatedly wages wars of aggression — the most extreme form of extremism — endangers the society it ostensibly protects by gratuitously making enemies, some of whom will seek revenge against those who tolerate, finance, and symbolize that government and its policies. (On the specific connection between the Paris attacks and wars of aggression, see my "Understanding the Paris Violence.")

Obviously, the police in more or less open societies — "but rather less than more" — cannot fully prevent the kind of violence that occurred at Charlie Hebdo and the kosher grocery Hyper Cacher. Some or all of the killers, who were known to authorities, reportedly spent time in Syria, Iraq, or Yemen with al-Qaeda or the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria  — organizations, let us recall, that were not in those places or did not exist before George W. Bush invaded Iraq in 2003 and started bombing other Muslim societies in his "war on terror." But travel abroad is not necessary to carry out horrendous attacks. The Internet provides all the information a would-be killer could want to pull off a mass atrocity. "Lone wolf" operations executed by "self-radicalized" individuals are by nature virtually undetectable, even with a battalion of spies and suborned informants or sophisticated eavesdropping regimes. As journalist Patrick Cockburn writes,

Plots and conspiracies, orchestrated from abroad or home grown, conducted by well-trained jihadis or by angry young men with kitchen knives, pose threats too numerous and diverse for them all to be prevented.

If even a full-blown police state could not prevent all such plots, what chance does a society with a vestige of regard for civil liberties have? But that doesn't stop governments from trying, usually with full public support. The price is diminished liberty as the authorities adopt increasingly aggressive methods. Further, authorities' will always be tempted to manufacture incidents to justify their heightened alerts, intrusions, and extravagant  budgets.

That is why it is imperative for societies wishing to remain more or less open to not let their rulers make enemies by conducting a militarist foreign policy. It really is either-or. As Richard Cobden taught a century and a half ago, security is served by nonintervention and free trade.

This gives the lie to the claim of the war party, the neoconservatives, and the so-called liberal interventionists that making war on the Muslim world is necessary to protect "our way of life." On the contrary, such a policy threatens our way of life, not to mention our lives. Americans should have learned that lesson on Sept. 11, 2001. The French should have learned it on Jan. 7, 2015, if not long before. Contrary to what many people want to believe, history did not begin on those dates. Those who contend that Islamist violence in Europe or America amounts to an ex post justification for Western militarism are playing a dangerous game.

It's self-serving and disingenuous for the rulers of NATO countries to blame so-called "terrorism" on Islamic fanaticism. (The quotation marks indicate my reluctance to use a political term rigged so as never to apply to the U.S. government's conduct.) They may say their war is not with Islam itself, only with the "extremists," but that claim conflicts with the larger colonial and postcolonial context. They routinely leave the impression that the problem is indeed with Islam itself (not to mention Arabs and Persians).

One need not dismiss religion as a relevant social factor to understand that the Arab and Muslim grievances against the West are mainly political and socioeconomic. Chris Hedges makes this point in "A Message from the Dispossessed," in which he quotes Mohaam Abak, "a Moroccan immigrant sitting with two friends on a bench … during my 2001 visit to La Cité des 4,000" in France:

You want us to weep for the Americans when they bomb and kill Palestinians and Iraqis every day? We want more Americans to die so they can begin to see what it feels like.

Abak's complaint (similar to Amedy Coulibaly's in France last week) is not that Americans are infidels, but that their rulers kill or, in the case of the Palestinians, underwrite the killing of people who have done them no wrong. By focusing on religion, the politicians authorizing the drones, bombs, and torture programs need not confront the fact that they have created the condition that now has Americans and other Westerners shaking in their shoes over sleeper cells and "domestic terrorism."

It really does come down to a stark choice between full freedom and empire. This is not just about what we call civil liberties. To the extent that the state consumes resources (passing them along to the military-intelligence-industrial complex), we have fewer opportunities to create prosperity through peaceful exchange. The interventionist state impinges on all realms of life. Chalmers Johnson was right:

A nation can be one or the other, a democracy or an imperialist, but it can't be both. If it sticks to imperialism, it will, like the old Roman Republic, on which so much of our system was modeled, lose its democracy to a domestic dictatorship.

The ruling elite and its court intellectuals solemnly speak of the need to balance liberty and security. Then they insult our intelligence by calling for a "public discussion" of where the line should be drawn. But they don't want a real public discussion. The ruling elite will decide, notwithstanding its showy gestures to "the people."

But even this concedes too much, because there is no balance to be struck and therefore nothing to discuss. As libertarian philosopher Roderick Long wrote,

What we want is not to be attacked or coercively interfered with — by anyone, be they our own government, other nations' governments, or private actors. Would you call that freedom? or would you call it security?

You can't trade off freedom against security because they're exactly the same thing.

Politicians cynically exploit the public's understandable fear of violence, and the media stenographers, ever eager to please and preserve their access to official sources, will help them, dropping even the facade of the hardboiled skepticism they erect on other occasions (such as when they discuss Edward Snowden). The power elite's public appeal for courage in the face of danger in reality translates as, "We will keep you safe if you trust us and don't ask too many questions."

So to whom do the people direct their anger — their rulers, who created these enemies, or "the terrorists" (that is, the Muslims)? You know the answer, and so do the perpetrators. The purpose of "terrorism" by marginalized groups is always the reaction and polarization it provokes. To quote Cockburn again,

If bin Laden had been hiding in the attic of the White House giving instructions to those in the rest of the building he could not have devised a cocktail of measures more likely to aid his cause.

Let us finally understand who created this danger (however exaggerated), and let us understand the choice that confronts us. We can have a truly open society or we can have a militarist foreign policy.

What we can't have is both.

This article originally appeared at the Future of Freedom Foundation.

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  1. like chapman, getting dumber on minute to minute basis now

    hmm didn’t know we were bommbing Palestine…lol..

    1. Too bad if we aren’t.

    2. didn’t know we were bommbing Palestine…lol..

      No, we just pay for those bombs.

      1. thank you for strengthing my point

    3. He has pulled off the near-impossible and become an even bigger dipshit than Dalmia.

      1. Shikha, when the walls fell!

    4. It’s worse than that. Apparently France did that.

    5. Yeah this article is quite derpy.
      Derpyhooves approves.

  2. Tis makes a lot of sense dude. Very cool indeed.

    http://www.Anon-Best.tk

  3. Shorter Richman: “JOOOOOOS!”

    1. Mr. Richman is Jewish himself iirc, but nice try.

      1. So what?

      2. and America is full of Americans who blame America first. Your point?

    2. Edited Richman, “IMPERIALISM!11!!!1!”

  4. Sheldon,

    Fuck off. Just Fuck off. There is not one God damn thing that killing a bunch of cartoonists has to do with Interventionalism. Not one fucking thing.

    Islam is a backwards barbaric religion that demands violence against non believers. That is all. This didn’t happen because some government did wrong to people and they reacted. The Charlie Hebdo attack happened because Islam is a childish religion that can’t handle living in the real world.

    I a fed up with apologists trying to “understand” Islamic volience. Islam preaches violence and demands it, it’s that simple. Oh and if I’ve offended any follower of the “religion of peace” don’t yell at me, go out there and stop the assholes killing in your religion’s name.

    1. Nice generalizations and collective assignment of guilt, surely indicators of the traditional libertarian focus on individuals, no?

      1. Nice generalizations and collective assignment of guilt

        It’s funny, because the same could be said about the original article.

        1. It’s not a generalization if it’s evil white colonialist Europeans.

          Don’t you know only white people are actually responsible for their actions, the Muslims just respond to whatever evil thing we do.

          It’s like a Libertarian version of good old fashion racist Progressive paternalism.

        2. He explicitly puts the blame on the ruling elites who create the conditions that foster this.

          1. And none on the Imams who create conditions that foster the machine-gunning of cartoonists. None on the Imams and warlords who strap bombs onto women and children and have them blow themselves up in public places filled with innocents.

            Those Imams have been preaching hate and conquest since the birth of Islam.

            1. Let’s be explicitly honest here. It’s not about what Imams preach. It’s about Islam being based on the infallibility of Mohommed who knowingly converted by sword, murdering many ppl who refused.

              Islam can be peaceful just as soon as Mohommed is dispossessed as the central example of god’s favor.

              Jesus OTOH is attributed a type of voluntary quasi-suicide.

              Christianity can be violent, but it requires effort because it defies the central example of the cross.

              Islam can be non-violent but it defies the central example of Mohommed’s carnage.

              They require active propaganda wars on their believers to make them ignore the religion, but you can make a christian violent and muslim peaceful. As soon as you cease the propaganda they will revert to the core ideology. for christians that means being eaten alive by lions and such.

              Islam is especially inflexible to change because their central example’s honor is defended with murder (you can’t just not insult him, you can’t even favorably depict him in cartoons).

              When ppl ‘go native’ or back to basics, muslims will get more violent and christians will get less violent. It’s not cultural, its baked into the ideological cake. It’s a reflection of how the founders dealt with conflict in life.

              1. I believe this is very true. I’ve read a bit on Islam, pro and con, and it’s essentially different from Christianity in crucial ways that lots of people don’t grasp, or refuse to grasp. They stop thinking at the nice, enlightened principle that “all religions are equal before the law” and think that means “all religions are the same.” They aren’t.

              2. I disagree with this. The history of Christianity is quite bloody. Your premise that the life of the founder of a religion dictates the behavior of his followers does not hold water. If that were true, most muslims would be violent when in fact the vast majority are very peaceful. It’s more about who has power and who doesn’t have power. When Christians didn’t have power, they advocated non-violence for obvious reasons. They don’t these days, as most neocons demonstrate.

                1. Christianity has a bloody history, sure. So does Islam. But how about the last century or two or three? Christianity has calmed down a lot, in part because the Bible doesn’t preach violence. The parts about sacrifice, turning the other cheek, etc., are much more the core of it. Not so with the Koran, which preaches violence in many ways, and today lots of Muslims agree.

                  We have dozens of self-proclaimed Islamic terror groups, many with death tolls in the thousands. Where are all the Christian terror groups with four-figure death tolls? What’s their support among Christians? How many leading Christian clerics are supporting or excusing them?

      2. no actually, much of the world see themselves as part of collectives, this is why narrow, western culturally inspired libertarianism fails to understand other societies …the focus on individuals in the western sense is itself a form of culturally imperialist thinking

        1. Libertarianism a product of Western culture? Blasphemy!! Bo who be here shortly to chastise you for those impure thoughts.

          1. iknow, can’t wait!

          2. Worse than that, libertarianism is an outgrowth of Western Christian culture.

      3. Nice generalizations and collective assignment of guilt, surely indicators of the traditional libertarian focus on individuals, no?

        This from the guy who makes generalizations about the evil SoConz just about every day.

        Hilarious

      4. Nice generalizations and collective assignment of guilt, surely indicators of the traditional libertarian focus on individuals, no?

        I’m sure you didn’t assign any degree of culpability to Nazis that personally played no role in the Holocaust. I’m sure you’d think it fair that there be an indictment of Nazi ideology for crimes committed under it’s auspices, no?

    2. If someone goes out and kills in your name, do you have an obligation to stop them?

  5. “….by gratuitously making enemies, some of whom will seek revenge against those who tolerate, finance, and symbolize that government and its policies. ”

    That is not what is going on at all. Charlie Hebdo did not tolerate, finance or symbolize a government that did. Charlie Hebdo blasphemed, that is all. I don’t see Muslims attacking government offices. I see them attacking those who disagree with them; not those who aggress Muslim countries but those who contravene their religious beliefs.

    What we see today in radical Islam is the same as what Thomas Jefferson saw 200 years ago in the Barbary Pirates. The blatherings of those barbarians reads almost word for word what we hear today from contemporary Imams. It is the same tripe the Crusaders heard from Saladin and his bunch. The same tripe Mohammed’s enemies heard. Islam is a savage creed that demands conquest and murder. The ultimate goal of the true muslim is to grind the world under his heel. Introducing Islam into any society and rivers of blood flow.

    SugarFree nailed it a few days ago. I can’t quote him, but paraphrased; The Christian world became civilized when it ceased being Christian and when the Muslims cease being Muslims that is when they will become civilized.

    That is the hard truth of it. Sadly we are a long way off from that happening.

    1. I saw a documentary a few years ago about Madrassas in Pakistan.

      One ten year old student who was very close to memorizing the Koran word for word, in a language he did not understand, was taken to a public swimming pool. Everyone there was dressed in full clothing but there were women and men swimming in the same pool.

      The little monster insisted that all of those people must be killed. He then pronounced that all people in the world who were not raised Muslim from birth must also be killed.

      When you have a society full of people like that non-interventionism is the height of naivety. It doesn’t matter if you leave them alone. They are not going to leave you alone.

      1. BLOWBACK IMPERIALISM NEOCON BROWN BABIEz -your typical peacenazi response

        1. If you don’t blow the brown people to shit in their own country your a peacenazi
          /Cytotoxic

          If you don’t let the brown people freely immigrate with no restrictions your a racist and xenophobe.
          /Cytotoxic

          Your like a caricature of yourself

          1. Holy shit…he’s setting up the same strawman that my parody has him setting up…the irony, the lack of awareness.

            1. Oh, I think FUQ is onto something. You do seem very eager to both bomb Muslims in their home countries and import them into the Western world, and don’t seem to see it as a contradiction.

      2. Kids are black and white. You teach them a rule and they not only parrot it back to you but they also take it to its extreme logical conclusion. That ten year olds opinion isn’t going to mean anything until he is twenty and starts to see shades of grey.

    2. “That is not what is going on at all. Charlie Hebdo did not tolerate, finance or symbolize a government that did”

      Yeah, exactly. This is why the arguments that attempt to justify attacks like these are full of shit. Do the terrorists ever target anyone who has ANY say in any government’s foreign policy, much less the history of Middle East relations? No? Then they are nothing more than psychopaths, not misunderstood victims.

      Even if France is modern day Nazi Germany, why is it defensible to go after a few people in the country who AREN’T directly responsible for atrocities. It’s not. It would also be retarded military strategy.

      1. Exactly. If Sheldon believes that radical Muslims kill for socioeconomic and political reasons, he needs to explain why Yazidis, and anyone in the path of ISIL, are being slaughtered.

      2. I’m sure Richman saw no problem with with assigning a degree of guilt to Nazi Party members who had no direct role in the Holocaust themselves for the crimes committed, in the name of, and with the approval of, their shared ideology.

    3. The Christian world became civilized in 1950 or so? That’s a really stupid statement. You can kind of see how someone dumb enough to believe that would also think the libertarian movement had arrived every ten minutes.

      1. It started to become civilized during The Enlightenment.

  6. I’m confused. So, did the terorrists bomb Charlie Hebdo because of France’s “extreme” interventionist foreign policy or because of Charlie Hebdo insulting their religion?

    1. Jesus, I need more coffee..

    2. Both. They wanted to kill french people and Charlie was an easy target that had insulted their backwards religion so who better to kill?

  7. I love all these convoluted efforts not to take the killers at their word.

    They made it very clear their motive was to inflict death as a punishment for blasphemy. And their actions matched that intention. They didn’t an attack an embassy or a military installation. They attacked a cartoon.

    But somehow Sheldon knows it was really just a foreign policy related cry-for-help. These nice boys would never have killed anyone for irreverence alone. Why, that would be crazy! And they can’t be crazy, right? It’s much more comforting to think they’re products of their geopolitical environment, so let’s think that.

    Ridiculous.

    1. I recall with some amusement Ayn Rand complaining about people not wanting to take the Soviets at their word, for basically the exact same reasons. What a garbage piece.

    2. “They made it very clear their motive was to inflict death as a punishment for blasphemy. And their actions matched that intention.”

      This is true, but even if their motive was a Lifetime channel-esque heart-wrenching sob story, it wouldn’t matter. When you attack innocent people the best intentions in the world don’t make it OK.

      1. Killing innocent people can be a wholly justified part of war ex Hiroshima. This is not remotely that.

        1. You know even people who agree that Hiroshima had a good outcome for the US aren’t entirely comfortable with the morality of it. You don’t have to pretend something’s moral just because you like the outcome. Even Truman admitted it was a difficult decision. Would it have been if he thought it was “wholly justified?” probably not.

  8. Bullsh*t, bullsh*t, bullsh*t. The terrorists didn’t attack in Paris because the West has, occasionally and without much resolve, warred in the Middle East. They attacked because some damn fools invited them into France, and then when they rioted in the streets failed to overrun their enclaves with fire and the sword. The Islamo-twits are not going to leave us alone if we leave ten alone. They have decided that it is their Right to have the prosperity we have without adapting to the culture that created that prosperity. They are going to attack us until either they have that prosperity, or they have dragged us back into the 12th Century.

    Or until we make it clear that coming to our negative attention has inevitable unpleasant consequences.

    if, EVERY TIME, the Islamic extremists committed an atrocity, the West or some subset of the West struck back HARD, then the silent majority of Muslims would keep their less sane co-religionists under some restraint. Much has been made of polls showing that while they do not participate in attacks a large portion of the Muslim population approves. Well, they won’t approve if the chances are good that terrorism will result in their getting it in the neck.

    it’s called Gunboat Diplomacy. It doesn’t promise to punish the actually guilty. It’s messy. it’s amoral.

    And it almost always works.

    1. “They have decided that it is their Right to have the prosperity we have without adapting to the culture that created that prosperity. They are going to attack us until either they have that prosperity, or they have dragged us back into the 12th Century.”

      You are correct. If they keep it up, which I expect them to do, another one of these will come along;

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

      Romania doesn’t consider him a national hero for nothing. I fear that the gunboat diplomacy is inevitable.

      1. Europe has embraced this weird sort of anti-nationalism, they think it’s the only thing that keeps the nazis away.

        To even suggest that a culture that values things like freedom, and equality, might be superior to a culture that does not, is just a step too far for them. Saying a culture is superior brings back bad memories for them even if it’s true.

        Over 70 years later and the ghost of a mustached murderer still taints any debate we have in the west.

    2. “if, EVERY TIME, the Islamic extremists committed an atrocity, the West or some subset of the West struck back HARD”

      I guess conservative lurkers get up earlier than actual libertarians on Sunday mornings…yikes.

      1. Self-defense = aggression = Conservatism.
        That is one hell of a non-sequitur you have there.

        Do tell us Bo, what is your position on this matter?

        1. When your ‘self defense’ is to attack people not involved in the aggression against you because they happen to profess the same nominal religion then yes that’s aggression.

          I’d deal with the individuals who acted.

          1. When your ‘self defense’ is to attack people not involved in the aggression against you because they happen to profess the same nominal religion

            I didn’t see where anyone had suggested doing that.

            1. “if, EVERY TIME, the Islamic extremists committed an atrocity, the West or some subset of the West struck back HARD, then the silent majority of Muslims would keep their less sane co-religionists under some restraint. Much has been made of polls showing that while they do not participate in attacks a large portion of the Muslim population approves. Well, they won’t approve if the chances are good that terrorism will result in their getting it in the neck.”

              1. Maybe I’m giving CSP too much credit, but I presumed he was referring to striking the groups responsible for committing such atrocities and the subsequent upheaval motivating the friends and neighbors of those groups and individuals to maybe reevaluate their loyalties.

                1. Yes, when he talks about the silent majority getting it in the neck he doesn’t mean hitting them…

                2. Actually, you ARE giving me too much credit. Islamic society, broadly, approves of the Jihadists even when they won’t go Jihadi themselves. Their approval, their disinclination to punish their nutcases themselves, makes the terrorism possible.

                  Yes, if we go to Gunboat Diplomacy we will inevitably harm people who are innocent of any actual wrongdoing. But restraint and reason ARE NOT WORKING. Trying to catch and punish only the actively guilty is eroding the freedoms and privacies of the West. We don’t need a surveillance State is we are willing to say “punish your mad dogs or we will punish YOU”

                  1. “Yes, if we go to Gunboat Diplomacy we will inevitably harm people who are innocent of any actual wrongdoing. But restraint and reason ARE NOT WORKING. ”

                    OK PM, let’s see some further contortions now.

                    1. You’re the one ostensibly training to be an advocate, not me. I think CSP can speak (and has spoken) for himself.

                    2. Now now, you were defending him just fine when his stances were, in your misreading, more open to defending against my initial charge. Now that it’s plainer though…

                    3. This isn’t a contortion. This is simple brutal “I care more about my fellow Westerners than I do about a bunch of peasants who have yet to bootstrap themselves out of the middle ages”

                      It might help you understand to know that I do not consider myself either a Libertarian or a Christian.

                      I am not willing to sacrifice all of what the West has achieved just so we can say we stayed doctrinally pure up until Sharia was imposed.

                  2. C. S. P. Schofield, you’re basically using the same logic as the terrorists. Strike “them” and the majority will do something about the colonialism/interventionism/terrorism. But, that never works. All it does is piss off the majority who want revenge and to strike back harder.

                    1. “But, that never works. All it does is piss off the majority who want revenge and to strike back harder.”

                      The entire history of warfare seems to suggest otherwise…

                    2. The entire history of warfare seems to suggest otherwise…

                      WTF? Are you living on Bizarro World? In what war in history was there an attack where the majority of the country being attacked said, “You know, they’re right. We should elect new politicians who will change our policies.” Hell no. They wanted to fight back.

                    3. WWI?

                      The American Revolution?

                      The Napoleonic Wars?

                      I could go on. And on. And on…….so pretty much every war ever.

                    4. So when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, the US went through a period of introspection and stopped all their interference of Japanese imperial maneuvers in the Pacific.

                      US Civil War? WTF? Ft. Sumter caused the North to back down and think about what they were doing.

                    5. No, Juice, the Japanese did not slaughter many tens of thousands of American civilians then. He was referring to what we did to Japan and Germany.

                    6. And his point is correct. Empires became impossible to sustain when we became unwilling to deliberately inflict horrendous casualties on innocents.

                    7. WWII which largely developed from the treatment that followed WWI?

                    8. You know who else also argued that WWII largely developed from the treatment that followed WWI?

                    9. ITT, peacenazi fantasy history.

                    10. The history of Islam suggests that, hit hard enough and stepped on firmly enough, the fanatics stop being a serious problem and retreat to the fringes of civilization, where they mostly trouble their immediate neighbors.

                      It’s when a period comes along during which local authority is either weak or nonexistent that the become an international problem. We in the West spent decades punishing regimes that put down fanatics with effective force, for bang “brutal”. So they stopped trying.

                      The Gunboat Diplomacy I propose is messy and amoral, but it is still better than what will happen if we allow them to press us until we really do lash out in rage.

                      The Mongols solved the problem of the Assassins by depopulating the entire region.

                    11. Whoah whoah reel it in there. We need to clearly describe the problem and eliminate the problem. Indonesia, Kurdistan, Albania these countries are not giving us issues. The principle affectors of violent radical Islam-it’s sun; it’s equivalent of 1937 Germany to Nazism-are Iran and Saudi Arabia, with the latter arguably being much worse. These two regimes must be eliminated, and Pakistan must be destroyed too. Not necessarily by America. Now the good news is that the plunge in oil prices will break Iran’s back while it and SA are engaging in basically a regional war by proxy. I’d like to see how that plays out. In the meantime, most of our enemies are slaughtering each other in Syria and Iraq. For now we need only pick off bad guys by drone and arm the Kurds. Remember, we’re not having some massive clash of civilizations. This is pretty picayune by comparison.

                    12. Yes, I am. I see no call to apologize for it. They named the game, and if we decide to play by their rules, it is a game they will lose and lose badly. Which will underline why it is so much NICER when one sticks to civilized diplomatic discourse between cultures.

                      I also see no reason to apologize for preferring my culture to theirs.

                      Keep firmly in mind; what I propose is the soft option. The hard option is to keep mouthing morally superior twaddle until the day the American Public (or some other public, for all I know) decides they have put up with enough, and then hell will go out for a stroll with the sleeves rolled up. I would prefer a future where the Arabian Peninsula is not one huge sheet of radioactive glass.

          2. I can’t believe I’m responding to it but here goes.

            A religion is a belief system, are you saying you can’t criticize a belief system, and those that follow one?

            Nazism is a belief system, is it and those that follow also beyond criticism?

            And if a millions of nazis were settling into your country, voting for issues that advance the cause of nazism, openingly stating their desire to conquer and oppress the people in your country, and members of that group started committing acts of terrorism to further advance that cause. You would what? Just ignore it? Not be concerned at all?

            1. You can criticize a belief system, sure.

              But hitting people who were not involved in aggression because they happen to share the same nominal belief system as an aggressor? That’s wrong.

              1. So if millions of self proclaimed nazis were settling into your small country with the express intent of conquest, then you would simply ignore it?

                I’m starting to think you don’t want to answer the question.

                1. Most Muslims are living peacefully in the US, so that’s you’re faulty premise.

                  But yes, I don’t think we should hit people because they profess an ideology that some bad actor also professes. You seem like the kind if person who thinks Richard Weaver got what he deserved because he was a professed Neo Nazi.

                  1. You still refuse to answer the original question.

              2. Every Nazi administrator killed in WWII who didn’t directly pull a trigger was an innocent victim by this logic.

                1. And no, before you get your fevered little brain going, I’m not suggesting that all Muslims are analogous to Nazis, except in the sense that they’re participating in a shared ideology. Certainly there are Islamic groups that are directly comparable though.

          3. “I’d deal with the individuals who acted.”

            I think that is what was being discussed.

      2. You’re against retaliatory strikes? Interesting. Is that official Actual Libertarian (TM) orthodoxy?

        1. Against people not involved in the aggression? Yeah, that’s kind of a wrinkle for those who judge individuals not groups.

          1. I would love to see someone try to fight a war that way. It should end in absolute disaster for whoever attempted it.

            1. What ‘war?’ Go after the specific people who did this. It’s a law enforcement matter.

              1. Any war. Try to just go after the individuals involved. See how that ends up for you.

                1. That this doesn’t warrant a war is kind of my point.

                  1. Typical Bo, anything that goes against his programming is simply ignored.

                    Tell me how to win a war but just going after the individuals involved or just admit that is some cases just going after the individuals involved isn’t always a smart strategy.

              2. It’s a law enforcement matter.

                No it isn’t.

              3. Bo, you are a fucking SJW.

          2. See above.

            It’s interesting that the implication of your orthodoxy precludes any possibility of wars between states and militaries (groups, not individuals).

            1. Well only states that believe his orthodoxy would be limited to just fighting individuals. Other states wouldn’t have that problem, and would quickly conquer his state.

              Not sure how that would advance liberty. Bo care to explain?

              1. That’s always been the conundrum of anarchy. It actually has been dealt with by anarchist intellectuals (not in any way I find satisfying, but the arguments are there for the having). Bo isn’t an ancap though.

              2. Yeah, duh, war gives us freedom. The more war we have the more freedom we have.

                1. Because that’s totally what anybody said.

                  1. Because that’s totally what anybody said.

                    I was responding to BardMetal, who suggested that the best way to advance freedom is to go to war and not to simply fight individuals who commit crimes.

                    1. War is the health of the state.

                    2. That isn’t even close to what I said.

                    3. Good luck getting the peacenazis to fight against your actual arguments instead of their strawmen.

      3. As a libertarian, I have no respect for Islam as it allows neither its follower or it’s non followers any true liberty at all.

      4. As a libertarian, I have no respect for Islam as it allows neither its follower or it’s non followers any true liberty at all.

    3. It’s not amoral. It absolutely moral. There is no greater moral good that the state can accomplish than defending the rights of its citizens. One of those rights is open immigration by the way.

      1. not to be pendantic, but “open immigration” does not appear to be a right extended to a nation’s citizens since immigrants are typically not citizens. And there does appear to be some consensus here that open borders and a welfare state cannot co-exist.

      2. One of the rights of its citizens is the open migration of non-citizens? You don’t even try to not sound retarded, do you?

        1. It’s called freedom of association. A country is not a club.

          Closing the borders to immigraition does literally nothing to solve this problem. Actually, it makes it easier for the evil governments of this world to control and indoctrinate those who can’t come over here. They can attack our embassies or on tourist trips.

          1. A country is not a club.

            It isn’t? What is it, then? Why do we have a membership?

            1. A nation is an entity that protects the rights of its citizens. A *proper* nation that is. Freedom of association by immigration is one such right.

              1. Using weird definitions that no one else agrees with isn’t going to get you very far.

              2. A nation is an entity that protects the rights of its citizens.

                IOW a type of club, created for the benefit of it’s members, ie citizens.

  9. understand that the Arab and Muslim grievances against the West are mainly political and socioeconomic. Chris Hedges makes this point in “A Message from the Dispossessed,” in which he quotes Mohaam Abak, “a Moroccan immigrant sitting with two friends on a bench ? during my 2001 visit to La Cit? des 4,000” in France:

    Well, that settles it, then. Chris Hedges spoke a guy on a bench, argument over. Chris. Hedges.

    Poverty creates people who saw heads off. Funny how the rest of the world’s poor aren’t doing that.

    1. “Poverty creates people who saw heads off. Funny how the rest of the world’s poor aren’t doing that.”

      http://www.cbsnews.com/news/ma…..-violence/

      1. That’s not poverty, it’s a gang war over billions of dollars.

        1. Yes, poverty has nothing to do with the recruitment or composition of Central American gangs…

          1. Poverty increases crime, no doubt about that.

            That is not what we are seeing here. Their motive is religious fanaticism, not money.

            1. Poverty increases crime, no doubt about that.

              That’s just another lefty marxist lie.

              Wealth or poverty are irrelevant to good and evil actions.

              Now it may be accurate to say that poor impulse control and other factors cause both crime and poverty in specific individuals.

          2. Yes, the desire to make billions of dollars is just like religious and tribal fanaticism. Exactly the same thing, yup.

            That’s stupid even by your standards.

            1. Poverty can create the ignorance that many murderous justifications can use.

              1. Wasn’t Bin Laden an extremely wealthy man?

                1. So were the fellows he recruited to take over airplanes. The “poverty” argument has so little basis and so much counterevidence that it really is a sign of mental retardation.

                  1. Engineers are overly represented amongst the ranks of terrorists. It’s a mentality thing.

              2. Poverty can create the ignorance

                Uh, no.

                Ignorance can cause poverty, which is the opposite of your premise.

      2. The Guatemalan drug gangs youtube the beheadings and read Vatican II out loud?

        1. Killers around the world invoke all kinds of justifications for their evil. Many crazy people who kill their children here go on about how God told them to do it. I guess we should bomb the Holy See or some Pentecostal church in ‘retaliation.’

          1. I don’t think any of those churches instructed them to kill their children. Kinda the opposite of what we see in Islam.

            Jebus Bo, drinking this early on a Sunday?

            1. He’s just a ideological zealot engaging in a sort of moral narcissism.

              You’re not going to open his mind anymore then you would anonbot’s. Bo is a slave to his programming, and any fact that doesn’t fit his programming will be bent and twisted until it does, or be simply ignored.

              Sometimes I think Bo is the result of the makers of Cleverbot having a little joke at our expense.

              1. Yes, and a conservative pining for war and a clash of civilizations, that’s totally original programming there!

                1. “Wah! Stop trashing all my stupid arguments!” /Botard

  10. The Internet provides all the information a would-be killer could want to pull off a mass atrocity.

    OTOH, the Internet provides all the information a would-be atrocity-preventer could want to prevent a would-be killer from pulling off a mass atrocity.

    1. Blowblowback.

  11. And this argument was why Ron Paul never stood a chance in the primaries.

    You’re starting with a conclusion “all terrorism is blowback” and then doing a series of mental contortions in a desperate attempt to shoehorn reality to fit that conclusion rather then letting the facts draw you toward your conclusion.

    When a homicidal maniac tells you that they want to kill you because their religion tells them too, why is so hard to take them at their word?

    1. Because they’re maniacs?

      1. Whut?

        Pull your head out of your ass Bo. I think them being a maniac gives you more reason to take them at their word, not less.

        1. Maniacs by definition are crazy. You take crazy people’s self explanations at face value?

          1. I use the term maniacs in the more general slang use of the word, I was not suggesting that they had an actual mental illness.

          2. When a crazy guy who has killed before tells me earnestly that he intends to kill me, yeah, I do. Not doing so would be fucking insane.

          3. You take crazy people’s self explanations at face value?

            Is there any reason you shouldn’t? I’d certainly trust, say, a schizophrenic’s self-evaluation of his own motivations for committing a crime. Doesn’t make them rational or reasonable.

            I’m sure you’d be willing to take Scott Roeder at his word that he killed George Tiller to avenge aborted fetuses rather than grope for some socioeconomic motivation for his crime. I’d say Scott Roeder definitely qualifies as a crazy maniac.

            1. Well of course you take him at his word he was a Socon.

              Bo’s bigoted paternalism only applies to minorities.

            2. Really ? So the son of Sam really killed because his neighbors dog told him to?

              1. So the son of Sam really killed because his neighbors dog told him to?

                Uhhh, yes? As far as he’s concerned, at least. Which is the only thing that matters. I don’t presume to be a mind reader, so who am I to say he was motivated by something other than what he claims he was?

                1. The height of mental contortion seems to have been reached here, but let’s give it time, who knows?

                  1. The height of mental contortion seems to have been reached here

                    Indeed.

                    “I know what murderers and lunatics are thinking better than they possibly could!”

                    You’re truly magical, Bo.

                    1. Have any dogs told you what to do lately?

                    2. So this happening has nothing to do with Islam either right?

                      Guy gets flogged for blogging

                      It’s just Saudi Arabia’s way of expressing anger at the west and JOOOS.

                      Has nothing to do with what the Quran says, right?

                    3. It doesn’t fit the Bo bot’s programming so will he’ll just ignore it or contort it.

                    4. So this happening has nothing to do with Islam either right?

                      Guy gets flogged for blogging

                      It’s just Saudi Arabia’s way of expressing anger at the west and JOOOS.

                      Has nothing to do with what the Quran says, right?

                      Exactly right. Once the West submits before Allah, subjugates its women, kills its gays, and roots out its apostates and infidels, we shall have peace.

                    5. Have any dogs told you what to do lately?

                      The point that you willfully miss is that he killed because he earnestly believed that a dog-god ordered him to do so.

                      Crazy? Certainly.

                      But no crazier than someone killing because their god told them to avenge his prophets honor via a hold text.

                      Of course the major difference here is that no one other than Berkowitz heard his dog-god’s order. While anyone that cares to listen has heard innumerable people make the assertion that god want’s his prophet’s honor avenged by killing the offenders.

                2. Lol, Berkowitz has given a half dozen explanations over the years, including that he was part of a Satanic cult which forced him to kill. Which claim are we to accept?

          4. no actually, not in the sense you are using the terms….two are not mutually exclusive, sorry

  12. “Some or all of the killers, who were known to authorities, reportedly spent time in Syria, Iraq, or Yemen with al-Qaeda or the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria ? organizations, let us recall, that were not in those places or did not exist before George W. Bush invaded Iraq in 2003 and started bombing other Muslim societies in his “war on terror.” ”

    Good point, Mr. Richman.

    1. What Muslim society were we bombing prior to the 9/11 attacks on the world trade center? What muslim societies were we bombing during the first attacks on the WTC?

      1. We were in Saudi Arabia because we had just finished a war against a Muslim nation, Al Qaida specifically pointed to this (I thought you took these people at their word?)

        1. A war that had the approval of and support of a good portion of the Arab world. The Saudis took part in Dessert Storm.

          1. Sounds yummy 😉

            1. 🙂 desert

          2. That democracy that is Saudi Arabia?

            Anyways, the point stands that radicals certainly pointed to that involvement as motivation.

            1. You really are pedantic beyond belief, bo.

              Why is their form of government at all relevant? It certainly isn’t to the islamists.

              The radicals would point to anything as motivation because they’re, you know, radicals.

              They’re excuse in Europe is blasphemy. They want to make war. That’s their purpose for being. They’re going to find excuses to make war.

              1. If you are going to point to Saudi Arabia’s involvement as an indicator of the popularity of our intervention among Arabs then yes, I’m going to note that Saudi decisions don’t reflect the popular will of Saudis.

            2. So we should not have engaged in that war? We should not have been in Saudi Arabia? What would have had us do? We stopped an aggressor from murdering a nation full of people, many of whom now want us dead.

              Kuwait is a leading funder of Al-Queda. Why? Because we had troops in SA?

              You just don’t fuckin’ get it.

              1. Yes, we should not have intervened in the Gulf.

                That’s kind of a common position among libertarians, you know?

                1. That’s kind of a common position among libertarians, you know?

                  It’s odd that there are so many pro-war conservative christians dogpiling you right now. This isn’t freerepublic.

                  1. One could be forgiven for thinking that’s where they’re at though.

                    Conservatives have been heartbroken since the fall if communism. Now Islam is going to be their new crush, the focus of their tribalistic, militaristic big government projects.

                    1. Pointing out the problems Islam may pose to west totally does not equal supporting “tribalistic, militaristic big government projects”

                      Sometimes it’s just easier to call you stupid.

                  2. “Stop disagreeing with my stupid premises or I’m going to call you names!” /peacenazi

                    1. “Violence never solves anything”

                      An assertion with absolutely no supporting evidence in history. Violence may not result in the solutions we would prefer, but that is a different argument.

                    2. I laugh every time I hear this shit. Pure violence has and will settle arguments now and forever.

      2. What Muslim society were we bombing prior to the 9/11 attacks

        Iraq and Somalia for example.

        1. So what? American bombed Serbia far more. The blowback bogeyman has yet to be sighted.

    2. Good point? What fucking point is there? So they were in a place. So what?

      BTW that’s fucking wrong AQAP’s predecessor organization predates the Iraq invasion. Further, there is really no reason to believe Iran and Syria would be better off today without the invasion.

  13. Arab and Muslim grievances against the West are mainly political and socioeconomic.

    I never read Richman’s columns. Am I to understand the Muslims in Europe are angry that they have been forced to forego the freedom, fabulous riches and luxurious lifestyles which would have been available to them in places like Morocco and Algeria?

    1. ^ tl;dr because it’s Richman, but at any point did he mention, at least in Europe, the terrorists are homegrown who made a pilgrimage to Syria or like?

      1. Doesn’t matter if they’re native born Frenchmen because their darkies of the Islamic race, who’s first and last loyalty is always to greater Arabia.

        At least that’s Richman’s premise.

  14. Didn’t anyone tell you that you’re supposed to sober up from the cosmotarian cocktail party before you publish your articles? Disgusting.

    1. Awesome, we were lacking an explicit Cosmotarian charge.

      Here’s what I wonder: if you’re so disgusted by ‘cosmotarians’ what are you doing here? Are you not familiar with Reason magazine and it’s positions? Go to Mises if you pine for that sort of thing.

      1. Seems like most the comments here disagree with you Bo, perhaps it’s you that should leave.

        But of course then who would be left to explain to use who was a real Libertarian and who was not.

        1. Haven’t you said you’re not a libertarian?

      2. One might ask the same question of you. Bleeding Heart Libertarians isn’t “lousy with conservatives”, as you say.

        1. There’s the little matter of me being in agreement with the actual host of our discussion. It’s not my presence that’s odd.

          1. Except when you aren’t. Agreeing or disagreeing with any particular Reason writer probably shouldn’t serve as your libertarian purity test.

            1. It’s not a purity test, it’s wondering what all these right leaning people are doing hanging out at a fairly well known ‘Cosmo’ magazine.

              1. ” what all these right leaning people “

                Partisan sees partisans everywhere.
                – film at 11

      3. Hey, if the shoe fits…

        Reasonably familiar, considering that I’ve been reading Reason for 16 years now, and up until last year was donating as well. I can’t say that this transition into Millenial Polls Monthly with people clinging to some lost Bush-era hope of a left-libertarian alliance has been to my liking.

        In fairness, it’s not all like that, but this article certainly got under my skin.

        (Also, I already read Mises, and they’re considerably higher up in the running at the moment in terms of any money leaving my pocket, that’s for sure.)

  15. HOARDERS

    The centerpiece of the president’s tax proposal is an increase in the capital gains rate on couples making more than $500,000 per year to 28 percent, the same level as under President Ronald Reagan. The top capital gains rate has already been raised from 15 percent to 23.8 percent during Obama’s presidency.

    Obama also wants to close what the administration is calling the “Trust Fund Loophole,” a change that would require estates to pay capital gains taxes on securities at the time they’re inherited. Officials said the overwhelming impact of the change would be on the top 1 percent of income earners.

    Fair share, motherfuckers!

    1. Whenever I run into some pillock pushing this “tax the rich” twaddle, I ask them why people, who have already pains tax on their money once, should be prevented from leaving a legacy for their children. So what if that legacy is sometimes large? Either the child will spend it, which will be taxed and spur the economy, or he won’t spend it, in which case he’s no better off then anyone else. Yes, some fortunes do grow over generations, but that takes work. Most families do not consistently produce people who can do that work, and their fortunes vanish.

      All taxing does is give the government a smallish amount of cash, which it will pound down assorted ratholes. We do not need more government. We may need DIFFERENT government, but not MORE.

  16. Ella . even though Paula `s artlclee is terrific… I just purchased Mazda MX-5 after having made $6168 thiss month and-also, ten-grand this past month . this is certainly the best-job Ive ever had . I started this four months/ago and practically straight away began to bring in over $86… per-hour . read ………
    ????? http://www.cashbuzz80.com

  17. I see Bo has his Grand Inquisitor cape on, this morning.

    That’s always entertaining.

    1. Hey, when people are going to regularly take stands in opposition to Reason and it’s contributors, I’m not going to ignore that.

      1. What would we do without the White Knight of Libertarianism to defend the honour of the faire maidens.

        1. Weigel’d again!

      2. People regularly take stands in opposition to Reason’s foreign policy contributors. Compare the average foreign policy piece to the average domestic economics piece on Reason sometime. The former is inevitably full of platitudes and the latter is more likely to have actual data.

        1. The latter is more in line with what conservatives think and the former is not would be a better explanation for the reactions. You see the same dynamic at work in other discussions on topics where conservatives split from traditionally libertarian positions (immigration, gay marriage, abortion)

      3. now that is just beyond the pale…lol…soylent green anyone?…

        this guy is hilarious

      4. Guess what Bo, I don’t belong to a team. I don’t give half a shit what anyone else thinks, whether they agree with me or not. Not. Half. A. Shit.

        Richman, as usual, is wrong. You are wrong as well.

        I didn’t ask anyone’s permission to be here. I don’t have my thoughts vetted by anyone before I get the go-ahead to express them. You have your head up your ass on this and I don’t mind pointing that out. If you don’t like that, go fuck yourself.

      5. How dare people present evidence contrary to the arrogant assumptions of people like Richman who claim to know killers’ motivations better than the killers’ themselves! How dare you question the fundamentalist orthodoxy of Reason!

      6. when people are going to regularly take stands in opposition to Reason and it’s contributors…

        it means they are able to think for themselves. It means this board is not a hive of the collective where groupthink reins and the choir regularly says ‘amen.’ It means freedom of thought continues. Absent the violence, you are not a hell of a lot different from the Islamists who shot up the magazine.

      7. ” take stands in opposition to Reason and it’s contributors”

        Reason magazine sometimes ‘takes stands in opposition’ to its own contributors.

        The magazine routinely publishes multiple perspectives on the same issues. Hell, they just did an entire issue where they couldn’t figure out what the fuck libertarian foreign policy even *was*

        When exactly did you determine that ‘Cosmotarian Monthly*’ was some kind of Torah-esque prescription for libertarian Orthodoxy?

    2. “Entertaining” in the way that watching a quadriplegic drool on himself uncontrollably is entertaining.

  18. iwhen people are going to regularly take stands in opposition to Reason and it’s contributors, I’m not going to ignore that.

    Does the name Chapman ring a bell?

  19. I agree with most of the posters on this thread. But I have been summarily denounced and called crazy and immoral by regular posters in threads on similar subjects for suggesting that the countries that support Islamic terrorism–the evidence against Saudi and Iran is pretty overwhelming–should be crushed in an effort to end the threat. I also offer the admitted self-censorship of the NYT and other papers as evidence the threats are working to end free speech.

    Should I consider such harsh criticism normal from libertarians? Just wondering.

    1. You are of course right but unfortunately right now America cannot afford war. Lets let the oil and gas price plunge work some magic on Iran.

  20. DOOOOOOM

    In the annals of climatology, 2014 surpassed 2010 as the warmest year. The 10 warmest years have all occurred since 1997, a reflection of the relentless planetary warming that scientists say is a consequence of human activity and poses profound long-term risks to civilization and nature.

    “Climate change is perhaps the major challenge of our generation,” said Michael H. Freilich, director of earth sciences at NASA, one of the agencies that track global temperatures.

    1. What the hell happened to 1998? All the graphs I have seen since then show a huge spike in 1998 and nothing comes close to it. Don’t tell me the new graphs look totally different.

      1. Different data sets. The satellite data set is clear that 2014 is not the warmest, so they’re going to pretend it does not exist.

    2. Yet another reason to nuke Gaza.

  21. chapman, richman, and Ronnie P…every era needs its Bukharins…lol

  22. And-


    “Obviously, a single year, even if it is a record, cannot tell us much about climate trends,” said Stefan Rahmstorf, head of earth system analysis at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany. “However, the fact that the warmest years on record are 2014, 2010 and 2005 clearly indicates that global warming has not ‘stopped in 1998,’ as some like to falsely claim.”

    Such claims are unlikely to go away, though. John R. Christy, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville who is known for his skepticism about the seriousness of global warming, pointed out in an interview that 2014 had surpassed the other record-warm years by only a few hundredths of a degree, well within the error margin of global temperature measurements. “Since the end of the 20th century, the temperature hasn’t done much,” Dr. Christy said. “It’s on this kind of warmish plateau.”

    Despite such arguments from a handful of scientists, the vast majority of those who study the climate say the earth is in a long-term warming trend that is profoundly threatening and caused almost entirely by human activity.

    Wave those hands. WAVE THEM.

    1. 2014 – Coolest year on record.

    2. Well then, let us detonate the entirety of our nuclear arsenal over the Gaza Strip. (the TTAPS study implies this will freeze climate change cold in its tracks.)

  23. ABC is on the terror beat, this morning.

    SLEEPER CELLS ARE EVERYWHERE. AND THEY’RE COMING FOR YOU, MISTER AND MISSUS AMERICA!!!!!!

  24. A desperate search to find something that fits his ideology that can be blamed for this or that he can suggest be changed to avoid it in the future.

  25. My last pay check was $9500 working 12 hours a week online. My neighbour’s sister has been averaging 15k for months now and she works about 20 hours a week. I can’t believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
    =============================
    Try this site ????? http://www.jobsfish.com

  26. Last week’s bloody events in Paris demonstrate yet again that a noninterventionist foreign policy, far from being a luxury, is an urgent necessity ? literally a matter of life and death. A government that repeatedly wages wars of aggression ? the most extreme form of extremism ? endangers the society it ostensibly protects by gratuitously making enemies, some of whom will seek revenge against those who tolerate, finance, and symbolize that government and its policies.

    Is there anything at all that does not demonstrate a dire need for a noninterventionist foreign policy? Because if an attack explicitly motivated by cartoons and a fundamentalist interpretation of Islam do, then so does everything else.

    Retard Richman is every bit the fundamentalist the Hebdo killers were, just not violent and Noninterventionist instead of Islamic.

    1. I am being serious. Every hypothesis must be falsifiable. The Noninterventionist hypothesis is clearly non-falsifiable and therefore a faith.

  27. Wow. The Hit&Republican; warmongers are out en mass this morning.

    1. Wow. The peacenazis are going straight to ad hom and being crybabies. How completely unsurprising.

      1. Why not. I’ve used facts and logic and you simply ignore them. There is no sense trying to convince an immoral ignorant piece of shit, such as yourself Cytotoxic.

        1. I’ve used facts and logic

          No you haven’t. You simply ignore what contradicts your Dogma on the subject. You’re basically a more pointed less convoluted version of John on this subject.

        2. And by the way it is you that would sacrifice Americans on the alter of noninterventionism out of your myopic view of the world. This makes you the ignorant immoral piece of shit. My stances are profoundly moral and superior to yours, in all ways.

          1. Yes, killing innocent people for the violent acts of another is moral. You are garbage.

            Tell me idiot, how do you stop an asymmetric threat with conventional bombs and bullets? Use your vast military knowledge and lay out a strategy. I want to know:

            a. What political objective do you wish to achieve.
            b. A military strategy that can accomplish that objective.
            c. A step by step plan to implement that strategy.

            Show your work.

            I’ll mail it to CENTCOM. They can use great minds like yours.

            1. Yes, killing innocent people for the violent acts of another is moral.

              If it is necessary for an aggressor to stop aggressing, then yes it absolutely is ex Hiroshima.

              My strategy? For destroying the asymmetrical threat? Like the Taliban? My goal would be to more or less kill them all. I’d legalize opium so they cannot tap that market. I’d end all restrictions on combat. Villages that give shelter to the enemy will be destroyed Sherman style, or Dresden style if necessary. There will be many small military bases rather than a few large ones. Local allies will be cultivated and armed.

              This isn’t new. This isn’t even my idea in entirety. This is what the US did during The Anbar Awakening, and it worked. The Enemy was almost completely destroyed. See also “Sri Lankan Campaign against the LTTE”, “Bandero War in Cuba”.

              1. War is politics by other means. You have not provided a political objective. If there is no political objective, there can be no way to access when you are done or whether your strategy is working.

                What is your political objective? (BTW, it needs to be achievable, “ridding the world of terrorists” is not an achievable objective.)

                My strategy? For destroying the asymmetrical threat? Like the Taliban? My goal would be to more or less kill them all.

                1. How does killing all the Taliban accomplish your political objective? (which you do not yet have)
                2. How will you accomplish this? You cannot identify them. Or are you going to commit genocide over 15 American deaths per year?

                I’d end all restrictions on combat. Villages that give shelter to the enemy will be destroyed Sherman style, or Dresden style if necessary.

                So you are a war criminal? You are willing to kill millions of innocents to avenge 15 American deaths per year?

                And the result is, every other village that sees that you’ve killed innocents will join the ranks of the opposition. (Wouldn’t you fight the people who killed your family?)

                1. There will be many small military bases rather than a few large ones. Local allies will be cultivated and armed

                  .

                  Your ignorance is shining through. That’s EXACTLY what we’ve been doing for 13 years.

                  This is what the US did during The Anbar Awakening, and it worked.

                  You cite Anbar? Are you kidding me?

                  1. We did NOT win the support of the local population in Anbar by killing innocents, as you suggest above. Just the opposite.
                  2. Anbar was an operation, not a strategy. What part of you can win all the battles and still lose the war, don’t you understand. How did Anbar advance the strategy and achieve the political objective?

                  Answer: It didn’t. Because there was/is no achievable political objective.

                  3. The terrorist simply relocated.

                  The Anbar Awakening drove enemy fighters from Anbar into Baghdad and Diyala while counterinsurgency operations “helped reintegrate the cities of the province

                  As all terrorists do when confronted with a superior force. They left to fight another day. And they did. And they won, because non-existent political objectives were not achieved.

      2. It’s really, really funny to see the guy who screams ‘peacenazis’ every chance he gets accusing other people of ad hom and name calling.

        1. It’s a reaction to their BS in the same way calling SJWs ‘feminazis’ is a reaction to their bullshit.

          1. Oh, well then, as long as it’s a ‘reaction’ that makes it less moronic and makes you actually have some self-awareness in the context of bitching about other people engaging in ad hom.

            1. They went first. It’s a real good way of describing them.

    2. hmm..and i was thinking the same about the the Bukharin Reasonists, funny

  28. LEAVE BRITNEY RICHMAN ALONE! /peacenazi

  29. Isn’t it funny how when the economy doesn’t recover under Democratic policy, the Democrats claim the reason was we didn’t do enough of our policy.

    Republicans laugh at Democrats for their “double down” stupidity.

    Yet, when 13 years of war and spending $4T doesn’t eliminate terrorism, the Republican response is that we simply didn’t make enough war.

    You guys are absolutely fucking amazing!

    You cannot eliminate terrorism using conventional warfare. Terrorism evolved specifically to negate the effects of conventional warfare while, at the same time, achieving political objectives.

    1. How did we stop the Japanese militarists and the German Nazis?

      1. Japan and Germany did not fight an asymmetric war.

        1. The Cuban government’s main tactic was to deploy thousands of troops against small groups of rebels, forming progressively constricting rings of encirclement.[4] The Communist leaders that Castro sent to clear the Escambray Mountains were ordered to exterminate the rebels. They were to “comb the brush, elbow to elbow” until they had completely cleared the hills of anticommunist rebels.[5]

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W…..he_Bandits

          Conventional, non-conventional. Stick whatever label you want on it: bullets work.

          1. Yes, well surround the middle east, and comb the desert, elbow to elbow and kill the terrorists. You’ll know they are terrorists because the terrorists wear the black turbans and the innocents wear white.

            Do you have the slightest notion of the difference between tactics and strategy?

            1. Yes, well surround the middle east,

              I love how you can’t argue my point. It’s always strawmen. Always.

              You’ll know they are terrorists because the terrorists wear the black turbans and the innocents wear white.

              The terrorists will be the ones trying to kill us. ISIS will be wearing black. Not that we need to be there-that is what Kurds and the Iraqi government are for.

              Tactics are used to a strategy which is the large scale plan for accomplishing something. Thanks for the lesson. Are you actually going to comment on the link?

              1. I love how you can’t argue my point. It’s always strawmen. Always.

                I am arguing your point, you are simply too ignorant to understand the arguments being made. Al Qaeda isn’t in any specific geographical location that can be “surrounded” and attacked. They are spread out and blend in with the population. They are not identifiable. INTEL can identify a small portion of them (their leaders) and you can kill a small portion of those, but you cannot find and kill enough to make a difference. Not in 13 years. Kill em…they’ll make more.

                The terrorists will be the ones trying to kill us.

                No. No they won’t. When you attack, they hide. They are seldom draw out to open battle against a superior force. They don’t need to. They just need to outlast you. You are eventually going to leave, because you can no longer afford (economically and politically) to stay. All they need to do is hide out and make life miserable for you, while you are there, by killing enough of you to turn public opinion against the war effort.

                That’s what asymmetric warfare is. Achieving your desired political outcome while negating the effects of a militarily superior force. It is genius and it works.

        2. Germany did against its own civilian population

    2. I don’t even think that most people are criticizing on the grounds of ‘needing more war'(besides Cytotoxic because it’s him). It’s more a case of being extremely cynical to the idea that in response to primarily American foreign policy in the Middle East, a group of people who were born in France attacked a magazine that has nothing to do with foreign policy (French or American otherwise) and actually has a history of criticizing interventionist policy. What the magazine did do, however, is publish cartoons satirically mocking a religious figure in a way that certain fanatics hold as blasphemous. To jump on the former position rather than the latter comes off as a rather bad attempt to twist reality to fit ideology.

      1. Also, the uncomfortable implication that comes with believing the former is that Islamists are so insanely irrational that it wouldn’t even matter if we engaged in a completely noninterventionist foreign policy. The die is cast, the madrassas are cranking out fanatics, and the fundamentalist Imams are still going to want to retain power. It wouldn’t matter if America never dropped a bomb anywhere in the Middle East again, Islamic fanatics would still be gunning down Spanish satirical plays of Islam and blowing up German trains for the Sykes-Picot Agreement.

      2. I don’t even think that most people are criticizing on the grounds of ‘needing more war'(besides Cytotoxic because it’s him)

        I’m not either, that’s just your inability to comprehend.

        The rest of your post is correct. FDA cannot comprehend what is being discussed. He’s a robot basically.

        1. Please, you’re the person who thinks ROEs are bullshit and ‘torture is a tool’. I wouldn’t trust you with a single fireteam much less actual military foreign policy.

          1. Please, you’re the person who thinks ROEs are bullshit and ‘torture is a tool’.

            So what?

      3. It’s more a case of being extremely cynical to the idea that in response to primarily American foreign policy in the Middle East, a group of people who were born in France attacked a magazine that has nothing to do with foreign policy (French or American otherwise) and actually has a history of criticizing interventionist policy.

        As I said the other day in the Ron Paul article…

        Blowback is real. Everything, however, is not blowback. I do not believe C-H was a result of blowback. WTC 1 and 9-11, however, most certainly were.

        1. WTC 1 and 9-11, however, most certainly were.

          They absolutely were blowback for our repeated failure to destroy AQ and the regimes that sponsor radical violent Islam after their previous aggression on America.

        2. Yes, I’m aware blowback is real. The problem comes down to applying it extremely broadly and relating everything to it. As I said, the problem with that argument is that it ultimately argues that radicals are so completely irrational that changes to foreign policy are irrelevant because they will take every historical perceived slight or actual intervention and continue to use it as justification.

          1. …radicals are so completely irrational that changes to foreign policy are irrelevant because they will take every historical perceived slight or actual intervention and continue to use it as justification.

            Yes, that’s the bed we’ve made. There are basically two solutions, at this point.

            1. Commit genocide and kill every Muslim alive. Nuke the entirety of the ME and execute every Muslim living elsewhere. (Perhaps we could boot up some old German showers). Of course, there might be a few groups/nations that take umbrage at such a strategy and you run the risk of making enemies of them as well. But, no matter, we have enough nukes for everybody.

            2. Back out of the area entirely (in an orderly fashion) and be willing to accept that there will continue to be a certain number of terrorist attacks, you’ll need to live with, in the near term. You treat those attacks as they’ve been treated in the past, as criminal acts. You capture, try, convict and punish those responsible and move on. That, is the best you can do.

            As pointed out the other day, the odds of being killed in a terrorist attack in the US in a given year, is one in 20M. You don’t wage wars over the deaths of 15 Americans a year. Particularly when waging war has absolutely no possibility of reducing those statistically insignificant numbers. It will actually achieve just the opposite, in the long run the number of attacks will increase…the self licking icecream cone.

            1. There exist options between 1, or 2. We didn’t conduct a systematic pogrom against Germany or Japan and now have a mutually benificial relationship with them, no blowback.

              1. Japan and Germany fought conventional wars as nation states. They accepted defeat as meaning the defeat of their government and military. Asymmetric combatants place no such restrictions upon themselves.

                Apples and Oranges.

                1. Francisco, you need to think outside the box here, because we never actually tried to win in Afghanistan or Iraq. We could crush the Taliban, or ISIS, but it would actually mean crushing the Pashtu and the Sunnis, not Iraq or Afghanistan.

                  You are projecting the meaningless euro-centric view that some lines on a map matter, they don’t in the islamite world, they are a tribe based society, not nation based. If we had seen this we could actually win, IMO…..well, and if we had even one senior political leader with a smidgen of intellectual honesty and brains.

                  As a young Army officer in Afghanland I was there for a couple weeks and knew it was futile. We were not actual crushing the Taliban/Pashtu because they had moved into Pakistan with all their Pashtu relatives. It would be the equivalent of refusing to fight Germany in Austria during WWII, allowing them to prosper there. Unless we got serious and went into Pakistan, on a large scale, we were bound to lose. That does not mean we never could destroy the Taliban, we could have, but the political decision not to antagonize Pakistan trumped the actual desire to defeat the Taliban.

                  It was the restrictions we placed on ourselves that caused our defeat.

                  Also, the Germans did conduct asymmetric warfare on a vast scale.

                  1. Why were we fighting the Taliban, again? Did they attack us on 9-11?

                    The entire downfall to operations in Afghanistan was the decision to switch focus away from killing the bad guys who attacked us to killing bad guys.

                    The problem with killing bad guys in the ME is there are more of them than you possibly kill. Our, idiotic, decision to attempt to build a democracy in a shithole with no concept of it was what caused our defeat. We upped our commitment by several orders of magnitude with that little gem.

                    Ima need a cite on this:

                    Also, the Germans did conduct asymmetric warfare on a vast scale.

                    Perhaps a very small percentage, but not anywhere near their primary focus.

                2. The thing is, Saudia Arabia and the gulf kingdoms are acutely aware of this. This is why they have created a system of pawns, useful idiots and infiltrators around the world to conduct terrorism on their behalf.

                  There are nation-states we could destroy that would end terrorism. They just happen to be masquerading as our allies.

            2. Number 2 is a lot easier if we don’t have open borders. Just because you want nothing to do with the middle east doesn’t mean the middle east feels the same way.

              1. Yes, Muslim fundamentalists will want to immigrate to the land of the Great Satan where the women wear bikinis, drink booze and corrupt the minds of their children. I know I want to immigrate to Iran.

                1. So are you saying there are no Muslim fundamentalists in the west? And the people who carried out these attacks in Paris were what exactly?

                  Obviously some Muslim fundamentalists are immigrating to Europe and the United States.

                  Don’t deny facts just because it’s something you wouldn’t do.

                  1. And the people who carried out these attacks in Paris were what exactly?

                    There won’t be enough to make any difference.

                    Here’s the thing, and let’s be clear…you will NEVER eliminate terrorism, anymore than you can eliminate murder or rape or theft… There will always be some amount of it.

                    What you do about it is a cost/benefit thing. The odds, as an American, of being killed by a terrorist in any given year, either at home or overseas, is one in 20M. For comparison, your odds of getting hit by lightning are one in 10M and your odds of being assaulted with a firearm are one in 25,000.

                    So, on average, 15 Americans die from terrorism every year. Terrorism is not something we need to be sinking a lot of money into preventing. Is it tragic? Sure. Punish those responsible, as you would any other criminal and be done with it. Sinking Trillions down the rathole trying to prevent statistically insignificant occurrences, is madness. Especially when your available responses have a very low probability of measurably improving the situation.

                    As it is, these handful of nutjobs are using an irrational population to get us, their enemy, to spend a significant portion of our treasure on something that provides almost no benefit. Talk about asymmetric warfare.

                    The way to beat terrorism is unbelievably simple…Don’t worry about it.

    3. Yet, when 13 years of war and spending $4T doesn’t eliminate terrorism, the Republican response is that we simply didn’t make enough war.

      Watching you try to debate foreign policy is like watching a two year old try to finger-paint The Sistine Chapel.

    4. Yet, when 13 years of war and spending $4T doesn’t eliminate terrorism

      Are you suggesting that since one nation-building effort failed, all that’s left is noninterventionism? That would be desperate even for you.

      1. Lots of Democrats supported the Republican plan and Obama put it into full retard mode in Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, and Iraq, Plenty of blame to go around there.

  30. OK, Richman is just a neocon false flag. No one actually believes anything as stupid as what he says. He’s just writing intentionally stupid shit to try to make neocons seem reasonable.

    What do I win for being the first to spot this?

    1. I think the more reasonable assumption is that he believes what he says, but he’s not writing for Reason for primarily ideological reasons, but because it’s convenient resume-padding for a higher-paying gig–e.g., Weigel.

      Now, you’d think it would be the job of the editor or whoever the fuck is charge to weed that shit out, but alas.

    2. “No one actually believes anything as stupid as what he says.”

      That’s where you’re wrong.

      Plenty believe things that stupid, and tomorrow they’ll believe something more stupid.

      You didn’t see the “Vagina Monologues” getting banned for not being inclusive enough?

      There’s no limit to stupid.

  31. PEACENAZIS?

    Fuck off you useless twat.

    It’s always nice to see a Canadian advocating the use of American troops and money for the eradication of people he hates.

    Buy a ticket to the Middle East, and kill them yourself, badass.

    1. Lol, with what? The same club he uses to kill baby seals?

    2. He only hates the brown people and wants them dead if they stay in their own country. If they want to immigrate to the US then anyone who wants restrictions on the same brown people is a xenophobe and racist.

      1. ITT, retards who can’t argue against my actual positions.

        1. FUQ seems to have summed up your positions quite well. Blow em up while their over there, but let as many of them as possible immigrate over here.

    3. Nope. I think I’ll stick around. I love how mad you get when you can’t lay so much as a finger on my points.

  32. Obama to Propose Higher Taxes in SotU Address: on the ‘wealthy’, natch

    *T-Minus 10seconds before ‘wealthy’ is defined by household net worth and 50%+ of the population is now The Richies

    – fake libertarians all aghast because they’re actually just secret right wingers; any self-respecting Cosmotarian would simply shrug off perpetual expansion of Leviathan as the price of civilization

  33. Lindsey Graham Mulls Joining Presidential Fray

    – Fake libertarians overjoyed; feared having to choose between RINOs like Romney, Christie, Bush, now have options for Santorum or Graham to lead them back to Conservotopia

  34. Take heart, America

    A group of Clinton advisers offered a detailed economic agenda last week that aims to help raise wages for millions of workers and close the gap between rich and poor. The policy road map was produced at the Center for American Progress, a Washington-based think tank stocked with veterans of the Bill Clinton and Obama administrations. It appeared to target those who are disenchanted with Obama and skeptical that Clinton effectively would police Wall Street and champion middle-class workers.

    “While there are large forces, globalization, technology and more, that are creating large challenges for many workers, there is no excuse or intellectual basis for fatalism,” said Larry Summers, one of its authors and a former treasury secretary under President Bill Clinton who later worked for Obama.

    A chicken in every pot, brought to you by the whiz kids at CAP.

    1. They naturally held off on actually proposing their grand plan for Rectifying Inequality and Re-Invigorating the American Economy until the last few months of Obama’s Presidency – for it would have been hasty to have tried to convince people that Democrats have great ideas about the economy *too early* in the Great Recession.

    2. I truly hope it is based on the “Venezuelan” model of economic growth.

  35. Peace-Loving Pakistanis Shooting Each Other in Frothing Fury Over French Cartoons* = Murdered Cartoonists Not Mentioned

    – Naturally these people have a great point and any foreign policy posture that treats radical Muslims as potential threats is nothing but Conservative Warmongering

    1. REPUBLICAN WARMONGER NEOCON BROWN BABY /FDABo

    2. Wow. That is some fine technique that guy has.

  36. Based on Lindsay Graham’s frenzy of pants-wetting on Meet the Press, a President Graham might overtax the production capabilities of Depends Adult Undergarments.

  37. No raghead ever called me nigger. Fuck that whole region, let them chop each other’s heads off in peace.

    1. “No raghead ever called me nigger”

      Kafir, please.

      1. Bonus points for use of “Kafirteria”

  38. Hook, line, and sinker

    As Obama continues to signal what he will propose during Tuesday’s State of the Union address, senior administration officials said Saturday that he will call for raising the capital gains rate on top income earners and eliminating a tax break on inheritances. The revenue generated by those changes would fund new tax credits and other cost-saving measures for middle-class taxpayers, officials said.

    HHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    And-

    Obama also is expected to call for lawmakers to make community college free for many students, increase paid leave for workers and enact broad cybersecurity rules.

    A free pony for you, and a free pony for you, and a free pony for you….

    1. “Give me more power to take away people’s money, and i swear, by the magical process of Government Multipliers and Shit, you will have more money in the end”

  39. Popper is one if my favs. Both Open Society and its Enemies volumes are excellent. Highly recommended libertarian books.

  40. If a Liberal had written the Second Amendment

  41. I love how mad you get when you can’t lay so much as a finger on my points ASSERTIONS.

    Speaking of unfalsifiable claims.

    “Well, if you Americans weren’t such a bunch of pussies who can’t bear the thought of being accused of genocide, the War on Terror would be over by now.”

    KILL THEM ALL- LET GOD SORT THEM OUT!

    1. Nope. You can’t lay a finger on me. That’s why you brought another straw man in i.e. ‘genocide’ (killing a large number of enemy civilians to stop an aggressor is not genocide btw. Hiroshima was not genocide).

  42. And the French Resistance cells laid down their arms and surrendered when the Germans initiated a policy of massive collective retribution against civilians for attacks on German political and military targets.

  43. Hiroshima was not genocide

    Yes, of course. Slaughtering infidels en masse is never wrong. What is it, exactly, which distinguishes you from those other fanatics you fear and despise so much, again? I cannot tell.

    1. your refusal to thread can be ridiculous sometimes. i have no idea WTF you’re even arguing about or with whom.

      But, for the sake of it –

      no, hiroshima was not genocide under contemporary understanding of the term* (which is the only one there is, as ancient history just called it “war”)

      We pretty much invented the term to distinguish what was done to the Jews in WWII from the millions of other people that got killed.

      from the UN Convention

      “Genocide is defined in Article 2 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide
      (1948) as

      “…acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, … calculated to bring about its physical destruction

      IOW – “killing a lot of people” is not genocide unless it is conducted with the specific GOAL is the eradication of a specific group of people in their *entirety*

      they do throw in the ‘in part’ bits there for good measure = but the point is the intent of the specific campaign.

      The last few examples in recent history that actually qualified for consideration as Genocide were the Rwandan massacres of Tutsis, and the systematic murder campaigns in Darfur

      Is someone claiming all war is “genocide”, now?

  44. $89 an hour! Seriously I don’t know why more people haven’t tried this, I work two shifts, 2 hours in the day and 2 in the evening?And i get surly a chek of $1260……0 whats awesome is Im working from home so I get more time with my kids.
    Here is what i did
    ?????? http://www.paygazette.com

  45. Dealing with the asymmetric warfare coming from radical Islam and its supporters is a huge and sticky problem, one that libertarianism (and everybody else) finds difficult to deal with. Which, of course, is a major reason why they do it.

    So what are our options? The “just ignore it” strategy won’t work. It’s like telling a kid to just ignore the bully who’s tormenting him. Bullies and terrorists are only emboldened by that.

    Yes, fighting back will make them angrier, and their friends and acquaintances may come to their aid (“blowback”), but that’s not a good argument against fighting back.

    So how to fight back? The full-on WWII option seems too much. Even the neocon limited Afghan/Iraq war approach has huge downsides.

    A few thoughts: something like the gunboat diplomacy described by C.S.P.S. above sounds good to me. Instead of a constant, low-level series of drone attacks etc., we hold back and just gather intelligence and position assets. Then, every time there’s a terror attack by Islamists (including “lone wolves”), we bomb some training camps, assassinate some terror leaders, etc. And then we stop. The attacks are not “proportionate”: our attacks should be harder. But they are short and soon stop. The goal is to instill the idea that we are and will react to each instance, and aren’t simply in an ongoing war against Islam (even if we are).

    1. So how to fight back?

      How do you fight back against other criminals? You catch them, you try them, you convict them, and you punish them.

      They are simply organized criminals, and should be treated as such.

      1. But they’re not simply criminals. They have totalitarian religious and political goals. They’re not robbing banks for money, they’re trying to take over the world. They’re anti-libertarian in every way. It’s war, not crime, and they say it themselves.

        And the huge problem is that the fighters spring from one particular religion, and get a tremendous amount of support from co-religionists. “Peaceful” Muslims who support imposing sharia law are anywhere from 12% (Turkey) to 20-40% (Western countries) to 90% (Pakistan). That’s a huge number, and I don’t see how it can be dealt with in the long term without memetic warfare (see below).

        1. What needs to be dealt with? Read this comment.

          One in 20 MILLION. There IS NO issue anywhere but between your ears.

          1. Francisco, are you saying that if they’re not killing people, they’re not making any gains?

            1. I’m saying that they have so little impact on our lives that they warrant no special consideration whatsoever. They are a pimple on the ass of humanity. They kill 15 Americans every year and Americans kill 15,000 Americans every year.

              Where should we be spending our money?

              Fighting terror is pouring money in a toilet, from a cost/benefit standpoint. It’s complete madness what we spend for the ROI we receive.

              1. To be more accurate =

                The WAY we fight terror is pouring money in a toilet.

                That doesn’t mean there aren’t more cost effective means to be pursued.

                Cato has a paper here on that very point. They tend to focus on the things we *shouldn’t* be doing, but do highlight some of the few ‘sensible’ measures that have reasonable cost-benefit.

                They don’t say so, but drone strikes are in fact pretty damn useful, if deplorable from a moral point of view. As much as the pakistanis protest them, there are many in the security apparatus there who know that the alternative is to actually fight Taliban in the NWFP themselves….which they’ve tried, with poor effect.

    2. So how to fight back?

      First we have to honestly admit what we are fighting.

      Which is the Wahhabi ideology.

      Then we can attack it by destroying the ideologues that are promoting it and their believers that are funding it.

      How? Kill a few tens of thousands of mullahs, destroy the madrasas and their students and kill the Saudi princes that fund it.

      Yes this would be messy. But no more so than any ‘regular war’

  46. Another aspect is much trickier: we should delegitimize Islam at its core. Like those CIA fronts in the ’50s that spread ideas antithetical to Communism, we should be spreading ideas that undercut the dogma of the religion. The Koran is not perfect. There is not a copy in heaven. The Koran was written and edited by humans, and contains errors and contradictions. Mohammed was a violent man, and should not be emulated. Obviously political leaders can’t come right out and say these things, but they need to be said.

    Maybe we should try to start some global initiatives that directly contradict Islam. Perhaps a worldwide treaty that says anyone is always free to abandon or change religions, with sanctions against nations that prevent this. That sort of thing.

    Just some thoughts….

    1. “PapayaSF|1.18.15 @ 3:02PM|#

      Another aspect is much trickier: we should delegitimize Islam at its core.”

      because we really want to piss off the billions of non-violent muslims too?

      It wasn’t enough that we have beef with just the salfists?

      1. That’s why I said it was much trickier. But a similar process has happened in Christianity: very few people believe that every word of the Bible is perfect and a direct instruction from God. Most Christians are OK with ignoring the bits about stoning adulterers and so on.

        The problem with Islam is that, at its core, it’s inherently fundamentalist and violent. They think that every bit of the Koran is Allah’s perfect and final word. As long as that is an official belief for all Muslims, radical jihadis will always not just exist, but be seen as “true Muslims.” Only by undermining that fundamentalist certainty can we take the energy out of radical Islam.

        As tempting as a direct attack on the Saudis might be, it’s just not practical. But I think some memetic warfare is called for.

        1. “The problem with Islam is that, at its core, it’s inherently fundamentalist and violent. “

          I’m not going to get into a quibble about what is ‘inherent’ in a religion = the fact is that the ‘fundamentalist and violent’ percent of Muslims is actually pretty @#($ low.

          That would be giving a lot of credit to billions of people for somehow ‘resisting’ the inherent violence of their faith. which i’d rather not.

          I think your concept of an ideological crusade probably counter-productive. If anything it simply gives some credence to the fears of muslims that the West is engaged in a “War on Islam” rather than with a loosely-knit collection of arab terrorist groups

          1. But the number of Muslims who want sharia law imposed is quite high. Many may say they “don’t support violence,” but that’s a bit of a distinction without a difference. They support the imposition of a worldwide, totalitarian religious/political system which discriminates against non-Muslims, women, and gays. Whether they support it by being terrorists or just voting for it doesn’t matter much. They’re still my mortal enemies (and yours), by their decision, not mine (or yours).

            Yes, it’s important to try to avoid the “war on Islam” label, but we’re going to get that, no matter what we do or don’t do. I just think the decades of blather about how there’s nothing wrong with Islam, and it’s just a few nuts and criminals who misunderstand it, is sadly misguided.

            1. But the number of Muslims who want sharia law imposed is quite high.

              And the number of people who want gold plated toilet seats is pretty high. So what? The number of people in this country who want socialism is quite high. When they can muster 2/3 of congress and 3/4 of the states, they can change the Constitution to whatever they want.

              They pose no credible threat.

            2. “But the number of Muslims who want sharia law imposed is quite high.”

              So what?

              1) the number of people living in foreign countries where they’re ‘close enough to sharia’ that you’d be hard-pressed to tell the difference is enough to account for your statistical fungery

              2) people who live in pluralistic western countries who say shit like that are cute and all, but i fail to see how their religious wish-fulfillment is any more significant than the high percentage of Christians who believe the Rapture is Near

              You also seem to place high value on opinion polling about sharia law, and then simultaneously wave off the same opinion polling about “non-violence”.

              “Whether they support it by being terrorists or just voting for it doesn’t matter much”

              While I’m not normally the person taking the ‘non-intervention’ side of the argument, I fail to see how Muslims self-determining is anything for the West to be all fussed about. Sharia-law is in no danger or replacing western democracy anytime soon.

              Yes, it does matter if they are terrorists. Because then they’re actively engaged in international belligerency, and are subject to military reprisal.

              international communism was a bigger deal than these jihadi morons.

      2. I’d go even further than Papaya by openly mocking the true believing savages. Political leaders should ridicule the man-hood of the warrior of Allah that cowardly kill women and children. We also should directly attach all of their tabboos. Give every jihadist that we kill a bath of pig blood before being buried with pig corpses and similar provocations.

  47. Imagine if Reason had stupid trolls like Tony or Shreek or even semi-literate Bo writing articles.

    Oh, wait, we have Richman!

  48. Start a new lucrative career. Our firm is looking for 10 people to represent our services?.
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  49. Things were better when Michael Young was here.

  50. i have no idea WTF you’re even arguing about or with whom.

    My more detailed response was eaten by the squirrels.

    I yam what I yam, Gilmore. I was/am arguing with provoking our bloodthirsty little pal cytotoxic. I find his unhinged mass murder fetish to be unsettling and, at the same time, tedious.

    I am aware that Hiroshima was not an act of genocide (He brought it up). At least the destruction of Hiroshima (and Nagasaki) was carried out as part of a declared war between nations, and not in a spasm of enraged vengeance over an act carried out by stateless lunatics.

    I remain unconvinced mass collective retribution on the Nazi Occupation model can be successful.

    1. “I remain unconvinced mass collective retribution on the Nazi Occupation model can be successful.”

      I’m not sure who proposed that, or whether that’s what’s been going on for the past decade+

      If anything Cyto and the Orthodox-Non-Interventionist types are like mirror images of one another = ridiculous extreme positions that have little to do with actual policy.

      As for what to do about the stateless lunatics (AQAP, ISIS et al) = its bound to be a smorgasbord of stuff. No one* is seriously proposing Nuking Mecca, last i checked.

      *i don’t count cyto

      I also don’t even bother reading Richman’s pieces anymore. You’ve read one, you’ve read them all.

  51. The greatest tactical firearms instructor on the planet

    This guy is the apotheosis of every other ‘gun-related’ youtube channel ever

  52. Oh, so you thought you could hide out in this Richman thread, did you? I have a very specialized set of skills, and I *will* find you, no matter what thread you try to take shelter in!

    “”Abortion-centered feminism is dead,” [president] Dannenfelser [of the prolife Susan B. Anthony List] told a crowded press conference at the National Press Club on Thursday morning. “It’s the most important thing I’ll say today.” She noted the casualties on the Democratic side, a string of senators who campaigned on women-centric platforms, heralding the move away from “traditional Jane Fonda feminism” to the historic legislative moment that SBA List and its allies believe exists with a “common-ground” bill that would ban abortion after 20 weeks.”

    From the opposing press conference by Planned Parenthood head honcho Cecile Richard:

    “…[recently-elected Republican Senator Cory] Gardner also called for the over-the-counter sale of birth control pills. Asked if common ground could be found there, Richards appeared dubious, pointing out it wasn’t that long ago that insurance companies did not cover birth control. “We can thank Viagra for that,” she added. Now that insurance companies have been shamed into covering birth control, Richards said she does not want women to lose insurance coverage if the pills are sold over the counter.”

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/a…..g-way.html

    1. Richards

  53. Good grief. An all day long argument. I got irritated over it and had to spend half the day looking at gun porn. I am not satisfied that anything was settled though. Well, I did learn a bit from it to there is that.

  54. Is it as simple as a choice between democracy and intervention? It seems equally plausible that the choice is between intervention and a return to the Dark Ages.

  55. For all of those who can’t accept that most of Islamic terrorism is about the West’s adventurism in the mid-east, it’s time to go back and read bin Laden’s “Letter to America”. While there is certainly the religious drum that he beats, in case after case the basic message comes back to ‘leave us alone’. Granted, that is ‘leave us alone so that we can persecute infidels, treat women as property, harass gays, etc., and institute a caliphate’, but the core is, leave us alone. bin Laden might not be speaking for every Islamic jihadist, but I’d be willing to bet that a great majority of them at least see him as a significant hero and leader, and we would be wise to understand his words if we’re trying to get inside their heads.

    “Know your enemy” is always an important part to defeating him.

    1. What about Islam’s adventurism in the West?

      They aren’t content with the Middle East. Their current goal is to recapture every place that was ever controlled by Muslims, which includes places like Spain.

      Not to mention, they truly think that Muslims were in the New World before Columbus, because Columbus described seeing something that looks like a mosque.

      They won’t stop until the entire world is under control by them.

      Sure, our adventures in the middle east antagonized them. But it’s better to fight on other people’s territory than ours…

    2. “ll of those who can’t accept that most of Islamic terrorism is about the West’s adventurism in the mid-east

      This ‘adventurism’ = was this when we became saudi arabia’s rental-army in Gulf 1?

      What exactly about that was so obviously provocative that we should have been cognizant of at the time?

      What, prior to 9/11, do you think we should have been scolding ourselves over re: our middle east ‘adventurism’, precisely?

    3. The core problem with the United States, for Qutb, was not something Americans did, but simply what America was ? “the New World…is spellbinding.” It was more than a land of pleasures without limit. In America, unlike in Egypt, dreams could come true. Qutb understood the danger this posed: America’s dazzle had the power to blind people to the real zenith of civilization, which for Qutb began with Muhammad in the seventh century and reached its apex in the Middle Ages, carried triumphantly by Muslim armies.

      1. Qutb rejected the idea that “new” was also “improved.” The Enlightenment, the Industrial Age ? modernity itself ? were not progress. “The true value of every civilization…lies not in the tools man has invented or in how much power he wields,” Qutb wrote. “The value of civilizations lay in what universal truths and worldviews they have attained.” The modern obsession with science and invention was a moral regression to the primitive condition of the first toolmakers. Qutb’s America was bursting with raw energy and appetite, but utterly without higher virtues. In his eyes, its “interminable, incalculable expanses of virgin land” were settled by “groups of adventurers and groups of criminals” who lacked the time and reflection required for a civilized life. Qutb’s Americans “faced the uncharted forests, the tortuous mountain mazes, the fields of ice, the thundering hurricanes, and the beasts, serpents and vermin of the forest” in a struggle that left them numb to “faith in religion, faith in art and faith in spiritual values altogether.”

        -A Lesson In Hate: How an Egyptian student came to study 1950s America and left determined to wage holy war
        David Von Drehle, Smithsonian Magazine, February 2006

  56. Why does this crazy person write for Reason?

    1. Sheldon Richman is Reason’s Paul Craig Roberts = he’s so epic-retarded that he drags down the reputation of the entire publication.

      The only bright side is that hardly anyone outside here ever reads or quotes him, so few seem entirely aware quite how dipshit he is.

  57. “Last week’s bloody events in Paris demonstrate yet again that a noninterventionist foreign policy, far from being a luxury, is an urgent necessity ”

    I was wondering how long it would take Sheldon to get to “It’s all America’s Fault”. First sentence. There’s just nowhere to go from here.

    If only we cower in fear, and cede the world to totalitarians, then everything will be alright.

    Great plan.

  58. The multiculti dipshits are amusing in being constitutionally unable to accept that people may just have motivations that aren’t just projections of their own motivations.

  59. Well, I all in favor of defense. I am in favor of people protecting their property from theft. I am in favor of people defending their right to live their lives free from coercion. If it takes a banding together of like minded people to defend themselves from aggressors for some period of time, I am on board.

    But it stands that history shows that when a nation/culture tries to make promises to itself greater than its economic potency can bear, it will use Force outside to secure resources, either in the raw or that has been banked in another nation’s treasury. It’s the inevitable joining of Welfare and Warfare. And out nation is in debt to the tune of Trillions, and tens of Trillions more in unfunded liabilities. And it has hundreds of thousands of troops stationed around the world. And there are natives who resent that stationing. And when those troops come back, they are magically entitled. The cycle of Welfare and Warfare perpetuates itself.

    In the end, the struggle between our Top Men and their Top Men, and the useful idiots who do their bidding is beyond me to do much about. I guess like George Carlin, I’m a spectator. And if a DO analyze who I have most to fear from, it’s my own Top Men first. And my Top Men can’t be ogres when it comes to domestic policy and suddenly become wise and sagacious when it comes to foreign policy.

    A laundered mafia is a laundered mafia…

  60. They routinely leave the impression that the problem is indeed with Islam itself (not to mention Arabs and Persians).

    One need not dismiss religion as a relevant social factor to understand that the Arab and Muslim grievances against the West are mainly political and socioeconomic.

    Nevermind that basically every other cultural group with a claim to the noble status of ‘victim of the west’ have not to any comparable extent waged a global jihad of murder against civilians. Not to discount the legitimacy of blowback, I think it’s fair to say that when the claimants of noble victimhood are driven by Islamic ideology there is a substantive difference in the level of brutality and repression they’re willing to commit themselves to.

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  64. PM|1.18.15 @ 10:26AM|#

    And no, before you get your fevered little brain going, I’m not suggesting that all Muslims are analogous to Nazis, except in the sense that they’re participating in a shared ideology.

    ===============

    Well they allied themselves with the Nazis in WW2. The Mufti of Jerusalem raised two divisions for Hitler. They were only good for slaughtering Jews. And other indigents.

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  66. Oh, I’m sorry, I thought that the name of this website/magazine was called “Reason”.com. Having read this article I see that I must have been redirected to a fake “Reason” website. This one does not seem to apply it’s namesake that is certain.

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