Iraq

Brian Williams Helped Pave the Way to War and He Wasn't the Only One

News readers have a habit of passing off lies, especially when those lies can help make the case for war

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The scandal of the week is NBC anchor Brian Williams's shabby bid for self-glorification by falsely claiming he was in a U.S. military helicopter forced to land in the Iraqi desert after being hit by ground fire in 2003. Of course so-called news people shouldn't make up stuff to look good, but there's something much worse: uncritically passing along official lies intended to prepare the American people for war.

Williams, like nearly all of his mainstream media colleagues (with precious few exceptions) did this incessantly in the run-up to George W. Bush's invasion of Iraq. As conduits for the Bush administration's baseless claims about weapons of mass destruction and Iraqi links to 9/11, Williams and the others did Bush's bidding in manufacturing public support for the illegal and morally outrageous invasion and occupation that would wreck Iraq even more than it had been wrecked in the 1990s through the military and economic warfare waged by George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

What did these fake-news presenters learn from that disgraceful episode? Not a thing. If you want proof, tune in to the three major networks' newscasts or consult the American cable news channels: CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News. There you'll find stage actors conveying the Obama administration's neoconservative line about the ISIS threat to the American people and the need for government military action to counteract it — never noting that there was no ISIS or al-Qaeda in Iraq before the Bush war they themselves helped make possible. Reporting "news" without providing the context is a surefire way to mislead viewers. Why don't they know that? Or do they know it and prefer to mislead their viewers out of a sense of patriotism and in a quest for ratings?

You need another example? Take Iran. (Ukraine would also do.) For quite a while these same media stars have been hawking the claim that Iran has been relentlessly working toward building nuclear weapons. Yet, although the U.S. and Israeli governments have repeatedly threatened Iran over the years — claiming "all options are on the table" (which logically includes nuclear strikes) — and have engaged in covert and proxy war and terrorism against the Islamic Republic — Iran has not acquired a nuclear arsenal.

In fact, in his book Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare, independent reporter and historian Gareth Porter shows that there is no evidence Iran has intended to do anything with its nuclear program but obtain a civilian nuclear-power and nuclear-medicine capability. Porter's book overflows with documentation that supports his case, including a fatwa from Iran's current leader declaring that possession of nuclear weapons violates Islamic law.

I repeat: Iran — which is routinely inspected by the International Atomic Energy Administration, has signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (unlike the Middle East's only nuclear power, Israel),  and is complying with the interim agreement negotiated with the United States and other powers — has not sought nuclear weapons. American and Israeli intelligence agencies agree.

Have you heard that from Brian Williams, Andrea Mitchell of MSNBC, Wolf Blitzer or Fareed Zakaria of CNN, David Muir of ABC, Scott Pelley of CBS, or Shepard Smith, Chris Wallace, and Bret Baier of Fox News?

No, you have not. Instead, they casually refer to "Iran's nuclear weapons program" as if it were an indisputable fact. Therefore, in their eyes it is unnecessary to interview anyone who could challenge that claim. Their subtext is: "The U.S. government says Iran has a nuclear weapons program. That's good enough for us."

This can only have the effect of softening up the American people for a war of aggression against Iran, which has already been devastated by economic sanctions, if the hawks in Congress, in cooperation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, succeed in driving Iran from the negotiating table with even more sanctions.

Yet even this is not enough for the government mouthpieces who call themselves journalists. Recently, Joe Scarborough, host of MSNBC's Morning Joe, one-upped this reckless gang by asserting that Iran has "promised to get a nuclear weapon and then has promised to use the nuclear weapon to annihilate Israel." He then repeated this double lie.

Compared to Joe Scarborough, Brian Williams is a piker.

This article originally appeared at the Future of Freedom Foundation.

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  1. Richman vs. Williams, what are the GOP leaners here going to do?

    1. Richman is as usual an idiot and who gives a shit about Williams one way or another?

      If you want to die on the “defend Richman” hill, have fun.

      1. Richman says some silly things sometimes, but the way he brings out the raging nationalism and jingoism in the right leaners here redeems him.

        1. Okay Bo, you just accused people of raging nationalism and jingoism on a Richman thread.

          I have to hand it to you, that is high comedy. That is probably the best thing that has been posted on here this year. Few things make me lough out loud, but this did.

          +1

          1. Try not lough too hard John!

            1. It can be hard sometimes with all that nationalistic poison running through my veins.

        2. I didn’t realize that “thinking Richman is a dipshit” was a nationality

          1. No, I myself think he says silly things at times, but those American Sniper threads certainly saw some nationalistic Go Team America! moments.

            1. Yeah!

              Go Team America!

              Vehemently disagreeing that an American soldier = a mass murderer is Go Team America!.

              Fuck off Bo.

              1. That is the thing. There wasn’t a single “go team America” post on the thread that I ever saw. And the people who called Richman an idiot ranged from across the entire spectrum of the board.

                You and I agree about virtually nothing when it comes to this kind of stuff. Yet, we were in complete agreement about Richman’s article.

                For Bo to now claim it was a bunch of “Team America” stuff is just infuriating. Fuck off is right.

                1. There wasn’t a single “go team America” post on the thread that I ever saw.

                  There are some, but it wasn’t from regulars, it was from external posters who were clearly getting worked up over Richman’s article elsewhere.

                2. It seems to me that REASON goes far and wide – one would hope they have to do so – to find the idiots they have, regularly writing on this site.
                  Almost as good for a laugh as are some of the posters.

      1. I am betting on Williams. The guy has been through a helicopter crash in Iraq, watched bodies float down the Mississippi river, survived an armed robbery as a teenager, and saved puppies from a burning building.

        A man like that would kick Richman’s ass.

    2. Ouch, false dilemma was another thing you should have learned in that intro to logic class.

      1. The one you apparently dropped out of?

        1. You apparently went to one day and learned how worked but never showed up for the second day when they explained how it was a fallacy.

          You have a gift for posting textbook examples of logical fallacies as serious argument. You just did it hear and now accuse Acosmist of not understanding what it means. Wow.

          1. Are you talking about your grammar and spelling class John? I hear you went to one day.

            1. I skipped that one but at least I went to logic class. It appears I made the better choice.

              1. OK, John, since you went to logic class then don’t just parrot the line ‘false dilemma’ show how it applies here. Put my argument into syllogism form and show where the fallacy occurs. I’m waiting to hear from you about this!

        2. And the mental collapse continues.

    3. Pollo Cubano

      Take chicken breasts and slice laterally into thin cutlets; pound to uniform thickness.

      Marinate cutlets overnight in buttermilk, cumin, and garlic powder.

      Prepare cutlets for frying with flour and/or breadcrumbs.

      Fry cutlets, either deep-fat or skillet; whichever method you are most comfortable with.

      Serve over yellow rice and black beans. I like to thoroughly adulterate my rice with fried creole tomatoes and diced red onions; YMMV.

      Enjoy and stop giving our resident, attention seeking, Whig/Progressive, law student, troll the interaction he so craves.

      1. He craves cake. They all do.

      2. HAHA, so we’re bringing this back?!

        Cool.

        1. Semi-OT

          Any NYC residents here would be well advised to head to Howard Beach and the Crossbay Diner. They, alone I think amongst all the other diners in the area (and we have a lot of diners up here), make their own fried mozzarella sticks. When I say make their own, I mean it. They make the cheese fresh every morning from buffalo milk and lemon juice. Quite literally, the best cheese sticks I’ve ever tasted.

  2. In fact, in his book Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare, independent reporter and historian Gareth Porter shows that there is no evidence Iran has intended to do anything with its nuclear program but obtain a civilian nuclear-power and nuclear-medicine capability. Porter’s book overflows with documentation that supports his case, including a fatwa from Iran’s current leader declaring that possession of nuclear weapons violates Islamic law.

    Overflows with documentation provided by the Iranians. And they say its against their religion. That certainly clears that up. I mean they would never change their position once they had nuclear weapons or anything.

    It is funny how the Israelis, the people who are actually endangered by Iran having the bomb seem to view this differently. I guess those evil Zionist just want to start a war with Iran, a country they do not share a border with and have never gone to war against, because they don’t feel like they have enough enemies or anything.

    Why would Iran not want a bomb? It would make them a regional super power and virtually immune from the rest of the world meddling in its affairs. Is there any lie, no matter how stupid, Richman won’t believe if it fits his politics?

    1. “Overflows with documentation provided by the Iranians.”

      You’ve read the book?

      1. Where else would it come from other than the Iranians or from someone who got it from the Iranians? They don’t offer tours of their nuclear facilities to journalists.

        1. So you didn’t, I see.

        2. They could have gotten it from a taxi driver code named curveball.

          1. That was good enough for John a few years back!

  3. I’m just here for the Adam Lanza jokes.

      1. You know, Adam Lanza used to narrow his gaze JUST LIKE THAT….

        *stares at SwissSS*

  4. As conduits for the Bush administration’s baseless claims about weapons of mass destruction and Iraqi links to 9/11, Williams and the others did Bush’s bidding in manufacturing public support for the illegal and morally outrageous invasion and occupation that would wreck Iraq even more than it had been wrecked in the 1990s through the military and economic warfare waged by George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

    It’s good to know that we can rely on Reason to provide such a thoroughly unbiased accounting of the not-quite-so-recent events leading up to the invasion of Iraq. Perhaps Sheldon can give us a nice summary of the war in Vietnam next. I’m still a bit fuzzy on those details even though historians have been arguing about them for 50 years now.

    1. You are just being an evil nationalist Kinneth. The only reason you don’t see it Sheldon’s way is the same reason why you don’t understand that Christ Kyle is just like Adam Lanza and don’t see the brilliance of Bo’s logic, because you have been poisoned by nationalism.

      1. Perhaps, when I am 97 we’ll understand the Iraq war better than we understand the Vietnam war now that I am 57. But I doubt it.

        The people on both sides that are absolutely certain they know everything and that the other side is evil just piss me off.

        1. You never really understand a big event like that. You only understand pieces of it. More importantly, the whole debate centers on a counter factual we will never be able to live. We will never know what would have happened had we not invaded Iraq, so you can never definitively say it was good or bad.

          Whatever you think of it, its done. Using it to convince your opponents are evil doesn’t accomplish much other than making you feel good about yourself.

          1. “Whatever you think of it, its done. Using it to convince your opponents are evil doesn’t accomplish much other than making you feel good about yourself.”

            So can we apply this reasoning to the ACA? It’s done, now, ‘settled law,’ so let’s not use it to convince ourselves how evil the proggies who passed it are.

            1. No. We can repeal the ACA dipshit. We can’t uninvade Iraq.

              1. We can’t undo the 2003 AFC championship game, much as Bill Polian, Tony Dungy, Jeff Saturday, Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne and Mr. Papa John would like to do.

                But, go back and look at the game film of when the Colts had the ball. On almost every play, Messrs. Vrable, Harrison (Rodney), Samuel et al, were clutching, grabbing, holding, and pass interfering.

                But, I suppose we should be happy that the NFL, in the off-season, instructed the officials that, going forward, they would have to put a special emphasis on calling that shit.

                1. The NFL changing the rules or the interpretation of rules to limit an exploit the Pats had used the previous year? Inconceivable. I don’t fully expect this to happen again this offseasons. And Ravens fans certainly won’t spend the next 15 years bitching about a stolen victory.

                  1. KDN, I do not root for laundry.

                    However, being a New Englander, I listen to a whole lot of parochial stupid from Pats fans – the same ones who, last week, upon hearing that the Falcons may have ramped up the noise in the Georgia dome against NFL rules, WHINED FOR SEVERAL DAYS that the NFL NEEDED TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

                    Can you imagine? Hey, New England fans, your team just won the Super Bowl. What are you going to do next?

                    Whine about the noise at the Georgia Dome!

              2. We can leave Iraq. Leaving it won’t make the invasion to have never happened, but repealing the ACA won’t make it’s tenure have never happened either.

    2. The case that it was an illegal war is hardly preposterous, since Bush’s hook was UN violations and the UN voted not to go to war.

      1. Sure, but neither is the case that it wasn’t. Richman acts like it is not. That was Kinneth’s point. Richman is taking a long debated and contentious issue and treating it like some self evident fact to rant about.

        1. “Richman is taking a long debated and contentious issue and treating it like some self evident fact to rant about.”

          Yeah, that has no place here!

    3. The real problem with Richman is that he seems incapable of writing rationally about any foreign policy subject.

      You can make a well-written, intelligent argument about the Iraq War being stupid and immoral. I’ve read dozens of such arguments. Instead, Richman shrieks “MANUFACTURED CONSENT FOR A MORALLY OUTRAGEOUS INVASION” and leaves it at that.

      I also love the attack on the first Bush’s Iraq War. Our ‘military warfare’ was in response to Iraq’s forceful occupation of a neighboring country only a few years after Iraq waged a decade long war with Iran.

      Given Iraq’s behavior in the preceding decade, our war with them in that instance was hardly on the same level as the occupation in 2003.

      1. I think he means it was none of our business.

        1. No, he doesn’t mean it was ‘none of our business.’

          “wreck Iraq even more than it had been wrecked in the 1990s through the military and economic warfare waged by George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton.”

          The use of the word wrecked along with Richman’s bombastic style makes this come off like he’s arguing the first Iraq War was evil. If you wanted to argue it was none of our business, do so. Instead, he’s arguing that H.W. Bush’s invasion was horrible for ‘wrecking’ Iraq, a country that, you will recall, was currently occupying a neighboring country, had just fought a 9 year long war with Iran, and would shortly begin firing rockets at Saudi Arabia and Israel.

          1. The argument that it was evil has to do with us causing the death of thousands and thousands of Iraqis via warfare and sanctions to prop up a monarchy half a world away.

      2. So Richman, why was it horribly immoral for us to attack Iraq in the ’90s when they were engaged in a ‘morally outrageous’ invasion of a sovereign neighbor? You can argue that it wasn’t our fight (and many libertarians might agree with you) but it confuses me why you treat the 1990s attack as a moral outrage when it was in reaction to Iraq’s violent, decade long aggression against their neighbors.

        What, is it only American and Israel that aren’t allowed to invade other countries? Should Arab nations be allowed to do so with impunity?

        1. Why would an American writer whose goal is American non-intervention, speaking to an American audience, have to give equal time to other nation’s aggressions?

          1. Why would an American writer whose goal is American non-intervention, speaking to an American audience, have to give equal time to other nation’s aggressions?

            Retard has a point there.

            1. He doesn’t have a point since Richman does give a lot of time to other nation’s aggression provided the country is called ‘Israel.’

              Richman is awfully inconsistent with his moral outrage. We’re evil for ‘wrecking’ Iraq in 1992, even though they had just annexed Kuwait. Yet Richman is constantly attacking Israel on behalf of the Palestinians.

              Why does Iraq’s attempt to oppress the Kuwaitis not get the same level of play as Israel’s occupation of Palestine? How about Iraq and Turkey’s oppression of the Kurds?

              The only time Richman gets on his moral high horse is regarding America and Israel. Every other country gets a pass, even when they do things provably worse than the Israelis, who Richman is constantly banging on about.

              1. The Kurds are actually the perfect example. The al-Anfal campaign killed between 50,000 and 200,000 Kurds and the Kurds continued to be oppressed by the Iraqi government after that.

                Yet this horrifying Kurdish oppression is virtually never mentioned by Richman despite the fact that it’s worse than anything the Israelis have done to the Palestinians.

              2. Richman is Jewish, and if you knew any Jews you might know that they seem particularly concerned with Israel and it’s policies (on every side of the issue).

                Besides, there’s also the matter that we provide unmatched support for Israel that might motivate Richman.

                1. “if you knew any Jews”

                  I work with 3.

                  “Besides, there’s also the matter that we provide unmatched support for Israel that might motivate Richman.”

                  I was unaware that whether we support someone is relevant to the morality of their actions. Richman doesn’t frame this as American policy, he frames it as Israeli crimes. Yet the crimes of the rest of the planet don’t much seem to bother him.

                  The United States has been in bed with numerous dictators and murderous regimes. Its only Israel where our support ‘motivates Richman’ to discuss their crimes.

                  1. And those Jews don’t discuss Israel? Because I go to school with several and used to date a Jewish woman, and I find they are particularly concerned with Israel and talk about it way more than they do other foreign nations. And they’re all over the place when doing so.

                    “I was unaware that whether we support someone is relevant to the morality of their actions.”

                    Don’t be obtuse. I’m saying Richman might not be guided by a disinterested abstract discussion of world affairs, but might be focused on the nations who his taxes support.

          2. He is awfully concerned about Israel’s adventurism on his website. Why does he write about that?

            Sheldon only seems to care about bad acts done by the US and Israel.

            1. “He is awfully concerned about Israel’s adventurism on his website. Why does he write about that?”

              Because we fund them far more than any other nation maybe?

              1. No we don’t. And we fund a ton of nations. Many of them not very nice people. Yet, Richman doesn’t care. We send billions in aid to places like Saudi Arabia and Jordan or Egypt even.

                1. It’s almost like I didn’t write ” far more than any other nation” in the very comment you’re responding to.

                  1. by about 2 billion compared to the next nation Egypt

      3. Yeah. The US had been at war with Iraq since 1990. And most of that was to keep Saddam from slaughtering the Kurds. The the 2003 invasion was just settling the 1991 war.

        Whatever your opinion of the 2003 invasion, it is utterly untrue for Richman to act like it was some new issue that Bush dreamed up out of nowhere. And lets not forget Bill Clinton and Al Gore were more hawkish about Iraq in the late 1990s than Bush was prior to 911. They were the ones who passed the Iraqi liberation act and made removing Saddam a national priority in the first place.

        1. “They were the ones who passed the Iraqi liberation act and made removing Saddam a national priority in the first place.”

          Passing that act and doing what Bush did might have a big gap b’twixt.

          1. How about years of bombing Iraq? Operation Desert Fox ring any bells?

            American foreign policy is a bipartisan evil.

            1. And Richman denounces that stuff under Clinton too.

            2. “American foreign policy is a bipartisan evil.”

              Virginian,

              Would you think it worthwhile for us to use “The U.S. government’s foreign policy is a bipartisan evil” (or “The American government’s foreign policy….”)?

              I find a great many individuals take it personally when I criticize our government, and often react so negatively that a rational conversation is difficult or impossible.

              I’m interested in the opinions of others as well.

          2. Bombing the shit out them for 8 years does.

            I am starting to think you are a Richman run sock puppet.

            1. It’s ludicrous to suggest equivalency between what went on during the Clinton years and what Bush did. Yes, both were interventions, but it’s like comparing the Serbian war to WWII.

              1. No its not. We conducted a continuous bombing campaign and enforced a brutal regime of UN sanctions for 8 years. The entire inspections regime was a product of the Clinton administration. Bush finally invaded to enforce that regime. Clinton created the regime and ran an intermittent bombing campaign for 8 years to enforce it.

                1. That’s right John, and Serbia and WWII were just two examples of wars in Europe we fought.

            2. I am starting to think you are a Richman run sock puppet.

              Bo + Richman,…Bichman?

              1. Bitchman

        2. Don’t clutter up the field with useless facts that contradict my feelings.

          1. It is a pretty useless fact. There’s a huge difference between some stupid proclamation/resolution and invading a country and engaging in nation building to remake an entire culture half a world away.

            1. Media battlespace preparation is a huge part of the war machine though. It’s particularly effective when the two teams alternate between laying the groundwork and actually going to war.

              I still get chain email forwards from conservatives with all the “Let’s invade Iraq” quotes Democrats dropped in the 90s. When President Hillary orders Operation Freedom Liberty Eagle Patriot Apple Pie in March of 2018 to bring the light of democracy to Iran, I fully expect to get all kinds of emails from liberals full of “let’s invade Iran” quotes from Republicans.

              1. Some Democrats joined in (though, iirc, it was a minority in both Houses). And I guess that gives some cover. But equivalency, not so much.

                1. A majority of Democratic senators voted in favor. (58%)

                  1. I stand corrected there.

                    1. I stand corrected there.

                      Mirabile dictu!

            2. Bo, in the late 90’s the New England Journal of Medicine published a report stating that over 500,000 children died as a result of the Clinton imposed sanctions. Rep. David Bonior (D), hardly a member of the vast right wing conspiracy, called the sanctions “infanticide masquerading as public policy.” Most other nations wanted to ease up on the sanctions, Clinton would not relent. During a 60 Minutes interview, Leslie Stahl asked Madeline Albright about the 500,000 number. “That’s more than died in both Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and we have to ask, my God, is it worth it?” Madeline Albright didn’t even try to dispute the number. “It’s tough, but yes, we have to say, yes it’s worth it.”
              Think about that, then tell me how what Bush did was worse.

              1. I don’t necessarily buy into the 500,000 number. But what’s important is, Albright DID, and thought it was “worth it.” If Sadam was so dangerous that the deaths of half a million children was “worth it,” how would it be right to NOT invade?

                1. BTW-I find Albright to be beyond morally disgusting, for what you point out and her attitude about other conflicts (like Serbia)

              2. I’m not defending what Clinton did with the sanctions and the no-fly zone maintenance.

                But yes, Bush’s full scale invasion is worse. It’s worse in that it involved more casualties total, including far more American ones (that 500,000 number has been criticized as inflated, and I’ve seen over a million for the second Iraq War [the ORB International survey]). It’s worse because it involved far more spending of my tax money.

                1. I’m talking worse from a moral outrage POV. Anyone who accuses Bush of making up pretenses for war, and doesn’t mention Clinton, is the worst sort of person.

                  1. I agree and I don’t. I agree that the consequences of the sanctions were morally outrageous, and that Albright, true to her form, had an utterly outrageous stance there.

                    I don’t think the pretenses were equally as bad for what Clinton did than what Bush II did. Clinton essentially just kept up what Bush I did, Bush took a further step in the UN’s name but without the UN’s permission. That strikes me as being more legally dubious and outrageous.

        3. If Richman accepts the U.S. response to Iraq invading Kuwait as being justified, then he leaves himself open to the obvious charge that the 2003 “invasion” was simply a continuation of a conflict that was halted, based on promises made by Saddam, that he failed to keep – which is exactly what it was.
          Anti-Americans try to make it seem as though what was actually the 2003 continuation of Gulf War 1, was conducted in a vacuum.

      4. Although it would’ve been nice if we hadn’t told Sadam a few days before the invasion, “We don’t care if you invade Kuwait.” It may have been helpful to not say that.

  5. “News readers have a habit of passing off lies, especially when those lies can help make the case for war.”

    Especially?

    C’mon man… anything sensationalist get flung up on screen (ie. BOOOOOSH ANG “memos”) and lies pay (Dateline rigging trucks with special effects devices to cause flames to dramatically shoot out of a truck, etc).

  6. I understand that sometimes writers go off the Libertarian reservation and Reason should be open to publishing such. Why is it that every time a Reason writer goes batshit crazy they always turn out to be a prog? First there was Weigal and then Chapman and now Richman. How come no one ever goes the other way? Where is the writer who goes as nuts as Richman but to the right? That never seems to happen or if it does Reason doesn’t publish it. Yet, it continues to publish Richman and Chapman and would probably rehire Weigal if he asked.

    1. Richman’s views are well within certain longstanding schools of libertarian thought John. It’s you that are well off the reservation.

      1. “Richman’s views are well within certain longstanding schools of libertarian thought “

        ‘Longstanding’?

        Not so much. More like ‘discredited and abandoned‘ by everyone except the Rothbardian fringe, and disowned except by the few self-described ‘purist’ morons like yourself.

        The categorical error of an a priori foreign policy

        Indeed international politics, like all politics, but even more than national politics because it deals with two or more states — by definition aggressive and violent, is the domain of the dilemmas, of seeking the lesser evil, where the principles of freedom cannot be applied directly nor with certainty. On the contrary, we can only identify the policy to be pursued though political intuition, after a thorough analysis of its implications. It requires knowledge and direct experience of the political societies in question, and of their mutual relationships, which obviously cannot be gained by anyone who thinks he can decide everything in advance.

        To try and determine foreign policy a priori is a categorical error which in turn guarantees the incompetence of those who commit it

        Thus the advisability of a policy must necessarily depend on the circumstances, and any decision made upon it must be the end product of a localized and dated historical study, and not of a general philosophical argument.”

        1. “More like ‘discredited and abandoned’ by everyone except the Rothbardian fringe”

          Yes, like Ron and to an extent Rand Paul, non-interventionism surely lives on the ‘fringe’ of libertarianism Gilmore.

          Stick to fashion reviews.

          1. Disagreements about Foreign Policy are completely within the libertarian mainstream = because Foreign Policy is not something determined by some a priory, dogmatic set of beliefs that exist outside the totality of circumstances/context in which an issue is being engaged.

            Pretending that there’s “only one view” on the matter, and insisting that anyone who disagrees is banned from the Purist Libertarian fold, is entirely a game played by a few idiots like yourself.

            Who, I note = arrived at ‘this publication’ about a year or so ago, and instantly declared themself the arbiter of all that is Right and True

            All of this while your actual knowledge of Foreign Policy is paper-thin. But please, do continue to lecture the grown-ups on your expertise.

            1. You’re moving the goalposts, and doing so in your strange idiosyncratic hobby horse about a priori foriegn policy.

              What I don’t think you’ll contest is that non-interventionism in general is pretty mainstream in libertarian circles.

              1. How would you know?

                Its certainly not based on your (1) years of sampling the POV of people here. Or the 600-800 comments on the last 2 Richman pieces.

                Its also a posture you’re utterly incapable of actually defending against its specific criticisms. As noted here as an example.

                But please, fap away as you play your Tendentious-Partisan game, accusing everyone of being faux-libertarians except yourself.

                1. You’re ridiculous Gilmore. Are you seriously arguing that general non-intervention is not firmly in place in the libertarian mainstream? I’m not saying other views aren’t popular too, I’m saying that if you were to gather a bunch of libertarians you’d find a significant number of pretty strong general non-interventionists. You’re more absurd than usual if you’re claiming otherwise.

                  1. ” I’m saying that if you were to gather a bunch of libertarians you’d find a significant number of pretty strong general non-interventionists. “

                    There is no such thing as “general non-interventionist” if you define it the way you did yesterday… where apparently ‘Libya, Syria, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen’, etc.. did not count as ‘interventions’ because they weren’t actual “invasions”.

                    Differences about Foreign Policy are completely normal.

                    Its only you that insists there’s One POV on the matter and that’s it.

                    Never mind that you apparently don’t even have the ability to defend your own POV against the specific criticisms made by other libertarians (see above)

                    1. Again, you’re full of misunderstandings.

                      I count Libya, Syria, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen as interventions and denounce them. Most non-interventionists do to.

                      But one can recognize the level and scope of intervention are lower in those situations than they were in Iraq.

                      Your wife kissing someone and your wife letting the Brooklyn Nets run a train on her would both be infidelities, but not comparable in degree.

                    2. “To try and determine foreign policy a priori is a categorical error which in turn guarantees the incompetence of those who commit it

                      Thus the advisability of a policy must necessarily depend on the circumstances, and any decision made upon it must be the end product of a localized and dated historical study, and not of a general philosophical argument.””

                    3. That’s nice Gilmore, but I’m not debating your hobby horse policy philosophy, I’m just saying that non-intervention is how many libertarians have described theirs for a fairly long while.

                    4. You can’t

          2. Also =

            I know you’ve only been around Reason for a year or so, but sadly

            “Ron Pauls Says______”

            ….is not ‘libertarianism’.

            Go back to when he was running for president, and review the discussions people had here, and you’ll get a better sense of why.

            1. Of course he isn’t libertarianism, but he’s a pretty big figure in libertarian circles. Hardly on the ‘fringe.’

              1. *Bo Knows* all the ‘libertarian circles‘ so well

                “When Kmele Foster asked him about the Ron Paul Institute publishing 9/11 conspiracy theories, Paul explained:….”Paul Craig Roberts has some very good views on war and civil liberties, and he shouldn’t be excluded because he takes this particular position. ? I think that, to me, the people who overly criticize something like that probably are the ones who have the problem.”

                There you have it. Truthers oppose American imperialism. If you promote Trutherism, you’re a good guy, because your policy preferences are likely to align with his. If you criticize conspiracy theories, you’re a bad guy because you’re “dividing the movement” by attacking his Truther allies.

                As a supporter of Ron Paul as far back as 2006, I’ve learned to recognize this pattern. Ron Paul refuses to be held accountable for his associations. He states his own opposition to homophobia, racism, and conspiracy theories?sincerely, I believe?but he refuses to disassociate from those who use his name and network to promote them. Paul thinks private denials are good enough to give him moral teflon against the foul shit being spread by his associates. But at some point, this excuse wears thin, especially when he says that the people who criticize that stuff are “probably the ones who have the problem.”

                1. You’re just doubling down on your derp. Is an article denouncing Paul for something supposed to prove that he’s not a major figure in the libertarian mainstream?

                  1. We’re talking about former LP Presidential candidate Ron Paul. Ron Paul, who other than his son if you did a google search of ‘libertarian’ and his name among other national figures you’d probably get more relevant hits than anyone else. Heck, even if you searched just Reason articles you’d find a very high percent of them comparably about Ron Paul.

                    That’s a lot of focus for someone who is only on the ‘fringe’ of libertarianism. lol

                    1. He’s so mainstream that even his own son has abandoned Dad’s foreign policy posture.

                    2. We’re talking about the libertarian mainstream. I mean, really, you’re arguing that Ron Paul is not mainstream among people that identify as libertarians? That’s daft. No libertarian has ever gotten such support at the national level.

                    3. ” I mean, really, you’re arguing that______[insert subject change]”

                      No, i’m pointing out that his foreign policy views are completely discredited and no one takes them seriously.

                      Much like you, here in this forum.

                    4. It’s nice you think they’re discredited, and maybe you can find someone to talk about today on that topic.

                      Because what I’m talking about is whether views like his on the topic can be comfortably found in the libertarian circles, and the answer is easily yes.

                    5. So what? It doesn’t make them any more the required “libertarian” posture, nor does it make that posture any more defensible from a practical policy standpoint.

                      Meanwhile you write apologias for TEAM BLUE interventions because they’re “less intervention-y”… as though your ‘principle’ of non-intervention is really just a qualitative matter of ‘conditions’… which is exactly the point made above.

                    6. There’s an old joke that Jimmy Joyce, the Irish-Catholic comedian (50s and 60s) used to tell:

                      My uncle Leo was a cab driver in New York city.

                      One day, he picks up the Protestant bishop who orders my uncle Leo to “take me to Christ church.”

                      So, my uncle Leo pulls up in front of St. Patrick’s cathedral.

                      The Protestant bishop barks, “I said to take me to Christ church.”

                      My uncle Leo told him, “Listen pal, if he’s not here, he’s no-where in town.”

                      Gilmore, do you get it?

                    7. please, explain it for everyone’s benefit

                    8. Bo is Uncle Leo.

                      Rothbard and Paul are St. Patrick’s cathedral.

                      You be the Protestant bishop.

                    9. Your analogy requires i be devoted to some narrow religion

                      As noted = its the so-called ‘non-interventionists’ that have drunk the kool-aid of an a priori foreign policy approach, where the solution comes before the actual ‘problem’.

                      All i’m pointing out is that there is a wide, heterogeneous POV about Foreign Policy within libertarianism. i.e. more than one “ideologically approved”, dogmatic perspective.

                      doesn’t quite hold.

                    10. No, it does hold because Rothbard and Paul represent the views of the overwhelming majority of libertarians.

                      Conservatives and neocons and republicans and those who falsely claim that they are libertarian, are not libertarians.

                    11. You keep talking about this “overwhelming majority”

                      prey tell, where do they hide?

                      because You and Bo seem to keep insisting you both represent this Silent Mass of Truthkeepers….

                      …as though you read some handbook that no one else was issued?

                      I repeat = nowhere in traditional libertarian thinking has there ever been any dogmatism about foreign policy.

                      Its limited entirely to Rothbard’s peculiar anti-cold-war idiocy, and has substantial arguments pointing out =

                      how it fails even as theory (*see above link), and apparently allows total latitude in determining what “intervention” actually is… where the ostensible ‘anti-interventionist’ like bo can excuse unilateral undeclared drone-warfare as “ok” (so long as its not a declared war of invasion), or that people like sheldon can pretend that Trade or Diplomatic relations constitute ‘interventionist meddling’ when they result in undesired outcomes.

                      IOW, its complely specious and arbitrary

                      You can *insist* people adopt this idiotic POV all you want. It doesn’t make you any more ‘libertarian’.

                    12. ” those who falsely claim that they are libertarian, are not libertarians.”

                      You must have been a barrel of laughs in philosophy class.

                    13. In addition =

                      aren’t you the genius who was insisting that all libertarians must necessarily be anarchists and deny the existence of nation states…. making your opinion about “Foreign Policy” sort of a meaningless-non-started to begin with?

                      if you dont support the existence of a state *at all*, then you don’t believe there should *be* a foreign policy. At all.

                      so why bother with the pretense?

        2. The point I would make is that the United States, because of its geographic position, is capable more so than other nations of formulating a foreign policy of restraint and caution. Purist libertarianism in this realm is likely not possible, but a strong fleet, backed by control of the high ground that is Earth orbit, coupled with a small professional army to keep an eye on the southern border, would be ample to secure the legitimate security interests of the nation.

          There’s no need for 12 carrier battle groups and a standing army the size of the one we have, unless your goal is not independence but hegemony.

          1. ^ I agree. The US government is involved in all kinds of foreign squabbles that ought to be left alone.

            The problem is that Richman seems to reserve this grand, over-arching moral outrage for two countries, America and Israel, while the rest of the planet is simply being victimized by the vulgar American empire and Zionist aggression.

            So when Israel kills Palestinians, it’s the greatest moral crime in history, but when Iraq invades Kuwait 5 years after murdering 100,000 Kurds, our response to that invasion is the sin, not Iraq’s violent aggression in the first place.

      2. “Yet that is precisely what Murray Rothbard did as he tried in For a New Liberty to define isolationism as “the” free-market foreign policy. As a consequence, anyone who has seriously studied any matter of international politics can only conclude that in those matters Rothbard and the Rothbardians as such regularly ignore relevant facts which run counter to their pre-determined conclusions. As they generally know only the United States and believe that they can dispense with knowing other governments, they have failed to take the measure of how much more mendacious and criminal those can be, and as a consequence they have more often than not sided with the worst murderers against those who tried to neutralize them, while repeating lies from their propaganda.


        Rothbardian isolationism ultimately rests on the utopian premise that certain types of policy choices could be free of the uncertainties and moral responsibilities which are in fact inherent in politics, so that no policy can ever avoid them: We have just concluded that if social complexity and the free will of the players inevitably doomed intervention abroad to failure, that would be equally true of any foreign policy.

        It’s time to remember that when you can act, even doing nothing is to act. It is an illusion ? of a “precautionary principle” kind- to fantasize that action would have consequences while inaction would have none.”

        1. I consider myself an Anarchist/Capitalist. IMO “Free Market” foreign policy does work. It just takes time However I have never understood the Non Interventionist view point.

          If someone rob’s my competitors store. I know that my store is next. You better believe that I would help my competitor hunt down the thief.

          1. If someone rob’s my competitors store. I know that my store is next. You better believe that I would help my competitor hunt down the thief.

            Depends. You are justified in helping, for sure. You are not, however, obligated. If you assume you’re obligated you’ve just signed up to involvement in every dispute in the world. That’s unaffordable and, in the end, self defeating. The decision to retaliate against aggression towards another nation should be based on a cost/benefit analysis. Will intervening result in a net positive. If that’s not likely…stay out.

            You could probably justify Gulf War I. Everything subsequent…not so much. Especially with how we went about it (iow, nation building).

            1. “You are not, however, obligated.”

              Yeah, I should have thrown a Voluntary in there somewhere.

              The Nation Building/Spread Democracy reasoning bit in GW2 struck me as odd. In history nations/nation states come about through spontaneous order. The nations that always ail in the end are the result geographical dictates by empires.

              1. Agreed. No amount of force is going to make people accept someone else’s way of life. Before people will accept living in a democracy, they’ve got to want to live in a democracy.

    2. Where is the writer who goes as nuts as Richman but to the right?

      There’s no clicks in that. If they published something like that, many of us would nod our heads and that’d be it. When they publish Richman, some of us grab a beer and settle in, or at the least, check the thread every half hour to watch you and Bo go at it. When they publish Richman, John, you alone will add a hundred comments to a thread. They’re trolling you. But it’s fun to watch you fight, keep at it.

      1. I make popcorn and giggle like a schoolgirl. The derpfest that is Bo and John is spectacular.

        1. Agreed, though its fun to feed both sides of the argument

    1. HM,

      Lets not forget they also have Fatwas calling for the destruction of Israel and saying it is your duty as Muslim to make war against non Muslims. Apparently those don’t count but this one is totally binding on the government of Iraq.

      Pig ignorant is a good way to describe Richman.

      1. Again, a fatwa is an interpretation of sharia law based on the jurist’s knowledge and opinion. Typically, fatawa is an attempt to justify the jurist’s opinion of the ahkam of a particular behavior, that is whether a practice is obligatory (fard) or not (mustahabb or makruh, etc.), or permitted or not, etc. from the view point of the Islamic religion. Now, the Sunnah, that is the Qu’ran and the various ahadith are clear that it is a Muslim’s duty to engage in jihad, that is not questioned. What fatawa clear up is “Do I have to drop everything and go on this jihad now?” “Is the Israeli/Palestinian conflict an offensive or defensive jihad?” or here’s a kicker “Is it permissible to engage in deception in order to achieve military victory, for example, obfuscating one’s intentions for developing a certain technology?

        1. Thanks for pointing to this, HM. I was going to post something similar. When a significant number of the official interpreters of a state religion say it’s not just okay but it’s your religious obligation to deceive in order to support the ultimate goal of dar al Islam, I’m going to go out on a limb and say maybe we shouldn’t take what the Iranian government says about their lack of desire for a nuclear weapons program at face value.

          1. Allah is referred to in the Koran as the “greatest of all deceivers”
            also as
            “the lord of the multitudes and the djinn’s”
            oh and again as
            “the greatest of all plotters”

            the god of islam is known as the best liar so why would lying be outlawed?

            1. “greatest of all deceivers”
              Is that akin to “the Father of lies”?
              Sounds about right, to me.

  7. I don’t trust my own governments intentions 99.9% of the time. I sure am not going to trust in the purity of the Iranian mullahs intentions. I don’t want us to invade, I want us out of the region.

    1. Yeah. Everything the US said before Iraq was according to a Richman, a vicious calculated lie to get the public to go to war. There is possibility that they could have just fucked up or had bad information. Nope. The entire thing was a calculated lie.

      In contrast, the Iranian government, the same government that happily murders its own people in the streets, jails anyone who dissents and publicly dreams of wiping Israel off the map, is completely trust worthy. Anyone who thinks the Iranians have anything but peaceful intent is just an evil Neocon nationalist.

  8. The two biggest abominations in my adult life from a libertarian perspective were 1st. the ACA and 2nd. the Iraq War. Both of them were based on incredibly arrogant and naive assumptions and involved massive government action resulting in disaster.

    From what he’s told me, John supported and joined the 2nd one. Now that it’s become commonly questioned I think he and other right leaners feel a need to minimize the height of the folly they championed, and one form of that is to try to make it as bipartisan as they can. So they cite that Clinton maintained no fly zones in Iraq or that Obama allowed bombing raids in Libya, etc.

    But that’s as silly, though similar, of a game as ACA supporters, seeing it crumble around them, trying to say ‘oh, it was all a Heritage Foundation idea, it’s just Romneycare.’ Romneycare is bad, and for a non-interventionist what Clinton and Obama did and do are bad, but we’re talking matters of degree worse when we talk about the ACA or the Iraq War/Nation Building Exercise.

    1. Except that the ACA didn’t get a single Republican vote and the Iraq war got a ton of Democratic votes. And the Iraq war was continued and funded to an even greater extent after the Democrats too Congress. Moreover, it continued for three years after Obama took office. And continues to this day as Obama fights ISIS.

      Only a real partisan idiot would claim that war is not a bipartisan war. It was.

      And spare me your ACA claims. I have never seen you on a single ACA thread. If it is such an abomination, how come you never seem to have anything to say about it, even though it is discussed on here about five times a week?

      Show me a link to you criticizing it and not defending it or playing “they are just as bad too” with the criticisms or shut the fuck up about how much you don’t like it.

      1. “Except that the ACA didn’t get a single Republican vote”

        Which is why they point to Romney and Heritage.

        “I have never seen you on a single ACA thread.”

        If you are going to make such silly claims then man up and back them up. How about this, if I produce an example, you will not post here for a week. If I cannot, then I will not post here for a week. Deal, or is your mouth bigger than your integrity?

        1. I will post whenever I want. Post an example of you criticizing the ACA on an ACA thread. That will provide some evidence that you are not lying here. if you can’t do that, then anyone reading this can assume you are a liar.

          Moreover, you say it is the biggest abomination in your life. So whatever you produce should be unequivocal and strongly worded, not some limp wrist bullshit.

          Produce it or shut the fuck up.

          1. So you won’t actually stand by what you say. You just throw nonsense out there hoping it will stick and it’s on the people you throw your crap at to prove it’s wrong, and when they do you’ll just move on to throw more. You lack any integrity, you won’t even stand by your own accusations.

            1. Why do I have to bet you? You are lying. And if you could prove me wrong, you would do it and I would have to admit it.

              You only shit on the thread with some bet because you want to change the subject. Sorry. I don’t play that way. Unless you can show me where you have ever criticized the ACA on here and done so in a strong way, we can all assume you pulled that claim out of your ass and were just concern trolling.

              1. If you are sure of what you claim then stand by it. I’m willing to stand by it. Why are you afraid to? Is it because you lack confidence in it, but wanted to throw it out there? Man up and stand by your claim John.

                1. I am standing by my claim. You were lying when you said that the ACA was the biggest political abomination in your life and I know that because you are never on the ACA threads that I have seen and you never criticize it in strong and unequivocal terms.

                  If you have proof otherwise, provide. If you can’t, then yes you are a liar. I stand by my claim you are a liar. All you have to do is produce a link and I will have to walk back on that. Do that or admit you were lying.

                  Sorry but “take my bet and I will prove I am not a liar” doesn’t cut it. You have every reason to prove you are not lying here and should have no problem doing so if you are not.

                  1. If you’re standing by your claim then do so. You have nothing to worry about it if you’re confident.

                    I’m confident, I’ll put something up behind that confidence in my claim.

                    You won’t do the same for your claim. Telling.

                    1. You’re willing to slander people because you don’t have anything to lose other than your credibility, which you don’t seem to care for anyway.

                      If you really believed what you say, then stand by it. Come on, I’m doing that, and you’re at least the man I am. Aren’t you?

                    2. Bo,

                      Just admit you can’t provide the proof. You pulled that claim out of your ass. You don’t give a shit about the ACA and have never once been uniequivally critical of it despite nearly daily opportunities to do so.

                      You were lying and we all know you are lying becuase you retreated to this bullshit instead of sticking it to me and providing a link.

                      What? You won’t provide a link to some comment of yours destroying the ACA and make me admit I was wrong why? Because you like me and don’t think that would be cricket?

                      Fuck off. Stop talking out of your ass if you don’t want people calling you on it.

                    3. If you believe you’re right why not take the bet? I’m willing to take it. The second you’re willing to stand by your dishonest or reckless claim I will give you the link. But I want you actually stand by what you say first. If you are confident, then do it.

                    4. Link or it didnt happen, you are a known liar, and a progressive (or at least were progressive up to a recent point)

        2. Well, John?

        3. I am waiting Bo. You have been asked to prove a positive. It shouldn’t be hard, except for the fact that you are lying here and such posts do not exist.

          1. Damn Bo, you got nothing? not even a slightly libertarian comment to show?

  9. I had already read much of what Mr. Richman included in his article, and there is a lot of evidence to support many of his claims.

    It’s the sensationalism which others often point out that I cannot appreciate. In my opinion, he should join us in the comments section to rant. I think he’d fit in rather well (as long as he has a very thick skin).

    1. there is a lot of evidence to support many of his claims.

      You’re rolling on some Agile Cyborg-level shit right now, aren’t you?

      1. For which claim(s) would you like me to provide links, HM?

        1. Obama’s “neoconservatism” for one!

          1. Here is something from Reason:
            “If Obama commits the U.S. to arming Syrian rebels, it will be the latest example of Obama thinking and acting like a neoconservative.” https://reason.com/archives/201…..ist-groups

            1. Here is something he said which sounds very similar to a key point in the Project for a New American Century: “I see an American century because no other nation seeks the role that we play in global affairs, and no other nation can play the role that we play in global affairs. That includes shaping the global institutions of the 20th century to meet the challenges of the 21st.” http://www.informationclearing…..fenses.pdf

    2. I agree here. His hyperbole makes him, ironically, much more like one of our commenters than one of Reason’s writers.

    3. He does not. His 2nd “American Sniper” article was a complaint that is currently considered bad form to hate soldiers for being soldiers therefore Richman is not “allowed” to express himself.

    4. “I think he’d fit in rather well (as long as he has a very thick skin).”

      Isn’t Bo Richman?

  10. If Iran is working on developing nuclear weapons, then Israel should be scared shitless, knowing a first strike would obliterate their small country. So, if Iran is working etc., what is Israel prepared to do about it? Strike first? Goad the U.S. into striking first?
    What? What do those who are clamoring for action want the U.S. to do? Other than chest-beating, I’m not at all certain what the McCains and Grahams want to do. Launch a full scale invasion? How can we debate “grave concerns?”

    1. So, if Iran is working etc., what is Israel prepared to do about it? Strike first?

      Yes, and they have mentioned this policy several times.

      1. IF they, do you think that there won’t be grave consequences for them?

        1. Well, Israel would have compare the odds between having their major population centers vaporized or starting another Six-Day War. Neither scenario is palatable, which is rational for the Israeli’s to attempt to nip Iran’s ambitions in the bud.

          1. What evidence is there that Iran would vaporize Israel’s major population centers if it got the bomb?

            The bombast attributed to Ahmadinejad (of course, it has been thoroughly debunked) is an awfully slender reed upon which to predicate a first strike or to otherwise intervene.

            1. “What evidence is there that Iran would vaporize Israel’s major population centers if it got the bomb?”

              I don’t actually think they *would*…

              …but there is the little thing about them repeatedly claiming to want to

              I don’t think that means you have to take them at their word =

              but the fact that the Iranians have funded and supplied weapons to Hezbollah and Hamas for decades is certainly cause to assume that they remain ‘antagonistic’ on at least a few levels.

              (FWIW – Many defense analysts think the most likely use of an Iranian nuclear weapon would be to hit saudi oil fields)

              I’m not sure why this matters = are you debating Israeli policy towards Iran, or US policy?

  11. “the illegal and morally outrageous invasion and occupation”

    Bullshit. Was the Iraq war a good idea? That can be debated. Was the Bush administration sticking strictly to the proven when they went to Congress and the people? Probably not, though drumming up support for a war on specious grounds is more of a Democrat habit.

    But Iraq had never met the terms of surrender for the Gulf War. We were ALREADY at war with him.

    As for the war being “Morally Outrageous”; I would argue that describing it so sets the bar of outrage very low indeed.

    The narrative that the Iraq war was a disaster is one the Liberal Intellectual Radical Progressive Left has been pushing since the opening shot of the war. They don’t do it because they have anything against using military force. They do it because they are determined to pain Bush as a monster, so that their disgusting shenanigans in 2000 have some justification.

    Should we have invaded Iraq? I happen to think so, but there are legitimate arguments on the other side. The “It was an illegal war” trope is not one of them. It is pernicious bullshit, and Reason should be ashamed to print it.

    1. The peace terms involved the UN coalition, didn’t it? The same
      UN that rejected the invasion proposal from the Bush administration.

      1. Those terms authorized the use of force to enforce the ceasefire and later the UN inspection regime.

        Indeed, Clinton didn’t get UNSC authorization when he launched Desert Fox and bombed Iraq until Saddam agreed to comply with inspections regime. And he didn’t need to and no one claimed he did.

        The legal justification for the invasion of Iraq is pretty clear. It wasn’t an illegal war. You just don’t support the war and thinking it was also illegal makes you feel good. That is really all there is to it.

        1. No it’s not. The terms were with the UN. There’s a mechanism in the UN for dealing with supposed breaches. The US tried it and got shot down.

          1. No they were not. The resolutions authorized force. They didn’t say “force if you ask again”. That is not what they said. If they had said that, Clinton would have had to go to the UN to launch desert fox or really do any kind of bombing. And he never did because he didn’t need to. And neither did Bush.

            1. The UN as a body has mechanisms for deciding if there is a breach and what the response is John. The US tried that mechanism, they lost.

              1. Sure they do. But that wasn’t the issue. Everyone agreed there was a breach. The question was could the coalition invade because of it. And they could because the UNSC said they could.

                They didn’t go back to the UNSC to determine if they resolutions had been breached. That was a given.

                You are just wrong here. You don’t even understand your own case.

                1. You don’t understand.

                  If Reason had a contract with someone, and the way Reason’s incorporation articles work is that the three top people meet and vote on courses of action, and one person brings up what the others think is a breach and urges a lawsuit, but he’s outvoted, that one guy can’t bring suit.

                  That’s what happened here. The terms were with the UN. The UN decided not to invoke one of its options for breach, despite the US urging them to. The UN has no mechanism allowing for a member state to go it alone in enforcing the UN’s Resolutions. It was illegal.

                  1. Bo,

                    You are inventing law that doesn’t exist. If the resolution authorized force, you don’t have to go back and ask for permission to use force. That is why the resolution authorizes force. If the system worked as you imagine it does, there would be no point in the resolution authorizing force, since you would have to go back to the UNSC regardless of whether it did.

                    I hate to pull authority here, but this is one subject that I actually am an expert on. I can say with complete confidence you don’t know what you are talking about. You are just making up things to support your argument because you are incapable of ever admitting someone else has a point.

                    1. The resolution authorizes THE UN to use force, because it’s WITH the UN.

                      If this is supposed to be one subject you are actually an expert on that explains some of your views on others 😉

                    2. The original UN resolution gave any membet of yhe original.coalition the authority to use military force in the event of an armistice breach. It did not require working with the UN.

                    3. Who gives a fuck about the UN
                      you know the guys who rape and murder all over africa, yeah theyre the moral arbiters here

    2. ^^THIS^^

      The US has fought illegal wars. The best example of the US fighting an illegal war is the 1999 war against Serbia and our war against Libya. Both of those were done without UN approval and without any basis in law or to enforce any sort of UN resolution. Iraq was invaded to enforce existing UNSCs that authorized force and to enforce a cease fire agreement that authorized force. All Bush didn’t get was a final “okay I guess we really meant UNSC 1441” in 2003. He did not strictly speaking need such since 1441 had never been revoked and authorized force.

      Prog hacks never mention that and they never mention the blatant illegality of Serbia and Libya. Richman doesn’t give a shit about illegal wars. He is just a prog hack singing the company song here about the evil Bush.

      1. He enforced a UN resolution that the UN declined to enforce, so it was legal. You don’t see the problem with this reasoning?

        1. He enforced a resolution that authorized force and had never been revoked. There was no legal reason to ever go back to the UNSC. And the fact that the UNSC didn’t authorize force the second time, didn’t revoke the existing resolutions and make using force to enforce them any less legal.

          1. The deal was with the UN, the UN has a mechanism for dealing with supposed breaches. One member dealing with them isn’t one of them. It was illegal.

            1. Likewise, if Reason had a contract with someone and one of the editors thought they were in breach, but the rest of the management did not want to press the issue, the one editor doesn’t file a lawsuit in Reason’s name.

            2. No it wasn’t. Read the resolutions. That is not what the resolutions said or what anyone interpreted them to mean before they had political reasons to pretend otherwise.

              You are not arguing at this point. You are just making up facts.

              1. I’m making up that the UN as a mechanism for dealing with nations that are in breach with UN resolutions and that the US tried and lost? Which part of that am I making up? Identify it.

                1. The issue was not if there was a breach. Give it up.

                  1. The issue was who gets to decide the response, if any, to the breach. The terms were with the UN, they have a mechanism for deciding. They didn’t decide on invasion.

                    1. really what Libertarian gives a FUCK about the STUPID WASTE OF TAXES that is the United abomiNations
                      WHO FUCKING CARES what every other nation does?
                      did you know the UN wants to hold the US in contempt for failing to enforce MJ criminalization and for the Small arms treaty?
                      FUCK THE UN FUCK THE UN FUCK THE UN

                    2. US out of the UN
                      UN out of the US

  12. I was just kidding when I suggested releasing the Botard…

  13. “I’m the only real libertarian here you bunch of assbag conservatives.”

    /Bo

    1. It’s not interesting at all that the Iraq War finds more support on Reason’s comments sections than nearly anywhere else in our society?

      1. I find little to no support of the Iraq war in the comment sections at Reason. You should probably quit arguing with the conservatives in your head. Although I’m sure they appreciate the free rent you’re providing them.

        1. And people who answer criticisms of the ACA with ‘it was a Republican idea’ and ‘it was not clearly illegal’ are, of course, not defending it.

      2. (hyperbole detection meter spiking)

      3. “the Iraq War finds more support on Reason’s comments”

        Hyperbolic intellectual dishonesty is just so compelling and appealing.

        No wonder you’re so popular.

  14. I thought there was nothing dumber than a Richman post. The comments have proved me wrong.

    1. If you think of richman as bo it makes sense again

  15. Sheldon Richman; when plain old garden variety flypaper isn’t good enough.

    1. He did attract you. So he caught at least one idiot.

  16. !

    1. ?

        1. Nice.
          Consistent.
          Original.

  17. I started reading reason maybe a decade ago and thoroughly enjoy the mag. Occasionally I’ve come across things that I disagree with, or see inexplicable leaps in logic, but I don’t expect to agree all the time with anyone. I have noticed one thing however… on those occasions recently when I read something and think “What the fuck is this and how did it get published in reason?” the author has been Sheldon Richman.

    Every

    Single

    Time

    I don’t look at the author’s name on a piece before I start reading it here. I think I’ll have to start.

    1. I don’t have the Richman hate that some do, but I agree that he’s one of the weaker authors here, and when I see it’s a Sheldon Richman article I’m generally going to give it a pass. Not because it’s necessarily wrong…just because it rarely presents any information that hasn’t been already been dissected in a hundred other, better posts (or comments). Hell, he even cites his own articles as sources, which is how little additional data he brings to the discussion.

      His articles are usually more of a general rant. Generalized rants get boring after you’ve heard them the first hundred times.

    2. I dont look at authors names either, i just guess who wrote it after im done reading then go look to see who it was.
      every time i said in my head “holy shit that was richman level stupid” it has been richman 9 out of 10, the other time it was chapman

      1. Chapman is worse than Richman, IMO, but for different reasons. Richman’s a writer of boring screeds whereas Chapman’s usually just wrong.

  18. Of course so-called news people shouldn’t make up stuff to look good, but there’s something much worse: uncritically passing along official lies intended to prepare the American people for war.

    “You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war!”

    That is what it is all about, ladies and gentlemen. Blood sells.

    1. Also what makes the grass grow

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  20. Gareth Porter? You mean the same Gareth Porter who called the Khmer Rouge atrocities lies?

  21. I have a Sheldon Richman drinking game, where I read a new article by him on Reason, see how long it takes him to blame Israel, then get blind drunk to try and forget that his rubbish is published on my beloved Reason. This time it took only four paragraphs of post hoc and strawman reasoning to link Brian Williams pathetic lies to Israel, then the rest of the article to “prove” it was all Israel’s fault. I’ve never managed to remain sober through this game, because in Richman’s writing all the world’s evils are always Israel’s fault.

  22. Explanation of the law and policy, fact basis for Operation Iraqi Freedom.

  23. My personal favorite bit of Iran info that gets left out of *every* story on the topic is how the CIA provided Iran with schematics for a nuclear bomb trigger as part of a hare-brained disinformation scheme.

  24. I disagree with Sheldon on the matter of the existence of a nuclear weapons program in Iran. I agree with Sheldon that there is plenty of room for debate on the topic and the party line shat out by the big network anchors is completely inaccurate.

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