Reason Roundup

The So-Called Grown-ups Have Gotten to Trump on Syria: Reason Roundup

Plus: What to make of Kavanaugh's racial profiling emails and how "nativists keep shifting the goal posts."

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DoD/Sipa USA/Newscom

There are plenty of legitimate lines of criticism against President Donald Trump's policy preferences, antics, and decorum. But all too often, establishment takedowns of Trump—from centrist conservatives and liberals who consider themselves "the grownups" in this improbable era—dwell on course-correcting one of the few things the Trump administration has done moderately right: not getting us further entangled in foreign civil wars, nation-building boondoggles, and other imperial adventures of the sort that Bush-Clinton-Bush-Obama adored.

This respite was bound to be short-lived, given that Trump doesn't seem to be guided by principles so much as by a series of impulses, alliances, and petty grievances. Hence, five months after he said he wanted America "to get out" of Syria, Trump has now agreed to a major escalation of U.S. action there.

What will happen to U.S. troops in Syria?

The 2,200 or so troops currently stationed in Syria will stay, even though their stated primary goal of ousting ISIS "has nearly been completed," notes The Washington Post. Now the goal is getting Iranian forces to go, even if that sets us up for direct conflict with not just Iran but Russia.

James Jeffrey, who was named "representative for Syria engagement" by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, said American troops will now be tasked with ensuring the exit of all Iranian military personnel and helping to build (as the Post puts it) "a stable, nonthreatnening government acceptable to all Syrians and the international community."

Never mind that this hasn't gone so well when we've done it before—this time, we'll do it longer! "We are not in a hurry," Jeffrey said, adding that he is "confident that the president is on board with this." Previously, Trump "resisted significant involvement" in the Syrian civil war "even as both Iran and Russia increased their influence," notes the Post.

What will happen to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad?

"Assad has no future, but it's not our job to get rid of him," said Jeffrey.

It won't be that easy.

Just today, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani met in Tehran, where Rouhani said the next step in Syria strategy was "to force the United States to leave."

Emma Ashford of the Cato Institute summed up the situation nicely: "In short, the Trump admin appears poised to commit us to a costly, unnecessary years-long commitment in Syria. Only the justification is different: rather than the idea of stabilization, it's the Iranian bogeyman. And the goals are so vague, mission creep is assured."

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130 responses to “The So-Called Grown-ups Have Gotten to Trump on Syria: Reason Roundup

  1. “Brett Kavanaugh Is a Done Deal. Will He Be Good for Libertarians?”

    The libertarian case for the surveillance state?

    1. Hello.

      But Hamas and Farrakhan are totes ok, right Dorsey you illiterate piece of lint?

      1. Burt Reynolds should have invited David Duke to sit on stage for his funeral, just to see how many political figures can be convinced to sit there next to him. And how many self-hating clowns he can get to make fools of themselves.

        1. Gross.

    2. I caught part of Lindsay Graham’s questions for Kavanaugh. That freaking guy…

      1. Graham was born to play Scarlet O’Hara from Gone With the Wind.

        1. How can you say that? He was clearly born to play Blanche DuBois from A Streetcar Named Desire.

          1. He’s a Southern belle. There is no way that a lady of his caliber would ever be associated with a dock worker.

            1. Would you two make out already?

            2. No, that (most) irritating one from the Golden Girls.

              1. B. Arthur loved that dude.

        2. He was basically grandstanding about how we need to be able to suspend due process on any citizen that he thinks is an enemy combatant. Because, how else could we ever keep America safe. His whole premise is that the US is literally part of a war theater.

          He’s some piece of work. Probably worse even than his buddy McCain was.

          1. “He’s some piece of work. Probably worse even than his buddy McCain was.”

            There’s hardly a difference between the two

            1. Graham at least looks alive.

  2. Did one of Trump’s “grown up” advisors switch the withdraw orders for escalation orders?

    1. If getting rid of Trump means pushing us harder into Syria, don’t we have to do it?

      1. The empire must be maintained regardless of who sits the imperial chair.
        To maintain the empire it must grow.

        1. ^ THIS

          I’m sure that similar incidences were occurring under President Obama with his foreign policy bearing to resemblance to the one that he campaigned on in 2008. The difference is that President Obama wasn’t stupid enough to rock the boat.

          Trump, being an ignoramus (which is both his best and worst quality), honestly thought that foreign policy was his to make.

          1. Similar occurrences have been going on at least since the end of WW2.

        2. Could we at least change it up and invade someplace nice? Our troops deserve a vacation.

    2. Did one of Trump’s “grown up” advisors switch the withdraw orders for escalation orders?

      This is an interesting point.

      If #TheResistance has got the administration full of moles, then wouldn’t that make them responsible for all the crap they’re complaining about?

  3. OK, now Twitter has banned Alex Jones.

    Most cocktail party un-dis-invites since Milo!

  4. In New Hampshire, “the Libertarian Party has major party status…for the first time in more than 20 years.”

    Sellouts.

    1. I was into them before they got big.

      1. Wilson Phillips?

        1. One of them was always big.

  5. illegal immigrants DO have higher crime rates. Unless you compare them to the highest crime demographic.

    See also Sweden.

    1. Well, I guess it must be true if you say so.

      Do the immigration violations count toward the higher crime rate?

      1. I was thinking the same thing.
        Wouldn’t the crime rate among illegal border crossers be like 100%?

        1. It would. That should give pause when considering the statements of people who claim illegal immigrants have lower crime rates. They are willing to be dishonest in order to win the argument.

      2. A look at Federal prison records indicates that prisoners (at least from some countries) identifying as foreign are higher than the legal populations would account for.

        https://goo.gl/EaHF5q

        But the only studies on the subject I’ve seen were obviously designed to lead to a foregone conclusion. Or they are so broad as to be statistically meaningless. Panel studies of the crime rates of entire zip codes, relying on official estimates of the numbers of illegals are pretty bad statistics. That would include studies going either way. It just seems like the subject leads to people with an agenda who want to prove their point.

      3. This is a pissing match with both side’s positions able to be supported by selective studies.

  6. Perhaps the worst thing about TDS is that it forces sufferers to automatically oppose anything Trump is for. Hence, they have pushed, successfully it seems, for involvement in Syria.

    No doubt they will also succeed in turning the clock back on marijuana, less government regulations, and whatever small handful of other stuff Trump actually happened to be correct on.

    Oh well.

  7. OK, now Twitter has banned Alex Jones.

    Liberal Fascist censorship.

  8. The Women’s March is such a crucial component of the progressive / libertarian alliance.

    We’re disrupting the Kavanaugh hearings every few minutes, with hundreds of women prepared to get arrested to prevent these hearings from moving forward. Make a donation today to support the brave women organizing to #SaveSCOTUS and #CancelKavanaugh!

    Of course, some conservatives pounce on the fact that the protesters ironically wear religiously mandated outfits that cover their hair, while Linda Sarsour’s religion actually does compel her to dress that way un-ironically. But that’s a silly point. We don’t have a Muslim theocratic government in this country, whereas if Kavanaugh gets confirmed we’ll be well on the way to a Christian theocracy just like in The Handmaid’s Tale.

    #Resist
    #CancelKavanaugh
    #LibertariansForLindaSarsour
    #LibertariansAgainstIslamophobia

    1. You literally can’t make this stuff up, one of the leaders of the Women’s march is a head scarf wearing Muslim? NTTIAWT. Are they actively trying to get people to choke on the hypocrisy? I mean these are the pussy hat people right? I just can’t even.

    2. Ok, that was perfect parody. This makes me wish Reason had a tip jar for comments.

      1. My way of tipping is to hover over the “report spam” button, but then decide not to.

        1. With just the tip? I usually flop the whole thing on the mouse and let him decide.

          1. The “him” here is the mouse, the penis, or the guy behind you?

            1. Well obviously not the mouse.

    3. I would have gone with:

      #KancelKavaNOT!

    4. If that’s really happening, I’m surprised that the room hasn’t been pre-emptively cleared.

  9. Testing.

    1. Video challenges Gillespie on youtube. Gets flagged for ‘inappropriate’ content.

      I thought it was a very good debate between the two sides.

      But apparently challenging a different view is bad now.

      https://bit.ly/2MVkYkY

      1. Maybe it was all the smug sarcasm.

        1. Ooo. Scary!

      2. That is so retarded. Looks like a decent debate. I couldn’t be bothered to watch more than a quarter of it.

        Maybe this is Google’s attempt to avoid gov’t scrutiny. “Hey, we are not censoring conservative viewpoints! We are censoring everyone’s viewpoints! Randomly! Just wait till you see what we did with these 6 crazy videos!”

  10. What a horrible link on the hair extension case. Apparently the appearance code is discriminatory because “it kept the kids out of school.” I don’t even know what the fuck that is supposed to mean. There has to be a better article on this. And it’s your job to find it for me, Reason!

    1. If they did not want their kids to be subject to a dress code, why did they send them to Catholic school? And how in the world does the lawyer justify the school’s discipline as a constitutional violation? At best, it is a contractual dispute, one which they should not have a case.

      1. I don’t know; this is why I’m so annoyed by the substandard link! It’s a lawsuit that seems utterly baffling by the facts supplied; you can’t even begin to understand what might be going on. And yet here they are, just saying it matter of factly in passing. And Reason chooses this story to link to.

        1. Reason is exceptionally selective of which private businesses are allowed to have their own rules. We’ve seen this time and again. The NFL shouldn’t ban kneeling, but if Twitter bans someone (even libertarians like Scott Horton and Daniel McAdams) that’s just fine.

          They hypocrisy is profoundly glaring.

          1. But all they did was link to it! Is there any reason to think they are supporting the plaintiffs? I thought of it as either a “can you believe this shit” or just a plain “weird news” piece like they do for Brickbat. Actually rather I don’t even know what the fuck is going on because of the low-quality and low-effort link.

            1. Yeah, you’re right. I jumped to conclusions (also, good name for a board game)

              1. “Good thing CAN happen, eh, eh?”

          2. Where is this Reason article that says it is all just fine that social media sites are banning conservative pundits under government pressure?

            1. Um, literally just a few articles prior to this one, where Robby said — and I quote — “Twitter belongs to Dorsey, and if he doesn’t want to give a platform to Jones, that’s his right” and “private entities…have no obligation to extend a platform to awful people”.

              To be sure, he included several “To Be Sures” that it’s better to allow Jones and his ilk to rant on instead of turning them into Free Speech martyrs.

              Admittedly, I don’t read Reason every day. But I sure don’t remember them saying the same things about the NFL protesters.

              1. Alex Jones already had Charlie Sheen on a few times back in the day. Now he needs to get Kap to come on! That would be the ultimate. I can’t see why both wouldn’t do it.

        2. Catholic schools are usually considered higher quality than the surrounding public schools. Catholic schools also have dress codes because they think it promotes an air of seriousness to the business of learning. One is free to disagree with that philosophy, but if you do, you should not your kid to one. I suspect the parents want the high quality, but don’t like the disciplinarian aspects, and don’t care that the two might be related.

          1. Wait until they found out that their kids have had to take theology classes.

      2. And how in the world does the lawyer justify the school’s discipline as a constitutional violation?

        Easy peasy.

        Hair extensions are primarily a Black thing, therefore banning them is racist. Schools being racist is a violation of the CRA. Badda boom.

        1. I see where you are going, but despite the CRA’s regard as holy writ, it is not part of the constitution.

          1. True, but… do you (or any of us) have any more than that terrible short ‘article’ to say whether this really is being presented as a “Constitutional” issue?

            Because even if it really is just a CRA case, Fed court would still be the right venue.

            Also, just because you’re right, doesn’t mean the lawyer won’t try to present it that way in court anyway. 😉

    2. “Free markets, except for icky people like the religious!”

      Basically sums up Reason’s “lolibertarian” position

      1. Did you coin “LOLbertarian”? I like that! But what has occasioned it this time? Was there a religious liberty issue in the links?

        1. I coined nothing. Religious liberty doesn’t even come into play here. A private business is allowed to make their own dress codes and it’s profoundly clear that Reason is pushing some kind of “woketarianism” that really bears no relation to the concept of “Free Minds and Free Markets” since they don’t really support either if the wrong principal is involved

          1. So many broad and abstract words, with so few definitions. You are just emoting. NTTAWWT.

            1. I admit that I jumped to conclusions in a ridiculous fashion here

  11. So does Senator Whitehouse think that legal advocacy is wrong, “rotten” in his words, in general, or only when libertarian or conservative minded groups do that? Is he upset that they are stealing the ACLU’s schtick?

    1. That was my first thought. This is a 99% left technique.

  12. “Kamala Harris’ viral grilling of Kavanaugh ends with a thud”
    […[
    “The biggest cliff-hanger question of Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing was answered Thursday in a most anticlimactic way.
    […]
    When her turn came Thursday, it turned out Harris didn’t have the goods after all. After another couple of courtroom-style go-rounds between veteran lawyers, Kavanaugh issued a flat-out “no” to Harris’ yes-or-no question.”
    https://www.sfchronicle.com/politics/
    article/GOP-tries-to-help-Kavanaugh
    -after-tough-13210347.php

    Pretty amazing for the Chron; they are certain Harris walks on water. But even here, the left out a lie; in the paper version, she claims to have ‘reliable information’ from an anonymous source. And doesn’t.

    1. The Chron is a longstanding Harris ally?

      1. Absolutely! Ever since she was rising from Willie’s bed!

    2. Ok, Sevo, I get it. You are trolling us with all these fucked up links. There can be no other explanation.

      1. There’s one other explanation: You’re too dumb to back-space and paste.

        1. Firefox fixes it on the paste. or at least it did awhile.

        2. Lazy, not dumb.

        3. Bitch, who the fuck are you calling dumb when you can’t format a fucking link properly?

  13. GoogFaceTwit: “We’re not biased or engaging in political censorship, we’re simply cracking down on ‘hate’, that’s all.”

    Normal Americans: “Ummmmm, OK, but isn’t saying things like ‘kill all white people’ kind of hateful?”

    GoogFaceTwit: “LA LA LA WE CAN’T HEAR YOU.”

  14. “The So-Called Grown-ups Have Gotten to Trump on Syria”

    The idiot gained supporters because he was less hawkish that Hillary on Syria. And now he’s changed his position, because he’s a malleable buffoon without principles.

    Watch as Russia fever dreams die down, though. Because it was totally just coincidental that after he ended the CIA program of arming the rebels we suddenly saw all the leaks from the intelligence community.

    1. Meh, how many votes did he actually get, because of his supposed less-hawkishness, which no one with a modicum of brain power should have believed? Not many.

      1. Not according to a Boston College study linked in this article. Note that after the election Reason had an article on the same study.

        http://www.original.antiwar.com/justi…..ted-trump/

        1. The relevant part:

          “Francis Shen, a professor of law at the University of Minnesota, and Douglas Kriner, who teaches political science at Boston University, have done just that, and their conclusion is stunning ? and vitally important to those of us who want to understand what the current relation of political forces means for the anti-interventionist movement. They write:

          “With so much post-election analysis, it is surprising that no one has pointed to the possibility that inequalities in wartime sacrifice might have tipped the election. Put simply: perhaps the small slice of America that is fighting and dying for the nation’s security is tired of its political leaders ignoring this disproportionate burden. To investigate this possibility, we conducted an analysis of the 2016 Presidential election returns. In previous research, we’ve shown that communities with higher casualty rates are also communities from more rural, less wealthy, and less educated parts of the country. In both 2004 and 2006, voters in these communities became more likely to vote against politicians perceived as orchestrating the conflicts in which their friends and neighbors died.”

          1. I can’t link the study, but it’s linked in the paragraph

            1. That seems like pure speculation to me.

              1. Only because it makes you wrong.

        2. You Sevo’ed the link. But oh shit, what is this URL? Did Raimondo finally get the boot?

          1. No. He’s still there. But, he’s pretty sick so probably won’t be around for long. I’ll miss that gadfly

            1. Yeah, he did a lot of good. Too bad he went all crazy in for Trump. I wonder if being sick affected his judgment. Anyway, I thought he was in remission. I hope he pulls through, he is still a good voice for liberty and will be severely missed.

    2. Stealing Inigo’s comment from above:

      Perhaps the worst thing about TCDS is that it forces sufferers to automatically oppose anything Trump critics areis for.

      1. I think you don’t want to accept that voters who rejected the foreign policy of Hillary Clinton would accept Trump as the alternative. If you accept that the average voter views elections as a binary choice, it’s hard to deny the analysis

        1. Frankly, most voters don’t think about foreign policy that much when they vote. I posit that most of those who do, and were disgusted with Hillary’s hawkishness, stayed home. Because most Democrat peaceniks are too partisan to ever vote for a Republican.

          1. So many broad and abstract words, with so few definitions. You are just emoting. NTTAWWT.

  15. “Bay Area minimum wage rise hasn’t meant restaurant job losses, study says”
    […]
    “The rise in the minimum wage over the past four years has not triggered widespread job losses in the Bay Area restaurant industry, according to a UC Berkeley study released Thursday. Instead, low-wage workers are earning more ? $15 per hour in San Francisco ? while the workforce numbers remain the same.”
    https://www.sfchronicle.com/business/
    article/Bay-Area-minimum-wage-rise-
    hasn-t-meant-13210666.php

    Well, imagine that! I wonder if this has anything to do with it?
    “4 Bay Area counties with unemployment rates below 3 percent”
    Search KRON, and that’s a year out of date; it’s lower now
    Of course an honest study would control for labor surplus/scarcity, right? Hint; at $15/hr, it’s pretty much low wnd of the market.

    1. Yet no mention of the cost of living and/or the price of going out. In an area like SF, there’s room to raise prices. Either consumers take the hit or employees. There’s still no free lunch.

  16. http://www.twitter.com/Popehat/status/1037771771489865728

    I don’t see what is “fascistic” about making bureaucrats take a lie detector? If your employer forced you to take a lie detector test, the free market position is to say that’s “fascistic”?

    Bureaucrats should be afforded more rights than a private employer? That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

    1. The defense of the CIA and bureaucrats in general from lolibertarians has been striking

    2. If by “force” we mean, take the test or end your employment, I don’t see that as fascistic either.

    3. That is just some weird shit. Popehat is weird. Even mainstream left papers–fuck, even David Frum–have been pushing back on this leak; this narrative that Trump is not entitled to be in charge of his own administration has been stretched too far even for them this time.

    4. But…but…they’re part of the Glorious Antifa Resistance! Heroes! Freedom Fighters!

    5. Now apply that to union agency fees, not to mention the entire civil service system.

      1. The entire civil service system is subject to random lie detector and drug tests at any time, for any reason.

    6. Bureaucrats should be afforded more rights than a private employer? That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

      No, but that is exactly how it is.

  17. “This respite was bound to be short-lived, given that Trump doesn’t seem to be guided by principles so much as by a series of impulses, alliances, and petty grievances.”

    Is doggedly fighting to fulfill his campaign promises and doing everything he can to serve the interests of the swing state swing voters who put him in office just a coincidence?

    1. What do you mean? It seems like he has conceded on the point that helped win him the election. ENB is right, the fact that he is grounded in no principles is the biggest threat that he poses. He folded on this point

      1. You are right! Keeping us out of war was an enormous part of Trump’s appeal, one that for some reason has been extremely underappreciated in discussions of him and his victory and popularity. Thing is, you can wage a war so that blue America barely bothers to notice. But Red America notices! Trump Country notices!

        Let us pray Trump is 1% of the Russian puppet the Left would have him be, and keeps Americans out of this particular global confrontation.

        1. Reason did an article shortly after the election looking at counties that flipped from President Obama in 2012 to President Trump in 2016 and they determined that the similarity between those counties was that they suffered a disproportionate amount of war dead in comparison to counties that remained Democratic in the two election cycles.

          His less hawkish instincts were a major factor in him winning the election. He’s too dumb to realize that

  18. Trump folded on his position in Syria (which was always the impetus for Russia fever dreams) which was a major factor in him winning Midwestern states and people should expect him to compromise on gun control when Democrats take the House of Representatives.

    He’s spineless

    1. He’s spineless

      Well… duh!

      When you surround yourself with the likes of John Bolton, you know stuff like this is eventually going to happen.

      1. Yes. Although, Bolton was being isolated, according to reports due to the efforts of Rand Paul

        http://www.politico.com/story/2018/08…..tin-768472

        1. I forgot about Rand! Yes; there is hope! I don’t think he will take this lying down; he’s going to fight for Trump’s ear.

          Of course, even if he does have influence, it came at the price of forfeiting his integrity as a Real Libertarian by failing to antagonize Trump with mean tweets over his body language during the Putin meeting and so forth. There is a price for everything.

          1. Rand’s going to lose. This is a massive concession that Trump just made.

        2. I take this latest Syria thing as showing us that Rand lost and Bolton won. Trump might flip-flop a lot on his principles, but it seems once the White House goes public with something he’s all in on it, damn the torpedoes.

          Trump is so obsessed with winning on every decision that he makes, that he’s not likely to ever change his mind in the public domain. That seems to be one of his few defining principles.

          In other words, Syria will only escalate until Trump can claim he’s won.

    2. You mean the guy who spent most of his life saying he was pro gun control; who has multiple tweets during his administration suggestive of someone who is instinctively pro gun control; who sounded like Mike Bloomberg during an entire public meeting with Congressional leaders after Parkland and whose words visibly gave Dianne Feinstein right then and there her first orgasm since the Carter Administration; who, at a time when the NRA-Republican version of No Fly No Buy was so unlibertarian that it was opposed by the overtly pro-gun-control ACLU, instead backed not that or even the Manchin-Collins compromise but the Democrat version of NFNB, and campaigned vociferously on that position?

      I don’t know why your position on Trump has changed so much with this news. Was this unexpected? He was always a guy who might do whatever tomorrow. He might sell out anything at any time. The big threat is of course that, since the Republicans do not really stand for anything, that if he elects to lead the country in a certain direction they will follow no matter what it is. Frankly I prefer (strictly from a political strategy point of view) that it be this, because I think the Midwest will not follow him here–to war. Whereas had he chosen something else, like universal health care or even certain gun control measures, he’d have a better shot selling the public on it…

      1. …Meanwhile we can only pray that someone with a different opinion on the Syria issue happens to chat up Trump in the john over the next few days, and he changes his mind back.

  19. Toxoplasmosis is the leading cause of death from foodborne illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 40 million people in the United States carry the parasite that causes it, but many never show symptoms.

    But oh noes! 3,000 cats have been killed since 1982!

    I mean… I like cats, and I’m OK with this. It’s not like they’re going around stealing people’s pets.

    1. I wonder if this is what finally got Citizen X.

      [pours non-IPA beverage on the ground in a sign of respect]

  20. how can twitter *not* want alex jones around?

  21. “Now the goal is getting Iranian forces to go, even if that sets us up for direct conflict with not just Iran but Russia.”

    If we could only use one word to describe the state of Iran today, the best one might be “beleaguered”.

    Iran’s primary interests in Syria were preserving Assad so as to keep the Arab Spring from becoming a Persian Summer. Nowadays, the protests in Iran are partially characterized as opposing the Iranian regime squandering resources on the war in Syria and elsewhere when the people of Iran are suffering inflation, a collapsing currency, etc., etc. at home.

    In other words, their foreign policy isn’t about nipping dissent in the bud before it comes to Iran anymore. Their foreign policy is in no small part to blame for the dissent. They’d love to declare victory in Syria and come home. Never mind Assad, if current trends continue, they may need Hezbollah and the Revolutionary Guard in Iran to protect their own heads from ending up on a pike.

  22. also what’s a nativist?

    1. It’s a guy in a top hat from the 19th century who wanted to keep out the Irish, who flooded in after the Great Irish Potato Phantom (sic).

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30oaEKqJovk

      Do you support men in top hats throwing rocks at starving Irish children?

      Well do ya?!

      1. described Bill so well you didn’t need the link.

      2. Do you support men in top hats throwing rocks at starving Irish children
        How terrible! Why would any self-respecting libertarian directly administer disciplinary action against orphan workers? That’s what middle management is for!

  23. Regardless of what any of us wants to happen or thinks should happen, pretending that Iran is presently in any position to dictate terms to the United States or anyone else is absurd. Persuasion isn’t about trying to make people believe things because we prefer the implications of believing them–regardless of whether they’re true.

    No, because I oppose the Vietnam War doesn’t mean I have to vouch for the good treatment of American POWs, who are actually being tortured. In fact, rescuing reasonable opposition to the Vietnam War from the likes of Jane Fonda means denouncing her as a dupe or a fraud. And, no, her good intentions don’t count for shit. That might even make it worse.

    Likewise, we shouldn’t believe the current state of Iran, Syria, and elsewhere is however it needs to be in order to justify every anti-war argument that comes down the pike, either. Pressing our advantage in the face of Iran’s weakness may be an effective strategy to achieve any number of things, from their nuclear and missile programs to their ambitions for regional hegemony in Syria and beyond. Anyone who thinks we should avoid wading neck deep into Syria for other reasons, like I do, should make that case despite the facts. No need to believe things that aren’t true just because we like their implications.

    1. My foreign policy sympathies are fairly hardline and resemble those of hardline hawks in many ways. I sometimes feel lonely among people I generally agree with, on nonintervention and on other issues–especially since I am not otherwise the sort to feel any semblance of comraderie whatsoever with the sort of neoliberal global consensus types that many libertarians seem inclined to think of as roughly “Hey, they’re not so bad; may be a little nannyish and bureaucratic around the edges but at least they’re not populists.”

  24. Why are arguments about the crime rates of various demographic groups under the “Free Markets” header? It should be under the miscellaneous “Quick Hits.” Or maybe “Free Minds”–which, what the fuck was that anyway? Is this just a leftover slogan from the acid experimentation days of libertarianism?

    Incidentally, apparently when William F Buckley tried marijuana with a similarly square friend during the ’60s, the two of them drank so much wine beforehand that they couldn’t notice the weed and just fell asleep. I like that.

    1. Buckley sailed to international waters in order to use marijuana, so as not to break US law. There is nothing dorkier than that

      1. That certainly explains why NR did its annual gathering as a cruise.

  25. Just today, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani met in Tehran, where Rouhani said the next step in Syria strategy was “to force the United States to leave.”

    A predictable result of the MUH RUSSIA hysteria is doing things that work against the country’s best interests. Staying in Syria out of sheer contrarianism and the misguided need to give unending military support to the Syrian Kurds isn’t all that different from what’s kept us in Afghanistan for close to 20 years now.

    The neocon/Democrat alliance showed itself during the McCain funeral as a political dichotomy in its death throes. This is just another example of its desperate attempt to keep pretending as if the status quo of the last 40 years is going to continue forever.

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