Libertarian realism

I hate war. Even when the results of defeat would be worse than
the results of war, I hate war. It kills people and makes government
stronger. But when the results of defeat would be worse, I face
reality and support war.

Our Islamist enemies want to kill us all — starting with Jews and
gays, but continuing to anyone who doesn’t convert to Islam and accept
shari’a and the whole nine yards. That’s not melodrama, it’s
reporting of the plain and simple statements Al-Qaeda uses in their
recruiting videos. They want to kill us all. They demonstrated
the deadly seriousness of this aim on 9/11.

The choice between “support the war” and “allow the pressure off of
enemies who want to kill us all” is not a difficult one. As a libertarian,
I’m deeply sorry we live in a world where governments are doing the fighting
for us, and I fear the consequences of the power they will amass while
doing so. But I don’t see an alternative.

If I had a magic wand that could instantly materialize a world of
private security agencies, insurance pools, and mercenaries capable of
fighting the war on terror, I would have waved it long before 9/11.
But I am not capable of changing the objective conditions of the war
any more than I am of changing the murderous intentions of our
enemies.

Though I’ve been accused of abandoning my libertarianism for a
conservative position, I still believe in the non-initiation of force
as strongly as I ever have. I saw one damn huge freaking initiation
of force on 9/11 — not just an attack on one city or one country
but an assault on Western civilization. Everything al-Qaeda’s
propaganda organs have said since confirms that is what they intend.

George Orwell, writing during World War II, wrote:

Pacifism is objectively pro-fascist. This is elementary common
sense. If you hamper the war effort of one side, you automatically
help out that of the other. Nor is there any real way of remaining
outside such a war as the present one. In practice, ‘he that is not
with me is against me.’”

If Orwell were alive today, I have no doubt he would view this war
as equally pressing, nor which side of it he would choose. And all
libertarians should heed his words. We’ve shown far too much of a
tendency to slide into denial about the war on terror and the
consequences of refusing to fight it.

Sliding off into denial and fantasyland is not noble, it’s an
abdication of our responsibility as human beings and members of a
civilization. If that denial becomes “the” libertarian position, our
statist opponents will damn us as for deserting our neighbors and our
civilization in its hour of need — and they will be right to
damn us.

Other libertarians may fail this test. I will not.

67 thoughts on “Libertarian realism

  1. Sorry to sound like a broken record, but I can’t resist: Mercenary armies are not feasible, but each of us driving 10-20% less is, only with some moderate compromises Hey, it’s war, remember? “Support the troops” means actions in addition to stickers. Causing a <1 million bpd drop in oil demand would hurt their financial lifeline more than Iraq. But since (most) Americans don’t seem to get it, I can only assume they’re sheep.

  2. I had been wondering how you were planning to justify your support for the government’s war. As usual, a well written piece.

    I would, however, approve if you would stop using the term “Islamist”. Al-Qaeda has about as much to do with Islam as the IRA has to do with Christianity. There’s nothing tn the Qu’ran about blowing up infidels. I should know, my school had a very large Muslim population (although they were the Pakistani kind, not the Arabian kind) and they never once blew me up even after I spent an entire year walking between classes with Salman Rushdie’s “The Satanic Verses” under my arm (this was before the fatwa was lifted).

  3. I consider the Christian right-wing’s push toward a theocracy in the US to be a greater threat than any Islamist. No, they don’t want to kill us. They just want to impose their religious viewpoint on how we conduct lives. And they are in power in our government, i.e., winning.

    If the choice is death or theocratic slavery, I’ll take death.

  4. Is there anyone out there who truly likes war? I don’t, either, but sometimes it’s the only acceptable alternative.

  5. I don’t know that this question is best addressed in terms of what any particular political ideology may be said to require. I think Liberalism is, as John Gray suggests, probably best seen as the attempt to draw theoretical limits to state power. And, as I think he shows in Liberalisms, that’s a dead letter because all the many attempts to do so have failed and no one is likely to succeed now. I don’t know what can be said to be left of that grand project now, except perhaps a vague preference for individual liberty. But that is generally valued in Western societies and can’t really be said to be specific to people who would wish to define themselves as liberals.

    Libertarianism is, according to a reference work I have here, “the form of Liberalism which believes in freeing people not merely from the constraints of traditional political institutions, but also from the inner constraints imposed by their mistaken attribution of power to ineffectual things.”

    Conservatives would perhaps respond that they weren’t sure that modern Western man couldn’t do with a few more inner constraints. Or, if that were to be taken as too flippant, they would argue that man is an intrinsically social being and would be damaged by being cut off from the customs and expectations that have helped to form him. Personally, I find that view quite persuasive and it seems to be to be, so to speak, anthropologically sound. But I’m not sure what the bearing of this on attitudes to war is. In the past, conservatives seem to have maintained that the only justification for fighting a war is if it is in the national interest. If I’m not mistaken, Disraeli called Gladstone a “madman” over just this issue. Over here in the UK today, Mr Blair is, I’d say, more a Gladstone than a Disraeli and has, indeed, involved British troops in more conflicts than any other recent prime minister.

    As I understand it, there is a running dispute between different conservative factions in the US with neo-conservatives (in line perhaps with their liberal background, which makes them more sanguine about the prospects of transplanting the liberal-democratic order) taking a more belligerent pose than traditional conservatives. However, it’s been argued that such theoretical difference fades into the background once one sees that the national interest required war in Iraq. So perhaps that’s the real question: did it?

  6. Eric I don’t think your position makes you conservative or Republican, because I don’t really see that the Republicans understand the fundamental truth – that Salafist Islam wants to kill us all – either.

    If they did, they might conduct the war a bit differently, and perhaps fight to win.

    Because if you are an objective realist, you observe that war is bad, and the only thing to be done about it is to get it over with as quickly as possible by eliminating the threat as efficiently as can be managed.

    That isn’t being done.

  7. I think you couldn’t be more right. Glad to see that fellow common-sense libertarians can discern the actual nature of the present war, and you’ve put it nicely, too.

  8. Do you know about so-called Imperialist Libertarians? What better name would you propose for us? “anti-idiotarian libertarian” has too many aryans in it.

    As for magic wands, I concur.

    And finally, I will propose this quote:

    Pacifism is a shifty doctrine under which a man accepts the benefits of the social group without being willing to pay – and claims a halo for his dishonesty. — Robert Heinlein

  9. Though I’ve been accused of abandoning my libertarianism for a conservative position, I still believe in the non-initiation of force as strongly as I ever have. I saw one damn huge freaking initiation of force on 9/11 — not just an attack on one city or one country but an assault on Western civilization. Everything al-Qaeda’s propaganda organs have said since confirms that is what they intend.

    The error lies in using an attack by *one* bunch of Muslims (Al Quaeda) to justify an attack on *another* bunch of Muslims, say a secular Baathist state like Iraq. Al Qaeda weren’t there before we invaded, though they very much are now, and it’s functioning as a University of Terror Techniques with *plenty* of that all-important hands-on experience for the up-and coming young jihadi. Smart move, I don’t think.

    George Orwell, writing during World War II, wrote: Pacifism is objectively pro-fascist. This is elementary common sense.

    We can all make unsupported assertions. I take back what I said elsewhere about Orwell being that much better than Christopher Hitchens.

    If you hamper the war effort of one side, you automatically help out that of the other. Nor is there any real way of remaining outside such a war as the present one.

    Not so. For instance, conchies worked in all sorts of non-military support roles in Britain in WW2, such as farming, medical, anything except combat really. And many of them paid a price. Major career-limiting move in those days. And there was a draft, so the level of personal involvement and sacrifice was much higher (and more equitably distributed).

    In practice, ‘he that is not with me is against me.’”

    Everyone who wants to frighten bystanders off the fence comes out with this old chestnut. I can’t believe it’s attributed to Jesus, who showed many signs of having more sense.

    For instance, I’m not “with” the Iraq war. I think it’s dumb and counterproductive and it isn’t going to work – democracy needs to be autogenous, and Japan and Germany were very special cases. Of course, I’m also aware that when it doesn’t work the call will go out for suitable scapegoats, and attempts will be made to blame the clusterfuck that it’ll likely be by then on people like me who weren’t sufficiently supportive, and who through their wicked unenthusiasm gave aid and comfort to the enemy, and sowed treasonous seeds of doubt in the minds of our troops by suggesting they’d been sent on a fool’s errand.

    But I’ll be ready for that.

    OTOH, if by some miracle it does work I’ll admit I was wrong, and be appropriately contrite. I don’t expect the other side to have this capacity, though. I know True Believers when I see ‘em.

  10. Let me start off by saying that Russ Nelson has a brilliant and quite unconventional analysis of this whole “War on Terror” at his site (http://blog.russnelson.com/) on the 25th of July under the title “I can blame authorities for trying…”

    Frankly, I think this whole “War on Terror” is so overblown. Will patting down grannies at airports stop another 9/11? Will “collateral damage” do anything to “win hearts and minds”?

    Yes, there are radical elements in Islam, but if we want to get down to it, there are some pretty scary Christian elements in the west too. From where I sit, I’d be quite happy for us to purge our whole culture of the Judeo-Christian ethic that’s been infesting it for the past two millenia and trying to destroy what I consider to be the valuable elements of our culture by keeping us all afraid of what goes bump in the night. I don’t think Islam has a monopoly on wacky religious zealots or on backward world views. That having been said, I’m not proposing those of us who are western atheists/agnostics/whatever need to “defend” ourselves against Christians, even the ones who want to drag us back to the middle ages and tell us what we can or can’t do.

    I’ve travelled a fair bit and lived in a few countries and I would say that when you get down to it, most people just want to get on with their lives. I’ve been to Islamic countries. I’ve also spent a decent amount of time in the former Soviet Union and eastern Europe, and what struck me about all my experiences was that despite all the “Evil Empire” rhetoric that I grew up with, the average guy from the Baltic to the Black Sea isn’t, and wasn’t, some bogey man with an opposite number in the west he wanted to kill. He was just a guy dealing with his own life, despite wacky governments. That’s all. It’s that unremarkable, really. Likewise, just as the average American doesn’t particularly want to fight the whole world, neither does the average person in the middle east. People can be manipulated by charismatic leaders, especially when they see their country under attack. Eric, honestly, you’d be writing off someone as an idiot if he generalised to the west and/or America in the same way as you generalise to Muslims and the Islamic world. Likewise if people confused governments, politicians or other leaders with the man on the street. Is the average American any more like Ted Kennedy than the average Saudi is like Osama Bin Laden? I would have thought that out of all the political persuasions out there, those of a libertarian bent would be the most likely to want to distance the average guy from the average politician.

    Really, if we do have to play cowboys, then go after specific targets, rather than a population at large. It would be so much better for all involved, whether we’re talking economics, civil liberties or the body count. There’s a massive incongruity between stating that you don’t believe in the initiation of force (and that you’re a libertarian) and supporting both such a nebulus concept as “The War on Terror” and the war in Iraq where “collateral damage” is pretty much par for the course abroad, and a massive clamp down on civil liberties is par for the course at home. Libertarians don’t support the concept of the means justifying the ends.

  11. Adrian wrote: democracy needs to be autogenous, and Japan and Germany were very special cases.

    What appears to make them special in the eyes of those who don’t believe in the possibility of creating the conditions for liberty is that they worked. How about backing up your unsupported assertion?

  12. Eric gets it. Unfortunately the mass media and a lot of people don’t. To the terrorists it’s convert or die. There is no choice.

  13. Do you know about so-called Imperialist Libertarians? What better name would you propose for us?

    I say that he who talks of Empire and Freedom in the same breath has not only left the path of wisdom, he has forgotten that it ever even existed.

  14. By the way, Eric, why have you spent so much time recently addressing trivial issues of national security when, according to RMS, there is the Menace of Harry Potter to confront? I hope you didn’t buy your copy, because he says, “Don’t.” (Joking apart, he probably has looked deeply into the publisher’s copyright notice, and he’s likely right, but why do I feel he always requires something?)

  15. For the Quakers I grew up with, “pacifism” would mean just that: be passive. Not “I refuse to fight” but “I refuse to cooperate in any way with any action incompatible with my beliefs”.

    They had faith that ultimately pacifism in this manner was the better course. I don’t share that faith but I saw too much value in their beliefs to dismiss it out of hand as ridiculous. The short-term results would be horrific blood and violence, and it certainly takes more courage to sit unresistant and uncooperative than it does to fight.

    Personally, I doubt that we could possibly achieve the ideal of pacifism, but I’m not at all convinced that it wouldn’t work. Certainly I couldn’t do it.

    As for Orwell: is a mountain against you? No, a mountain simply exists. It is not against you unless you set yourself against it and start to push.

  16. i was almost moved to enter this discussion, but i hardly do so anymore. the antiwar position is either or both beyond reason or precognitive, and it’s just an act of futility to attempt to correct them. the only reasonable doctrine is to move ahead despite them.

  17. these must not be the same quakers who cooperated with the sandinistans. their morally comprimised stance (“We have helped, or are helping, Communist countries reach the amount of economic growth and development necessary for them to allow a degree of <1>relaxed domestic control.”) illustrates best the falseness of “pascifism”, if quakers are to be understood as the avatars of such a theoretical distinction between living within reality and living paralel to it.

  18. damian — a boycott? a BOYCOTT?!! i can already feel the chill wind of theocracy at my back.

    i’m no anti-christian commie pinko atheist; some of my closest friends are methodists. but there are many ways for decent christians to express their views in the public sphere short of a boycott. boycotts are practically the same thing as sawing of the head of an “infidel” as he breaths awake or plowing a carbomb into a girls’ school.

    i fear i may be next as i dare not to wear a crucifix. truly american christians are a greater threat to our republic than so-called “terrorists”.

  19. Hm, what do libertarians do with their mercenaries after a war? I know, conquer anyone who can’t afford mercenaries!

    Of course, people can collaborate to hire their own mercenaries. We’ll call the people “serfs”, and the mercenaries “knights”, and they’ll have put some enlightened Libertarians in charge. We can call them “kings”. Hm, I have this feeling there’s just the right word out there for this whole system…

  20. Reading this post, I couldn’t believe that you could just say that “They are out to kill us all. So we don’t have a choice but to go to WAR.”

    I thought the world came to a general agreement that Iraq and its “oppressed” people didn’t have much to do with Al-Queda as much as some of the other “allies” of US. I watched Mr. Blair sweating to justify the WAR during elections and doing a poor job of it – if the objective was so clear in their minds, why are they not able to explain convincingly – I had a distinct feeling hearing the recent speeches on this subject that they are just making it all up as they go.

    It may be very difficult for the Westerners to understand other cultures existing for centuries in rest of the world. Probably because of the bookish knowledge they gather about so-called traditions; the knowledge is just skin deep. It is a large population mostly minding their business, caring for their families, probably tied up in knots over old traditions but generally having a good heart and strong enough values – there are bad eggs in most baskets, in some baskets maybe more. That won’t justify painting them as some sort of aliens out to kill all the rest. I could imagine West as staring hard at a hologram or 3D image crossing its eyes for the image to emerge, but just not getting the angle.

    I think Americans are probably best businessmen in the world – then is the outcome of this WAR that great to spend so much money and resources? Will world be a distinctly better place at the end of this? Is it just me being paranoid or there is some other hidden agenda? Shouldn’t we all worry about whom US will attack next on the basis of some made up charges and claim a noble purpose?

    If a guy who lives 10 blocks from my apartment gave me suspicious looks, beats his wife and don’t care about his kids, at the maximum I would complain to local authorities, but may not muster enough energy to beat him up, get him out of the house, provide for his wife and kids until she finds a job. Maybe I am not an altruist and generally trust people to shape up eventually.

  21. oops! strike 19 please. i went off half-cocked without even reading the link.

  22. Do you know about so-called Imperialist Libertarians? What better name would you propose for us?

    I say that he who talks of Empire and Freedom in the same breath has not only left the path of wisdom, he has forgotten that it ever even existed.

  23. Do you know about so-called Imperialist Libertarians? What better name would you propose for us? “anti-idiotarian libertarian” has too many aryans in it.

    “Ex-libertarians”.

  24. What appears to make them special in the eyes of those who don’t believe in the possibility of creating the conditions for liberty is that they worked.

    More the reasons why they worked. The populations of both had bought into the narratives presented by their governments and had fought really hard in support of them. Once defeated they were able to turn en masse and say, “Yes Virginia, we was all of us in error there, let us now devote ourselves to the ways of peace, economic growth and Hello Kitty”. By contrast, the Iraqis have mostly been too busy trying to put food on their families since Desert Storm to throw themselves wholeheartedly into aspirations for a Greater Babylon. Also, both Japan and Germany had had experience of democracy in the twenties (something to build on) and had reasonably homogenous populations, which we do not particularly find in Iraq. Power there comes from control over a single resource, too, which is likely to interfere with things. But after all the time Americans have spent telling anyone who’s still awake how *they* reached out for the benefits of liberty *themselves*, without waiting for some condescending fool to come in and “create the conditions” first, you’d think they’d recognise the impulse in another group. The liberty you take for yourself is probably going to be better than the one someone hands you – and I live in Japan, where I can see it all around me. The place suffers from a serious sense of not being master of its own destiny still. Europe seems to have anchored the Germans a bit better.

    Now you and your amen corner of embarrassing fanboys may well dismiss all this and say that you *know* the Islamists *all* want to kill us *all* ‘cos it says so on a couple of dumb-ass websites somewhere. I understand that a lot of people took 9/11 personally and were changed by it, and came out reborn, and able to see things that mere pathetic anti-war types are too feckless and decadent to comprehend. But it reminds me more of the American Indian Ghost Dance legend than anything, where they were going to dance until the earth was covered with new soil, burying all the white men. Any Muslim notions of killing (or converting) all the West are like that IMO. Believe it if you like, but they don’t have the means to kill us in serious numbers, and we very much do have the means to kill them.

  25. What appears to make them special in the eyes of those who don’t believe in the possibility of creating the conditions for liberty is that they worked. How about backing up your unsupported assertion?

    Hang on, you’re one of the non-ESR Erics, isn’t it. Oh well, adjust as appropriate.

  26. Not to sound rude or anything, but why is it that americans always fail to see alternatives to war? Why do they always want to police the globe? (while, from an european point of view, americans are just short-sited, egocentric, naive nitwits) [not surpressing my opinion, just what I experience and hear myself]
    Seriously, there are other ways.. Like diplomacy with great Islamitic influences, so the “could-be-terrorist” doesn’t get influenced that easily and the organisations just die!
    War just tends to make things worse instead of giving a solution.. For example, if the war in Irak would never have happened, there wouldn’t be as much potential terrorists (cuz you just aggroed them!). And war can not and will not solve the problem of terrorism we currently have! Bacause the more you aggro them, the more they get angry and the bigger the pool of potential terrorists get! But again.. Americans want to show the size of their penis and they are fighting the world for own benefit with som slappy excuses so the public (read: you) gets happy.

    Seriously, ESR, I’m a big fan of your writings and I support most of your ideas, but now you really disapoint me.. The way of politics and policing the Americans have versus the world is very similar to the one Microsoft has vs the world. Really, you should see a European (Belgium, Germany, France. Not England or the Netherlands, they are your little dogs) point of view in all of this, I think you might learn and see some things seriously gone wrong.

  27. The error lies in using an attack by *one* bunch of Muslims (Al Quaeda) to justify an attack on *another* bunch of Muslims, say a secular Baathist state like Iraq.

    This is the same argument that the America Firsters were using about Germany after Pearl Harbor. It was wrong then and it is wrong now.

  28. the earth and planets are here for billions and billions of years…why we human r here on earth? we got at the most 80 years on this planet…in between the short period of time…we forget to enjoy life…a short term gift from god…we hate eachother…fight with each other….etc etc… its a short time we got on earth to live…misguided education we get from our parents leads us to think that sex is something forbidden…and we forget to enjoy sex…but its a gift from god…as per hinduism and budhism thru sex u can attain salvation(enlightenment)….

  29. I say that he who talks of Empire and Freedom in the same breath has not only left the path of wisdom, he has forgotten that it ever even existed.

    Maybe you missed the irony of the name — turning an insult by libertarian pacifists into a title of pride. Of course, we know that Empire has been used to promote Freedom in the past, and will in the future. But that’s something different.

  30. Unfortunately you rightly echo Orwell’s point. That does not, however, justify the conduct of such a war in any way. In the same way that it is argued a demonstration detonation of the A-bomb 60 years ago tomorrow might have achieved the ending of WWII without slaughtering so many, we need to examine what is being done by the ‘us’ in your ‘with us or against us’ dichotomy.

    All the evidence indicates a pre-emptive invasion and occupation of Iraq has turned a dubious terrorist threat into a concrete and far more dangerous groundswell of support on the Muslim street for terror attacks. 9/11 was an act of desperation from a fading group of has-been Afghan Mujahadeen veterans, flailing around for a new war to fight. Iraq has catapulted them into centre-stage and given them a justification (in their audience’s view) to attack anyone involved on the US side.

  31. Thanks, Eric, for your excellent commentary. The Bunkertarian purists may know their ideology in its purest form, but they refuse to acknowledge that ideology only works if it is applied in a nuanced way with a full command of the facts. Enthusiastically parroting the stalinist/islamist/baathist propaganda of the WWP, UPJ, and al Qaeda does not become a libertarian of any intelligence.

  32. Reading this post, I couldn’t believe that you could just say that “They are out to kill us all. So we don’t have a choice but to go to WAR.”

    I thought the world came to a general agreement that Iraq and its “oppressed” people didn’t have much to do with Al-Queda as much as some of the other “allies” of US. I watched Mr. Blair sweating to justify the WAR during elections and doing a poor job of it – if the objective was so clear in their minds, why are they not able to explain convincingly – I had a distinct feeling hearing the recent speeches on this subject that they are just making it all up as they go.

    It may be very difficult for the Westerners to understand other cultures existing for centuries in rest of the world. Probably because of the bookish knowledge they gather about so-called traditions; the knowledge is just skin deep. It is a large population mostly minding their business, caring for their families, probably tied up in knots over old traditions but generally having a good heart and strong enough values – there are bad eggs in most baskets, in some baskets maybe more. That won’t justify painting them as some sort of aliens out to kill all the rest. I could imagine West as staring hard at a hologram or 3D image crossing its eyes for the image to emerge, but just not getting the angle.

    I think Americans are probably best businessmen in the world – then is the outcome of this WAR that great to spend so much money and resources? Will world be a distinctly better place at the end of this? Is it just me being paranoid or there is some other hidden agenda? Shouldn’t we all worry about whom US will attack next on the basis of some made up charges and claim a noble purpose?

    If a guy who lives 10 blocks from my apartment gave me suspicious looks, beats his wife and don’t care about his kids, at the maximum I would complain to local authorities, but may not muster enough energy to beat him up, get him out of the house, provide for his wife and kids until she finds a job. Maybe I am not an altruist and generally trust people to shape up eventually.

  33. I think that it’s perfectly OK to go after the Al-Qaeda types wherever they are, but I also think that the war in Iraq is a foolish, expensive, bloody, damaging distraction from that objective. And even if I supported the war in principle, the evidence suggests that the current administration is competence-challenged and unlikely to bring it to a good confusion.

  34. If Western Civilization can’t be saved from these yutzes without employing unjust, statist means, then it’s not worth saving.

    Fortnately, I don’t believe that’s the case, but rather that this war is a misguided, unjust, statist means likely to undermine the very cause it supposedly bolsters. That’s why I, as a libertarian have opposed and protested it from the outset.

    I’m no objectivist, but I think Ayn Rand has something useful to say here, in paraphrase:

    I swear, by my life and my civilization and my love of them, that I will never live for the sake of another’s, nor ask another man to live for mine.

    By the way, have you seen the news that the Kurds are muttering about secession?

  35. “I consider the Christian right-wing’s push toward a theocracy in the US to be a greater threat than any Islamist …” ya-da-ya-da ….

    Ah yes …”George Marshall” than. Hmm …I find you already in our list of people to send off to Biblical Re-education Camp #10-011B Southwestern Section, upon our ascension to power. We like to keep tabs on people like you; and public assertions just make it that much easier, my “friend”.

    Mwa-Ha-Ha.

    Trust me, George, the Christians aren’t interested in taking over the government, your neighborhood, or your stinkin’ school. We “Christian fundamentalists” can’t even agree amongst ourselves on the number of angels that can dance upon the head of a pin (the correct number is 12,823,452 btw: I have this by direct revelation of Archangle Gabriel, so I know it’s truth), so how you manage to conclude in your erudition that Christian fanatics could ever come to agreement over something like “taking over the government” rather leads one to suspect that not only is your level of erudition severly in abeyance due to an overheated conspiratorial psychosis, but that your fevered imagination has resulted in anti-Christian diatribes non-conformal with existential reality. (Figure it out: grab a dictionary.)

    Get A Life.

    …before we “disappear” you in BRC #10-011B Southwestern Section

  36. Regarding the loss of liberty as a result of the government power gained from fighting the war, I can not agree more with Eric. However, non-initiation of force notwithstanding, I can think of an alternative to fighting this war other than the way it is going now. We take the military for which we pay like $400 Billion dollars per year and start putting some GI boot in ass.

    The genie is out of the bottle and will never go back in. The genie must be destroyed. The genie can not be destroyed with bag searches, random or otherwise. Might as well get it over with before the whole deal spirals out of control.

    Certainly I can not be the only who realizes that to win this war we will eventually have to confront the islamofascists on their home front; their base of operations. We can not win this war by kicking ass only in Iraq any more than we could have won World War II by kicking ass only in France. We trudged forward until we were knocking on the enemies door. To win this war, we will have to knock on terror’s door.

  37. “I consider the Christian right-wing’s push toward a theocracy in the US to be a greater threat than any Islamist …” ya-da-ya-da ….

    Ah yes …”George Marshall” than …yes. Your name does sound familiar. Oh, I remember. Yes, here it is. Hmm …I find you already in our list of people to send off to Biblical Re-education Camp #10-011B Southwestern Section, upon our ascension to power. We like to keep tabs on people like you; and public assertions just make it that much easier, my “friend”.

    Mwa-Ha-Ha.

    Trust me, George, the Christians aren’t interested in taking over the government, your neighborhood, or your stinkin’ school. We “Christian fundamentalists” can’t even agree amongst ourselves on the number of angels that can dance upon the head of a pin (the correct number is 12,823,452 btw: I have this by direct revelation of Archangle Gabriel, so I know it’s truth), so how you manage to conclude in your erudition that Christian fanatics could ever come to agreement over something like “taking over the government” rather leads one to suspect that not only is your level of erudition severly in abeyance due to an overheated conspiratorial psychosis, but that your fevered imagination has resulted in anti-Christian diatribes non-conformal with existential reality. (Figure it out: grab a dictionary.)

    Get A Life.

    …before we “disappear” you in BRC #10-011B Southwestern Section.

  38. I think it safe to say that ESR’s magic wand would not only produce mercenaries but enlightened, libertarian mercenaries who will not seize power and replicate the South American caudillo format. It is, after all, a magic wand. Since he admits he doesn’t have a magic wand, the idea of mercenaries isn’t too alarming to me.

    Driving 10%-20% less will not solve our problem. Our problem is that the middle and upper class of Islam (who dominate in getting all the non-oil foreign exchange too) produce a large proportion of the dangerous islamists. Bin Laden was, for a time, doing great business for Al Queda through his family’s contacts in the honey business. It’s not feasible to cut them all off and it would be dangerous for us to do it as the ME would become a breeding ground for plagues without the money and connectivity needed to have modern medicine. We’ve got enough of that with Africa and SE Asia. If the flu pandemic people are right, the H5N1 or variant thereof that crosses over is going to kill an awful lot more of us than Al Queda will.

    The salafists do not wish to kill us all. They wish to convert us all and kill those that resist the humiliating imposition of the dhima system. It would be genocide, in the end. What the administration is trying to do is to avoid being slotted into the mirror position of converting the muslims out of Islam and/or killing them all. The obvious alternative, when you think about it, is to force moderate muslims to define Bin Laden and company as apostates and mean it. That turns it from a clash of civilizations into a religious war inside Islam. Whether this is constitutional or not is an open question.

  39. Since the very beginning, everyone asks wrong question – fight or not? The right question everyone should ask instead is – how to fight?

    The last 4 years have proved that war is not the answer. War in Afghanistan was no victory at all. I agree that it was great victory for Afghan people but not for anybody else. US Army had killed lots of pawns and a few head guys. All of them were replaced in no time. Everyone else just moved elsewhere and kept doing what terrorists do. War in Iraq was a big f*cking invitation for all terrorists world-wide. Fighting terrorism this way leads nowhere unless you want to evaporate everything outside USA with nukes. Each time US Army wins somewhere, the terrorists will just move somewhere else. And they have a damn lot of space to move.

    Every single terrorist out there looks like civilian, lives like civilian and behaves like civilian because he IS a civilian until he blows something up. What can any regular army do against terrorists without slaughtering thousand times more innocent civilians? Nothing.

    The only way to victory is to show would be terrorists who they really want to follow – madmen who twist faith of people to their own crazy goals. Otherwise you’re just fighting for more war, not for victory. It is not the outer world what destroys their traditions, they destroy them themselves by following such madmen.

  40. You’re not thinking this through. Force was initiated on 9/11, and so force is justified in response to that AGIANST THE INITIATORS. IF a black man shoots a white man, then that odes not justfiy going to war with all african nations. The anti-muslim or anti-arab war you support is itself an intitiation of force, because it is attacking people who never attacked us. Afghanistan and Iraq did not attack us. Only Al Queda did (if you believe the propaganda, since there is no organization that calls itself Al queda.)

    Really, you oppose the state but you believe what it tells you unquestioningly?

    War is what happens between nations, and no nation attacked us. The only legitimate response is to bring criminals to justice… not a religious holy war.

    You can’t look at some criminals, and then say “All people of this type are criminals”. Not all arabs are criminals. Not all muslims are criminals. Not all chrisitans are criminals. Not all white dudes from texas are criminals. And not all geeks who think they are liberttarians are libertarians.

    There is no libertarian justification for this war. IF you think that opposing the war will make the war mongers hate you, then you may be right. But that is not a justification for supporting a criminal act.

    When you initiate force agianst a bystander, that is NOT justifiable. There is NO libertarian argument supporting “collateral” damage. Murder is not tolerated.

    Pluse if you really want to fight Osama Bin Laden, you need to go to camp david and take the fight there… I bet he’s still there after making is Bush campaign announcement just before the last election. After all, they are childhood friends.

    And you find nothing fishy about this whole situation?

    The state has managed to get you to betray your principles, Eric. It did so, as it always does so, by lying to you.

  41. I recognize that Al Quaeda’s statements are monstrous world-destroying rhetoric worthy of a James Bond villian. But I don’t see them having much chance of success in “killing us all.” I’m just not afraid of them enough to accept the civil rights consequences of the war on terror, or its effects on how politics is conducted. One such consequence is that you think a war for oil is acceptable, and telling lying to acheive it is also acceptable. Hm. That’s not something I thought I would hear admit out loud, as it constitutes a very tiny version of a corny monologue from a James Bond villian. Just as it’s impossible to parody Hollywood when they say War of the Worlds represents the Iraq war, it’s just as difficult to parody someone saying “people should be sent to their deaths for our wealth and it’s OK to lie about it.” ?? Maybe you’re pragmatically right — I don’t claim to be politically astute — but what this situation is doing to my friends and countrymen scares me more than the thought of giving up my life for my freedoms in an office building at the hands of terrorists. We’ve seen what they can do. We’ll have a lot more Londons and Sept. 11ths, but that’s the price we as civilian soldiers should be paying for freedom. That’s just my two cents.

  42. boycotts are practically the same thing as sawing of the head of an “infidel” as he breaths awake or plowing a carbomb into a girls’ school.

    Wait, I thought it is the same as GULAG, no? Boycott – isn’t it what they did in concentration camps? Oh, wait, sorry, my mistake. In concentration camps they switched off A/C and was playing loud Aguilera music – like in Gitmo. Boycott just does not go that far – it’s an equivalent of no more then a car bomb, really.

    Well, I do not know if boycott is like sawing off one’s head completely or if it merely causes severe brain damage – but I guess you underwent a few.

    what do libertarians do with their mercenaries after a war?

    Same thing we do with a city sheriff after a crime.

  43. Quakers have vacillated between passivism and pacifism. We’ve been pacifists probably since the 1900′s. In particular, Herbert Hoover (a Quaker) was put in charge of the task of feeding German children after WWI. This was not forgotten by some Germans. Prior to the 1900′s, Quakers were passivist — disengaged from politics.

    Actually, if you ask me, Quaker pacifism has always been a mile wide and an inch deep. Individual Quakers were led to fight in (at least) the Revolutionary War, and WWII. Today, many Quakers use the proxy violence of the government to seek justice — peace being very much a secondary goal. But that’s just me, iconoclast Quaker.
    -russ

  44. jummy, I think you mistake Mr. Stallman’s reasons for “boycotting” the Harry Potter books. Stallman is an atheist and has no “religious” motive here. It’s the copyright issue. He is usually – quite rightly – pointing to the dangers of software patents:

    http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~mgk25/stallman-patents.html

    Now he’s broadened his attack to take on the Harry Potter copyright. It was an off topic joke on my part

    On topic, I was amused by Mark Steyn this morning. See Trust politicians to do nothing useful. Here he tells us:

    Responding to Islamist terrorism in Britain and elsewhere, Germany is considering introducing a Muslim public holiday. As Mathias Dopfner, chief executive of Axel Springer, put it: “A substantial fraction of Germany’s government – and, if polls are to be believed, the German people – believe that creating an official state Muslim holiday will somehow spare us from the wrath of fanatical Islamists.”

    As he says, “Great. At least the 1930s’ appeasers did it on their own time.” I wonder if the reference to the 1930s is apt in more ways than one. I mean the obvious meaning is this: if you give a bully what he wants he just comes back for more. But it is also interesting to reflect that 1930s Germany was the most belligerent power in the world and look what a dose of complete and utter defeat has done for them. They were the most arrogant people on Earth (even losing one world war wasn’t enough to bring them up short): but they’re now so demoralized that they think they’re in the wrong when they’re in the right and themselves seek to appease everyone. Perhaps the Islamists need a be shown just what losing means, too, before it becomes clear to everyone that they are a lost cause and they no longer have any appeal at all for young Muslims.

  45. If A has the right to kill B because of the acts of C (which I deny), then all acts of war (including 9/11) are eminently justified: there is no group, sufficiently broadly defined, whose members have not at some time in the past committed acts of violence against another group, sufficiently broadly defined.

    The “initiation of force”, therefore, dates back to the killing of Abel (substitute your own myth if you like), and there are only three responses available to us (or anyone) in the present:

    1) Destroy our enemies, all our enemies, a process which never stops until we are all dead;

    2) Allow our enemies to destroy us, with the same results, only quicker for us;

    3) Something else.

  46. Dan: (#41) and what would be the address of terror’s door?

    What you are missing (and missing badly) is that the nature of violence has changed (again). Individuals now have more power to destroy than they used to twenty years ago. This power will continue to increase, no matter how many wars we fight. The problem of violence can no longer be laid at the feet of nations. It must now be laid at the feet of individuals, some of whom obviously are so indifferent to the ultimate penalty (death) that they apply it to themselves on the spot.

  47. Phelps: Any arguments for or against fighting Germany because of Japan are somewhat irrelevant given that since Germany was allied with Japan, when the U.S. declared war on Japan, Germany declared war on the U.S. From that point on, regardless of what you believed, the two nations were at war. Big mistake on Hitler’s part.

    Steven Andries: I think you’re making massive generalisations about Americans there.

    Furthermore, whilst Europeans may see Americans (and perhaps other New Worlders) as naive or short-sighted, it could be countered that the New World doesn’t take Europe too seriously these days. Why should it? Europe is a crumbling relic that won’t even save itself. It brings to mind that line in Fight Club about pandas not f*ucking to save their species. Honestly, there won’t be any Europeans left in fifty years because no one is having babies and the whole continent will be an Arab-African colony. Europe has run its course. It’s at a biological dead end. Asking for European advice on anything is like asking the dodo for advice. We in the New World know this. Those in the third world know this. Of course, countries like the U.S., Canada, Australia, etc. won’t be that far behind at the present rate, but given the example of western Europe, we might still have a chance to wake up to ourselves. That’s where everyone is missing the point I think. No one will have to conquer “The West” because we’ll simply abdicate.

  48. You’re not thinking this through. Force was initiated on 9/11, and so force is justified in response to that AGIANST THE INITIATORS. IF a black man shoots a white man, then that odes not justfiy going to war with all african nations. The anti-muslim or anti-arab war you support is itself an intitiation of force, because it is attacking people who never attacked us. Afghanistan and Iraq did not attack us. Only Al Queda did (if you believe the propaganda, since there is no organization that calls itself Al queda.)

    Really, you oppose the state but you believe what it tells you unquestioningly?

    War is what happens between nations, and no nation attacked us. The only legitimate response is to bring criminals to justice… not a religious holy war.

    You can’t look at some criminals, and then say “All people of this type are criminals”. Not all arabs are criminals. Not all muslims are criminals. Not all chrisitans are criminals. Not all white dudes from texas are criminals. And not all geeks who think they are liberttarians are libertarians.

    There is no libertarian justification for this war. IF you think that opposing the war will make the war mongers hate you, then you may be right. But that is not a justification for supporting a criminal act.

    When you initiate force agianst a bystander, that is NOT justifiable. There is NO libertarian argument supporting “collateral” damage. Murder is not tolerated.

    Pluse if you really want to fight Osama Bin Laden, you need to go to camp david and take the fight there… I bet he’s still there after making is Bush campaign announcement just before the last election. After all, they are childhood friends.

    And you find nothing fishy about this whole situation?

    The state has managed to get you to betray your principles, Eric. It did so, as it always does so, by lying to you.

  49. Just one thing:
    Al-Qaede is the worst shape of Islam. Do not consider it as the only moslem group or the only islamic manner !!!

  50. They may want to kill us all, but they have no chance whatsoever of doing so.
    The Nazi’s very well could have destroyed our society, islamists don’t have a chance.

  51. The error lies in using an attack by *one* bunch of Muslims (Al Quaeda) to justify an attack on *another* bunch of Muslims, say a secular Baathist state like Iraq.

    This is the same argument that the America Firsters were using about Germany after Pearl Harbor. It was wrong then and it is wrong now.

    This simply wrong.

    First, it’s true that Japan attacked you on 7 Dec 1941 and Germany didn’t, that much I accept.

    Second, the America Firsters argued that the Japanese attack on the USA didn’t justify an American Declaration of War on Germany. They were right.

    Third, Germany declared war on the USA on 11 Dec 1941; that was the justification for the USA’s declaration of war on Germany.

    Fourth, any argument outside of that is strictly addressing the hypothetical situation of what would have happened if Germany had not declared war on the USA. The correct answer is that we don’t know, but do recall that FDR originally presented a declaration of war on Japan only to Congress. Whether he would have gone for a DoW on Germany subsequent to that is a much more complex historical question.

    Fifth and finally, the substantive point is that your analogy doesn’t work – Saddam didn’t declare war on the USA shortly after 9/11, nor did he do anything similar. Indeed I suspect that a more diplomatically nimble US government would have found Saddam a possible ally post-9/11; he was never a big fan of Islamism either.

  52. Errors:

    1) You consider that all the “islamist enemies” that fight against US Army in Iraq are part of Al Qaeda, or at least you consider that they pursue the same objective as Al Qaeda: “killing us all”. Most of them just want the US Army to leave their country.

    2) You consider that the iraqi insurgency (to use the Wikipedia term) is related with 9/11, Sadam Husein and Al Qaeda.

    Saying it clearly:

    a) 9/11 attackas were done by Al Qaeda.

    b) Sadam Husein was not related to 9/11 attacks.

    b) Iraqi insurgency has a lot of factions. Few of them are foreign fighters from Al Qaeda.

    Please, read the Wikipedia articles about 9-11 and Iraqi insurgency:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/September_11%2C_2001_attacks

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

  53. Yeeeeeees… I like this.

    It hits target perfectly.

    I gotta forward this to my partymembers.

  54. War is the ulimate exercise of state power – how many soldiers had any idea of the true nature of the wars that they fought ?

    I’m not a pacifist, and I’ve met few though I’ve tried to. I’ve never met a man who has claimed he would not use violence to stop a rape or such extreme yet everyday situation.

    I can accept a lot of what you write while not agreeing with some of it. I’d call myself a libertarian too, well I’m an out and out anarchist. I regard the terms ‘left’ and ‘right’ as offensive but primarily I regard every order as an insult. I am not a revolutionary – as a free man I can survive freely in any society or political system whether it recognises me or not. I have no wish for anyone one else to agree with me nor do I desire the trinkets that console you, they would not console me.

    To recommend war and generalise about peoples is to demean yourself and diminish your society. Islamists want to kill you ? Who told you that nonsense. Islamists don’t want you dead any more than anyone else does. They just want the US government to stop stealing from them and killing them and calling it ‘the free market’ or ‘preemptive warfare’. Poor old Adam Smith, quoted by everyone and read by noone.

    No libertarian is capable of that. What you want is freedom for yourself at others expense. What sort of freedom is based on the subjectation of others ?

    You talk about Orwell admirably but there are higher sources – here’s one.

    Is there for honesty poverty
    That hings his head, an’ a’ that;
    The coward slave — we pass him by,
    We dare be poor for a’ that!
    For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
    Our toils obscure an’ a’ that,
    The rank is but the guinea’s stamp,
    The man’s the gowd for a’ that.

    What though on hamely fare we dine,
    Wear hoddin grey, an’ a’ that?
    Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wine,
    A man’s a man for a’ that.
    For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
    Their tinsel show, an’ a’ that,
    The honest man, tho’ e’er sae poor,
    Is king o’ men for a’ that.

    Ye see yon birkie ca’d a lord,
    Wha struts, an’ stares, an’ a’ that;
    Tho’ hundreds worship at his word,
    He’s but a coof for a’ that.
    For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
    His ribband, star, an’ a’ that,
    The man o’ independent mind
    He looks an’ laughs at a’ that.

    A prince can mak a belted knight,
    A marquis, duke, an’ a’ that,
    But an honest man’s aboon his might,
    Gude faith, he maunna fa’ that!
    For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
    Their dignities an’ a’ that,
    The pith o’ sense, an’ pride o’ worth,
    Are higher rank than a’ that.

    Then let us pray that come it may,
    (As come it will for a’ that,)
    That Sense and Worth, o’er a’ the earth,
    Shall bear the gree, an’ a’ that,
    For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
    It’s coming yet for a’ that,
    That man to man, the world o’er,
    Shall brithers be for a’ that

  55. Fools only hear themselves because their best conversations are in their own mind.
    Don’t you people get it? You pick apart Eric’s story until it’s mere words, then you chose the ones that offend you and go from there flinging you comments as if you are the only one who “really” knows what’s going on. We are at war. There is nothing you can do because you can’t take it back and you can’t stop it. Against it or not, our family and friends are fighting and losing their lives because our leaders of our country asked them to go and they did. You don’t have to approve of the war to say “since our men and women are there, lets at least pray for them and support them for having the guts to fight for us.” You people who scream out about how stupid the war is makes our service people feel likes fools. If you personally know one, ask them. I know four.
    Saddam and Al Qaeda were supporting each other and were connected in two separate banking issues that froze what would be equal to millions of American dollars. If you believe there was no connection between the two, show your facts, and please be sure you know how to search and can separate the viewpoints and facts of the news because it gets a little old hearing quotes from a reporters opinions instead of his news facts.
    Oh…and Al Qaeda DID say they wanted to kill us all.. every single American. They hate us.
    They say they hate us. They said we should be wiped off the face of the earth. They don’t mean one thing and say another. Check their translated tapes before you paraphrase for them and color coat what they say or what you think they mean.
    Eric, you were put between a rock and a hard place, and got out intelligently. Well done.

  56. I think Jay Hanson has had the last word on what the great threat to this culture is. Since it is doomed to collapse anyway, buying it a few more years with a price in spilled blood doesn’t sound like a realistic option.

    The junta in power is not responding to a threat to our way of life. What it is responding to is something far more important to the kind of deranged and deluded mind that passes for “sane” in this culture: a threat to the bottom line. Cheerleading of such mendacious, greed-driven brutality sounds more hasnamussian than realistic.

  57. Guerilla versus Terrorist

    Guerrillas are often characterized as terrorists by their opponents, as part of psychological warfare. Guerrillas are in danger of not being recognized as lawful combatants because they may not wear a uniform, (to mingle with the local population), or their uniform and distinctive emblems may not be recognised as such by their opponents. Article 44, sections 3 and 4 of the 1977 First Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions, “relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts”, does recognise combatants who, due to the nature of the conflict, do not wear uniforms as long as they carry their weapons openly during military operations. This gives non-uniformed guerrillas lawful combatant status against countries that have ratified this convention. However the same protocol states in Article 37.1.c that “the feigning of civilian, non-combatant status” shall constitute perfidy and is prohibited by the Geneva Conventions.

    Guerrillas in wars against foreign powers do not principally direct their attacks at civilians, as they desire to obtain as much support as possible from the population as part of their tactics. Civilians are primarily attacked or assassinated as punishment for collaboration. Often such an attack will be officially sanctioned by guerrilla command or tribunal. An exception is in civil wars, where both guerrilla groups and organized armies have been known to commit atrocities against the civilian population.

    U.S. Civil War

    Quantrill’s Raiders, who terrorized pro-Union civilians and fought Federal troops in large areas of Missouri and Kansas, was one such unit. Another notorious unit, with debatable ties to the Confederate military, was led by Champ Ferguson along the Kentucky-Tennessee border. Ferguson became one of the only figures of Confederate cause to be executed after the war. Dozens of other small, localized bands terrorized the countryside throughout the border region during the war, bringing total war to the area that lasted until the end of the Civil War and, in some areas, beyond.

    WWII

    Japan’s invasion of China also prompted guerrilla activity in rural areas of occupied China. (Its interesting to note that the Japanese referred to Chinese guerrillas as bandits and terrorists much as the US government refers to Iraqui and Afgani insurgents.)

    Ireland versus Britain

    The PIRA, Loyalist paramilitaries and various anti-Good Friday Agreement splinter-groups could be called guerrillas but are usually called terrorists by both the British and Irish governments. The news media such as the BBC and CNN will often use the term “gunmen” as in “IRA gunmen” [3] or “Loyalist gunmen” [4] committed a “terrorist” act. Since 1995 CNN also uses guerrilla as in “IRA guerrilla” and “Protestant guerrilla” [5]. Reuters, in accordance with its principle of not using the word terrorist except in direct quotes, refers to “guerrilla groups”[6].

    Greece

    Currently, the Basque ETA and Corsican FLNC and other groups such as the Greek Marxist Revolutionary Organization 17 November claim to be guerrillas, but are commonly recognized as terrorists since they have murdered civilians on some occasions (collateral damages according to them) and not always purely legitimate military targets. Furthermore, this is how the governments and media of their respective countries (foreign invader governments according to these groups) prefer to refer to them.

    Middle East

    Gueralla fighting and terrorism in the middle east was introduced by European Jews. From the 1890′s, European Jews decided on Palestine as a homeland and began immigrating in increasing numbers before, during and after WWII. There were a number of acts of violence by both the newly arrived immigrants and the arab population that resented this influx of foreigners. The British, although allowing 5,000 or more Jewish immigrants per month were blamed for turning away some Jews. Jewish groups such as the Stern Gang, LETI, or Irgun – many of whom had experience in the Warsaw ghetto battles against the Nazis, turned to terrorism against the British peacekeepers. In one incident, they bombed the King David hotel with a loss of life of 90 innocent people. Jewish terrorists also killed British soldiers and boobytrapped the bodies to kill rescuers. Among the Jewish terrorists, two later became prime ministers – Iszatk Shamir and Menachem Begin. Jews also introduced plane hijacking to the middle east.

    The creation of the state of Israel might be considered one of the greatest achievements of guerrilla warfare and terrorism. On the surface, the Jewish forces were a spontaneous group of civilians working without formal military structure. In some cases entire Arab villages were massacred, and word of attrocities was successful in causing about 700,000 to flee to various refugee camps – where in many cases they or their descendants remain to this day.

    After 20 years of occupation and refugee status and the Arab loss in the 1967, Palestinians turned to guerrilla fighting and terrorism against Israelis. There were some spectacular terrorist events like the Munich Olympics of 1972 where 9 Israelis were killed, along with many, many other events over the years. Many tens of thousands of people have died since then – mostly Arabs but several thousand Israelis also. A tragedy all around that shows no sign of abating.

    The terminology may be debatable at times and there are vague lines of demarcation between guerrilla fighting, terrorism and state terrorism. For example, Palestinians who ambushed an Israeli military patrol in the west bank are called terrorists by Israel although they are clearly conducting a guerrilla attack. Meanwhile sneaking Israeli commandos into a foreign country to assasinate leaders is at best guerrilla fighting if not terrorism. A suicide bomber could be considered a guerrilla fighter or a terrorist, but a pilot who drops a half ton bomb (or an atomic bomb) on an apartment building killing 15 people is considered a soldier. The debates on these subjects could be endless because each side has one definition for their own acts and one for the other side.

    All of the above is from wikipedia. The last paragraph is my favorite. Now, who is the terrorist, and who the soldier? Is it all just your point of view?

  58. “boycotts are practically the same thing as sawing of the head of an “infidel” as he breaths awake or plowing a carbomb into a girls’ school.”

    Thats the most absurd thing I have heard in weeks. Refusing to give money to someone because you don’t agree with their behavior is the same as killing innocent people? You sir are absurd.

  59. I generally consider myself a libertarian/anarchist, but I cannot help but disagree with your wish that militaries be turned into mercenary corporations. I am as distrustful of corporations as I am government, and I believe that anyone with power, especially with the kind of violence that is enabled with any form of military, is truly frightening. If the world were to become an anarcho-capitalist one, what would stop the rich from using these mercenaries for their own personal gain, at the expense of everyone else?

    When war can be bought and sold, then life becomes bought and sold. I think that a far more brutal and violent world would arise from such a situation.

    I hate war as well, but I cannot help but believe that war *should* be based on ideologies, and not economic pulls. While the result is far more tenacious wars, I think it would mean fewer wars — and wars that actually *mean* something to people.

    And that is what I feel to be the only justification for war. When people are willing to give their lives for an ideal, because they would rather die than live in a world where their vision is not realized, that is when war is justified.

  60. I hate wars than anyone does.. it totally sucks.. whoever supports wars.. even for peace.. is an total idiot.. No matter how hard you try if theres gonna be war, its gonna happen.. really
    @Ahmad Sharifpour
    Al Queda sucks.. The leader is dead and we are still in fear wtf :(

  61. Pingback: The Everlasting Phelps » Blog Archive » Realism

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