The smell of victory, part deux

Aha. The Sunnis
say they want to work with US
. This comes hard in the heels of
reports that the Baathist dead-enders protected al-Qaeda polling
places from jihadis during the just-concluded elections, in which
turnout pushed 70% even in the heart of the Sunni triangle.

I expect this story will be just as thoroughly overlooked in the
mainstream media as Qaddaffi’s
terrified capitulation
was back in 2003. But it’s even more
important. We’re getting a clear message that the ex-Baathist end of
the insurgency wants to put down its guns and enter electoral
politics. This matters a lot, because they were most of the footsoldiers.
The al-Qaeda fighters are far fewer, and have alienated most Iraqis with
a terror campaign that has killed more Iraqis than it has coalition
troops.

If the insurgent leaders believe they must stop fighting, this
implies two other things: that the Sunni street has accepted that
Sunnis aren’t going to run Iraq any more, and consequently that Iraq
is not going to fly apart into three Kurdish, Sunni and Shi’a
fragments. The political foundations for a stable Iraq deeply hostile
to the Islamofascist program have been laid.

(Yes, I support the development of a stable Iraqi state despite
my anarcho-capitalism. This is because I don’t think it’s possible to
go from tribalism and autocracy to market anarchy in one go. At
mininimum, it takes a couple of generations of civil society to prepare
people for true self-government. Cultural experience matters.)

Others in the blogosphere have noted that George Bush’s most recent
speech uses a lot more “I”, that he’s taking personal responsibility
for the U.S.’s Iraq strategy, and that this means he is now sure of
victory and wants to nail down the credit. I agree with this
assessment. For the first time since 2003, I am now feeling fairly
sure that all the home-front sabotaging of the Iraq campaign by the
Left and the mainstream media is going to come to nothing in the end.
It’s not, after all, going to be Vietnam II; they will not snatch
defeat from the jaws of victory again.

I’d like to think this means emergency conditions will end soon,
and I can return to my natural position of calling for the dismantling
of government power rather than reluctantly supporting a government
war. Unfortunately, the Iraq campaign, like the Afghani campaign
before it, is only part of that longer-term war. I think it is quite
likely we will be required to invade and subdue Iran before the larger
struggle to break the will of Islamofascism is over. Alas, wishing we
had tools other than state power for achieving this won’t make it
so.

Still. I expect to enjoy the effect on U.S. domestic politics as
the Iraq insurgency collapses. The American Left, having committed itself
to defeatism, is going to get badly hammered in the 2006 elections. I’d
relish that even more if I could be sure that the beneficiaries of their
collapse wouldn’t be the Republicans, but you can’t have everything.

95 thoughts on “The smell of victory, part deux

  1. I think it is quite likely we will be required to invade and subdue Iran before the larger struggle to break the will of Islamofascism is over.

    Lessee – Iraq had been weakened by over a decade of sanctions and was a third of the size of Iran…I mean, really, the American military isn’t interested, the American *people* aren’t interested, they only want the bomb because Israel has it…

    What you need is another 9/11 that you can pin on the mullahs this time. Any suggestions?

  2. They only want the bomb because Israel has it. Right. Israel has threatened so many people with her bombs and taken over so many Islamic countries, why shouldn’t Iran think they will be next? Isn’t that the great threat to peace in the world, that Netanyahu will be strutting through the main square of Tehran at the head of his army? What kind of brains does it take to think this way?

  3. Right. Israel has threatened so many people with her bombs and taken over so many Islamic countries,

    Just the one.

    [space left for "It wasn't a country!" "They PAID for it!" "They're a democraceee!" etc.]

    And really, Israel’s conventional forces outmatch everyone else’s out there put together (possibly leaving out Turkey, with whom they have an excellent relationship in any case). What do they need bombs for? Self-esteem?

    What kind of brains does it take to think this way?

    We idiotarians are a mysterious bunch – we believe in trying to put ourselves in other people’s shoes. But it’s not something I’d recommend to everyone.

  4. So “Palestine” was an “Islamic country” before the Jews barged in, paid for the land they cultivated and had the infernal gall to defend the places their ancestors had lived for four thousand years and what’s worse, succeed?! Put yourself in the Israelis’ shoes for a moment.

  5. Victory in Vietnam? WTF? The U.S. professional military knew that was hopeless from before day one — see Glory Road.

  6. It is a false hope to “break the will of Islamofascism”. Those people are too willful to roll over and accept rulership by the mentally ill Americhristian complex, and any attempts to undermine that will will only strengthen it and make them more vengeful.

    As I’ve said before, understanding American hegemonic praxis is step one in understanding Why They Hate Us, and rejecting the neocon semiotic hornswaggle being perpetrated on the American people (“they hate our freedoms” and such) is required for such understanding.

    It really comes down to an aritificial divide between Self and Other, and the self-talking rationalisations necessary to justify the same. A thorough study of the political and economic motivations of slavery and jim crow is a great place to start when it comes to grokking the rationale behind the artificial divide. Jim crow and the war on terra are of a piece.

  7. Well, Israel didn’t use nuclear weapons in its acquisition of Palestine. Instead, Israel uses nuclear weapons to avoid being threatened by its neighbors. Yes, every Arab action against Israel has proven that Arabian military thought has been stagnant for far too long. But that doesn’t mean Israelis need to continue to die to teach Arabs a lesson.

    Just think what that argument would have meant for Jews in the late 1930s.

  8. >Victory in Vietnam? WTF? The U.S. professional military knew that was hopeless from before day one — see Glory Road.

    Not true. The failure of the Tet offensive in ’68 pretty much finished off the Viet Cong as a fighting force; by 1975, “Vietnamization” was actually working. Read Nguyen Vo Giap’s memoirs — North Vietnam’s principal general himself says the North had no hope of victory and no way to maintain its gains without successfully breaking the U.S.’s will to fight via domestic fifth columnists. Of course, his memoirs also report that the fifth column succeeded.

  9. >Victory in Vietnam? WTF?

    Kennedy’s Special Forces won the insurgency, so North Vietnam built the 5th largest mechanized army in the world. It was beaten in 1968 (the Tet Offensive) by part of a demoralized army of foreign slaves…er…US draftees. The NVA, having read the US newspapers, rebuilt their army and lost when they attacked again in 1970. The US withdrew but continued to support the South Vietnamese. North Vietnam lost in 1973 to the South Vietnamese, who were aided by US firepower but not large numbers of US troops. In 1975, the North attacked again. The US refused substantial assistance and Vietnam lost.

    Everything the schools and the press taught me about Vietnam was wrong. In what ways have they changed so that I can trust them about the current wars?

  10. “Government war” is not intrinsically worse than “Government peace”. The evil part is “Government”, not “war”.

  11. >“Government war” is not intrinsically worse than “Government peace”.

    False. Government war kills more people.

  12. Jeff:

    Those people are too willful to roll over and accept rulership by the mentally ill Americhristian complex

    That’s good, because we don’t want to rule them. We’re not *trying* to rule them. We’re working hard to get out of the business of ruling Iraq, and it’s working. Don’t believe me? Ask one of the millions standing in line to vote last weekend.

  13. “(Yes, I support the development of a stable Iraqi state despite my anarcho-capitalism. This is because I don’t think it’s possible to go from tribalism and autocracy to market anarchy in one go. At mininimum, it takes a couple of generations of civil society to prepare people for true self-government. Cultural experience matters.)”

    Come on. From a libertarian? From a Second Amendment advocate? If democracy and our so-called civil society should teach you anything it’s that decades of Big Government getting bigger and promoting “civil” services have produced a disarmed, dumbed down populace that will seemingly never move towards this fabled market anarchy of which you speak. Where is the spirit of Thomas Jefferson or Paul Revere? Ballooning in front of the boob tube or unable to even write his own name in a high school history class, much less tell you who Thomas Jefferson actually was.

    The last thing anyone needs (especially us!) is more of our “civil society”. Look, tribalism quite probably won’t help anyone move towards market anarchy, but Leviathan? How can a libertarian promote that?

  14. The thing that bothers me about the left trying to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory again, is that the over all war will be quite long. If you look at what many of the senior military leaders are saying, they belive that we are roughly 25 years into a projected 100 year war against Islamofacism, with 9/11 being an escalation.

  15. I have to say, that since emigrating to the USA, I have never been more aware of, and more deeply disgusted and ashamed of, the kind of seditious betrayal I see in the MSM and in certain contributors to this blog.

    I certainly salute ESR’s gastronomic fortitude an intellectual integrity in allowing such foulness to pervade his domain.

    Strewth…

  16. Caleb, you clearly don’t understand what the term “civil society” means. Do some research.

  17. esr: You’re clearly a pawn of the state. I consider a civil society one that isn’t a kleptocracy run on a “three wolves and a sheep deciding what’s for dinner” principle.

    Personally, I think that not only are you living in denial, but you’re an intellectual coward because each time you say something along the lines of “I’m a libertarian, but I support the state doing such and such” and I ask “how is that libertarian?” you dodge the question by saying something like “you’re confusing me with a conservative.”

    Whether you are right or wrong on the practical details is not the point. Just like if you pick up the ball and start running, you’re not playing soccer; or if you don’t mind a little shellfish, you’re not kosher; if you want to support the state you’re not a libertarian.

  18. Unfortunately, the Iraq campaign, like the Afghani campaign before it, is only part of that longer-term war. I think it is quite likely we will be required to invade and subdue Iran before the larger struggle to break the will of Islamofascism is over.

    But Iraq wasn’t an Islamic nation under Hussein. Witness for instance that there are many educated Iraqi women.

  19. I have to say, that since emigrating to the USA, I have never been more aware of, and more deeply disgusted and ashamed of, the kind of seditious betrayal I see in the MSM and in certain contributors to this blog.

    I have to say that you’re an obsequious little toady. Name names and have a stab at debating with someone, why don’t you? I imagine Eric recognises that deleting all the posts he doesn’t agree with would lead to a pretty sterile environment. There are any number of right-wing circle-jerks out there if that’s to your taste, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised.

  20. So “Palestine” was an “Islamic country” before the Jews barged in, paid for the land they cultivated and had the infernal gall to defend the places their ancestors had lived for four thousand years and what’s worse, succeed?!

    This idea that a group can get thrown out of a country (for rebelling against Rome, wasn’t it?), spend two millenia in diaspora and then just come back in and reassert title as if nothing had happened in the meantime is something that you’re welcome to consider morally justified if you like. I just don’t see how you’re going to get the Palestinians to accept it. As for “succeeding”, look at their advantages. The South Africans had a pretty nice life down there too, for a while.

    Put yourself in the Israelis’ shoes for a moment.

    Colonialism is *so* two centuries ago, sorry. I mean, if you’re going to do it you need to reduce the natives to the sort of levels that the Americans and Australians did, then they’ll give up hope and resign themselves to living under your heel and at your mercy. The Palestinians aren’t quite there yet.

  21. Attention 19th century Republicans-
    If, when the 21st century arrives you want Caleb to retroactively grant you the right to call yourself an abolitionist, support Thaddeus Stevens or Charles Sumner. If you want slavery abolished as soon as possible, support Abraham Lincoln .

  22. Caleb, can you help me find the word I should use to describe this sort of a person:

    He is positive that the scope and influence of the State can be safely reduced to at least a minarchist level, where police, courts, law, and national defense are its only function. He is tentatively certain that the State can be done away with altogether, and replaced by market anarchy. However, looking through the annals of history, he notices that a striking commonality of past anarchist societies is that they have all fallen to foreign states. Further, in spite of the large benefits an anarchist society should have over its statist contemporaries, there are no current such societies in existence. So, his position on the feasibility of market anarchy is one of guarded optimism.

    He feels that his society is under attack from despotic states through the proxy of terrorism. He feels it is necessary to remove the sponsors of terrorism in order to secure his society’s well being. Though he fears the reduction in liberty that tends to be concomitant to times of war, he feels that ignoring this threat will result in a far greater reduction in liberty in the long run. And though he’d prefer not to support any state actions, he feels that the only way to combat this threat is through the state military. He therefore reluctantly supports it, as it seems to be the best choice out of a bunch of bad options.

    I would previously have thought this kind of person to be a libertarian, but apparently I am wrong. Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated.

  23. Attention 19th century Republicans-
    If, when the 21st century arrives you want Caleb to retroactively grant you the right to call yourself an abolitionist, support Thaddeus Stevens or Charles Sumner. If you want slavery abolished as soon as possible, support Abraham Lincoln .

    It would still be good to have a better name – “Suspended Libertarians”, “Libertarians-in-Waiting”, “Once and Future Libertarians”, I dunno.

  24. He feels that his society is under attack from despotic states through the proxy of terrorism.

    But is it his society or his state that’s under attack? Hamas/Hizbollah notwithstanding, I don’t think the Iranians are dumb enough to serve up an excuse to attack them by even indirectly sponsoring any sort of attack on the US, and I doubt they would if they had a few starter nukes either. It just wouldn’t be worth it. Al-Q, OTOH, doesn’t seem to make much distinction, and while their roots may well lie in certain despotic states they look to be operating fairly well outside the state structure.

  25. “I have to say that you’re an obsequious little toady.”
    Thanks for letting me know. I’ll add that to the list.

    “Name names and have a stab at debating with someone, why don’t you?”
    No need to name names when a guilty conscience will rustle up the snakes all on its own. From what I read, you’re not interested in debate…you’re interested in the sound of your own voice.

    “I imagine Eric recognises that deleting all the posts he doesn’t agree with would lead to a pretty sterile environment.”
    I wouldn’t dream of suggesting such a course of action on ESR’s site. My comment was actually a rather resigned nod to his strength of character.

    “There are any number of right-wing circle-jerks out there if that’s to your taste, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised.”
    Now there’s an example of a man rising to the occasion…pure class.

  26. No need to name names when a guilty conscience will rustle up the snakes all on its own.

    Guilt? Oh dear me no.

    From what I read, you’re not interested in debate…you’re interested in the sound of your own voice.

    I’m interested in provoking reactions. But let’s *try*, anyway – you speak of “seditious betrayal” – fairly strong language for a bunch of guys gassing at each other on a blog, but I’d like to know about how I’m betraying…what…Western Civilisation? – by what I write here. Are swarthy bearded men crouched over laptops in Chechnya high-fiving each other as they read this evidence for the success of their insidious manipulations of the liberal psyche? Or am I corroding the very will to resist of the sturdy sort-of-libertarian types who come here to partake of the wisdom of our host? Can you outline the damage I’m causing here?

    Naturally, if telling me would make it worse, I’ll understand.

    I wouldn’t dream of suggesting such a course of action on ESR’s site.

    Maybe…”allowing such foulness to pervade his domain” sounds like it escaped from a role-playing session, though.

    My comment was actually a rather resigned nod to his strength of character.

    Yes, yes, I know about the obsequiousness, no need to rub it in.

    Now there’s an example of a man rising to the occasion…pure class.

    Nonsense, I’ve barely scratched the surface. So what *is* your purpose here? Apart from sucking up, which is something I do realise recent immigrants are prone to.

  27. Glenn, well said.

    Adrian: sorting out the veracity of the feelings I enumerated requires extensive discourse, and this is not the appropriate forum for that. You have your bias and I have mine, and for now, we can’t say anything more truthful than that.

  28. “Guilt? Oh dear me no.”
    How very revealing.

    “I’m interested in provoking reactions.”
    It would appear I have accomplished same…

    “Naturally, if telling me would make it worse, I’ll understand.”
    I am certain that spoonfeeding you will not help either.

    ” ”allowing such foulness to pervade his domain” sounds like it escaped from a role-playing session, though.”
    What an interesting observation.

    “Nonsense, I’ve barely scratched the surface.
    Good. I shall expect far greater things from you in the future.

    “So what *is* your purpose here?”
    Oh…bought a couple of ESRs books, appreciated them, meandered around the web until I came across his blog…I just lurk and click on anything in the RSS feed that catches my eye. Heck, I even stretch my ‘obsequiousness’ (5 syllables!) muscles from time-to-time and proffer a nice word to the occasional deserving recipient. Apparently this galls you. Pity.

    “Apart from sucking up, which is something I do realise recent immigrants are prone to.”
    Nice. Enough squabbling. You keep making your ‘contributions’ and I’ll keep reading…let’s leave the bandwidth for that.

  29. Robert Speirs:

    I guess I ought to look into this objectivism thing, since this isn’t the first time someone has suggested it to me.

  30. How very revealing.

    This would be more convincing if you explained some of what it allegedly revealed, rather than (say) alluding to insights I have no reason to suspect you possess.

    I am certain that spoonfeeding you will not help either.

    Not *too* much damage then. Good. I’ll just file “seditious betrayal” under “rampant hyperbole”.

    Good. I shall expect far greater things from you in the future.

    Not if this paltry comeback is the most you can muster.

    Apparently this galls you.

    A vague sense of embarrassment, is all. I mean, get a room.

    Nice. Enough squabbling. You keep making your ‘contributions’ and I’ll keep reading…let’s leave the bandwidth for that.

    By all means, toady.

    HAND.

  31. Adrian: Technically, the British government subjected the Australian Aborigines to colonialism for longer than the Australian government did. Australia was settled in 1788 and became an independent nation in 1901 (although its head of state is still the Queen of England), which is 103 years under British rule. The policies that led to the so-called Stolen Generations ended in 1976, which amounts to 75 years of Australian colonial action on the Aboriginal people, although I’m sure you’d argue they still get treated pretty badly (which is open to conjecture), and might want to push that out to the present day, which still only makes it about 105 years, so Britain and Australia are pretty close in those stakes.

  32. Glenn: Are you for real? Anyone who knows anything about Lincoln knows that he didn’t come right out with abolishing slavery. The Civil War was fought over states’ rights and emancipating the slaves was really good at a) keeping Britain and France which were pro-Confederacy (in the sense that they wanted to see the Union weakened), but anti-slavery, from supporting the Confederacy (and without such support, the Confederacy was ultimately doomed), and b) it helped to disrupt the economy of the South. The whole issue of emancipation had less to do with ideals (or he would have come out with sooner) and everything to do with political expediency. Let’s not lionise the man. Also, whilst we’re dispelling a few myths about Lincoln, let’s also look at how that “righteous” man had his political enemies attacked or censored.

  33. Pete: A “small c conservative” perhaps? I don’t know. Maybe some sort of pragmatist?

    Libertarians are generally characterised by their belief in something called the Zero Aggression Principle or Non-Aggression Principle amongst other things. This doesn’t mean they’re pacifists (indeed, many are armed to the teeth), it just means they don’t think people should initiate force on others (whether direct or by proxy) through war, taxation, censorship, etc. Minimalism isn’t libertarianism in that in order to provide the basic services to support freedom, freedom is itself curbed via taxation. There’s a logical inconsistency in minimalism trying to claim to be libertarianism.

    Look, I share many of the concerns you outlined, particularly regarding the historical success of libertarian societies. I wouldn’t even say I’m that optimistic about the market (I’m generally a very cynical and sceptical person in life). On the one hand, I’m not so sure that incredible monopolies or oligarchies wouldn’t form and then become very dictatorial. On the other, I’m not even sure that libertarianism would ever take off really because I think that at the heart of it, most people don’t really want to be free. I think there are certainly some who do, and those people tend to be explorers, pioneers, etc. However, pretty soon, the overwhelming majority of people who want security move in and then start getting really uneasy about all these free-spirits running around recklessly.

    I don’t consider myself a libertarian because as much as I moan about the government, most of the time, I’m either happy it’s there or I’m too lazy to do anything about it. I’m just arguing that you’re not really a libertarian.

  34. >my natural position of calling for the dismantling of government power

    I’d extend PJ O’Rourke’s observation that “Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys” to include the observation that the boys are alcoholic. Government isn’t going to idly accept calls to dismantle its power.
    Got to take the positive approach of sewing the seeds of individual responsibility, and gradually pull power down to the local level.
    Can’t just take the top off the weed. Can’t just rip the weed out by the root. Got to plant foilage that will resist the weed’s attempts at return.
    R,
    C

  35. 2 Caleb & Adrian:

    I think the important thing is that political priorities has changed. 10 or 20 years ago, if you wanted lower taxes, you went right and if you wanted higher taxes, you went left. Nowadays, if you feel that civilisations are NOT completely equal but Western Civ has some values worth protecting, you go right and if you feel Western Civ is a criminal civ of colonists and if you basically feel guilty for being born white, you go left. So it seems that other questions are important now.

    Another important stuff is practicality. 30 or 40 years before, it was basically the left/liberal side who wanted to create working solutions and it was the right who did not think, but just kept repeating old mantras. Now I think it’s changed, despite all the religious bullshit, the right seems to be more practical, because they seem to understand human nature better. It is so amazing, you know I’ve always been a natural born liberal, never got any religious education or whatever, and still if I put all ideology aside and just look at what is probably going to work and what is not, it seems the right is right in 80%. Their explanations are ridiculously wrong of course, but the ideas itself seem to be working. Actually it is based on how karma ( = causality) works.

  36. Adrian: Technically, the British government subjected the Australian Aborigines to colonialism for longer than the Australian government did. Australia was settled in 1788 and became an independent nation in 1901 (although its head of state is still the Queen of England), which is 103 years under British rule.

    It wasn’t terribly central to my argument whether it was the British or the Australians who did the dirty, though as it was mainly the Australians who benefited I’m inclined not to let them off too easily as innocent bystanders. What I meant was that successful colonialism has historically required some serious brutality.

  37. Nowadays, if you feel that civilisations are NOT completely equal but Western Civ has some values worth protecting, you go right and if you feel Western Civ is a criminal civ of colonists and if you basically feel guilty for being born white, you go left.

    I feel both, though the second is a bit of a caricature. But the West is calling the shots these days, and that gives us responsibilities.

    Now I think it’s changed, despite all the religious bullshit, the right seems to be more practical, because they seem to understand human nature better.

    I just think they’re immensely cynical about it. And in the US they’re much more consistent and on-message than their opponents, which helps.

  38. I don’t consider myself a libertarian because as much as I moan about the government, most of the time, I’m either happy it’s there or I’m too lazy to do anything about it.

    Then to hell with you, and the horse you rode in on. No statist has any business telling either Pete or me that we’re not libertarians. Not when we’ve spent years struggling with the implications of libertarian belief and you have not.

  39. 2 Adrian:

    > feel both, though the second is a bit of a caricature. But the West is calling the shots these days, and >that gives us responsibilities.

    Well if you think the West is calling the shots these days, and your geopolitical views is based on that, it is good news. Basically, if I believed the same way, I would think the same way as you. And the facts you are wrong in are simple: birth rate statistics. Basically, I think the best way to foretell the future is to look at birth statistics. And what you can see is the same way as muslim albanian immigrants swallowed Kosovo [1] arab immigrants will swallow Europe and the third world, especially the Islam world will swallow Western Civ as a whole. There are a few Europeans who started to buy land in Siberia, and what can I say, they have a kind of foresight…

    >>Now I think it’s changed, despite all the religious bullshit, the right seems to be more practical, >>because they seem to understand human nature better.

    >I just think they’re immensely cynical about it. And in the US they’re much more consistent and >on-message than their opponents, which helps.

    I think they have some kind of instinctual understanding of cause and effect (karma). They somehow feel it just right that if someone’s an underdog (it’s a good English word I learned from you, I will use it, thanks) that must have a cause, that virtous people usually don’t get oppressed, or at least not for long. They seem to understand that we must help the underdog, of course, but never, ever, ever give power to the underdog, because they generally have a weaker character (remember, cause and effect) and will generally abuse it.

    In other words, what the Right feels right is that people are responsible for their lives. That if they suffer, they should generally not blame others but look into the mirror.

    There is a Hungarian philosopher, a close friend of the R.I.P. Susan Sonntag who wrote “Let’s make a clear distinction between left and right. There is human suffering. Human suffering is caused by the wrong organizaiton of society, and can be abolished by a better one. If you don’t believe that, you have no place on the left.” I liked this, because it’s a good attempt to make things clear: I truly think that suffering is generally self-inflicted, that we should rarely blame others if our life is not satisfactory, but look into the mirror for the solution. And it basically means while I am pro-abortion, anti-warondrugs and whatever, I have no choice but belong to the right. A strange feeling, it is, I never thought it would come. But what other choice I have? Blame the society, always blame others? Should I support suppressing hate-mongers for example, instead of saying that everybody should accept hate directed at them with good humour to some extent and a swift and firm answer beyond that? What benefit could come from it, a society full of weak characters who blame each other instead braving to face hardship and taking their lives into their hands? Why should we let the general quality of humans drop, would that be any good?…

  40. Adrian, bad… rest of board, good! Me likee smart talk…

  41. Well I’m glad we got that semantic pissing contest out of the way. I hereby dub myself a “Heinlein Conservative.”

    Any objections?

  42. >Any objections?

    Well, yes, actually. Heinlein himself rejected the label “conservative” for at least 11 years before his death.

  43. [Iraq is] not, after all, going to be Vietnam II; they will not snatch defeat from the jaws of victory again.

    Eric, my impression of our campaign has been almost uniformly negative: Bush thought he was finished a few weeks in; it was a mistake to disband the millitary; it seems as though religious fanatics are consolidating their power; the Kurds, Shias and Sunnis continue to distrust eachother more than they want a unified Iraq; the casualty rate has not subsided.

    I suppose you believe that my view is tainted by the mainstream media. I’m willing to admit that journalists are in large part urban and liberal and probably elitist. In other words I may be wrong. If we do create a vibrant democracy there, I will certainly give this view of the media more credence.

    How will you, Eric, revise your view of the world if we do leave and Iraq becomes another autocracy of some sort?

    –Hal

  44. Well, yes, actually. Heinlein himself rejected the label “conservative” for at least 11 years before his death.

    Well goddammit. You know what, you can’t please everybody, so I’m a libertarian, and if anybody has a problem with that, they can munch on a bowl of my nuts.

  45. >Eric, my impression of our campaign has been almost uniformly negative

    The only assertion you make in that paragraph that is a matter of fact rather than judgement is wrong. Casualty rates are at a seven-month low.

    >How will you, Eric, revise your view of the world if we do leave and Iraq becomes another autocracy of some sort?

    In that case, I would conclude that the effort was worthy and necessary but the execution was incompetent.

  46. Adrian, bad… rest of board, good! Me likee smart talk…

    You’re supposed to be *reading*, toady. That was the deal.

  47. Casualty rates are at a seven-month low.

    Wouldn’t that just be Coalition casualty rates? Hate to be seen as a pessimist or anything, but they could be saving their energies for after the anticipated withdrawaldrawdown starts.

  48. Actually December casualty rates are third lowest in the past seven months (including the Dec rate thus far) according to the first google hit I looked at: http://icasualties.org/oif/.

    Did the “Mission Accomplished” banner not mark Bush’s belief that the war was substantially over? I don’t see this as a matter of judgment, but fact.

    Best,
    Hal

  49. You know what, you can’t please everybody, so I’m a libertarian, and if anybody has a problem with that, they can munch on a bowl of my nuts.

    You could be a Neo-Objectivist. They’re even OK with paganism, apparently. Sounds like you still have to read Atlas Shrugged, though, so it’s not all good.

  50. OK, Caleb, I’m going to make one more try at getting through to you. This time I’m going to use a metaphor that has nothing to do with politics. Think real hard and try to understand the applicability of the metaphor to your position, without getting bogged down in the metaphor’s specifics, as you did with the Lincoln/abolition one. (We strongly disagree about those specifics, but with a metaphor, such disagreements are not the point).

    If a sailor in a sail-powered boat wants to reach a point on shore against a wind blowing directly toward him, he does what is called “tacking”. That is to say, he sets a diagonal course that brings him closer to shore, but also, for example, rather to the right of where he wants to wind up. Then, after a bit, he steers another diagonal course just as far left as he previously steered right. He repeats as needed, ultimately winding up at his destination. Now the Caleb approach would be to turn the boat directly into the headwind and be blown farther and farther out to sea, consoling oneself all the time with the purity of one’s dedication to steering directly toward one’s destination,regardless of wind conditions. Get it? No, I didn’t expect you to. Have as good a life as possible under the circumstances.

  51. Shenpen: I reject your dichotomy regarding the left and the right for reasons I’ve argued here elsewhere before.

  52. “Then to hell with you, and the horse you rode in on. No statist has any business telling either Pete or me that we’re not libertarians. Not when we’ve spent years struggling with the implications of libertarian belief and you have not.”

    No, I’m just being honest with myself in that I’m another middle class keyboard hero who actually wouldn’t rise up against anything (including government) because I don’t want to threaten my comfort zone. You, on the other hand constantly have to tell everyone how incredibly manly you are and how much you don’t like government or are a libertarian, when just about every other article you write for this site backs the state or gleefully attacks anyone who isn’t 100% behind this War on Terror and when I don’t see you enlisting to go and fight in this War on Terror.

    You don’t know for how long I have or haven’t struggled with the implications of libertarian belief or any other belief system for that matter. I’m just being honest with myself. What’s the point in constantly moaning that taxation is so unfair if you still pay taxes? What’s the point in being pro any number of activities deemed illegal by the state if you don’t do anything about them? That’s the whole problem with a lot, if not most, libertarians — but ultimately, they’re not going to rock the boat because they don’t want to fall out. They’ll neither put up nor shut up.

    Finally, the idea that anyone other than a libertarian cannot tell a libertarian or anyone else that that person is not a libertarian is absurd. Do I have to be Jewish to call someone a hypocrite for eating bacon and calling himself a devout Jew? Compare yourself to someone like L. Neil Smith and keep pretending you’re a libertarian though and that you’re doing so much to advance “the cause”.

  53. Glenn: I see what you’re saying, but I’m saying that the idea of the means justifying the ends is not a good one. Yeah, you could support Lincoln to end slavery. You could also support Stalin to defeat Hitler. Never mind what else they get/got up to, so long as the ends are served. You have to break a few eggs to make an omelette as they say.

  54. Caleb,
    Not every good end warrants every evil means, but except in the realm of the Platonic Ideal, choice is constrained. In earthly life in general and in political life in particular, one cannot pursue any desired result without taking into account what is actually possible. Recognizing this, as Eric does, does not call into question the accuracy of his political self-description, as you think it does. You are certainly free to question the particulars of his approach to Iraq if you think them questionable on the merits, but to rule out the need for practicality as such is counsel for angels, not human beings.

  55. Heinlein himself rejected the label “conservative” for at least 11 years before his death.

    He also produced some dreadful work at that time IIRC. How about “early-Heinlein-conservative?

  56. Well if you think the West is calling the shots these days, and your geopolitical views is based on that, it is good news. Basically, if I believed the same way, I would think the same way as you. And the facts you are wrong in are simple: birth rate statistics. Basically, I think the best way to foretell the future is to look at birth statistics. And what you can see is the same way as muslim albanian immigrants swallowed Kosovo [1] arab immigrants will swallow Europe and the third world, especially the Islam world will swallow Western Civ as a whole.

    I’m afraid that a few hundred million uneducated poor people with no infrastructure here and there aren’t going to swallow anything. If they started to emigrate in threatening (as opposed to irritating) numbers then something would be done to stop them – Europe does have the naval resources for this. Wouldn’t be pretty, but there you go. The Israelis are already having big debates about what’s going to happen when Israeli Arabs outbreed them (‘transfer’ is the way they describe it). If Europe ever reaches a point where its unassimilated minority threatens more than car insurance premiums I see no reason why they wouldn’t go the same way – enough white European deaths would eventually overcome the liberal we-can’t hurt-them-they’re-victims shtick, and it’d be Pogrom Time, Eric’s curious conviction that the continent’s will has been too sapped by Marxism notwithstanding.

    I think they have some kind of instinctual understanding of cause and effect (karma).

    An instinctual feel for what buttons to press to get the reactions they want from their base, IMO.

    They somehow feel it just right that if someone’s an underdog (it’s a good English word I learned from you, I will use it, thanks)

    Hey, feel free, it’s GPL’d.

    that must have a cause, that virtous people usually don’t get oppressed, or at least not for long.

    A profoundly convenient philosophy for those in power. The Jews will not be pleased to hear that they spent the whole medieval period in Christian Europe being unvirtuous. All that moneylending, I suppose.

    The amazing thing is that many of these people have managed to square their beliefs with Christianity, despite the fact that it goes into some detail about how the underdog should be treated, and doesn’t say anything about virtuous people not being oppressed.

    They seem to understand that we must help the underdog, of course, but never, ever, ever give power to the underdog, because they generally have a weaker character (remember, cause and effect) and will generally abuse it.

    I don’t think a lot of them want to help the underdog. Half of them seem to be hardcore Social Darwinists. Medieval aristocrats in Europe would probably have had similar feelings about the poor – it’s their lot, they deserve it, what can you do.

  57. Caleb, semantic hairsplitting will get us precisely nowhere. Eric and Pete would both do well to drop the egoic “libertarianism” and no longer let it twist their ethics into macabre parody.

    We’ve already seen the manifestation of ESR’s being taken in by the grand hornswaggle in his perversion of the Jargon File, which states that hackers are tending to the neoconservative; with the exception of ESR himself and a few of his friends all the hackers I’ve met have been left-liberal where they choose to make their politics known. The likely fraudulent election of George W. Bush to the presidency in two consecutive election cycles probably contributed the most to this position, the proven insecurity of the Diebold voting machines falling in a field dear to geeks’ hearts.

    What with the recent Bush “wiretaps” having turned out to be more than innocuous targeted surveillance, it seems more and more likely that our victory in the War on Terra will have been a pyrrhic one; to fight Al Qaeda even the most freedom-minded of us, it seems, will gladly trade away that freedom to a terror network with vastly greater funding and resources: the neocons.

  58. ESR is a better man then I, in some regards. Case in point: restraint.

    This is fucking NUTS. All this semantic warfare about libertarianism is asinine, and Caleb and Adrian are just fucking wrong anyway. Go look up the definition of “libertarian” some time. Here’s the first definition, according to dictionary.com:

    One who advocates maximizing individual rights and minimizing the role of the state.

    THAT’S IT, COCKBAGS! None of this bullllshiiit about decrying any and all actions of the state at all time, no matter what, period, suck my radical-revolutionary cock statist pigdogs, yadda yadda. But if you insist that your perception of what it means to be a libertarian must be correct, then I insist that you are dain bramaged. And I’m just as right as you are, because all you’re doing is pulling that shit out of your collective gaping anus!

    Now, let’s take it one step further: this anarcho-capitalism thing. I won’t speak for Eric, but me personally, being an anarcho-capitalist means *thinking* anarcho-capitalism to be the way to go, and *wishing* that was the way things were. It doesn’t mean absolutely refusing to participate in any activity that isn’t anarcho-capitalist consistent. Did you grassfuckers even think about the feasibility of that? Shit, every fuckin’ thing is taxed — if I was a “true” anarcho-capitalist, I wouldn’t buy shit, ‘cuz it’s all been taxed in some way or another, and I’d just be supportin’ The Man. What a lame ass conclusion. I think that expanding full metal jacket handgun bullets are superior to jacketed hollowpoints. But I don’t shoot them. Know why? Because the current rounds available don’t penetrate enough. But it seems like, in the world of Cockbite and Assfuck, I should refuse to shoot the inferior hollowpoints, and setup a factory to produce the perfect bullet. That just doesn’t make any goddamn sense.

    Of course, you could always pull that bullshit about libertarianism being a moral/ethical code, so it’s to be treated differently than practical issues. And once again, the magnitude of your glaring incorrectitude would have you fucked six ways from sunday. Re-read the definition of libertarian. You see anything in there about it being a moral obligation? I sure as fuck didn’t when I signed up. Libertarianism and anarcho-capitalism are ideas about how to produce the best kind of civilization possible, and the idea is that this situation will be more “moral” than the alternatives — but they aren’t moral codes in and of themselves!

    Morals is some fucked up business anyway. You give me any rule of morality, and I can give you some fucked up conclusions that make your morals look like a piece of shit. Which leads me to my next point: libertarians argue about libertarianism among themselves because there is so much gray area in all of it. Same goes for anarcho-capitalists. We’re not dealing with god damn math equations over here. Chrissakes, our ideas hinge on economics, which has been called “the dismal science” for good reason.

    But you guys act like there isn’t any fucking leeway. You got it all figured out, and anybody who deviates from your concept of what it means to be libertarian or anarchist is not worthy of title. FUCK YOU! This is like those faggoty-ass debates where twerpy anarcho-capitalists try to define anarcho-socialists out of existence, and vice-versa. “Oh, well, you’re not a *real* anarchist, because if you were, than you wouldn’t pay taxes.” No you idiot, I’m just not stupid — this is how the world works, and though it’s suboptimal, it’s better than getting in an earth vs. me war!

    And by the motherfuckinn’ by, let’s talk about me for a second: I’m a member of the free state project and my campus libertarian organization. I spend a lot of time and effort trying to make the world more liberty friendly, be it by writing representatives, participating in debates, and in the case of the FSP, hauling my ass to the frosty north to be with like minded people and set an example.

    As for the military, like my grandfather, I’m going to enlist as an officer when I get out of college (although I’ll be marine corps reserve while he was made a career of the army). Maybe I’ll get shipped out, and then maybe I’ll actually see the front lines, and then maybe I’ll get killed, or horribly disfigured, or permanently disabled, or mentally handicapped — you guys can then take a sip of your cognac and breath a sigh of relief when my chicken hawk ass is gone.

    But know this:

    I am truly trying to make this world a better place. And I don’t know anybody on “my side” who doesn’t feel the same way. And if all you guys can do is wax incessant about the evil intentions of those who wage this war, then you are deluding yourselves. Put down the Moore, pick up the Orwell, and the next time you respond to something, try thinking of something else apart from a witty invective.

  59. Jeff: it seems like you don’t want to debate, you want to get into a pissing contest. And I’ll out piss you any day. I drink battery acid and the blood of infants for breakfast. When I piss on you, it’ll melt your skin right of your bones.

    You’d do well to drop the egoic and supercilious air clinging to you like a stale fart. All it does is indicate that you touch yourself whenever you think about Michael Moore.

    http://gazuga.net/stuph/godkills.jpg

    Now take a shower, and wash that damned Che Guevara shirt you filthy hippy.

  60. Caleb and Adrian are just fucking wrong anyway.

    Don’t try and drag *me* into this. Call yourself what you want ffs, it’s no skin off my nose. Might be best not to get too bent out of shape when you get teased about it, is all.

  61. >an objectivist is a libertarian who’s been mugged.

    Pfah. An objectivist is a libertarian who hasn’t yet figured out that Randian epistemology is a load of horse cobblers. It’s a shame that she got moral philosophy so right and the rest of it so wrong.

  62. Adrian == Bullshit

    “Nobody’s trying to push you into becoming anything, it’s just painful to see someone denying his true nature.”

    “It would still be good to have a better name – “Suspended Libertarians”, “Libertarians-in-Waiting”, ‘Once and Future Libertarians’, I dunno.”

    “You could be a Neo-Objectivist.”

    …granted, not to the ridiculous extent that Caleb is.

    And damn, I *thought* Jeff sounded familiar.

    Hey, SA: learn to understand the HEGEMONIC praxis of deez nutz in your mouth.

  63. My point, Mr. Bessman, was that cheerleading the decidedly fascist execution of the War on Terra is inconsistent either with hard libertarianism or with “libertarianism-in-waiting”; ergo, semantic squabbles about what libertarianism is have nothing to do with what you or ESR are.

    But please, don’t let me interrupt your delusions and fantasies…

  64. So then Jeff Read demonstrates that his grasp on “fascism” as a category is as weak as his grasp on “libertarianism”. *snort* He’s probably even ignorant enough to mistake me for a neoconservative.

  65. Faré>“Government war” is not intrinsically worse than “Government peace”.
    ESR> False. Government war kills more people.

    I’m sure starving North Koreans will be pleased to learn that. And so would a few hundred million victims of communism in peace time. Weren’t Cambodians glad they had peace after all this long war between evil imperialist-backed government and the Khmer Rouge liberators?

    Governments kill WAY more in peace time than in war time.

    A “peaceful” president of the USA would be responsible for more american deaths at islamofascist hands than a “warlike” president.

    Just my 2 mg of au worth.

  66. Hmmm, let’s see. Conducting warrantless surveillance on arbitrary American citizens… if that’s not fascist, I’d like to know what it is; it sure isn’t libertarian and it sure as hell ain’t constitutional.

  67. >if that’s not fascist, I’d like to know what it is

    Warrantless searches on random Americans is not a good description of what Bush is accused of — the wiertap program is limited to international calls by known or suspected
    al-Qaeda agents. This is the sort of thing all democratic governments do under wartime conditions.

    Supposing wiretaps of arbitrary citizens were going on, ‘fascist’ would still be a bad label. ‘Totalitarian’ might be, but there are kinds of totalitarianism that aren’t fascist. You’d be just as right, and just as wrong, to describe it as ‘communist’ behavior.

    >Governments kill WAY more in peace time than in war time.

    Faré, I’m pretty sure I know why you believe this, but you’ve mangled your sources. What you’re claiming here is factually false. The correct statement is: “Socialist and communist governments kill more of their citizens in peacetime than democratic ones do in wartime”, and the person who pointed this out was the historian Robert Conquest.

  68. The amount of BS crammed into one sentence by Jeff is flabbergasting.

    My point, Mr. Bessman, was that cheerleading

    Right, let me get my pom-poms. Oh, no, wait — you’re horribly wrong. But “support” just doesn’t have the same ring to it, does it? 1 turd point for you.

    decidedly fascist execution

    Oh. That’s it then? Hey, somebody call the fucking post — Jeff Read has stated that this war is decidedly fascist in its execution. Ergo, it must be. Except that’s not at all how it works. Dumbass. Another two turd points for you — you should know not to assume by now.

    War on Terra

    He can’t pass up a single opportunity to try and paint his opposition as rednecks! Never mind that I’m from Urban Maryland and despise country music. Facts just don’t jive well with the reality based community. ++turd_points;

    is inconsistent either with hard libertarianism

    And thus, he tries to pretend that Barry Goldwater never existed, and that Robert Heinlein wasn’t a libertarian. And he fails. Miserably. As he probably does in all other endeavors of life. Fecal matter approaching critical mass, the crapper-counter is reading a five…

    semantic squabbles about what libertarianism is have nothing to do with what you or ESR are.

    Apart from the blatantly obvious case where ESR and I consider ourselves at least libertarian-ish. Have another dookie.

    The crap-to-word ratio streaming from the anus you foist off on unsuspecting netizens as a mouth is overwhelming. It’s gotta be some kind of record. So here ya go:

    http://gazuga.net/stuph/prize.jpg

    Go ahead — live it up. You’ve earned it.

  69. >Never mind that I’m from Urban Maryland and despise country music.

    Hm. We’re practically neighbors, then; I live about twenty miles west of Philly.

    (Yes, I too despise country music.)

  70. Adrian == Bullshit

    “Nobody’s trying to push you into becoming anything, it’s just painful to see someone denying his true nature.”

    “It would still be good to have a better name – “Suspended Libertarians”, “Libertarians-in-Waiting”, ‘Once and Future Libertarians’, I dunno.”

    “You could be a Neo-Objectivist.”

    …granted, not to the ridiculous extent that Caleb is.

    You missed “early-Heinlein conservative”. And you’re still taking blatant trolling far too seriously. Be like Eric – grow thicker skin. You’ll wear yourself out otherwise.

  71. Hm. We’re practically neighbors, then; I live about twenty miles west of Philly.

    Heh. I was probably in your AO during a cheese-steak run sometime in the not-too-distant past. Which reminds me that I need to get a CCP for Pennsylvania. (I need to get one for MD also, but, well, that’s not happening. Unless I get raped.)

  72. You are clearly the product of good breeding, Adrian…it is such a shame we cannot meet to discuss your attitude in person. The emboldening glow of internet anonymity is a true curse…I salute you for soldiering-on despite such a handicap.

  73. You are clearly the product of good breeding, Adrian…

    I don’t hold with any of that eugenics stuff myself. It’s about *education*.

    it is such a shame we cannot meet to discuss your attitude in person.

    Really, toady, fantasising about getting physical is the last refuge of the sadly inarticulate. If you want to go around picking fights on the interwebs (eg bemoaning “foulness” and “seditious betrayal” when it’s fairly obvious who you’re talking about) you’re going to need to stand up and defend your opinions rather than just slinking off and acting all wounded and miserable whenever someone takes the piss.

    The emboldening glow of internet anonymity is a true curse…I salute you for soldiering-on despite such a handicap.

    Ask and ye shall receive:

    adrian underscore p underscore smith at yahoo dot com

    RL address available on request. Though I should point out that I’m in Japan, and I’ve got a big-ass climbing axe to hand.

  74. Glenn: It may indeed be that one has to be less idealistic. The trouble is that once that game starts being played, it’s business as usual with politics (regardless of whether the people involved had good intentions or not). I’m saying that once libertarians lose the moral high ground, then they might as well be ineffectual versions of something else. Is it better to be an idealist who loses or a pragmatist who loses? Why not just be a pragmatist who wins then and join a bigger team?

    Jeff: I consider esr to be a pretty repugnant human being actually after his article entitled “Just Desserts”. I used to think he was a guy I disagreed with on some issues, but I didn’t really dislike him. Maybe he was just joking (as I sometimes do) that we need more natural selection. If he wasn’t, then anyone who actually wants people who have not affected him to die simply for idiocy is pretty sick I think.

    Pete: The definition at dictionary.com is hopelessly inadequate and I’d refer you to the definition by L. Neil Smith at The Libertarian Enterprise instead:

    “A libertarian is a person who believes that no one has the right, under any circumstances, to initiate force against another human being, or to advocate or delegate its initiation. Those who act consistently with this principle are libertarians, whether they realize it or not. Those who fail to act consistently with it are not libertarians, regardless of what they may claim.”

    The definition of libertarian at wikipedia is quite open to conjecture, but I believe the definition of anarcho-capitalist there is what I’m getting at:

    “Anarcho-capitalists would aim to protect individual liberty and property by replacing a government monopoly, which is involuntarily funded through taxation, with private, competing businesses that use physical force only in defense of liberty and property against aggressors.”

    Of course, many would argue that may be problematic for other reasons, but it’s libertarianism without even minimalism.

    “Shit, every fuckin’ thing is taxed — if I was a “true” anarcho-capitalist, I wouldn’t buy shit, ‘cuz it’s all been taxed in some way or another, and I’d just be supportin’ The Man.”

    Wrong. Not everything is taxed. There’s a black market out there. There are plenty of people you could trade with. Could you enjoy all the perks of society though? Perhaps, perhaps not. If not, then maybe that’s just the sacrifice you have to make. It’s easy to call yourself an anything (libertarian, environmentalist, Christian, whatever) if you don’t have to actually take a stand for anything and perhaps sacrifice some of your creature comforts, which is precisely why I don’t call myself a libertarian because I’m not willing to take a stand for such ideals because I’m far too comfortable. Be honest with yourself there.

    Likewise, your idea that libertarianism isn’t a moral code is wrong. Unless you believe in complete pragmatism or populism, which libertarianism isn’t about, every political ethos is a moral code. Every political ethos basically sets out the “best” way for a society to be organised in terms of morality. It so happens that every political ethos then thinks that because that is the most morally in tune way to act, it will also lead to the best practical results. This is as true of how I define libertarianism as it is of how you define it as it is of how someone defines communism, fascism or democracy.

    If we’re going to make an appeal towards practical results, then you yourself have mentioned the issue of the historical failure, or even complete absence, of libertarian societies, both in the past and in the present. Surely by your idea that we should measure by practical results then, as opposed to a moral code, we’d have to say some form of monarchy is the best way of organising society (even though I don’t think it is, though I’d make an appeal to a moral code) since it’s won the most through history. It reminds me of a section in Crime and Punishment by Dostoyevsky where the protagonist, Raskolnikov, is talking to the policeman, Porfiry. Raskolnikov basically argues that the “extra-ordinary” man should be permitted to get away with anything morally. When asked how one identifies the extra-ordinary man from the ordinary man, Raskolnikov says the extra-ordinary man is the one who can get away with anything morally. In other words, the one who wins is the one who is best, might is right. Essentially, this is some sort of Nietzschean superman. The last I heard, libertarianism wasn’t winning much of anything, so you can’t play that card, which means you have to make mention of some form of external morality…

    I guess though, that if there’s so much more flexibility required in defining a libertarian, then we may as well call anyone a libertarian, which ends up defeating the whole purpose of having the term libertarian at all. It seems to me that you fundamentally liked the idea of having a dividing line between two groups (having a term with a narrow definition) when you fell on the side of the line you wanted to fall on, but now you’ve been picked for the wrong team, you’re complaining that it’s all so unfair. For whatever reason, much like being “for the environment” or “for women’s rights”, being a “libertarian” carries some hardcore, underground status…except you wouldn’t want to be “too” hardcore or underground because that would just be too weird and actually very uncool, in a paradoxical way. Thus, after you’ve finished making fun of the people out in the mainstream, but the hardcore people start making fun of you for not being hardcore enough, you can just dismiss them as being too hardcore to be truly cool.

    Thanks for your libertarian credentials and how you’re trying to make the world a better place, etc. The road to Hell is paved with good intentions as they say. There are actually plenty of people “on your side” (if by that you mean libertarians) who would argue quite vehemently against the War in Iraq, the War on Terror, being part of the military and so on.

    Me? I’m just revelling in the cynicism and apathy. Maybe if the world had more of both, we’d have fewer people running around trying to make it a better place and fucking it up all the time. Stick that in your laissez faire pipe and smoke it.

    I don’t wish that you get hurt or killed in war just so I can be right. Hell, I actually don’t even really care that much about being right. This is all talk and I think you’re taking it way too seriously. Up until your latest series of posts, I actually thought you were a fairly reasonable guy, but you flew off the handle and started ranting and raving more than a bit. It’s a shame because I was actually quite engaged by what you had to say until then.

    “Don’t try and drag *me* into this. Call yourself what you want ffs, it’s no skin off my nose. Might be best not to get too bent out of shape when you get teased about it, is all.”

    adrian: Therein seems to lie the rub. It seems some incredibly manly so-called libertarians can’t handle being teased about either their incredible hypocrisy or their how seriously they take themselves.

  75. So…you’re not American, not living in America, and yet you immediately assumed my initial comment referred to you…wow…that’s some paranoid narcissism ya got there. You really don’t seem *that* interesting…

    Whatever…Merry Christmas Adrian…you at least have my envy for being in Japan…a wonderful country, people and culture.

  76. So…you’re not American, not living in America, and yet you immediately assumed my initial comment referred to you…

    Not in my initial reply, you’ll notice – I asked you to name names, but you were too much of a pussy to do so. Still, there are pretty much two sides in what passes for the debate going on here, and I know where I stand even if you haven’t figured out where you do yet. My question about “seditious betrayal” would apply as easily to what Caleb, Jeff or others have written.

    wow…that’s some paranoid narcissism ya got there.

    You’re trying to run before you can walk here. Start with something a little less ambitious.

    You really don’t seem *that* interesting…

    Whatever you say, toady. Though if you keep addressing me I’ll suspect you’re lying.

  77. Why on Earth would anyone assume that Adrian isn’t an American for living in Japan? He might or might not be. People live all over the place these days.

  78. http://www.knife-party.net/movs/barry.mov

    Hmm…pretty graphics, but it’s preaching to the choir. Once you’ve accepted the idea that Muslims are out to git us by any means necessary merely because we let our women walk around with their heads uncovered, everlasting American hegemony starts to look like the only plausible defence, I should imagine.

  79. As it happens, I’m a Brit, though I lived mainly in the States until I was 14. My father’s a naturalised US citizen.

  80. >Once you’ve accepted the idea that Muslims are out to git us by any means necessary merely because we let our women walk around with their heads uncovered, everlasting American hegemony starts to look like the only plausible defence, I should imagine.

    Ah. So you finally understand why I’ve been backed into supporting this war.

  81. “Why on Earth would anyone assume that Adrian isn’t an American for living in Japan?”

    John: I assumed Adrian wasn’t American (and almost certainly British) because he spells a lot of verbs with an s instead of a z (amongst other differences in spelling), and also for certain words or phrases he uses that are not really American. Also, it’s something about his brand of sarcastic and ironic humour. Living in Japan had nothing to do with it.

  82. War on Terra
    He can’t pass up a single opportunity to try and paint his opposition as rednecks!

    Um, I think he’s trying to make the point that the “War on Terror” is so ill-defined that it will eventually end up being a war against the entire planet (minus the two or three neocons who are sufficiently ideologically pure, of course). “Terra” being Latin for “Earth”, you see. Or possibly I’m reading too much into it. Jeff’s very attached to his little neologisms – as someone who’s broadly on his side, I wish he were less so, as it can get rather irritating.

  83. Nick B: the title’s in French as a subtle dig at our cowardly moral-relativist cheese-eating surrendermonkey brethren in Paris, who are probably even now lighting a burnt-offering of cars to placate their KGB handlers over their failure to deliver Iraq to the Islamofascists.

    Not really: it’s a reference to the movie Hot Shots, Part Deux!

  84. Miles, you are correct, and what’s more, far from being a neologism, that pun is probably so old it has hair on it. Irritating it may be, I thought it bore repeating (and emphasis) to the WoT supporters that a nation whose sole advantage is overwhelming military might and ruthless willingness to maintain the same, with an extensive arsenal of “good nukes”, hell-bent on squandering its international goodwill and alienating the rest of the planet, might pose a more credible threat to civilisation than a few oppositional Muslims who may or may not have dirty bombs; and might just be the very thing that provided those Muslims their casus bellum, if not their funding and weapons. I’ll try not to over-egg it in the future.

    That Pete didn’t grok the pun is rather telling.

  85. Ah. So you finally understand why I’ve been backed into supporting this war.

    We touched on this – you said we “tried leaving them alone” or some such, whereas I think not leaving the Middle East alone throughout the twentieth century goes some way towards explaining 9/11. Different readings of history, is all.


  86. >Once you’ve accepted the idea that Muslims are out to git us by any means necessary merely because we let our women walk around with their heads uncovered, everlasting American hegemony starts to look like the only plausible defence, I should imagine.

    Ah. So you finally understand why I’ve been backed into supporting this war.

    Eric —

    As I stated above, Iraq wasn’t a Muslim nation under Saddam. Hussein is not a principled or pious man and probably saw Islam as a tool that could control, or that might be used against him. Our Commander in Chief allowed our pursuit of Bin Laden to flag in order to attack a secular, ergo not an Islamofascist target.

    Even if one finds the flypaper theory persuasive, it is still folly to trust the perpetrators of such a colossal blunder to conduct military campaigns.

    Best,
    Hal

  87. >Um, I think he’s trying to make the point that the “War on Terror” is so ill-defined that it will eventually end up being a war against the entire planet

    People who say this in objection to the “War on Terror”, however ill-defined, are missing the point.

    The struggle to revive the Caliphate IS a war against the entire planet. Have you read bin Laden’s correspondence to various cells in the Phillipines and Somalia? Have you read his open letter to the American people?

    He’s at war with the world whether the world is awake enough to realize it or not.

  88. i can’t help but notice that this “ooohhh lookie over here the sunni want to fellate us!” was, well, pie-in-the-sky fantasy… On par with the “they hate us because of our values” meme.

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