Thomas Sipos: On Angela Keaton and Ron Paul

Posted by Thomas Sipos in Libertarian Peacenik blog and in California Freedom, the monthly newsletter of the California Libertarian Party. Reposted to IPR by Paulie. Aaron Starr has said that he finds the photoshop image reproduced below to be offensive, not funny.


My editorial in the January 2009 issue of California Freedom, which subscribers should have received by now:

Some of our best libertarians — our most principled and productive libertarians — are outside the party. For instance, Ron Paul. And joining him now, Angela Keaton.

* Angela Keaton

Angela Keaton resigned her At-large seat on the LNC shortly after their December meeting, during which she was subjected to a silly and unimportant disciplinary hearing, orchestrated by LNC Region 4 Representative Stewart Flood. Michael Seebeck reports on the meeting on page 1 of this issue, along with links.

Most of the charges against Angela were of her publicly criticizing the LP and its leaders, with her usual irreverent wit. She’d also joined a Boston Tea Party Facebook account, thus lending support to a competing political party. (Whereas Bob Barr only contributed millions of PAC dollars to GOP candidates running against LP candidates, while he sat on the LNC. Small potatoes compared to a Facebook account.)

Yes, Angela speaks freely and doesn’t care if she offends. She can be abrasive and blunt and impolitic. She does not easily tolerate fools. She asks tough questions of LP leaders, and demands strict adherence to principles. A no-nonsense nun, ever ready to smack mushy-headed libertarians with her ruler. Or with a funny zinger.

I wasn’t at the LNC meeting, but like others, I followed it live on IndependentPoliticalReport.com. IPR eyewitnesses reported that, as Flood presented his “evidence,” attending activists began to laugh. So did some LNC members. Flood grew ever more irate, which increased the laughter, which further incensed Flood.

Judging by the laughs, the funniest exhibit in Flood’s case against Angela was a photoshopped image of her and LP Treasurer Aaron Starr, posted on Angela’s Anarchist Bitch blog, captioned: “Luka Skywalker meets her father, Darth Herr Vader.”


In describing the event, Thomas Knapp said: “Stewart Flood’s presentation of ‘charges’ and ‘evidence’ against Ms. Keaton came off as the clown show it was. Accounts from on the spot describe open laughter from the audience and a public near-nervous-breakdown on the part of Flood himself. Keaton acquitted herself quite well, speaking in her own defense… She denied the LNC’s authority to dictate what opinions she would express or how she would express them,”

Flood’s resolution moved to suspend Angela’s LNC membership, to be rescinded upon her submitting a letter, for publication in the LP News, apologizing for a laundry list of alleged misdeeds.

Rather than suspend or clear Angela, the LNC sent the matter to committee for further investigation. To which Angela replied: “I will under no circumstances submit to any committee investigation.”

Angela resigned a day or so later. She cited health reasons. Eric Garris, her boss at Antiwar.com, issued a letter saying that Angela’s LNC work was interfering with her duties at Antiwar.com, and she must choose one or the other.

I’ve heard rumors that Garris was merely offering Angela a gracious excuse to exit. One longtime Los Angeles LP officer opined to me, “I think Angela just got tired of all the petty b*llsh*t on the LNC, and said ‘to hell with it.’ And I don’t blame her.”

Angela Keaton will now devote her full time to Antiwar.com and the cause of world peace. The LP’s loss is humanity’s gain.

* Ron Paul

On December 13, 2008, the California Secretary of State issued the official results for the 2008 presidential race, write-in votes included. They are:

Barack Obama ….. 8,274,473
John McCain ….. 5,011,781
Ralph Nader ….. 108,381
Bob Barr ….. 67,582
Alan Keyes ….. 40,673
Cynthia McKinney ….. 38,774
Ron Paul ….. 17,006
Chuck Baldwin ….. 3,145
James Harris ….. 49
Frank Moore ….. 36

The top six names appeared on the California ballot as candidates for the Democratic, Republican, Peace and Freedom, Libertarian, American Independent, and Green Parties, respectively. The latter four were officially certified write-in candidates.

Most Californians were unaware that Ron Paul was a certified write-in candidate and that votes for him would be counted. Even so, Paul pulled over 17,000 votes — without appearing on the ballot, without a current campaign, without the public even knowing that he was a viable option.

Imagine how many votes Paul would have won had the public known that write-in votes for him would count?

And how many additional votes had Paul been on the ballot?

Even many Libertarians were unaware of Paul’s official write-in status. Some told me after the election: “I’d have voted for Paul, had I known my vote would count.”

Chuck Baldwin was the Constitution Party’s write-in candidate. The American Independent Party (which had been the CP’s California affiliate) split over the war issue. Baldwin supported the CP/AIP’s traditional noninterventionist position. Alan Keyes was the choice of the pro-war faction. A California court ruled that the Keyes faction was the legitimate AIP representative, so Keyes’s name appeared on the ballot.

James Harris ran on the Socialist Workers Party. Frank Moore ran on the Just Makes Sense Party. Moore has been described as a “performance artist,” so his campaign might have been an extension of that, rather than a serious political endeavor. His running mate was cable access TV “sex therapist,” Dr. Susan Block.

Curiously, both Harris and Moore received under 55 write-in votes. One must obtain signatures from 55 pledged electors to be a certified write-in candidate in California, so it seems that even their electors didn’t want to “waste their votes” on Harris and Moore.

On December 14, the Constitution Party’s Bill Lussenheide reported on IndependentPoliticalReport.com: “There were three counties in California that did NOT count the write in votes for either Chuck Baldwin or Ron Paul. [And presumably, not for Harris and Moore.] Their totals should not be considered complete. [They are] Del Norte County, Mono County and San Benito County.”

So it seems that Paul received more votes than recorded in the state’s “official” report. Which is somehow poetically appropriate, considering the candidate and the state.

As Joseph Stalin reputedly said: “It’s not who votes that counts. It’s who counts the votes.”

* LP Conventions

I congratulate the LNC on one good decision. The 2010 LP national convention will be held in St. Louis. Good choice. A cheap locale for most povertarians, conveniently situated in the middle of the continental U.S., and not in some pricey state like Hawaii, or on an expensive cruise ship. Room rates are $109 a night.

The LPC state convention will be held this April, in Visalia, California. That’s near Fresno.

195 thoughts on “Thomas Sipos: On Angela Keaton and Ron Paul

  1. Richard Winger

    California law provides that every polling place has a list of the declared write-in candidates. I have been a pollworker many times and we have always posted the list in a prominent place. But I don’t know why anyone would regret not having voted for Ron Paul. What did a write-in for Ron Paul accomplish? He didn’t want to be a candidate; he tried and failed to get his name off the ballot in Montana (one of the 2 states in which he was on the ball0t), and he asked people to vote for Chuck Baldwin. Why would people want to vote for Ron Paul if he doesn’t want people to vote for him? And why would a Libertarian who cares about the LP want to detract from its 2008 presidential vote total, the only vote statistic for the LP that the mainstream press pays any attention to?

  2. Thomas M. Sipos

    People vote for third parties, not primarily for the candidate or the party, but to express themselves. To vote for an ideology. To tell the world, “There’s someone here who supports this issue.”

    No third party candidate will win. In many races, it’s clear that one of the major parties hasn’t a shot. So we vote for the candidate or party that best expresses our views to the world.

    Many libertarians felt the Ron Paul better represented their political views than did Barr/Root or Baldwin. Doesn’t matter that Paul didn’t want to run, or couldn’t win, or that he’d supported Baldwin.

    We voted for Ron Paul as a symbol and political expression. Which, except in rare cases, is the same reason that anyone votes for any third party,

  3. Doug Jones

    Excellent coverage, Thomas. I met Angela at the RtR convention and was much impressed. Do you know what she was doing? RECRUITING for the LP! I’m so sorry to see the LP spit her out, I imagine she was good medicine.

  4. Steven Druckenmiller

    We voted for Ron Paul as a symbol and political expression.

    That you run with the black-helicopter, anti-immigration Truther crowd? Great work.

  5. paulie cannoli Post author

    A lot of people who supported Ron Paul don’t fit into any of those categories, much less all of them.

    For that matter, do you have anything from Ron Paul saying he is a 9/11 truther or believes in conspiracies involving black helicopters?

  6. Prospective Advertiser

    For that matter, of the available candidates, which ones would be better to vote for than Ron Paul? Clearly not the arch-villain Bob Barr who hates humanity, worked for the CIA, worked for the war on drugs (making war on the United States), called for military intervention in Colombia, continues to argue for marriage apartheid, and continues to support GOP candidates, as Thomas notes.

    There are worse things than voting for someone who is interested in learning more about what happened on 11-Sep-2001.

  7. Michael Seebeck

    And thanks, Thomas, for the plug. Any idea on when the digital version of CA Freedom will be up on the web?

  8. Thomas M. Sipos

    I’m not a Truther. I think the WTC was attacked by Al Qaeda. I don’t think it was an “inside job” or planned explosion.

    What sort of statement did Ron Paul send? The vast majority of Americans perceived Paul as antiwar, due to his debate performance vs. Rudy.

    Thus, a vote for Paul will be perceived as an antiwar vote. That’s the message I wanted to send, and I think Paul was the best, clearest vehicle for that message. Better than Barr/Root, Baldwin, Nader, McKinney, or Obama.

    Secondarily, a vote for Paul was a clear signal to the LP — get your act together, be loud and clear in embracing the antiwar issue, or LP members will vote elsewhere.

    The LP is a protest vote against the Demopublicans.

    Ron Paul is a protest vote against the LP.

    Sometimes, Libertarian voters must send a protest signal to the LP.

  9. Thomas M. Sipos

    I don’t know when the January issue will go up on the website. Maybe in a few weeks.

    I just finished the February issue yesterday. It should be printed this week.

  10. volvoice

    I attended Michael Badnarik’s constitution class put on by the Tennessee Liberty Alliance group this past weekend. It was the largest class that Micheal has ever taught. With 136 in attendance the place was filled to the brim, they actually turned potential ticket buyers away. The place was full of Ron Paulers and Libertarians, hell even the Granny warriors were there. Michael gave a fantastic class and, as would be expected, gave a solid Libertarian approach to a variety of problems. He didn’t shy away from the immigration issue or gay rights, and made it known that he was a Libertarian that fully supported Ron paul and the freedom movement that has sprung up around him. My point is… that the freedom movement is finding a host of other organizations to exert itself in and if the LP cannot get out in front of these issues then they will be left behind. Here in nascar country there is a saying…..Lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way….
    Activists like Ms. Keaton, who are trying to lead are currently being silenced by those complacent in following.

  11. Brian Holtz

    [LTE to California Freedom:]

    Editor Tom Sipos writes in the Jan 2009 California Freedom: “Bob Barr only contributed millions of PAC dollars to GOP candidates running against LP candidates, while he sat on the LNC.” This is a recklessly extravagant falsehood.

    Barr joined the LNC in Dec 2006. OpenSecrets.org tells us that the Bob Barr Leadership Fund donated a total of $41,300 to 25 non-LP federal candidates in the 2008 campaign cycle. Even if by some miracle all 25 had Libertarian opponents, Sipos’s reckless charge against our party’s recent presidential nominee would still be wrong by two orders of magnitude.

    Meanwhile, during the 2008 cycle Barr’s PAC relied on its presumably conservative/Republican donors to finance contributions of $4,300 to federal LP candidates, $21,000 to the LNC, and $5,000 to the South Carolina LP. I seriously doubt that any other source donated more to LP causes during that cycle. Barr has also personally donated thousands of dollars to the LP and its candidates, including several hundred dollars to the LPCA. Meanwhile, Sipos is paid by the LPCA about $4000/year — surely much more than any other state LP editor — for stuffing California Freedom with multi-page editorials and multiple antiwar articles per issue. I find no record of any donations by Sipos to the LP or its candidates. (Full disclosure: I’ve donated over $10,000 to the LP and its candidates in the last 5 years. Details at http://libertarianmajority.net/bh-lp-activism.)

    If by chance this letter to the editor is printed in full in CF, take note whether Sipos will once again allocate himself more space to answering a critical letter than he allocates for the letter itself. For my response to the most recent time I got that treatment, see http://knowinghumans.net/2007/08/cfs-new-antiwar-obsession-still-wont.html.

  12. Trent Hill

    “Sipos is paid by the LPCA about $4000/year — surely much more than any other state LP editor — for stuffing California Freedom with multi-page editorials and multiple antiwar articles per issue.”

    Geezus. Most Executive Directors, if they exist, dont get paid like that. Most states dont even have paid staff.
    I’d write a newsletter just as interesting for half that amount.

  13. Thomas M. Sipos

    1. I’d read that Bob Barr’s PAC had raised millions, and that most of his PAC donations were to Republicans. I believe I was right about that.

    My error was in assuming that since his PAC raised millions, his PAC must have donated millions.

    Apparently, while he’s raised $4.3 million since 2003 (according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution: http://www.ajc.com/news/content/news/stories/2008/05/19/barrpac_0518.html ), according to the AJC: “Bob Barr’s PAC is unusual for paying him from funds raised and using donations to raise more funds, a nonpartisan analyst said.”

    So most of the millions he’s raised has not gone to any candidates. Mea culpa on that score.

    Brian will make hay of that, but he’ll ignore my essential point, which was this: the LNC persecuted Angela Keaton for “supporting a competing political party” by wearing a Boston Tea Party t-shirt, and being linked with the BTP on Facebook, yet the LNC ignored Barr’s greater support of a competing political party.

    I was wrong in terms of magnitude, but my point remains correct. Angela Keaton was persecuted for doing what Bob Barr did to a greater degree.

    Can you respond to that, Brian?

    2. I’m paid $350 per issue. I’m told this is what Elizabeth Brierly, a previous editor, was paid some years ago.

    3. I have printed many antiwar pieces. Again, true. I plan to print more.

    4. It’s nice that Brian gave $10k to the LP. I’ve not been a member of the LP since last June, which is when I received renewal notices. I let my membership lapse at the time. I might renew in another year, since I want to go to the 2010 convention to support antiwar issues and LNC candidates. My “obsession,” as Brian knows.

  14. Thomas M. Sipos

    Actually Brian, I should add that, in addition to my paid work as editor, I also put in much sweat equity/activism in 2008. I’m sure you read about some of it, in my long editorials.

    I spoke against the war at several youth events this past summer (college classes and a Rock the Vote concert), and I sat on an antiwar panel at an art gallery. Everywhere, I made the Libertarian case against the war.

    Antiwar youth and art patrons who heard me came away with a more positive view of libertarianism. Perhaps they have joined, or will someday join, the LPC or LP, and add their voices to the antiwar caucus.

    And all that sweat equity/activism I did free of charge to the LPC, at my own expense. My gift to you!

  15. Brian Holtz

    Thomas Sipos, thank you for ignoring my point that Barr turned Republican/conservative donors into perhaps the largest source of recent donations to the LP and its candidates.

    My discussion above ignored the “sweat equity” not only of you but of Barr and me. If you really dare to compare apples to apples, my extensive sweat equity is documented at the link above (http://libertarianmajority.net/bh-lp-activism), and Barr’s sweat equity dwarfs ours both.

    If you want to talk about “ignoring essential points”, you shouldn’t do so in a thread about an editorial where you wasted LPCA newsletter space on a photoshop of Aaron Starr while reporting absolutely nothing about the eight most serious charges against Keaton, to each of which I give a paragraph at http://more.libertarianintelligence.com/2008/12/apology-angela-should-offer.html. None of those eight charges can be applied to Barr in any way whatsoever. You’re simply cherry-picking the weakest charges against Keaton as a excuse to target Barr while sweeping the rest under the rug — all under a pretense of reporting what actually happened in San Diego. (I was in the room, and I can report that your characterizations of Flood’s and Keaton’s behaviors were equally misleading.)

    Elizabeth gave us a much better product for the money — fewer run-on editorials, no obsession with a single internally divisive issue, and fewer filler articles with no specific LPCA angle. Still, I’ve been saying that we over-spend on CF since well before you took over the job that Bruce Cohen and I were doing for free. (I guess that’s another few grand per year of “sweat equity”, huh?)

    I didn’t know you had let your LP membership(s) lapse. That makes it all the more interesting that the LPCA is paying you $4000/year to propogandize your opinions to our membership.

  16. Susan Hogarth

    “obsession with a single internally divisive issue”

    Opposition to the US government’s war(s) – an internally divisive issue?

    Gosh, next you’ll be saying that opposition to taxation is an ‘internally divisive issue’.

    Oh, wait.

    sigh…

  17. Rob Power

    Thomas, please be sure to publish in California Freedom anything written by Brian Holtz or any other current leaders in the LP attacking the anti-war position.

    It’s vital that delegates at county, state, and national conventions know which candidates for leadership in the LP are pro-war.

    These delegates themselves are overwhelmingly anti-war, as resolutions passed at county, state, and national conventions have proven time and time again. They clearly must not be aware that some of the people they keep electing to leadership positions are so openly hostile to the anti-war position of the Libertarian Party.

    To my knowledge, you’ve never refused to print any such LTE, and I thank you for that.

  18. robert capozzi

    Rob,
    Great idea. I want to know every Ls individual position on the War of 1812, whether fetuses are parasites, the scourge of copyright law, and if Rachmoninoff was THE greatest composer. 😉

  19. Thomas L. Knapp

    Brian,

    You say “internally divisive” like it’s descriptive of a sourceless phenomenon.

    Yes, the war on Iraq is “internally divisive,” but let’s be clear here: It is the supporters of that war who are responsible for the “internal division.”

    The LP’s platform is — or at least, as of 2003, was — crystal clear in terms of what the party’s position has (had) to be. Advocating that the party stand on, and actively promote, its positions isn’t “internally divisive.” Attempting to obfuscate the party’s position or to obstruct advocacy/agitation by the party in support of that position is.

  20. paulie cannoli Post author

    Assuming that the LNC will appoint someone to replace Angela, does anyone care to offer an opinion about whom they should choose?

    My personal opinion is that Susan Hogarth would make a good replacement candidate, since she represents many of the same radical libertarian, antiwar and socially liberal constituencies as Angela did, because she was a narrow runner up (behind Alicia Mattson) for the position, and because she has expressed an interest in filling the vacancy.

    Unlike many other radical libertarians, I personally like Alicia Mattson, and I appreciate her hard work and her going out of the way to help our struggling Kubby campaign at the Tennessee convention in 2007 – not because she is a Kubby supporter, which I highly doubt, but because of a sense of fairness. Alicia did come in slightly ahead of Susan in the Denver balloting.

    I made a call to my region rep, Stewart Flood, about this. Stewart pointed out that many of the people who voted for Angela were not radicals, but rather were swayed by her moderate libertarian endorsers who pointed out her record of fundraising and other service to the party last term. While I acknowledge that he has a good point on this, I still think that Susan would be the better choice, so as to help heal a rift in the party instead of exacerbating it.

    If it were possible, I think the LNC would be well served by having both Ms. Mattson and Ms. Hogarth as members, but I am concerned about the board further alienating an already disaffected chunk of the party if they replace someone who is widely considered a radical with someone who is widely considered a moderate.

    This is not to say that I want to formalize representation by caucus – only what I think should be done in this particular situation.

  21. Leymann Feldenstein

    Whatever happened to the “Party of P:rinciple”? They sold out to Bob Barr because they thought he could raise more money from his paleocon pals. And they’ll sell out to WAR because he gets more publicity and support from such stalwart libertarians as Neal Cavuto and Michael Savage.

    This is like watching the officers get into a circular firing squad on the Titanic.

  22. robert capozzi

    this is the first claim i’ve ever seen that cavuto and savage are Ls. my assessment is they’re both well outside the tent.

  23. Thomas M. Sipos

    Brian: “My discussion above ignored the “sweat equity” not only of you but of Barr and me. If you really dare to compare apples to apples, my extensive sweat equity…

    Actually, my discussion of sweat equity wasn’t meant to be taken literally (although I did do those things), but was my attempt to needle you with my antiwar activism, which I assume you disapprove of. Hence, my sarcastic cap: “My gift to you!”

    My remark was meant to be a witty poke at you. I guess you missed that.

    I let my national LP membership lapse in June of 2008 because I wasn’t feeling too good about the LP that month. Hmmm, what happened on or close to that month?

    I was thinking of renewing sometime after the election, but then in December I again began to feel bad about the national party. Hmmm, what happened in December?

  24. paulie cannoli Post author

    Whatever happened to the “Party of P:rinciple”? They sold out to Bob Barr because they thought he could raise more money from his paleocon pals. And they’ll sell out to WAR because he gets more publicity and support from such stalwart libertarians as Neal Cavuto and Michael Savage.

    This is like watching the officers get into a circular firing squad on the Titanic.

    It’s easy to say stuff like that. It’s a lot harder to provide a constructive alternative. Don’t like Barr? Recruit a candidate that you can make LP members believe will attract money, votes and attention from some other constituency or constituencies.

    Don’t like Wayne being on shows like Cavuto and Savage all the time? Get Knapp, Ruwart, Kubby, Keaton or someone else to constantly be in alternative weeklies and college newspapers all over the country, High Times, NPR, Counterpunch, the Nation, PBS…the possible outlets are numerous.

    I’ll help make it happen if I have a team to work with, but I’m bad at getting the ball rolling by myself – although I’m good for suggesting ideas.

    Basically, until we provide positive, constructive action, our griping will be taken for what it is and the conservative-leaning and moderate party members will have the field of play more or less to themselves by default.

  25. paulie cannoli Post author

    The LP’s platform is — or at least, as of 2003, was — crystal clear in terms of what the party’s position has (had) to be.

    Still is.

    http://www.lp.org/platform

    3.0 Securing Liberty

    The protection of individual rights is the only proper purpose of government. Government is constitutionally limited so as to prevent the infringement of individual rights by the government itself. The principle of non-initiation of force should guide the relationships between governments.

    3.1 National Defense

    We support the maintenance of a sufficient military to defend the United States against aggression. The United States should both abandon its attempts to act as policeman for the world and avoid entangling alliances. We oppose any form of compulsory national service.

  26. robert capozzi

    yes, I was being sarcastic, too. the MSM has almost no Ls, so IF we want to reach out, we’re going to have to do so with the wrongheaded.

  27. paulie cannoli Post author

    MSM has almost no Ls, so IF we want to reach out, we’re going to have to do so with the wrongheaded.

    True. I just hope the outreach will become more balanced. I’m trying to goad left-leaning and radical libertarians to spend more of our time becoming as effective at getting left-leaning press as Root is at getting right-leaning press, and less time complaining about Root sounding too much like a conservative.

    The former will give us new Libertarians, and give existing Libertarians a reason to pick our candidates for party office and, eventually, the presidential nomination. The latter will just paint us into a self-defeating corner as do-nothing complainers.

  28. Thomas M. Sipos

    I’ve been doing outreach to progressives.

    Unfortunately, that will be harder to do now because, with the Democrats in full control of govt, many progressives will feel they no longer need libertarian allies. Why compromise “progressive values” when there is no longer a need for a united front against Bush?

    When and if Obama disappoints antiwar progressives, only then will they again be willing to “hold their noses” and work with libertarians.

    Ironically, Obama’s victory might also drain the LP of conservatives.

    The GOP should shift to a more conservative (and economically libertarian) direction now that the Democrats are in power, thus offering a more attractive choice to economic libertarians.

    And economic libertarians may feel even more so that they can no longer “waste” votes on the LP. Instead, they’ll focus on the easier task of getting the more “libertarian sounding” GOP back into office.

  29. paulie cannoli Post author

    I’ve been doing outreach to progressives.

    Thank you! Please write about what you have been doing, what works and what doesn’t, and send it to us as often as possible.


    Unfortunately, that will be harder to do now because, with the Democrats in full control of govt, many progressives will feel they no longer need libertarian allies. Why compromise “progressive values” when there is no longer a need for a united front against Bush?

    In some ways, yes. But in other ways, a Democratic administration provides new opportunities. We can point out how they are not living up to their promises on libertarian issues where we agree with progressives. Sure, Greens and various Socialist parties will be doing that too – but let’s not leave the field entirely to them, any more than we would leave the field on criticizing the Republicans for failing to cut spending and taxes to the Constitution Party.

    When and if Obama disappoints antiwar progressives, only then will they again be willing to “hold their noses” and work with libertarians.

    As with conservatives, their mileage will vary. Some progressives are already cynical about the possibility of true advancement for their views with the Democrats in charge. Granted, these are just the most extreme and/or cynical ones this early on. But their number will grow.

    Ironically, Obama’s victory might also drain the LP of conservatives.

    The GOP should shift to a more conservative (and economically libertarian) direction now that the Democrats are in power, thus offering a more attractive choice to economic libertarians.

    Some of that is true. But a lot of Republicans are still frustrated with their party’s recent conduct in office.

    And economic libertarians may feel even more so that they can no longer “waste” votes on the LP. Instead, they’ll focus on the easier task of getting the more “libertarian sounding” GOP back into office.

    Sure, some will.

    You can’t get all, or most, of them.

    We don’t even have to get a large percentage of Republitarians OR civil libertarians to significantly grow the LP.

    A lot of it is just nuts and bolts: making the effort, doing so consistently, and constantly improving it through trial and error.

    Like him or hate him, Root is effective at getting himself in high profile conservative media, doing so consistently, and speaking their language while he is there. If we don’t want the party to keep moving in a conservative direction – and I don’t – we will need to find someone, or several people, who can reach out to the left at that same level of prominence, consistency, and effectiveness at reaching their target audience.

  30. In The Know

    FYI: Angela did not create that picture of her and Starr. It was created by Lawrence Baird of the Riverside County (CA) LP. Aaron Starr has not endeared himself to that county LP affiliate, thus the snarky Photoshop job on him.

  31. paulie cannoli Post author

    I need computer-knowledgeable and artistic collaborators to make this happen:

    Outline for Liberty Activists project – which Donnelly was also working on…in case anyone wants to work on it…

    Liberty Activists website.

    The idea is to create and share effective outreach material for activists who are guided by the non-initiation of force principle in the political arena. Although I don’t think LP infighting is the most productive focus, message boards for things like ride and room shares would help get more of “our” people to be able to afford conventions.

    Here’s what I am thinking:

    Having effective outreach tools will help recruit the kind of people we need in the party as well; we especially need young people, women, artistic types (including musicians, etc), racial/ethnic diversity. Having tools like youtube clips, flier designs, etc. created and passed around will help with such recruitment efforts.

    The boring and stodgy, unupdated in a gazillion years, outreach materials LP national has are not very attractive, thus ensuring an aging, non-diverse, left-brained thinking predominated, non-activist membership base. This is bad both for the LP and the radical agenda within the LP.

    Materials should be available for downloading as well as editing multiple versions, wiki style.

    The website should be a hub of activity and a place for activist tools.

    There should be a PHP board, or something where ideas for action can be kept in one place.

    Libertarians are aging; where is the concerted effort to reach a new generation? For the most part there is a lack of creative youtube clips and art and street activism, such as we saw with the Ron Paul campaign. I don’t think it’s because we are more liberal on some social issues.

    The party is overly focused on left brained logic – not enough on music, art, different ways of reaching more people. Activism is not encouraged or nourished; the party is mainly interested in members for their money only. No activist culture; main activity is monthly get together boring bitch and moan fests.

    Some useful feature this website should have:

    – Membership. A point of contact and knowing who is who is basic.

    – Member blogs and/or aggregation of outside blogs. This foments a libertarian blogosphere and ferments ideas, discussion and participation.

    – Collaborative creation and editing of documents. This is critical for coming up with a public agenda, so we’re all on the same page and
    know what we’re working for.

    – RSS. So people can easily be informed of updates. This makes it easy for people to stay informed and active.

    – Forums, mailing lists, chatrooms, mini-sites, IT technical help documents. For on-demand IT infrastructure for collaboration and projects.

    – Howtos. Activism resources. Introductions to LP and radical topics for newbies

    – Document archive. For reference purposes.

    – Highly searchable, pages rank well in the search engines, easy to find. This makes it easy for like-minded people to find us.

    Not sure if George wants to keep the domain I suggested for this purpose, which he registered and hosts:

    http://www.libertyactivists.com/

    Since he is now opposed to political parties, he might use the domain in ways that do not involve the party – in which case we may need another domain – or sell it if someone wants it.

  32. paulie cannoli Post author

    I posted this on Knapp’s blog.

    The same ideas are roughly applicable to other possible presidential candidates, as well as to state parties, new group(s), etc:

    —————————————————-
    If you are serious about beating Root (and other possible contenders who will announce later) rather than just nipping at his heels, an alternative mass media strategy will be important.

    He’s got Fox News and conservative talk radio; yours might be, for example, alternative weekly newspapers, cable access TV shows, and college papers – but you would have to be in them all over the country, consistently, and constantly.

    He keeps track of his media and feeds his track record back to where LPers who do not watch/listen to those media themselves will see it. You should too.

    There are several other areas you should work to build constantly. Consistent youtube commentary would seem to be a good place to start, since it does not cost much of anything. Making it entertaining would be even better, if you can think of ways to do so. Supporters youtube section also.

    Knapp12 (562-7712) – see if that is available in any of the 800 (800 if possible, 866, 877 etc) and snap it up if it is, and the domain, consistent branding on everything as Moulton suggested for Kubby.

    Always build lists of tasks, volunteers, places to find volunteers, etc., and cross-fertilize. Ask volunteers to get your message out through their various respective networks.

    There’s a lot more, and as I told you on the Kubby campaign, I’m all for discussing it right out in the open for everyone to see.

    I’m not particularly interested in a campaign title – I don’t know of anything that I can’t do without one.

    There’s no need to worry about your campaign being tainted by having my name on the letterhead or staff chart, since there’s really no reason to have it on the letterhead or staff chart at all.

    I seem to recall you telling me when it was all over in Denver that there were a lot of things I was right about on the Kubby campaign which you were wrong about.

    Hopefully, you’ve learned from those. I don’t mind repeating myself, within reason – and I think it would be a good idea to put a lot of those ideas in an open-source public realm, as I wanted to do last time.

  33. Robert Capozzi

    Barr certainly reached out through progressive media. He was reasonably balanced in that regard, too.

    I’d have to agree that for the next 4 years, we have more opportunities on the right than left, but I also agree that we should maintain some balance. Me too-ism is contraindicated.

  34. paulie cannoli Post author

    In response to the above comment on Knapp’s blog, “awful” says

    Wayne Root’s “friends” are loose lipped. He is currently looking for a job. He doesn’t have the savings or resources to launch a campaign and his better allies within the Libertarian Party are tarnished, and one narrowly avoided a sexual harassment suit.

    My reply:

    Let’s suppose you are correct. It is now early 2009. Wayne has until some time in 2011 or 2012 to get his finances back in order. There would also be the possibility that the campaign could become a business venture in itself for him. He’s got a book coming out, so maybe he’ll succeed in promoting it. Or that his next gig will be in talk radio or TV or motivational speaking – something that will serve as a platform for him to campaign.

    And supposing Root’s campaign does fold, so what? Nature abhors a vacuum, and Knapp will not get the nomination based on how poorly other candidates run their campaigns – if he tries that approach, someone will step up, even if it is at the last minute like it was in ’08, and beat him out for the nomination.

    And, if he does get the nomination by default somehow, that does not bode well for the general election campaign – think Bergland ’84. We more or less tried the whole “coast our way to victory” strategy with Kubby. Not completely, of course, but far more so than we should have. Barr-Root was the result. Let’s not do that again.

    If Knapp wants my advice, it is to run seriously, run hard, run smart, and run early if he is going to run at all. There are a lot of specifics to that, and I laid out a few above.

    The idea should be to raise the bar for the 2012 nomination as well as for future campaigns as high as possible, not to fail less spectacularly than the other pre-nomination candidates.

    My advice is free, and I don’t care about campaign titles, so please leave any grudges you have against me or anyone you think you associate with me out of it.

    Again, this advice is applicable to more than just Knapp – and I’m willing to help with the grunt work to help make it happen, but only if other people are too.

  35. Michael Seebeck

    I don’t know who “In The Know” is, but they have it 100% accurate. You oughta see the ones that DIDN’T get to the hearing!

  36. Brian Holtz

    Susan, if you’re just awaking from a decade-long coma, then you’ll be interested to know that the divisive antiwar questions in play here are:

    1) Should the U.S. government have taken down a regime that continued to harbor the leadership of the group that killed a few thousand Americans on 2001-09-11?

    2) In the wake of those thousands being killed in effect with just box cutters, should the U.S. government have taken down a regime that admitted its long-standing nuclear ambitions, supported terrorists that targeted Americans, defied nuclear disarmament mandates that it was treaty-bound to obey, invaded one sovereign neighbor, annexed another by force, fired ballistic missiles at two more, and used WMDs in both a war of aggression and in domestic genocide — killing millions in the course of doing all of the above?

    I invite you to say that anyone who answers “yes” to either question should be considered in violation of the LP oath and thus unfit to be an LP member. And this time, spare us the complaint that I’m putting words in your mouth. Either you believe that none of “the U.S. government’s war(s)” can be justified by any such argument, or you don’t.

    “Taxation” is a conveniently low-precision braincrumb for you to toss around here. Let’s sharpen that up in two ways.

    1) The Platform used to say that “all criminal and civil sanctions against tax evasion should be terminated immediately”. Do you think the Pledge leaves any room for a reasonable LP member to disagree with that position?

    2) The only “taxation” I favor is a schedule of default contestable fines on monopolizing, consuming, polluting, or congesting the commons. Are you saying that no Libertarian candidate/officer/platform should advocate imposition of such fines by the State, or are you OK with them as long as we don’t spell them t-a-x?

    So yes, we all agree that all persons are entitled to keep all of the fruits of their non-aggressive labor. But no, we don’t all agree that the State should never require revenue from you without a trial verdict. If your position is the latter, then please have the intellectual courage to distinguish it from the former, and to avoid piggybacking the latter onto the former.

    Elizabeth is Public Affairs Coordinator at The Independent Institute in Oakland, and is still a mainstay in the local LP here in Silicon Valley.

    Rob, I would love for Sipos to publish in CF my main essay on Iraq: http://knowinghumans.net/2007/04/defending-libervention-in-iraq.html. Of course, if he does so, he’s sure to allocate himself as much or more space for an attempted rebuttal. I challenge him (or you or anybody) to instead iterate with me on a pair of such essays of that length until we reach equilibrium, so that nobody gets the last-word advantage that an editor can always award to himself.

    Tom Knapp, you know very well that not every part of the LP Platform c. 2003 had the same level of support among the membership — or even among the delegates, who tend to be more radical than the membership. This would be obvious even without my documenting it at http://libertarianmajority.net/platform-retention-votes. The Platform has for decades been unequivocal and absolutist about abortion, but it would be silly for you to say that internal divisiveness on abortion is something that was inflicted on an LP that in some earlier golden age had enjoyed a consensus on the issue.

    It’s pretty obvious that abortion, immigration, and intervention are the three great issue schisms of the LP, and that only the fundamental anarchism/minarchism division is deeper. (The three great issue schisms are all related to franchise, which is why Libertarians are so split on how to apply their anti-aggression principles.) Sipos devoting almost 1/3 of LPCA newsletter space to his antiwar cause makes about as much sense as devoting another third to defending the LP’s absolutism on abortion. While Bush’s Iraq war is winding down and free markets are under the most serious attack in generations, Sipos has run multiple antiwar stories in just about every CF issue he has produced, but so far he’s only run two stories on the bailouts. For most of his antiwar stories he simply runs recycled content that has no LPCA connection whatsoever, but he managed to completely ignore it when 18 LPCA candidates for Congress issued a detailed joint press release (written by me) against the bailouts: http://thirdpartywatch.com/2008/10/09/18-libertarian-candidates-ask-did-pacs-buy-a-bailout/

    I dispute your suggestion that I obfuscate or obstruct the LP’s antiwar advocacy by pointing out Sipos’s admitted obsession with it. I recognize that we liberventionists are at best about one quarter of the LP’s rank and file, and while rewriting the LP platform I made no attempt to put any liberventionism in it. Indeed, my sample planks for my 2010 PlatCom application proposed the following new language: “Current U.S. military spending exceeds the rest of the world’s military spending combined, causing an enormous burden on American taxpayers. Major savings can be realized by ending all nation-building efforts, ending U.S. defense of wealthy allies in Europe and Asia, withdrawing American troops to American soil, and focusing our resources on protecting our borders.”

    Thomas Sipos, I’m not bothered in the least by your personal antiwar outreach on behalf of the LP. We already have a natural experiment in the 2000 and 2004 elections (http://knowinghumans.net/2007/06/anti-war-doesnt-grow-lp.html) showing that antiwar won’t grow the LP, and I’ve yet to hear of anyone who came from liberalism to libertarianism through the antiwar door. So feel free to hurt me with the problem of new LP members recruited from the antiwar movement.

    And after predicting in boldface that I’ll “ignore the central point” that LNC “persecuted” Angela for doing something that Barr did, thank you for ignoring my response that you selectively ignored the eight most serious charges against Angela in order to take a fact-impaired cheap shot at Barr. I again challenge you assert that it’s OK for a self-declared lame duck LNC member to keep her seat while advocating against joining or donating to the party. If you can’t assert that, then you haven’t competently disagreed with the core case against Keaton — despite all the LPCA ink the LPCA paid you to spill over the matter.

  37. Andy

    “1) Should the U.S. government have taken down a regime that continued to harbor the leadership of the group that killed a few thousand Americans on 2001-09-11?”

    You must mean should the US government have taken itself down since 9/11 was an inside job.

  38. paulie cannoli Post author

    “1) Should the U.S. government have taken down a regime that continued to harbor the leadership of the group that killed a few thousand Americans on 2001-09-11?”

    Would the US regime have surrendered (a group of) foreign citizen(s) under US protection, without being allowed to see evidence, to another country that was demanding to prosecute them for allegations of terrorism?

  39. volvoice

    Brian,

    Here is why libervention never works, especially when its conducted by neocons…

  40. Prospective Advertiser

    We know for certain, because the National Security Agency said so in 2005, that LBJ lied to start the escalation of the Vietnam War. There was no Gulf of Tonkin incident. We know that Bush lied about WMD and connections to al-Qaeda to start the war in Iraq. We should believe that the Bush administration didn’t lie about Afghanistan? Nonsense.

    Brian Holtz likes the war in Afghanistan because he likes to see women and children massacred. He doesn’t care what the evidence is. He just wants to swim in blood.

  41. paulie cannoli Post author

    I don’t think Brian Holtz wants to massacre women and children or swim in blood. That rhetoric only detracts from the first paragraph, which I agree with.

  42. libertariangirl

    really thats ridiculous when you accuse people of liking to massacre women and children and swimming in blood.
    It makes your credibility lessen and your character in question.

  43. Thomas L. Knapp

    Brian,

    You write:

    “Tom Knapp, you know very well that not every part of the LP Platform c. 2003 had the same level of support among the membership — or even among the delegates, who tend to be more radical than the membership.”

    I never said otherwise — but that misses the point entirely.

    The actual language of the platform, not some guesstimation of what percentage of the membership supports any particular part of that language, is the proper guide for establishing the party’s organizational position on issues.

    That’s not to say that members shouldn’t be free to disagree with parts of the platform, or to attempt to change the platform. They should be free to do both.

    However, those who personally support -X versus the platform’s +X are being “internally divisive” when they expect the party to accomodate their -X position by either not promoting, or minimizing its promotion of, the platform’s X position.

    The above does not apply only to the platform’s position versus “liberventionism.” There are issues where my own position is -X (or at least not X) to the platform’s X (two that come to mind are abortion and immigration).

    The difference between me and the “liberventionists” is that I’ve never expected the LP to go out of its way to accomodate my -X/not Xism at the expense of promoting its Xism, while a number of “liberventionists” have actively worked to obstruct the party from promoting its non-interventionist position.

  44. paulie cannoli Post author

    I recognize that we liberventionists are at best about one quarter of the LP’s rank and file, and while rewriting the LP platform I made no attempt to put any liberventionism in it. Indeed, my sample planks for my 2010 PlatCom application proposed the following new language: “Current U.S. military spending exceeds the rest of the world’s military spending combined, causing an enormous burden on American taxpayers. Major savings can be realized by ending all nation-building efforts, ending U.S. defense of wealthy allies in Europe and Asia, withdrawing American troops to American soil, and focusing our resources on protecting our borders.”

    While this is more pro-military than my own position, which is to oppose standing armies in peacetime and to oppose the supporting of a military through involuntary taxation, this is not the position I would characterize as liberventionist. It sounds rather like the Constitution Party’s stance on this set of issues.

  45. Gene Trosper

    #51
    Related to Erzebet Bathory, eh?

    @ 41
    You’re right Mike. Larry has shown me many samples of his wonderfully satirical work. The “Herr Starr” pic is one of the more lighthearted ones.

  46. Brian Holtz

    Paulie, my very point was that I’m not trying to get liberventionism into the Platform. You’re going to have to specify your counterfactual a little more than with just your talk of shoes and feet if you want me to evaluate it. Maybe as an anarchist you don’t see any difference between the U.S. government and the Taliban in terms of respect for due process, but I do, and I respect your intelligence too much to explain that difference to you. If it’s any help, here’s my evaluation of a related counterfactual: “The idiotic thing that Ron Paul said was the moral relativism implicit in his question about how would we like it if China did to us what we did to Iraq. If China had America’s track record of promoting and defending liberty, and came here to snap the neck of a genocidal tyrannical George Bush who had used chemical weapons to exterminate entire towns of American dissidents, then I would welcome the Chinese Army with open arms, and might even tear down a statue of Bush to smack it with the sole of my shoe.”

    Volvoice, I can refute your “never” with a single word: Kurdistan. But just for fun I’ll add some more: England, Italy, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Holland, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Greece, Germany, Austria, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Grenada, Panama, Kuwait, Bosnia, Kosovo.

    Prospective Advertiser, you just won a (losing) ticket to a game I’ve been playing on anti-liberventionists for years now. The rules of the game are this:

    1. Type a quotation mark. (It’s on the right side of your keyboard somewhere.)
    2. Cut and paste an official White House statement made before the invasion arguing for it.
    3. Type another quotation mark.
    4. Give evidence that the statement was false. (Not merely misleading or exaggerated or incomplete or imprecise, but that its grammatical negation was true.)
    5. Give evidence that Bush KNEW the statement was false.

    I’ve never seen anyone come close to meeting this challenge. Care to try? Bush certainly misled and exaggerated and spun etc., but Bush had no need to use a demonstrable lie to get us into Iraq, and as far as I’ve been able to tell, he didn’t. (The “lie” issue is also a red herring. My argument above for deposing Saddam involves no lies. If you want to argue against libervention in Iraq, you have to confront the best arguments for it.)

    Your “swim in blood” comment is typical of the mental gymnastics that are required by anti-liberventionists to rationalize why principled libertarians disagree with them on this topic. If you had an ounce of introspection this would be obvious to you, but you obviously have other psychological needs that you are driven to fulfill.

    Tom, you are utterly failing to address my point that various positions have wildly different amounts of LP-internal dissent about them. If Sipos were filling CF with articles defending free speech rights — about which few if any Libertarians have any serious disagreements — then I’d agree with you that he wasn’t being divisive. If instead he were focusing every month on abortion rights, you’d simply be addled to claim he wasn’t being divisive. I contend that intervention is much closer on the LP-divisiveness spectrum to abortion rights than it is to speech rights. You might (desperately) try to disagree and keep a straight face, but it’s just silly to deny (as you seem to) that the spectrum even exists.

  47. paulie cannoli Post author

    #51
    Related to Erzebet Bathory, eh?

    Not, as far as I know, literally related, but we have some of the same..tastes.

    However, I have been told I am literally descended from Genghis Khan.

  48. paulie cannoli Post author

    Paulie, my very point was that I’m not trying to get liberventionism into the Platform.

    Yes, sorry, I realized that on closer reading. You are trying to move the platform closer to your position by steps, a little closer every time, not actually going for the whole hog this time. Got it. Smart!


    You’re going to have to specify your counterfactual a little more than with just your talk of shoes and feet if you want me to evaluate it.

    Suppose Tony Blair moved to the US and a new Islamic Republic of Iraq wanted to extradite him?


    Maybe as an anarchist you don’t see any difference between the U.S. government and the Taliban in terms of respect for due process, but I do, and I respect your intelligence too much to explain that difference to you.

    I think the US should have shown respect for due process. No country can realistically be expected to turn over someone under its protection to another government (particularly one which is not an ally) without evidence. The Muslim religion forbade the Taliban to turn over a Muslim to an infidel court without evidence.


    If it’s any help, here’s my evaluation of a related counterfactual: “The idiotic thing that Ron Paul said was the moral relativism implicit in his question about how would we like it if China did to us what we did to Iraq. If China had America’s track record of promoting and defending liberty, and came here to snap the neck of a genocidal tyrannical George Bush who had used chemical weapons to exterminate entire towns of American dissidents, then I would welcome the Chinese Army with open arms, and might even tear down a statue of Bush to smack it with the sole of my shoe.”

    The Chemical weapons thing…have you read Jude Wanninski on that?

    But even supposing that was all true, no one much likes living under occupation, particularly since the US occupation has been far deadlier for Iraqis than Saddam was – and much of the deadliness Saddam did perpetrate was either as a US client (which he was until Kuwait), or at least in response to US action. He invaded Kuwait after the US gave him the green light, then turned on him; the US encouraged the Shiites to rebel against him soon after that, then did not back them up.

    As for tearing down a statue of Bush and smacking it wish my shoe, I would do that now – I don’t need the Chinese for that.

    But I wouldn’t welcome their occupying army, even if they had a sterling human rights record, and even if they invaded during the reign of Bill Clinton, whose regime used chemical weapons to set off a fire in Mt. Carmel, TX, exterminated the residents of the town, machine gunned those who tried to escape the fire, and persecuted survivors.

  49. Prospective Advertiser

    Here’s the thing, Holtz. You want me to prove everything the Bush government said was false. I don’t want to do anything for you, because you want to invade other countries, massacre children, rape women, kill civilians, gut the constitution, pillage and loot, and you are too timid to do it yourself. I don’t have any obligation to you to prove anything.

    My point about you being a mass murdering thug who wants to swim in blood is exactly the same as your assertion that everything the Bush government said about why go to war in Iraq or Afghanistan was true. You should be held to exactly the same standard of evidence.

    You are, after all, one of those who, on this site, has called for the use of nuclear weapons in Japan in 1945 to limit civilian casualties in China. You are willing to accept any unspeakable crime as long as someone in the government assures you that there is top secret information that justifies, or would later justify doing the unspeakable.

    Holtz, you are a bloodthirsty coward. You’ll always be a bloodthirsty coward.

  50. Prospective Advertiser

    “difference between the U.S. government and the Taliban in terms of respect for due process, but I do,”

    Really? Where do you see this difference? In the numbers of incarcerated persons, or the number of things which are mala prohibitum, or the percentage of the population that is incarcerated, or…where?

    The USA government today pays lip service to the constitution, but offers no meaningful due process to anyone. Its prosecutors are thugs who seek to intimidate everyone into pleading guilty.

    If you want to make a direct comparison, ask the people in Guantanamo who were picked up in Afghanistan. They have some direct experience of due process under the Taliban in many instances, and of due process under your thuggish, evil, vile, hateful government, Holtz. Your country sucks, your government is evil, and you support all the vicious, hateful, evil things they do, because, you suck.

  51. libertariangirl

    P.A you make some valid points then your hateful rhetoric ruins all your credibility . Brian doesnt even have to respond to make you look ridiculous , your mouth does that already .

  52. Brian Holtz

    Paulie, I have two separate goals here: 1) make the Platform reflective of ecumenical libertarianism, and 2) correct the LP membership’s view of what constitutes ecumenical libertarianism in the few areas where I disagree with it. The first is not nearly as hard as the second.

    When your “new Islamic Republic of Iraq” has established the same reputation for due process that the U.S. government has, then sure, I’d hand Tony Blair over to them. Got any other easy questions for me? 🙂

    This “evidence” complaint strikes me as silly. Is your position that we didn’t know al Qaeda had committed 9/11 by the time we attacked the Taliban? That would be silly. Is your position that we could have persuaded the Taliban to hand over al Qaeda to us, but we blew the opportunity? That too would be silly. Sorry, but this “evidence” complaint strikes me as disingenuous. Is this *really* the difference on which turned your support for overthrowing the Taliban?

    U.S. occupation deadlier? False — you’re confusing the occupation with the civil war it unexpectedly unleashed. Saddam’s genocides were U.S. responsibility? Laughable. Green light for invading Kuwait? False. You want to talk Fahrenheit 911? Saudi Learjet? Downing Street Memo? the 158 mentions of Iraq in the 9/11 Commission report? April Glaspie? Teicher’s affidavit? Rumsfeld 1983 Baghdad trip? American WMD sales to Iraq? Saddam’s support for anti-American terrorists? Bush’s alleged lies in his pre-invasion speech? UNSCR 1441? Saddam’s bodycount? Halliburton profits? Bush’s sales of Harken stock? I’ve covered all this ground before. See the cross-posting of this comment in my blog for all the links in this paragraph. I have chunks of such claims in my stool. 🙂

    Note the asymmetric burden of proof here. I’m not arguing that every libertarian should have favored deposing Saddam. I’m merely arguing that reasonable principled libertarians could have differed on the matter. Do you claim that no reasonable principled libertarian could have favored deposing Saddam?

    Sorry, I don’t debate such claims about that child molester David Koresh. I’ve done my time debating the claims of 9/11 troofers; somebody else can debate Koresh-related claims.

    PA, it’s blatantly false to say that I want you “to prove everything the Bush government said was false”. I just want you to give evidence that even ONE pre-invasion official claim about Iraq was knowingly false. If you can’t do it, just admit it, and stop lying about what I’ve asked you to do.

    My position on Hiroshima stands unrebutted at http://blog.360.yahoo.com/knowinghumans?p=187. Wake me when you have a single cogent sentence to utter against it.

    “No meaningful due process to anyone”? I’ll school you about the difference between U.S. and Taliban due process as soon as even one bystander seriously claims that they’re not sure which has a better record on that matter. Otherwise, I’ll just assume that they’re all laughing at your comment like I am.

  53. Thomas L. Knapp

    Quoth Brian Holtz:

    “Tom, you are utterly failing to address my point that various positions have wildly different amounts of LP-internal dissent about them.”

    The content of the platform, not the “amount of LP-internal dissent” about an issue is the criterion of how the party should address that issue.

    At each and every LP national convention,”internal dissenters” have their opportunity to get a 50%+1 vote against retention of any platform plank, or a 2/3+1 vote for alteration of any platform plank.

    If they do, then they are no longer dissenters — their position is the party’s position.

    If they don’t, then they don’t.

    Either way, the purpose of the party, the party’s communications apparatus, etc., is to promote the party’s platform, not the agendas of those members who dissent from some portion of that platform.

    “If instead he were focusing every month on abortion rights, you’d simply be addled to claim he wasn’t being divisive.”

    On the contrary. My personal position on abortion is -X, or at least not X, in relation to the platform position — and I don’t consider it “divisive” at all when the party promotes the platform’s position rather than my position. I worked on an effort against retention of the abortion plank in 2002. That effort failed. When you lose a battle for control of party doctrine, you should be neither surprised nor dismayed that the spoils (control of party message) go to the victor rather than to the vanquished.

  54. Brian Holtz

    Tom, again: the issue isn’t whether the LPCA newsletter simply affirms and promotes the LP’s stated position against intervention. When our newsletter was edited by Bruce Cohen and me — both liberventionists — we ran five pieces of non-paid content that affirmed the party’s position on intervention, and zero that expressed our dissenting view. By contrast, Sipos is running 2 to 4 antiwar pieces per issue. It’s an obsession with him, he effectively admits it. It’s just silly for anybody to assert that there’s no such thing as over-emphasizing an issue that — despite its presence in the platform — nevertheless has one of the highest levels of dissent in the party.

  55. Billy Goat Eater

    “I just want you to give evidence that even ONE pre-invasion official claim about Iraq was knowingly false. If you can’t do it, just admit it, and stop lying about what I’ve asked you to do.”

    No, what he wants is for you to de-classify the information that the Bush government has kept from the American people. Do the hard work of creating an open and transparent government, then you won’t have to bother with worthless mass murderers like Brian Holz and his cheerleaders.

    There were no weapons of mass destruction, Brian, and you know it. The “intelligence” was fabricated to fit the policy, and the Downing Street memo illustrates this fact.

    Note that he has not refuted your statement that the Taliban government had a better record, as the Koran requires, of providing due process compared to the fedgov, especially with respect to Gitmo. Let’s also not forget the lack of due process at Abu Ghraib. Holz cannot refute these facts. He probably hasn’t ever read the Koran or the related documents codifying due process under Sharia.

    Note that he continues to believe in nuking civilians in Japan. He always will.

    Brian Holz. If it is foreign, and the American military wants it dead, he wants it dead, too.

  56. Prospective Advertiser

    Gosh, Sipos sounds like a good guy, obsessed with the idea that war is evil, occupying foreign countries is bad, massacring children is wrong, raping women is criminal. Holtz could learn a thing or two from him, it seems.

    With regard to due process, Holtz, have you been arrested? Go do something notorious, get arrested, and we’ll talk about your experiences with due process. Otherwise, you aren’t an authority on the topic.

    Your position on Hiroshima is “unrebutted” at a blog that I don’t visit. I don’t visit a lot of sites from criminally demented persons such as yourself, because I don’t care to infest my computer with malware. Everyone has choices to take.

    Your position on Hiroshima as expressed on this site is that you like the fact that Truman opted to exterminate tens and tens of thousands of Japanese civilians because, you argue, the possibility could one day be configured to suggest that possibly some intelligence service might one day report that some similar number of Chinese civilians might have been massacred by the Empire of Nippon. And, of course, you like the idea of big explosion things.

    “U.S. occupation deadlier? False — you’re confusing the occupation with the civil war it unexpectedly unleashed.”

    You write that as though no one expected the occupation to involve any sort of unrest in Iraq. What nonsense. The USA military occupation of Iraq has been deadly. And stupid. And it is your fault because you wanted it.

    “Saddam’s genocides were U.S. responsibility?”

    Yes. The USA government supplied the Saddam gov’t of Iraq with chemical weapons. Arguably to kill Iranians in the 1980s. The big surprise in the UN testimony by Colin Powell was that he didn’t wave the receipts.

    Calling it “laughable” thoroughly discredits you as any sort of debater. You don’t offer evidence, you only offer scorn. Of course, one doesn’t expect an inhuman monster who massacres children and rapes women, or advocates these things, to offer reasoning or evidence or even much information.

  57. Thomas L. Knapp

    Brian,

    Whether or not Sipos “overemphasizes” non-interventionism is a matter of opinion. Not having closely examined the ratios of emphasis on various issues in the newsletter, it’s also a matter on which I don’t have an opinion.

    I’ll stick to my narrow point: Supporting the platform is not “divisive,” even if those who dissent from one particular part of the platform don’t like the ratio of emphasis on that part of it in the party’s communications.

    I do disagree with your contention that jingoists constitute one of the larger dissenting factions within the LP. Loud and large are two different things.

  58. paulie cannoli Post author

    When your “new Islamic Republic of Iraq” has established the same reputation for due process that the U.S. government has, then sure, I’d hand Tony Blair over to them.

    Reputation for due process is in the eye of the beholder.


    This “evidence” complaint strikes me as silly.

    It’s actually completely reasonable – no government, including the US, would accept less and still call itself in charge of its own country. It’s also a requirement of both the Muslim religion and, I think, international law.


    Is your position that we didn’t know al Qaeda had committed 9/11 by the time we attacked the Taliban? That would be silly.

    Well, now that you mention it, how _did_ the US regime claim to know that immediately after the event? Sure, you probably think the Bin Laden tape was real. But supposing it was, how do you know he wasn’t lying? And supposing the US regime did have such conclusive evidence, why couldn’t they provide enough of it to the Afghanis to satisfy their request for seeing cause to turn over a guest under their protection, as their religion (and common sense) required? If they still failed to do so, the US would have a lot more justification for its invasion. Couldn’t have anything to do with the oil pipeline they already had drawn up plans for before 9/11 which the Taliban stood in the way of, could it?

    Is your position that we could have persuaded the Taliban to hand over al Qaeda to us, but we blew the opportunity? That too would be silly.

    How do you know it would be silly when the effort was not even made?

    Sorry, but this “evidence” complaint strikes me as disingenuous. Is this *really* the difference on which turned your support for overthrowing the Taliban?

    I certainly would have seen it as *more* justifiable than what actually happened. Of course this presumes 1) that such evidence existed and 2) that the Taliban would have continued to harbor Al-Qaida after being presented with such evidence.

    U.S. occupation deadlier? False — you’re confusing the occupation with the civil war it unexpectedly unleashed.

    There was nothing unexpected about it. Everyone who studied the issue knew that Iraq was a boiling cauldron of ethnic and religious tension, and Hussein was keeping a lid on it by authoritarian means. And anyone could have used common sense to know that Iraqis would resist a foreign occupier, as people anywhere in the world would. Of course, a lot of people would not have predicted things like Abu Ghraib or videos of American soldiers crushing an Iraqi cabbie’s car with a tank for sport, etc, etc, but we certainly can look back in history on events such as My Lai and Wounded Knee.

    Saddam’s genocides were U.S. responsibility? Laughable.

    Saddam was a US Client from before the time he came to power until shortly before Gulf War I. The US encouraged the Shiites to rebel, then did not back them up. Oh, and genocides? Of which ethnicities?

    Green light for invading Kuwait? False. You want to talk Fahrenheit 911? Saudi Learjet? Downing Street Memo? the 158 mentions of Iraq in the 9/11 Commission report? April Glaspie?

    Let’s start with April Glaspie. And that’s the 9/11 Ommission report. The thing was so full of holes you can fly several planes through it.

    Teicher’s affidavit? Rumsfeld 1983 Baghdad trip? American WMD sales to Iraq? Saddam’s support for anti-American terrorists? Bush’s alleged lies in his pre-invasion speech? UNSCR 1441? Saddam’s bodycount? Halliburton profits? Bush’s sales of Harken stock? I’ve covered all this ground before.

    So have a lot of other people, obviously coming to different conclusions from you.

    See the cross-posting of this comment in my blog for all the links in this paragraph. I have chunks of such claims in my stool.

    That must mean you haven’t digested them. But I’ll look at your links. I can’t promise that I’ll have the time to disassemble them in nearly as much detail as they deserve – not because I can’t, but because I have other things to do. In fact, I can promise I won’t be able to devote that much time to it. But I certainly appreciate you taking the time to lay out your case.

    Note the asymmetric burden of proof here. I’m not arguing that every libertarian should have favored deposing Saddam. I’m merely arguing that reasonable principled libertarians could have differed on the matter. Do you claim that no reasonable principled libertarian could have favored deposing Saddam?

    I think any reasonable principled libertarian who favored deposing Saddam should have favored doing so with voluntarily procured funds.


    Sorry, I don’t debate such claims about that child molester David Koresh.

    What’s your evidence that he was a child molester? Supposing he had been a child molester, he took regular jogs to town and ate at coffee shops there, etc. Why was he not simply arrested then?

  59. Robert Capozzi

    Tom, I think your narrow point is correct.

    But, though I’m pro-choice, if the LP became obsessed with promoting the right to late-term abortions, say, I’d suggest that’s a bad idea. (Indeed, I don’t support late-term abortions, but even if I did, I’d still think that’s poor positioning for the LP.) It would be divisive, IMO.

    I’m pretty darned dovish, but some Ls are less so. If the message became highly imbalanced and theoretical, that too would be poor positioning.

    Politics is not arithmetic. Nor is political theory. If it is, please make the case.

  60. volvoice

    IMO, Liberventionism is neoconservatism trying to manifest itself within the Libertarian Party.

  61. paulie cannoli Post author

    I think it’s entirely legitimate to concentrate on the peace issue. War is, and always has been, a central part of the mechanism by which the state increases its size, scope and power, destroys our wealth and liberty, and justifies its existence to the public.

    Contrary to what Brian writes, I believe that the antiwar position could be a great way to grow the LP. Unfortunately, I type too slowly and have too many other things to do to devote his essay the full response it deserves. I might go one or two rounds, but my typing speed puts me at a distinct disadvantage in counter-spinning the whole Holtzian spider’s web. I have to give credit where credit is due – Brian certainly lays out a comprehensive case on a wide variety of issues. That does not mean he is correct about all of them, however.

    I think that not concentrating on the antiwar issue in the early 2000s was a blunder of truly astoundingly monumental proportions for the LP. I also think that the LP will still do well to emphasize the issue now; since the Democrats will in many cases be leaving the antiwar coalition now that their man is in office, the LP could well take their place, rather than leave the field entirely to the big government far left.

  62. paulie cannoli Post author

    June 14, 2003

    Do Americans Expect to be Misled?
    Lies, Damned Lies, and Military Intelligence
    By WILLIAM S. LIND

    It is now evident that Saddam Hussein’s possession of vast quantities of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) is about as likely as Mars having canals, complete with gondolas and singing gondoliers. Remember, it wasn’t just a
    couple of stink bombs we accused him of possessing. According to data compiled by columnist Nicholas Kristof, the governments of the United States and (once) Great Britain told the world that Saddam had 500 tons of mustard
    and nerve gas, 25,000 liters of anthrax, 38,000 liters of botulinum, almost 30,000 banned munitions and the tornado that abducted Dorothy. So far, all we have found is two empty trailers. Presumably, American troops had
    sufficient time to paint over the “Allied Van Lines” logos.

    Since Saddam’s WMD were one of the principal stated reasons for this strategically curious war, their absence is something more than a social
    faux pas. Were the American and British publics, as Pat Buchanan puts it, lied into war? If they were, it would not be the first time. In Britain, the practice goes back at least as far as the 18th century and the War of Jenkin’s Ear. Americans were lied into World War I by cartoons of German soldiers bayoneting Belgian babies and into Vietnam by a Tonkin Gulf torpedo boat attack that never happened.

    There are, of course, other possibilities. It may have been simply an intelligence failure. That is the least disturbing possibility, because the
    others are worse.

    One is that someone in the chain of military intelligence deliberately cooked the books. If they did so, it was probably to curry favor with their political and budgetary masters, who let it be known what “findings” they wanted. This sort of corruption is now endemic in Washington. Virtually every Federal agency, including the armed forces, have accepted the
    rightness of doing and saying anything to get money. Budget size is the universal measurement of success, and whatever pleases those who allocate funds is wholesome and good. What John Boyd said of the Pentagon is now universal: “It is not true they have no strategy. They do have a strategy, and once you understand what it is, everything they do makes sense. The strategy is, `Don’t interrupt the money flow; add to it.'”

    Another possibility is more disturbing still, and regrettably I have to say I think it is a certainty. Those who use military intelligence do not
    understand what it is.

    Throughout history, in virtually every conflict, a universal law has applied. That law says that when it comes to military intelligence, whatever
    you think you know is incomplete, and some of it is wrong. You don’t know what you don’t know, you don’t know how much you don’t know, and you don’t know what part of what you think you know is wrong.

    As part of the so-called “Revolution in Military Affairs,” which promises to turn war into a video game, many intelligence users, both military and civilian, have come to think of military intelligence as “hard data.” RMA
    touts have long and loudly promised perfect information, on both your own side (in war, just knowing what your own forces are doing is difficult) and the enemy. The military talks about “information dominance” (for just a few
    more billions), which somehow suggests one of our attractive female officers, dressed in a natty leather outfit, serving as the G-2SM, the
    Information Dominatrix.

    It may be — though I doubt it — that our intelligence agencies really believed Saddam had all that stuff. But even if that is what they reported to the decision-makers, the decision-makers should have known better to swallow it. If they did not know that, they are not fit to be making military decisions. They lack the most basic understanding of the nature of military intelligence, a nature no technology can alter (and can easily make worse, by making the errors more convincing).

    The upshot is that we went to war and wrecked a country over something that, barring an unlikely revelation, was not true. The American people don’t seem to care. Perhaps they expect to be misled by their government, or, more
    likely, they have just changed the channel.

    But the rest of the world does care. The international credibility of American assertions based on military intelligence is now zero. When we make claims about other countries — as we are now doing about Iran — not a soul will believe them, even when they happen to be true. At this point, Americans should not believe them either.

  63. Robert Capozzi

    paulie, not only do I agree it’s legitimate to be for peace, I applaud L efforts to advance that point.

    my only point is that what is peaceful can get contentious for Ls. And non-Ls, too.

    I believe it’s important to take into consideration that, for ex., many non Ls supported the Iraq War at the outset, as they bought that it was part of the “war on terrorism.”

    Many/most now realize it wasn’t. It was a colossal mistake.

    I guess the bottomline is that some Ls (and non Ls) justify some wars and are still in the L tent.

  64. paulie cannoli Post author

    U.S. media caved in to the Bush agenda
    By ERIC MARGOLIS — Contributing Foreign Editor
    June 2003

    Why, readers in the U.S. keep asking me, are so many Americans unconcerned their government appears to have misled them and Congress over Iraq, and then waged a war with no basis in law or fact?

    Why is there growing outrage in Britain over Tony Blair’s equally
    exaggerated or patently false warnings over Iraq, while middle America
    couldn’t seem to care less about George Bush’s “Weaponsgate.”

    One answer is found in an old joke.

    Greenberg is sitting in a bar. He goes up to Woo, a Chinese gentleman, and punches him.

    “Why’d you do that?” cries Woo.

    “Because of Pearl Harbor,” snarls Greenberg.

    “But I had nothing to do with Pearl Harbor, I’m Chinese!” says Woo.

    “Chinese, Japanese, it’s all the same to me,” answers Greenberg.

    A month later, Greenberg sees Woo in the bar and apologizes to him. The Chinese gentleman smiles, then punches Greenberg.

    “Why did you do that?” cries Greenberg?

    “Because of the Titanic.”

    “What do I have to do with the Titanic?” asks Greenberg.

    “Greenberg, iceberg, it’s all the same to me.”

    Iraqis, Iranians, Pakistanis, Saudis, Taliban, al-Qaida … it’s all too
    much for many geographically challenged Americans. Don’t bother us with the details and strange names, they say, kill ’em all, God will sort ’em out. The Muslim ‘A-rabs’ did 9/11 and we got revenge. Whacking those I-raqis made us feel a whole lot better. So what if Saddam didn’t really have the weapons of mass destruction good ol’ George W. Bush said endangered the entire world? All politicians lie. So what?”

    First, venting national outrage over 9/11 was one factor that helped form this group-think.

    Second, starting with Afghanistan, the Bush White House threatened big corporate media it would be held “unpatriotic” and occasionally hinted at unspecified reprisals if coverage did not actively support the war effort there and in Iraq.

    Big media too often caved in, sometimes sounding like a public relations arm of the administration.

    Third, there was near total domination of Iraq media commentary by the special interest groups that helped to engineer this phony war. Almost all of it in the lead-up to war was done by self-serving Iraqi exiles, uninformed generals and neo-conservatives from Washington think-tanks sometimes echoing the views of Israel’s Likud party. In short, a media lynch mob developed, endlessly repeating that Baghdad’s terrifying killer weapons were about to blitz the U.S.

    I scanned the major U.S. networks for voices challenging the distortions and bunkum coming from the White House and neo-cons. There was virtually none.

    Group-think and the big lie prevailed. The British and Canadian media
    carried both pro- and anti-war views; as a result, there was far more
    healthy skepticism in both nations about the war than in America.

    By contrast, much of the U.S. mainstream media muffled criticism, became part of the war effort and devoted itself to patriotic flag-waving. Americans would have been totally misled had it not been for such Internet sites as Antiwar.com, Bigeye and LewRockwell, and incisive magazines such as American Conservative and Harpers.

    Even the august New York Times allowed itself to be used. Right now, the Times is hand-wringing about two cases of plagiarism and phony reporting by staffers. It should instead be anguishing that its pages trumpeted phony reports about Iraqi weapons and links to al-Qaida that came from anti-Saddam exile groups and the pro-war cabal in the Pentagon.

    Most so-called Iraqi “experts” on TV, including some colleagues of mine, merely regurgitated what they had read in the morning’s Times. The Times and much of the major media were duped, to put it politely, abandoning their vital role in our democratic system as tribune and questioner of the politicians.

    So, too, the Democratic party, which, as war fever was being stoked by the Bush administration and the press, shamefully rolled over and played dead – with the exception of that great American, Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia, who long ago denounced Bush’s Iraq misadventure, and who now demands a full investigation of how Americans and their Congress were misled.

    Absurd exaggerations

    The black comedy continues:

    Bush citing what turned out to be crudely forged documents in his state of the union address.

    “Drones of death” that turned out to be rickety model airplanes.

    The “decontamination” trucks cited by Colin Powell that turned out to be fire trucks when inspected by the UN.

    The notorious “mobile germ labs” the British press now reports were for
    inflating artillery balloons and, in fact, were sold to Iraq by the U.K.

    Some British and American intelligence officers are accusing their
    governments of outright lies or absurd exaggerations.

    Maybe Americans have become brain-dead from too much TV. Maybe they don’t care terrorism is surging, or that recent polls show the U.S. is reviled, hated, or distrusted around the globe thanks to this administration and its neo-con mentors. Maybe they don’t understand that over 288 Americans and an estimated 26,300 Iraqi civilians and soldiers have so far died in a totally unnecessary conflict. Or that the U.S. in now stuck in an ugly little colonial war in Iraq, its very own West Bank and Gaza.

  65. paulie cannoli Post author

    I can probably do better with sources before the war started.

    Anyone know of a quick way to search yahoo group archives from 2002 on a yahoo group that has since been taken down?

  66. paulie cannoli Post author

    One last one and then I’m done for now….

    Published on Saturday, June 7, 2003 by the Globe & Mail/Canada

    And You Thought the War Was Over
    by Heather Mallick

    I have found them. Yes, yours truly has tripped over WMD, the “weapons of
    mass destruction” that Junior Bush and Tony Blair used to justify their
    conquest of Iraq. Those missing weapons were variously explained as a)
    destroyed before the war b) not “literally” there — and why aren’t
    reporters more conceptual in their thinking? c) never there at all d)
    exported to Syria or e) in beakers in those two Winnebagos a panicky Mr.
    Blair keeps mentioning.

    What’s more, these WDs are not just M for mass, they’re F for forever.

    The embarrassing part is they were found not in Iraq but in Vietnam. We
    forget wars fast. Who’ll remember Iraq next year? Who thinks of Afghanistan
    now? And who knew the Vietnam War was still being fought with WMDs?

    What I am about to write upsets me a great deal and I have delayed writing
    it. Some details may be distressing.

    Despite Colin Powell saying Saddam Hussein was the biggest user of chemical
    weapons since the First World War, the greater culprit was in fact the
    United States. From 1961 to 1974, the United States admits that it dropped
    72 million liters of chemicals on Vietnam, most of it Agent Orange with a
    super-toxic strain of dioxin called TCCD. U.S. soldiers dumped an additional
    260,000 gallons of herbicide just to empty their tanks. The Guardian reports
    that one soldier regularly dumped his poison into a central drinking water
    reservoir. He doesn’t want his name used, at which one can only smile
    hollowly.

    A Canadian environmental science company, Hatfield Consultants, has
    discovered that the dioxin hasn’t dispersed. It has rooted itself in the
    soil at levels 100 times higher than we would tolerate on Canadian farmland,
    spreading through water into the food chain and from there into human blood,
    breast milk and fetuses.

    The poison has blossomed through three generations of Vietnamese so far. It
    appears it will continue. Its toxicity is difficult to describe. When
    General Powell held up his tiny vial of what he said were scary anthrax
    spores, it hardly compared to a small 80-gram tin of TCCD. That tin would
    destroy New York City. The United States dropped 170 kilograms of it.

    This WMD kills and maims unstoppably. The grandchildren of those who first
    saw the sweet-smelling yellow powder fall from the sky are damaged beyond
    belief. Agent Orange causes innumerable diseases plus almost every cancer
    known to humankind.

    I have obtained this information from Web sites created by Vietnamese
    hospitals and U.S. war veterans abandoned by their government, as well as
    e-mail with a Vietnamese doctor attempting to care for some of Vietnam’s
    650,000 damaged children (500,000 have already died). Most of all, I have
    relied on a recent Guardian exposé by Cathy Scott-Clark and Adrian Levy. I
    cannot read it and look at the photographs without falling into sadness for
    days.

    Some dioxin babies were born with two heads. Thankfully they are dead and
    float in formaldehyde. Another baby photographed in a crib has a massive
    pointed head and eyeballs that bulge far outside his face. Another victim is
    19. In her photo, she looks about 6. She walks like a spider and her skin is
    septic wet red rubble. Her sister’s fingers and toes drop off and she loses
    more skin each day as her mother watches. Polio, Down syndrome and profound
    retardation are everywhere. Some children look scarcely human. Some women,
    the Guardian reports, give birth to genderless squabs that sound like the
    pigoons in Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake: Lumps containing organs.

    We’re used to bad things dissipating as time passes. The fields of France
    are green now and their people healthy. Agent Orange is different. The World
    Health Organization says there are two ways to clean it up: Bake all the
    soil in Vietnam to 1,000 degrees Celsius, or pave the country with concrete
    and chemically treat what lies beneath. There are 80 million Vietnamese
    living on that soil. The fact is, almost nothing can be done.

    A Globe reader in Vietnam tells me the Vietnamese are resilient. They tend
    to get on with things. “People have to manage somehow and they have a
    miraculous ability to do just that. Physical limitations are commonplace
    here and are not understood as obstacles to participation in quotidian
    life.”

    When I visit http://www.vnrc.org.vn (Vietnam Red Cross) and
    http://www.ogcdc.org, and contact a doctor who talked to the Guardian
    reporters, his e-mail messages back to me end with gentle good wishes for my
    family. I am stricken by this man’s courtesy to a Canadian who lives happily
    with her wealth and health intact. He needs money to pay for operations on
    damaged children. He runs the OGCDC (Office of Genetic Counseling and
    Disabled Children) at Hue Medical College with small donations from around
    the world.

    And there you have it. Agent Orange was the second time the United States
    used a WMD, the first being Hiroshima, but its effects were worse. It fits
    the Bush-Rumsfeld-Powell definition because poison is still flowing now.

    U.S. politicians rarely think long-term. Whether we support or oppose their
    efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq, those were mere social calls by comparison.
    In Vietnam, the war is still being fought by proxy, via an American liquid
    that came in orange cans.

  67. Jeff Wartman

    It’s really disheartening that the current debate seems to portray the war issue as interventionists v. peaceniks. I would imagine that most of us, like myself, fall somewhere in the middle.

    There are some within the party who choose to be a purist when it comes to being anti-war. In other words, to some, it’s about supporting or not supporting a particular war; it’s about being anti-the idea of war, which is childish.

    There are some within the party who continue to support the War in Iraq. This too is a mistake. There’s no question about certain facts: Saddam did not possess functional WMD at the time of the invasion. Saddam did not possess an imminent threat to the United States. Saddam was not complicit in the 9/11 attacks. The execution of the war has been completely and undeniably incompetent.

    The true answer lies in the middle. Yes, our party generally stands for a policy of non-intervention. However, under no intelligent reading can the term “non-intervention” be taken to mean “anti-war in all aspects.” The main idea behind non-interventionism is that the United States will only become involved when there is a direct US interest at stake. However, that comes with the caveat that in cases where the United States does at interests at stake, it is the responsibility of the government to maintain and protect those interests. As has been stated ad-nauseam, the war in Iraq does not qualify as protecting a U.S. vital interest.

    If the Libertarian Party takes a policy of real non-interventionism, where we do not get involved militarily unless our vital interests are at stake, we will be better off. But, responsible non-interventionism comes with that caveat that if we need to go to war, we do it.

    I get the question “Are you anti-war?” a lot, and I think it’s a dumb question. My stock answer has become “No intelligent person is anti-every war. I’m against the war in the Iraq, but not the idea of war.” It’s in the best interest of the LP to take this middle of the road approach.

  68. paulie cannoli Post author


    The true answer lies in the middle. Yes, our party generally stands for a policy of non-intervention. However, under no intelligent reading can the term “non-intervention” be taken to mean “anti-war in all aspects.” The main idea behind non-interventionism is that the United States will only become involved when there is a direct US interest at stake.

    The whole concept behind “US interests” needs to be exposed and challenged, in my view. Wars that are directly defensive, or wars of secession, can be justified. The idea of a powerful nation-state having “interests” around the world is a recipe for quagmire, imperialism, and the creating of permanent weapons industries that
    then seek to justify their continued flow of ill-gotten tax receipts by agitating for ever more war.

    Other large economic interests at stake include the reconstruction industries (Halliburton, Bechtel, KBR, etc), media (news ratings go up during wars), resource development and extraction companies, etc.

    Foreign powers also create a welfare dependency relationship with the US and create permanent entangling alliances — “US Interests.” Civil liberties are frequent casualties of the garrison state. This was why the idea of standing armies was in disrepute when the US was founded; historically, it is only a matter of time before standing armies tire of civilian rule and create martial law.

    The economy, too, gets used to existing on a war footing. It’s an addiction that has to be broken, and in a systematic way, if we are to seriously advance the cause of liberty.

    But, responsible non-interventionism comes with that caveat that if we need to go to war, we do it.

    Can you define this need more precisely?


    I get the question “Are you anti-war?” a lot, and I think it’s a dumb question. My stock answer has become “No intelligent person is anti-every war. I’m against the war in the Iraq, but not the idea of war.”

    I’m against the idea of war. I’ve seen it first hand in Central America, and it is unbelievable ugly. I’ve seen more low intensity war in shootouts over drug turf in the US. Here’s a little bit about the neighborhood where I grew up:

    http://www.wellesley.edu/Chemistry/Chem101/war/html%20pages/ny-heights-crime.html

    I was there before it got better, and I was right in the middle of the violence.

    And I don’t think all pacifists are/were unintelligent – for example, I think Robert LeFevre was quite intelligent. That doesn’t mean I’m a pacifist, however. See above regarding truly defensive wars and wars of secession.

    On another subject, have you seen anything from the alternative parties in Illinois on Blago’s impeachment and removal?

  69. libertariangirl

    “The main idea behind non-interventionism is that the United States will only become involved when there is a direct US interest at stake.”:

    thats sounds hinky to me , U.S interest could mean , oil ,wanting a military base , having to aid allies even when theyre wrong , etc

  70. Jeff Wartman

    The whole concept behind “US interests” needs to be exposed and challenged, in my view.

    We often stretch the meaning of U.S. interests to justify the march to war. It’s what happened in Iraq. However, this is an argument for better debate before we commit to war.

    The economy, too, gets used to existing on a war footing. It’s an addiction that has to be broken, and in a systematic way, if we are to seriously advance the cause of liberty.

    I agree. But I would say what you’re describing is reforming the way we approach war, not necessarily ending all war.

    Can you define this need more precisely?

    What I’m saying is that non-interventionism does not equal pacifism.

    And I don’t think all pacifists are/were unintelligent – for example, I think Robert LeFevre was quite intelligent. That doesn’t mean I’m a pacifist, however. See above regarding truly defensive wars and wars of secession.

    Of course not. You’ve already said that a truly defensive war is justified. That’s because you’re an intelligent guy.

    On another subject, have you seen anything from the alternative parties in Illinois on Blago’s impeachment and removal?

    The LP Illinois issued some press releases calling for a special election for BO’s Senate seat, for Rod to resign, and in support of the impeachment.

    We’re at a significant disadvantage because we don’t have major party status here in Illinois (Which necessitates a crazy 10% of the vote in a statewide race), but the Green Party does. They’re running candidates for Rahm’s House seat on the northwest side.

    I’m going to be working on making sure we have candidates for both Governor (Pat Quinn up in 2010) and Senate (Burris up in 2010) to take advantage of some of the voter disillusionment we have here in the state of Illinois.

  71. Jeff Wartman

    thats sounds hinky to me , U.S interest could mean , oil ,wanting a military base , having to aid allies even when theyre wrong , etc

    No doubt. Too many people have a wide tent for what a U.S. interest actually means. I’m talking mostly about defensive wars .

  72. paulie cannoli Post author

    Jeff, when you say mostly, can you specify what other wars you are talking about and which ones you are not? Some system to distinguish future potential conflicts into one category or the other?

  73. paulie cannoli Post author

    Of course not. You’ve already said that a truly defensive war is justified. That’s because you’re an intelligent guy.

    I did say that. I also said wars of secession can be justified. I can make a case for individuals or voluntarily organized groups joining rebellions against foreign dictators, although I oppose the US as a government doing so. What other interests, if any, do you think the US military should fight for around the world?

    I disagree that one must be unintelligent to oppose war even to the limited extent that I support it. Did you read the wikipedia article on LeFevre I linked? If so, did he strike you as being an unintelligent man?

    And, on yet another subject:

    I’m trying to get some writers together for Next Free Voice

    http://pauliecannoli.wordpress.com/

    The idea is basically about the same as Last Free Voice before they started kicking writers out and censoring blog comments (now better known as Least Free Voice or Lost Free Voice).

    Let me know if I can get you on board.

    I’d like to write about other aspects of libertarianism which are unconnected to partisan politics, but I’m not inspired to do so on a solo blog that receives few comments.

  74. libertariangirl

    then we are in agreement Jeff , defensive wars are sometimes necessary . I believe the statement of principles says ‘we do not believe in the INITIATION of force ‘ .

  75. paulie cannoli Post author

    The LP Illinois issued some press releases calling for a special election for BO’s Senate seat, for Rod to resign, and in support of the impeachment.

    I saw that, and posted it here. I meant in the last couple of days, with the removal – and not just the LP but any of the alternative parties (CP, Greens, etc).


    We’re at a significant disadvantage because we don’t have major party status here in Illinois (Which necessitates a crazy 10% of the vote in a statewide race), but the Green Party does. They’re running candidates for Rahm’s House seat on the northwest side.

    I know. I’ve been covering that too.


    I’m going to be working on making sure we have candidates for both Governor (Pat Quinn up in 2010) and Senate (Burris up in 2010) to take advantage of some of the voter disillusionment we have here in the state of Illinois.

    Right on. What’s the IL LP doing to be able to afford a petition drive in 2010?

  76. libertariangirl

    for instance do the hard -core anti war peeps here really believe we can reform our country thru the electoral process or do some of you believe that freedom is gained by the blood of patriots from time to time?
    god knows our country has initiated the force and the fraud and it does say in the constitution that should government get outa hand its our duty to overthrow it. I could gaurantee you that ‘overthrowing’ would involve bloodshed.
    not now as we are still involved in trying to change thru the electoral process but I could easily see that being a reality , more-so everyday.

  77. paulie cannoli Post author

    then we are in agreement Jeff , defensive wars are sometimes necessary . I believe the statement of principles says ‘we do not believe in the INITIATION of force ‘ .

    Nobody involved in this discussion has yet disagreed with that. I introduced LeFevre only as a counterpoint to the claim that to do so one needs to be of low intelligence.

    What I’m trying to determine is what else besides defensive wars Jeff includes under the heading of US interests when he says he’s “talking mostly about defensive wars .”
    (emphasis added).

  78. paulie cannoli Post author

    for instance do the hard -core anti war peeps here really believe we can reform our country thru the electoral process or do some of you believe that freedom is gained by the blood of patriots from time to time?

    I believe freedom is gained, even if only to a limited extent and temporarily, by the blood of rebels against tyranny sometime. I am not a big fan of the term “patriots”, but I know what you mean.

    I would, incidentally, suggest that there are other avenues to pursue besides those that involve elections or bloodshed – although I’m not necessarily discarding either of those two.

    god knows our country has initiated the force and the fraud and it does say in the constitution that should government get outa hand its our duty to overthrow it.

    I think you mean the Declaration of Independence.


    I could gaurantee you that ‘overthrowing’ would involve bloodshed.

    Not always. The USSR was overthrown with very little bloodshed.


    not now as we are still involved in trying to change thru the electoral process but I could easily see that being a reality , more-so everyday.

    I agree. But I still hope it doesn’t come to too much of that. As I said, I’ve seen war up close and in person, and hope to never see it again.

  79. paulie cannoli Post author

    I did mean the Dec. of Indep. sorry , im parking on dead brain cells today:)

    Again, we’ll have to discuss your penance elsewhere. 😛

    Switching discussion tracks just a bit, back in #18 Brian said,

    Still, I’ve been saying that we over-spend on CF since well before you took over the job that Bruce Cohen and I were doing for free. (I guess that’s another few grand per year of “sweat equity”, huh?)

    Brian, have you and Bruce made that same offer to National, or would you be willing to (I’d love to see Tom Knapp and the other editors of Rational Review/RRND go in with you guys on that, but that’s probably asking too much in the current ideological climate of the party).

    LP News has been increasingly pathetic and embarrassing lately. CF – whether with you two or Sipos – has been consistently better. Donny Ferguson has picked up the pace at LP.org, so maybe he’ll do better with LP News – but if volunteers helped, he would have more time for other things. And perhaps we could even get the archive off past years LP News off the wayback machine and back at LP.org while we’re at it.

  80. Jeff Wartman

    What’s the IL LP doing to be able to afford a petition drive in 2010?

    Nada, yet. In two weeks I’m going up to the McHenry County to sit down with Dave Brady, our chair, and talk about some of these issues. If you have any suggestions, as you know 1000x more about ballot access than I do, I’d appreciate some direction. Feel free to give me a call, if you still have my number. If not, shoot me and e-mail and I’ll send it over.

  81. Jeff Wartman

    What I’m trying to determine is what else besides defensive wars Jeff includes under the heading of US interests when he says he’s “talking mostly about defensive wars .”

    I’m purposely leaving it open because it’s harder to be ideological and rigid about foreign policy than economic policy. Whereas I can develop a set of rules about economic policy (from which I’m probably much closer to Mises than people give me credit for), I tend to take a pragmatic view on foreign policy. It’s more of a case by case thing.

  82. Jeff Wartman

    Feel free to give me a call, if you still have my number. If not, shoot me and e-mail and I’ll send it over.

    But let’s wait until Monday, as today is my birthday and I’m signing off here for the rest of the day…heading over to the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond for buffet, gambling and copious amounts of alcohol 🙂

  83. Leymann Feldenstein

    Reply to Paulie Cannoli:

    “It’s easy to say stuff like that. It’s a lot harder to provide a constructive alternative. ”

    I have an easy alternative though it may not be considered “constructive”; throw the baby out with the bath water. The LP has become nothing more than a clash between over-sized egos on an under-sized boat. You have paleocons like Bob Barr using the Party to resuscitate his political career and egotistical blowhards like Wayne Root exploiting the Party to feather his own nest.

    The answer is simple. Disband the Party and
    stop sucking up the limited financial resources of Party members to be wasted on administrative nonsense like I’ve seen on this and other threads. Let the Paleocon libs join the Republican Party’s libertarian caucus where they would probably have more success in advancing their agenda. The radical/anarchist Libs should show consistency of their convictions and stop giving legitimacy to the state by participating directly in the electoral process. I need not go into a long list of what radicals can do to effect change outside the system, but one way would be to stop sending their money to LP apparatchiks and give instead to other groups which advance their beliefs. Angela Keaton giving up the LP and spending her time and resources at antiwar.com sets a good example and I commend her for her actions. I hope other radical Libs follow her example and do the same thing.

    I’ve probably touched some raw nerves but so be it.

  84. Robert Capozzi

    Leymann, please cite evidence that Root is “feathering his own nest.”

    It’s my understanding — reasonably first hand — that Barr was a reluctant candidate. If so, please justify your assertion that “Barr using the Party to resuscitate his political career.”

    On their face, your charges lack credibility, but I AM open minded.

    There’s also a curious aspect to your call for the LP to disband. Are you saying that LP members are somehow involuntarily in the party? One could quit to avoid your alleged “sucking up of resources.” Your analysis sounds collectivist!

  85. libertariangirl

    egotistical blowhards like Wayne Root exploiting the Party to feather his own nest.

    oh geez not again… would any self respecting nest featherer choose the LP as the vehicle to grift?
    come one , any half wit would pick an organization with more money and stupider people if that were they’re purpose.

    as for shutting down thats just wrong . This is the LP , not the broader libertarian movement of which we are a small part . We are a political party whose purpose is winning elections..
    my fave quote again:
    if your serious about changing the world and you know your philosophy is correct then you owe it to your philosophy to learn how to win elections.

  86. Brian Holtz

    Prospective Advertiser:

    Thanks for again failing to quote a Bush lie per my rules above. As for Taliban due process, I’m still waiting for one bystander to seriously claim that they’re not sure which has a better record on that matter. It’s profoundly un-intellectual — no wait, merely inane — to claim one has to have been arrested to assess America’s record on due process.

    You’ve got my argument on Hiroshima wrong. Wake me when you can correctly state it. It remains unrebutted at http://blog.360.yahoo.com/knowinghumans?p=187.

    I didn’t say “noone expected unrest in Iraq”. I said nobody expected the bloody civil war that the invasion unleashed. I’ve extensively documented this failure of Iraq Cassandras at http://knowinghumans.net/2007/02/iraq-cassandras-no-they-did-not-tell-us.html. I guarantee you cannot document the sort of prediction that I claim didn’t happen. I dare you to try.

    U.S. supplied chemical weapons to Saddam? I’ve annihilated this claim at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/marketliberal/message/1242.

    Tom, thank you for recognizing that you haven’t disagreed with my point about whether CF’s antiwar coverage has been divisive. I of course agree that merely supporting the current LP Platform isn’t divisive. 🙂

    Paulie, if you can’t see the difference between the American and Taliban records on due process, then I don’t have time to waste showing it to you. I’ll gladly concede to you any reader who is similarly blind. Meanwhile, your riposte about extraditing Tony Blair remains a misfire.

    Similarly, I’m going to have to declare your complaints about the Taliban and 9/11 evidence as just too silly to spend any time on. You know I love to debate, and I’ve written reams on 9/11 conspiracy silliness, so that should calibrate for you just how weak I think your argument is here. The fact that some people have been slow to figure out who committed 9/11 is just not a serious argument that we shouldn’t have deposed the Taliban. Sorry.

    Re: the unexpected civil war, see my Cassandras article above. I’ve researched this intensively. It wasn’t predicted. Sorry. Also, note that if an Iraq civil war was inevitable whenever the reign of Saddam and his sons ended, then the current civil war isn’t much of a good argument that invading Iraq was a mistake.

    You’re the one saying some or all of Saddam’s genocides were U.S. responsibility. You tell ME which ones you mean.

    April Glaspie? See http://groups.yahoo.com/group/marketliberal/message/885. Downing Street Memo? See http://groups.yahoo.com/group/marketliberal/message/1241. A dozen other links are at http://more.libertarianintelligence.com/2009/01/paulie-wants-to-debate-iraq-and-waco.html. Yes, I know reasonable libertarians disagree with me. I’m not the one here claiming that no reasonable libertarian disagreement is possible. If that’s your position, then you have to deal with everything I cite, while I don’t have to answer anything but rebuttals to what I’ve specifically cited. That’s what you get for assuming such a high burden of proof.

    And if instead you’re going to drop all the empirical arguments and fall back on the anarcholibertarian complaint against the defense of liberty as a tax-financed public good, then I again claim that reasonable libertarians can disagree. Are you now going to say that minarchists aren’t reasonable libertarians simply because they don’t always want the defense of liberty to stop at lines drawn onto maps by statists?

    Nice try regarding Koresh, but I was serious when I said I won’t debate Waco. Might as well ask me about Area 51.

    Regarding Bush lies to get into Iraq, I stated the rules clearly above. Pick your best quote and put it between quotation marks. I’ll give you one shot. Make it count.

    I need to fix the California newsletter before I can worry about LP News. Between LPCA ExCom, my new water board seat, and another round of PlatCom, my activism plate is pretty full right now.

    Jeff, I agree that continuing the military effort in Iraq is a mistake. That’s been my position since 2006. As far as I can tell, none of your criticisms apply to the position I set forth in http://knowinghumans.net/2007/04/defending-libervention-in-iraq.html.

    I agree that talk of “vital interests” is ill-advised and unnecessary. I never talk of “vital interests”, only about defending human liberty.

    LG, reasonable radicals like Tom and Paulie and you do a good enough job already of keeping me on my toes, so please don’t go discouraging radical punching bags like Prospective Advertiser. My plans for the LP depend on radicals being unreasonable, dammit. 🙂

  87. paulie cannoli Post author

    Jeff,

    Happy birthday. I was not on the computer when you posted the followup (just got back on now), so, sorry for the calls. Call me when you got time. You should have my number now, it’s the 415 area code..

    LG,

    I didn’t find your number though, I thought I had it…..give me a call when you get a chance, or email me # when you have time.

  88. paulie cannoli Post author

    I tend to take a pragmatic view on foreign policy. It’s more of a case by case thing.

    Fair enough. Let me know if you get a chance to think about some rules for telling cases apart. No hurry.

  89. Prospective Advertiser

    You don’t set the rules of the discussion, fuckwad. I’ll write whatever I please, and if it doesn’t conform to your rules, fuck yourself.

    You are a vicious militarist. You know that military men die when you send them overseas to fight and bleed and die for what you imagine is liberty. You know that people who were not aggressive are also killed. You know that the wars you love, the military that you adore, kills people. You know that these things happen, and you love it. You love the entire idea of massacring people in other countries.

    Because of your militarism and your hatred of humanity, you are also eager to see people who disagree with you massacred by that same military operating in this country. You are a vicious thug. So, no, I don’t have to play by your rules.

    You admit over and over again that you are eager for more bloodshed, for more military intervention, what you claim is libervention, for the deaths of anyone who stands in the way, for the deaths of anyone who stands near anyone who stands in the way, and for the deaths of people who stay far away from war but happen to be under the nuclear weapons when they fall from the sky. You are a hateful, evil, vicious, aggressive, violent, mass murderer. It is your advocacy of mass murder that is at stake here.

    When you crawl over broken glass to the families of everyone killed in the war in Iraq and the war in Afghanistan, then I will respond to your request for information on the lies of Bush. Until then, don’t pretend to set the rules.

    You won’t debate the Waco massacre, because you loved it. You are an obscene war mongering hate machine. You loved the women and children being brutally massacred. You are particularly keen on the death of innocents. You are a monster, Holtz, and the world would be better if you killed yourself. Make the world a better place.

  90. paulie cannoli Post author


    The answer is simple. Disband the Party and stop sucking up the limited financial resources of Party members to be wasted on administrative nonsense like I’ve seen on this and other threads.

    You are not going to disband the party because there will still be people who want to have one. If you aren’t one of them, then you won’t be one of the ones who helps shape its direction.


    Let the Paleocon libs join the Republican Party’s libertarian caucus where they would probably have more success in advancing their agenda.

    Some have. Some have come back, too, because they don’t make any headway there.


    The radical/anarchist Libs should show consistency of their convictions and stop giving legitimacy to the state by participating directly in the electoral process.

    I don’t think it gives legitimacy to the state. I know the argument, and some counter-arguments too.

    Simplest form of the counterargument is that participating in the state so long as it exists is a defensive action.


    I need not go into a long list of what radicals can do to effect change outside the system, but one way would be to stop sending their money to LP apparatchiks and give instead to other groups which advance their beliefs.

    Sure, that’s fine, and there are a lot of good groups out there. This being independent political report, it’s somewhat off topic to get into that here, but feel free to anyway. There are a lot of functions which I don’t see anyone except the party attempt to any great extent in the movement, so there’s certainly room for many of them to be done under/through other means than the party.


    I’ve probably touched some raw nerves but so be it.

    Not at all. I’ve been active considering that route for 8 years. It’s a legitimate choice. But like I said, I can make the counterargument as well.

    Good back and forth on this in the comments at

    http://georgedonnelly.com/asides/evolved-into-anarchist

  91. libertariangirl

    I believe it is being that in a previous thread he alluded to a project he did with well known nut ball Chuck Geshlider in Nevada.

  92. libertariangirl

    to encourage someone to kill themselves is sick and beyond the scope of what should be tolerated.

    i have never seen such vicious rhetoric from anyone .

  93. paulie cannoli Post author

    Thanks for again failing to quote a Bush lie per my rules above.

    I posted links to some, analysis included.

    As for Taliban due process, I’m still waiting for one bystander to seriously claim that they’re not sure which has a better record on that matter.

    I think one or more have in this discussion. But it’s besides the point. The US should practice due process whether other countries do or not.


    I didn’t say “noone expected unrest in Iraq”. I said nobody expected the bloody civil war that the invasion unleashed. I’ve extensively documented this failure of Iraq Cassandras at http://knowinghumans.net/2007/02/iraq-cassandras-no-they-did-not-tell-us.html. I guarantee you cannot document the sort of prediction that I claim didn’t happen. I dare you to try.

    I did predict it, and I think I can find the proof if you know something like the wayback machine for yahoo groups that have been taken down.

    Meanwhile, your riposte about extraditing Tony Blair remains a misfire.

    I don’t see where you’ve demonstrated this, other than through repeated assertion.


    Similarly, I’m going to have to declare your complaints about the Taliban and 9/11 evidence as just too silly to spend any time on. You know I love to debate, and I’ve written reams on 9/11 conspiracy silliness, so that should calibrate for you just how weak I think your argument is here. The fact that some people have been slow to figure out who committed 9/11 is just not a serious argument that we shouldn’t have deposed the Taliban. Sorry.

    You can characterize any argument you want as silly or weak and not address it. That does not, however, make your argument any stronger.

    Also, note that if an Iraq civil war was inevitable whenever the reign of Saddam and his sons ended, then the current civil war isn’t much of a good argument that invading Iraq was a mistake.

    I don’t know whether it was inevitable or not. It probably would not have involved things like depleted uranium, American soldiers running a torture camp, a decade long embargo responsible for the death of an estimated million people from disease and hunger, half children (“Worth it” – Madeleine Albright), or many other charming features of the current conflict, including the likelihood of escalating regional conflict and terrorist blowback.

    You’re the one saying some or all of Saddam’s genocides were U.S. responsibility. You tell ME which ones you mean.

    Did I use that word? If so, my error. I’m unaware of any genocides (that is, attempts to wipe out ethnic groups). He did kill a lot of people, true. Not as many as the US has killed (embargo included) since he stopped being a US client, and a good chunk of the people he killed were, e.g., Shia who were encouraged to rebel against him by the US and then left hanging.
    And….


    April Glaspie? See http://groups.yahoo.com/group/marketliberal/message/885.

    DK> With the tacit approval of the US Ambassador…

    PF: Saying the US had no position on the border dispute is a green light. It means that the US would not interfere in such a border dispute.


    A dozen other links are at http://more.libertarianintelligence.com/2009/01/paulie-wants-to-debate-iraq-and-waco.html.

    I appreciate that. Unfortunately, I just don’t have time to go through and answer all of them. I wish I did.


    Yes, I know reasonable libertarians disagree with me. I’m not the one here claiming that no reasonable libertarian disagreement is possible. If that’s your position, then you have to deal with everything I cite, while I don’t have to answer anything but rebuttals to what I’ve specifically cited. That’s what you get for assuming such a high burden of proof.

    It all depends on how you define libertarian. Using a broad definition, someone can disagree on any given issue and still be a libertarian, if one is a libertarian on a broad preponderance of issues. I’m willing to let be the operative definition for political party work – not that I have a choice if I didn’t, since it already is. However, the downside of such an “open borders” policy of accepting near-libertarians is that so many join who disagree on a given issue or set of issues that they then seek to change “the” libertarian position on that issue or set of issues. (I use open borders with irony, since our open borders policy in regards to the US is falling by the wayside, which I think is a real shame).

    And if instead you’re going to drop all the empirical arguments and fall back on the anarcholibertarian complaint against the defense of liberty as a tax-financed public good, then I again claim that reasonable libertarians can disagree. Are you now going to say that minarchists aren’t reasonable libertarians simply because they don’t always want the defense of liberty to stop at lines drawn onto maps by statists?

    Again, it depends on what you call a libertarian. If one defines it as adherent of the non-initiation of force principle, then yes, that would be an answer. I don’t think that would be a reasonable standard for a mass-participation political party. Maybe a Leninist-style vanguard, but attempts to enforce such ideological discipline on libertarians have failed.


    Nice try regarding Koresh, but I was serious when I said I won’t debate Waco. Might as well ask me about Area 51.

    OK, concession accepted 🙂


    I need to fix the California newsletter before I can worry about LP News.

    You may be more easily able to gain control of LP News than California. Although, for all I know you and your allies may prevail at the upcoming California convention. Haven’t kept up with California enough to know if that is even on the table.


    Between LPCA ExCom, my new water board seat, and another round of PlatCom, my activism plate is pretty full right now.

    Certainly understandable.


    LG, reasonable radicals like Tom and Paulie and you do a good enough job already of keeping me on my toes, so please don’t go discouraging radical punching bags like Prospective Advertiser. My plans for the LP depend on radicals being unreasonable, dammit. 🙂

    Your plans for the LP will probably succeed beyond your wildest hopes, then.

  94. libertariangirl

    BH:_. My plans for the LP depend on radicals being unreasonable, dammit.

    PC:_Your plans for the LP will probably succeed beyond your wildest hopes, then.

    i am seriously starting to realize this

  95. paulie cannoli Post author

    Jim Davidson from Nevada?

    As far as I know, Jim Davidson is not from Nevada. I think he did either live there, or planned to, but that was a while ago.

    i have never seen such vicious rhetoric from anyone .

    I was thinking of saying that means you haven’t spent enough time on the internet, but then I thought about it, and it would be more accurate to say it means I‘ve spent too much time on it.

  96. libertariangirl

    Jim Davidson did use to live in Nevada , at least in the mid-90’s when he and Geshlider we’re involved in various projects .
    I believe P.A alluded to previously living in Nevada and working with Geshlider …

    so I think Im calling it …Jim Davidson is Prospective Advertiser

  97. paulie cannoli Post author

    I can’t confirm or deny (that is, I can, but I won’t).

    Last I heard from Jim, he was avoiding posting here due to safety concerns. Apparently someone else here took a “liking” to him and made some threats, or something.

    If he has safety concerns, I can understand, since that is why I use a pseudonym also.

    Maybe it’s someone else. Someone here had a couple of guesses recently.

  98. Gene Trosper

    I dealt with Geshlider in 2000. For the love of all that is sacred and holy, I hope to never have to deal with him again.

  99. libertariangirl

    yeah but the difference is everybody knows who you are Paulie:)
    .if I was talking like the way P.A was , Id expect people to threaten me to too , that is with a mouth like his i’d remain anonymous also.

    myself i have to hide , is there anyone who doesnt know im debra dedmon , LP Vice Chair from Nevada and the girl that used to have dredlocks?

  100. libertariangirl

    LOL you are so funny and i dont see the resemblance … maybe if your hair was lighter like cream , im stoned and i swear i cant see it

  101. libertariangirl

    GT:_I dealt with Geshlider in 2000. For the love of all that is sacred and holy, I hope to never have to deal with him again.
    LOL he seems to have that effect on everyone who crosses his path.

  102. libertariangirl

    and I stand by my hunch about who P.A is , i used to be good at that game clue ROFL

  103. libertariangirl

    PC:_I can’t confirm or deny (that is, I can, but I won’t).

    oh no , not the ole ‘i cant confirm or deny’ routine .

  104. paulie cannoli Post author

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

    “La Cucaracha” (”The Cockroach”) is a traditional Spanish language folk song of the genre known as a corrido, that became popular in Mexico during the Mexican Revolution.

    The song “La Cucaracha” is of Spanish origin. It gained its greatest popularity during the Mexican Revolution of the early 20th century. However, the song is mentioned in 1883, and possibly as early as 1818.

    Lyrics

    The lyrics consist of independent verses, often improvised. It is similar to Yankee Doodle, The Burning of the School or On Top of Old Smoky. It is widely believed that the original version is as follows:

    La cucaracha, la cucaracha,
    Ya no puede caminar;
    Porque no tiene, porque le falta
    Marihuana que fumar.

    English

    The cockroach, the cockroach,
    Can’t walk anymore
    Because it doesn’t have, because it’s lacking
    Marijuana to smoke

    This version was popularized among Mexican soldiers during the Mexican Revolution, and as it spread throughout various Spanish cultures, many more versions came to be.

  105. Brian Holtz

    LG, I was hoping PA wasn’t Jim Davidson, because the more mentally unhinged radicals there are, the better it is for us non-radicals. Oh well.

    Paulie, I’m still waiting for you to identify your premier showcase poster-child pre-invasion Bush lie about why America should despose Saddam. Choose carefully. 🙂

    I’m also waiting for a named bystander to step up and seriously claim that they’re not sure whether the Taliban record on due process was better than America’s. If you’ve seen one do so, don’t be shy about naming him.

    If the only prediction you have for me of a bloody post-invasion civil war is buried in Yahoo Groups where we can’t see it, that pretty much proves my point that the invasion was unpredicted for all practical purposes of policy-making. Feel free to try do do better, but I invested several days on it and failed. Hence my confidence in my challenge.

    Your point about Blair misfired because I eagerly embraced the idea of extraditing him to any nation with America’s legal standards.

    I leave it to our readers to decide whether the fact that some people have been slow to figure out who committed 9/11 is a serious argument that we shouldn’t have deposed the Taliban. Again, name me a member of our jury who seriously disagrees with me on this point. (I’m not sure if I’ve clearly seen even YOU say you seriously disagree on this point.) You may not be able to find predictions of the Iraqi civil war, but I can easily find predictions that al Qaeda would turn out to be the guilty party.

    The torture complaint doesn’t pass the laugh test — the level of American-on-Iraqi torture in post-Saddam Iraq has surely been orders of magnitude less than the level of Saddam-on-Iraqi torture was. This complaint perfectly illustrates the fundamental difference between us: you care more about having clean hands, whereas I care more about net human lives and liberty. (If I knew that the Sunnis and Shias would hold such a bloody civil war and had reason to believe it wasn’t inevitable after the Hussein regime, then I wouldn’t have favored the invasion. If I knew the Abu Ghraib abuses would be a side-effect of the invasion, I wouldn’t have hesitated. While I care deeply about what the abuses did to America’s image, I care far more deeply about the hundreds or thousands of innocent deaths that we knew would be a side-effect of deposing a regime that had butchered millions.)

    Depleted uranium is a non-issue; most people who raise it know only that “uranium bullet” sounds like a WMD. Check out the science. Really. For example, a 747 typically contains about a ton of depleted uranium as trim weights. DU is even used in commercial industrial applications as a radiation shield. Shouting “uranium!” doesn’t win this argument, sorry.

    UNSC Resolution 706 of 1991 offered to allow Saddam to sell oil to buy food and medicine for his people while he was under UN Security Council disarmament sanctions for his blatant war of aggression. He refused for five years. Reason magazine says that the estimate of 1 million deaths is inflated, but whatever the number, Saddam was responsible for every single one. The ghosts of Saddam’s myriad victims should haunt you for your efforts to diminish his guilt.

    By genocide I mean Saddam’s ethnically-targeted mass killings of Kurds, often using WMDs. You have no evidence that America encouraged or assisted in those mass killings. I’ve examined the relevant primary sources in detail. See my findings at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/marketliberal/message/2052. You’re the victim of an urban legend here. Sorry.

    You need to check your primary sources on Glaspie. All that she is quoted as saying is that the US has no position on the border dispute and that the the dispute should be resolved by Arab diplomacy. Glaspie not having a position on a technical border adjustment and on a slant-drilling complaint is just NOT a “green light” for invasion and annexation of a sovereign state. To say otherwise is inane. Please stop regurgitating propaganda, and check the primary sources. I have.

    I don’t see how you can claim that the non-aggression principle can tell minarchists that statist lines on maps are sacrosanct. You must instead mean that the NAP implies anarcholibertarianism and contradicts minarchism. If so, then you’ve completely abandoned any pretense of having a dispositive ecumenical libertarian argument against the invasion, and you’re backing to preaching anarchism at me. Been there, done that.

    I’ll give you one more round on empirical Iraq questions, and then I’ll consider it demonstrated once again that I can defend my libertarian case for Iraq liberation against any libertarian critique that gets offered against it. Again, I’m not saying a reasonable libertarian couldn’t have opposed the invasion. I’m just waiting to hear an argument that a reasonable libertarian couldn’t have supported it. I’ve never heard such an argument that I couldn’t systematically answer — usually by cutting and pasting from times that I’ve answered the argument before.

    My usual policy when people want to debate fringe empirical claims (like your characterization of Waco) is to ask them to first get their claims past the Wikipedia community. So I’ll debate the topic only if we provisionally stipulate (as I do, sight unseen) to the claims in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waco_Siege. If you disagree with what you read there, then I won’t debate you on Waco until after you’ve gotten your version of events accepted for inclusion in the article. Sorry, but that’s a luxury I claim by virtue of sharing the mainstream view on the matter. I say the same thing to creationists, flat-earthers, and most flavors of conspiracy theorists. (That’s not dictating the terms of debate. That’s just distinguishing what I’m willing to defend against from what I consider not worth responding to. Take that distinction however you please.)

    Meanwhile, the “war!” topic has of course thoroughly hijacked this thread, like a banana tossed into the monkey cage. Note that our headliner, Thomas Sipos, has not attempted to defend his California Freedom editorial from my charge that he systematically swept under the rug the eight most serious charges against Angela. He instead devoted scarce CF space to a cartoon that puts a Hitler moustache on the 2000-2006 LPCA Chair, and to a recklessly false charge against the 2008 LP nominee. He proudly editorializes that he didn’t vote for the LP’s nominee, he doesn’t cover the story when 18 LPCA candidates issue a press release, and now he tells us that he’s deliberately let his LP dues lapse. Can somebody explain why the LPCA should be paying this guy $4000 a year to inflict his act on the LPCA membership?

  106. Prospective Advertiser

    “to encourage someone to kill themselves is sick and beyond the scope of what should be tolerated.”

    Then it is well that your tolerance is not involved. I don’t tolerate Holtz because he is gung ho for the massacre of civilians. He knows what war is, he knows what military intervention does. He admits it.

    He goes into thorough detail, for example, on how highly he thinks of Truman for massacring a few hundred thousand Japanese civilians who were not involved in the war effort. He goes into detail on how he believes everything the government has ever said about massacring the Branch Davidians. He is a butcher, who advocates the initiation of force against persons who never engaged in aggression.

    So, yes, I think he should do us all a favor and kill himself. The world would be a better place for it.

    I don’t much like Geshlider’s personality, but he has done actual work for freedom. He was involved in, and provided a huge amount of printing services out of his pocket, to the Oceania new country effort, one of the many things called “The Atlantis Project” back in 1993-1994. He actually has an audio tape of Eric Klien admitting to having taken the money. He was involved in something called Gold Dollar Ranch in 1998 which went nowhere for lack of funds. He’s involved in a West Texas project involving Loving county, the lowest population county in the country.

    No, he’s not a very nice, pleasant guy. On the other hand, he was a decent stepfather to the one child I saw him interact with, and I’ve never seen him do anything violent. New York City is all over his personality like a rash on a homeless dude. But so what?

    Holden writes, “Paulie, you should be banned from posting comments.”

    And why is that? If you don’t like his comments, the scroll bar is right there. Grab the little box in the scroll bar and read something else.

    Like, say, the comments of arch-villain and war crimes enthusiast Holtz. He’ll tell you about the butchering of non-combatants with a gleam in his eye. And he’ll never lift a rifle himself.

  107. Michael H. Wilson

    Actually Iraq may have had good reasons for invading Kuwait. Something about Kuwait tapping into Iraq oil fields, but I haven’t seen the story sorted out in some years.

    paulie is that you on the right?

    MW

  108. Michael H. Wilson

    Oopsie! I forgot to mention in his book “Bad Money” Kevin Phillips mentions that Saddam was going to demand that payment for Iraqi oil be made in Euros instead of dollars. One has to wonder if that was not reason for the invasion. I’ll dig the page out tomorrow. Maybe!

    MW

  109. paulie cannoli Post author

    I was hoping PA wasn’t Jim Davidson

    I haven’t confirmed or denied. So you can still hold out hope.


    Paulie, I’m still waiting for you to identify your premier showcase poster-child pre-invasion Bush lie about why America should despose Saddam. Choose carefully. 🙂

    Too many to choose from. I’m like the proverbial confused voter, confounded with too many choices on my ballot. I have to have them all! The good news is that, outside the realm of debate as you define it (where I should answer dozens of detailed arguments you link, each one themselves containing references, and you should only have to answer one and one only) – readers can decide for themselves whether the Bush Lies links I provided, and their analysis, reveals any actual Bush lies or not.

    Of course they could also just use search engines for terms such as “Bush lies” Iraq.


    I’m also waiting for a named bystander to step up and seriously claim that they’re not sure whether the Taliban record on due process was better than America’s. If you’ve seen one do so, don’t be shy about naming him.

    A search for the term “due process” in this thread found comments only from me, you, Prospective Advertiser, and Billy Goat Eater.
    The latter two seem to be on my side of this, although I’m not vouching for every single statement they ever make. It’s possible someone else referred to it without using the term due process. I don’t feel like reading the whole thread again, though.

    I’ll note in passing that I haven’t claimed that the Taliban has an overall better record of due process, nor that my argument rests on any such claim.


    If the only prediction you have for me of a bloody post-invasion civil war is buried in Yahoo Groups where we can’t see it, that pretty much proves my point that the invasion was unpredicted for all practical purposes of policy-making. Feel free to try do do better, but I invested several days on it and failed.

    The difficulty I have here is that Lew Rockwell posts twelve articles a day, over 300 times a year, and has removed the former day by day archive. The articles are usually long, and so it would take me a long time to find what I am looking for. At the time, I was posting a lot of the ones about the war issue to a yahoo group, but it got shut down. I also posted back and forth arguments and other things there. I have articles going back to Jun 2003 in another group that is still up, but I’d need the old one for older stuff.


    The torture complaint doesn’t pass the laugh test — the level of American-on-Iraqi torture in post-Saddam Iraq has surely been orders of magnitude less than the level of Saddam-on-Iraqi torture was.

    I don’t recall making any magnitude comparison claims. The thing is, pictures and video of foreign infidels torturing and humiliating Muslim men has an entirely different effect on the worlds billion plus Muslims than (for the most part unreported) torture by an Arab dictator of his own subjects. And that effect will cause ripple effects of its own – ones we may have to deal with for many generations, given that the Muslim world still remembers the crusades.


    This complaint perfectly illustrates the fundamental difference between us: you care more about having clean hands, whereas I care more about net human lives and liberty.

    But, Brian, I think “our” unclean hands will eventually lead to a net decrease in human lives and liberty.

    In fact, counting the poisons such as depleted uranium and agent orange which Americans have unleashed on places like Iraq and Vietnam, the million or so dead from the embargo of Iraq, the people killed, robbed, maimed, raped, tortured, dispossessed, etc., around the world by US-supplied weapons and US-supported dictators, the likely blowback of terrorism, the destruction of US civil liberties and economic freedom in the name of the present and future war effort this necessitates, and so on in a vicious cycle … net human lives and liberty are precisely the point. These “liberation” efforts don’t exist in some sanitized vacuum.


    If I knew that the Sunnis and Shias would hold such a bloody civil war and had reason to believe it wasn’t inevitable after the Hussein regime, then I wouldn’t have favored the invasion.

    You’re a yahoo expert, if I recall correctly. Is there a way to retrieve my old posts?


    If I knew the Abu Ghraib abuses would be a side-effect of the invasion, I wouldn’t have hesitated. While I care deeply about what the abuses did to America’s image, I care far more deeply about the hundreds or thousands of innocent deaths that we knew would be a side-effect of deposing a regime that had butchered millions.

    Butchered millions seems far outside the range of estimates I’ve seen. It remains to be seen how many may die from yet-unknown side effects of this deposal.


    Depleted uranium is a non-issue; most people who raise it know only that “uranium bullet” sounds like a WMD. Check out the science. Really.

    Search engine terms:
    doug rokke depleted uranium


    Reason magazine says that the estimate of 1 million deaths is inflated, but whatever the number, Saddam was responsible for every single one. The ghosts of Saddam’s myriad victims should haunt you for your efforts to diminish his guilt.

    Madeleine Albright admitted to it, and said it was worth it.


    By genocide I mean Saddam’s ethnically-targeted mass killings of Kurds, often using WMDs.

    See Jude Wanniski regarding those claims.

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/wanniski/wanniski-arch.html

    For example:

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/wanniski/wanniski44.html


    You have no evidence that America encouraged or assisted in those mass killings.

    Saddam wasn’t a US client for many years?


    You need to check your primary sources on Glaspie. All that she is quoted as saying is that the US has no position on the border dispute and that the the dispute should be resolved by Arab diplomacy.

    Correct. If I tell you I have no position on your dispute with your neighbor, does that mean I am signaling I will or won’t interfere in your dispute over him drilling slantwise under your land?


    Glaspie not having a position on a technical border adjustment and on a slant-drilling complaint is just NOT a “green light” for invasion and annexation of a sovereign state. To say otherwise is inane. Please stop regurgitating propaganda, and check the primary sources. I have.

    I have too, and I also can read a little between the lines. Of course she wasn’t going to tell him directly in plain English to go ahead and invade. But if she wanted to signal disapproval, she would have said something very different from “no position.”


    I don’t see how you can claim that the non-aggression principle can tell minarchists that statist lines on maps are sacrosanct.

    Sorry, miscommunication. I’ll have to re-parse some other time. Already far over time budget on this one….


    You must instead mean that the NAP implies anarcholibertarianism and contradicts minarchism. If so, then you’ve completely abandoned any pretense of having a dispositive ecumenical libertarian argument against the invasion, and you’re backing to preaching anarchism at me. Been there, done that.

    I have a variety of different arguments against the invasion, at different levels and for different audiences.


    I’ll give you one more round on empirical Iraq questions, and then I’ll consider it demonstrated once again that I can defend my libertarian case for Iraq liberation against any libertarian critique that gets offered against it.

    I’m sure you can, and I can continue to add detail to any such critique, but we both have other things to do.


    Again, I’m not saying a reasonable libertarian couldn’t have opposed the invasion. I’m just waiting to hear an argument that a reasonable libertarian couldn’t have supported it.

    I’m not sure I would go that far anymore. I think a reasonable libertarian can come to the wrong conclusion on any given issue, and that one issue does not by itself make that person a non-libertarian. That is, using the broad definition of libertarian, not the narrow ZAPsolutist one, both of which have validity in different contexts.


    I’ve never heard such an argument that I couldn’t systematically answer — usually by cutting and pasting from times that I’ve answered the argument before.

    I commend you for staying so well-organized. Unfortunately, that leaves me ill-equipped to face off against you. Not because I lack for good arguments or ability to discuss issues on the same level, but because it would take me all day, every day, and you would outpace me considerably by virtue of having a great deal of material ready for cut and paste.


    My usual policy when people want to debate fringe empirical claims (like your characterization of Waco) is to ask them to first get their claims past the Wikipedia community. So I’ll debate the topic only if we provisionally stipulate (as I do, sight unseen) to the claims in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waco_Siege.

    I’ll agree to it as a good starting point, also sight unseen.


    If you disagree with what you read there, then I won’t debate you on Waco until after you’ve gotten your version of events accepted for inclusion in the article.

    I don’t edit wikipedia articles.


    Meanwhile, the “war!” topic has of course thoroughly hijacked this thread, like a banana tossed into the monkey cage.

    War seems to be a central issue for Ron Paul and Keaton, just as it is for Sipos, so I’m not sure hijacked is the right term, and in any case it has been an interesting discussion. If I decide to read and respond to the links you provided rather than posting new articles here, working on several activism plans, and lining up paying work, it can continue to get more interesting, but I’ve already spent way more time than I planned on it today.

    If, however, you insist that it is a hijack, I’ve traced it back to your claim that it is a “divisive” issue. Feel free to shift focus and address other aspects of Sipos’ article any time…


    Note that our headliner, Thomas Sipos, has not attempted to defend his California Freedom editorial from my charge that he systematically swept under the rug the eight most serious charges against Angela. He instead devoted scarce CF space to a cartoon that puts a Hitler moustache on the 2000-2006 LPCA Chair, and to a recklessly false charge against the 2008 LP nominee. He proudly editorializes that he didn’t vote for the LP’s nominee, he doesn’t cover the story when 18 LPCA candidates issue a press release, and now he tells us that he’s deliberately let his LP dues lapse. Can somebody explain why the LPCA should be paying this guy $4000 a year to inflict his act on the LPCA membership?

    I’ll let Mr. Sipos speak for himself. Allocating another state party’s money is not my business.

  110. Prospective Advertiser

    I think Eddie Izzard makes a very important (though kinda sad) point when he says that Stalin and Pol Pot killed millions and even tortured a whole lot, and got away with it. Stalin died in his home, Pol Pot under house arrest. “We don’t mind if you kill your own people. Oh, have at! We’ve been trying to kill you lot for years.”

    “But Hitler killed people in other countries. Stupid man. No, we won’t stand for that after a few years. So Hitler died in a ditch, covered in petrol, on fire. And it was his honeymoon! Double trouble. ‘Eva, let’s marry.’ ‘What shall we do for our honeymoon?’ ‘Oh, let’s die in a ditch, covered in petrol, on fire. I’ve arranged it all upstairs.'”

    And the like. Sure, we’ll never know how many people Saddam tortured and killed amongst the Iraqis, but how did that become an excuse to torture and kill Iraqis, not to mention sending thousands and thousands of American soldiers to their deaths? As Paulie notes, most Arabs expect bad stuff from their own governments, and are somewhat inured to it. If they should be more outraged about their governments, okay, good.

    But sending American soldiers to torture them and kill them and rape their women doesn’t answer the problem of terrorism, it creates more of it.

  111. Prospective Advertiser

    Which, I should mention, creating more terrorism, is the deliberate intention of Holtz. He wants more terrorists from more countries to have more reasons to attack and kill Americans, because his blood lust can never be sated.

  112. paulie cannoli Post author

    P.A.,

    Comments like 148 and others like it only decrease the seriousness with which most other people reading are likely to consider the good points you make elsewhere.

    Video at P.A.’s request:

  113. Steven R Linnabary

    The torture complaint doesn’t pass the laugh test — the level of American-on-Iraqi torture in post-Saddam Iraq has surely been orders of magnitude less than the level of Saddam-on-Iraqi torture was.

    Typical bully. Laugh at the victims.

    But torture is still torture, it doesn’t matter if your team is doing it or receiving it. It is WRONG.

    Depleted uranium is a non-issue; most people who raise it know only that “uranium bullet” sounds like a WMD. Check out the science. Really. For example, a 747 typically contains about a ton of depleted uranium as trim weights.

    Depleted Uranium is a VERY toxic substance. Just ask the thousands of returned soldiers and Marines back from Iraq. Or the mothers of the thousands of Iraqi children with leukemia. Or maybe it’s just one more thing for you to laugh about.

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

    DU is used to harden certain metals. Such as bullets and other projectiles. The problem is when it hits something, it disintegrates into dust. Then it gets into the air (and is breathed into the lungs), and eventually into the food and water supply. For thousands of years.

    There is now a huge spike in reported Iraqi lung cancers, in addition to the aforementioned leukemias.

    Again, I’m not saying a reasonable libertarian couldn’t have opposed the invasion.

    I’m still waiting for a Libertarian justification for this monstrous war of choice. And I’m not laughing about it.

    PEACE

  114. paulie cannoli Post author

    If you don’t like his comments, the scroll bar is right there. Grab the little box in the scroll bar and read something else.

    Or, Holden can go to Least Free Voice (AKA Lost Free Voice), where I am already banned from commenting.

    Works like a charm!

  115. Michael H. Wilson

    Brian, not to be rude, but I am beginning to think that responding to anything you write is simply a waste of time. You have a tendency to twist history, or what we know of it to your desire.

  116. Billy Goat Eater

    “But torture is still torture, it doesn’t matter if your team is doing it or receiving it. It is WRONG.”

    Steven, that doesn’t matter to Holz. If it is less under the regime he supports, it is better. If it is used for some purpose he thinks necessary, it is justified. He’s a belligerent nationalist. Jingoism is his only creed.

    “Depleted Uranium is a VERY toxic substance.”

    Well, not when it is safely tucked away on a 747 where they put the trim weights. So, that’s why Holz thinks it okay to shoot DU bullets at people, get it all up in the air as particulates. He flies around on a 747, so he knows all about DU munitions, see?

    “I’m still waiting for a Libertarian justification for this monstrous war of choice.”

    You’ll wait forever, sir. There is no actually libertarian justification for an aggressive war. That is why, in the past, LBJ, Bush, and others (see the USS Maine and the Spanish American war, e.g.) have been at some pains to lie about overt attacks in order to claim a justification for war.

    It seems essential to your quest for a libertarian justification for the Iraq war to define the term. What is a libertarian?

    Suppose we say, “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.” L. Neil Smith says that at this page:
    http://ncc-1776.org/whoislib.html

    Okay, so if that is what a libertarian is, then there cannot be a libertarian justification for aggressive war. A war to overthrow a government would be arguably defensive or retaliatory if it comes from the people being subjugated by that government. But outsiders can’t come in and make a regime change. How would that work in America? Poorly, because so many Americans are armed.

    Holz advocates initiatory force. Therefore he isn’t a libertarian.

    He can call himself the Wizard of Oz, but that won’t make his arguments magical, nor summon courage for a Cowardly Lion. He can give Dorothy herpes, but he can’t whisk her back home.

  117. Prospective Advertiser

    “Comments like 148 and others like it only decrease the seriousness with which most other people reading are likely to consider the good points you make elsewhere.”

    You assume that people taking my comments seriously gets me anywhere. It doesn’t. I post here because I enjoy it, and I post those things that I find most enjoyable to post. There’s nothing at all about Holtz which is redeeming. He has no good side. He is not worth saving. If he were being taken to a gulag or a firing squad were marching him past me to execute him for thought crimes, I would not lift a finger in his defense.

    I would smile to myself and say, “There goes an advocate of militarism about to enjoy poetic justice.” On a dark night I would dance on his grave.

  118. Billy Goat Eater

    Michael, note that he changes the requirements as it suits him. First, any discussion of Waco massacre is off limits. Then, he’ll agree to discuss it if Paulie can edit an article on Wikipedia and get the editorial enthusiasts there to leave it alone for a period of minutes. Or he’ll say “Well, I’ve already dealt with all those arguments at my blahblah.org site, so deal with every word I’ve written there and we’ll talk.”

    Which is all bait and switch. It is not so much argument as it is fraud.

    Like calling himself a libertarian when he’s clearly a belligerent nationalist.

  119. Prospective Advertiser

    I’d like to see any serious charges against Angela. The charges made against her were reviewed at great length on this site (on one of its longest threads ever – 733 or so comments) and none of them amount to anything.

    There are not 8 serious charges against Angela. There are no serious charges, and to claim that Sipos has swept any under the wrong is a lie. Holtz is a liar, a militarist, and a bloodthirsty maniac.

  120. Brian Holtz

    PA aka Jim Davidson, thanks yet again for making disagreement with me seem even more unreasonable than it is. Now if only I could somehow establish that you’re not a sock puppet I’m using to my own advantage…

    Loved the lame chickenhawk jab. Next you’ll rebut me with the formidable kindergarten argument of: “if you love Iraqi liberation so much why don’t you marry it?”

    I already pointed to my analysis of the Keaton charges: http://more.libertarianintelligence.com/2008/12/apology-angela-should-offer.html

    My Waco exception for my friend Paulie is not bait and switch, it’s the opposite: I said I wouldn’t debate him on the topic, and then I conditionally changed my mind. I don’t ask people to answer everything I’ve written — I just point out that I’ve already answered every argument being offered here. If you don’t like it, then stop whining about it, and try coming up with an argument that I’ve never answered anywhere else before. Go ahead. Make my day. (For example, your tiresome L. Neil Smith quote is answered at http://libertarianmajority.net/more-libertarian-than-thou and http://libertarianmajority.net/major-schools-of-libertarianism.)

    Michael Wilson, you’re saying that a dispute about alleged slant drilling is grounds for annexation via a war of aggression, but that genocide and multiple wars of aggression aren’t grounds for liberating a nation from a madman? That’s simply sick. Meanwhile, the Euro theory is just funny — a perfect little unfalsifiable conspiracy theory, just the right size for the minds in the antiwar choir.

    Paulie, thanks for in effect admitting that you fear that I’d demolish any particular alleged Bush “lie”. That’s the only reason I can think of for you declining to embarrass me by picking any one lie out of your allegedly bulging arsenal. That was your last chance; the Australian Open finals and Super Sunday ads are upon us, so we’ll have to continue the Bush-lie topic the next time a thread gets conscripted for (anti)war duty.

    Fear of retaliation by evil people against America for America doing the Right Thing just isn’t a big worry for me, sorry. I guess I just am not as easy to intimidate as you. Or maybe I have more confidence that a free and prosperous society can successfully defend itself.

    Here it comes, the trotting out of the past mistakes in America’s foreign policy. Yes, America has done some horrible and shameful things in its past. That’s just not a good argument for me that America shouldn’t do the Right Thing in the present or future. As for trotting our the past, I’ll repeat this unanswered list: England, Italy, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Holland, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Greece, Germany, Austria, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Grenada, Panama, Kuwait, Bosnia, Kosovo.

    Saddam’s bodycount is estimated at two million: http://www.moreorless.au.com/killers/hussein.html. I don’t want your DU search terms; I want a credible estimate of demonstrably DU-caused deaths. If it’s not well into the thousands (when of course it’s more like zero), then by your own accounting it adds nothing — other than the unthinking sensationalism of shouting “uranium!” — to your case.

    Madeleine Albright making an idiotic off-the-cuff statement on camera doesn’t rebut what I wrote above: “UNSC Resolution 706 of 1991 offered to allow Saddam to sell oil to buy food and medicine for his people while he was under UN Security Council disarmament sanctions for his blatant war of aggression. He refused for five years. Reason magazine says that the estimate of 1 million deaths is inflated, but whatever the number, Saddam was responsible for every single one.”

    The Wanniski article you chose to highlight is worthless. The vast bulk of it is about Saddam’s conditions of imprisonment. It contains ZERO evidence about Saddam’s genocidal policies, and instead just says that prosecutors wouldn’t be including the genocide charges in his first trial. The charges in the first trial were deliberately narrowed to those that most easily could win a death penalty, related to the well-documented mass killings of the inhabitants of the village of Dujail in 1982 after a failed assassination attempt against Saddam. What you apparently don’t know is that, two years after Wanniski wrote, Saddam was indeed put on trial for the genocide of the Anfal military campaign against the Kurds of northern Iraq. However, the sentence from Saddam’s first trial was carried out four months after the second trial began. And that, Paulie, is what you get for relying uncritically on sources (like LewRockwell.com) writing stuff you already knew you’d agree with. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias is sexy but she is not your friend; avoid that bitch.

    No, it’s not accurate to say that Saddam was a “U.S. client”. For details about that relationship, as well as how I’ve dug deeply into the question of Saddam’s Anfal campaign and the alleged U.S. arming of Iraq, see e.g. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/marketliberal/message/2048. I’ve got plenty more where that came from.

    Sorry, but it’s just lame to say that “no position” on how Arab diplomacy resolves a technical border dispute is the same thing as “no position” on whether a sovereign member of the U.N. should be invaded and annexed. Glaspie told Saddam: “We hope you can solve this problem using any suitable methods via Klibi (Chedli Klibi, Secretary General of the Arab League) or via President Mubarak.” The only other time a sovereign member of the U.N. had been invaded and annexed was 1950. America and its UN allies undid that annexation by force, and of course our diplomats don’t go around repeating that story to foreign leaders every time they whine about a neighbor.

    Yes, years of variously vicious and vigorous attacks on my liberventionism have left me exquisitely prepared to answer them. I’m glad you recognize that, and I don’t pretend that you not answering my arguments means my arguments are unanswerable. What remains annoying is when somebody like Mr. Linnabary blithely opines that those arguments don’t even exist. So Steven, I’m repasting this URL especially for you: http://knowinghumans.net/2007/04/defending-libervention-in-iraq.html. Instead of calling me a “bully”, try engaging my arguments.

    Steven: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depleted_uranium#Studies_indicating_negligible_effects. See also this: “Despite the visual impact of these photographs, experts claim that not a single serious epidemiological study has been undertaken in the region and the link between DU and genetic malformations is far from proven.” Anecdotes are not the same as epidemiological research — no matter how good it makes you feel to call me names for pointing out this inconvenient truth.

    Paulie, I said the “war!” _topic_ had hijacked this article, not any one person. I didn’t even mention Iraq or war as “divisive” — I just included “no obsession with a single internally divisive issue” in a list of reasons why a previous editor did a better job than Sipos. My earlier mention of “multiple antiwar articles per issue” would be a valid complaint even if I agreed with Sipos on the war. It was Sipos who thought that flaunting his antiwar LP outreach would bother me, but he was so mistaken that I didn’t even notice that he did so. What then happened was that Susan Hogarth, Rob Power, and Tom Knapp in quick succession all jumped in to beat their antiwar chests — while Sipos slinked away instead of answering my point that he obfuscated the eight most charges against Angela.

    Hey, no worries, it’s fun to klunk some antiwar skulls together every once in a while. 🙂 My time here is pretty much up, but I’ll be back in a few days to make sure I get the last word. 🙂

  121. paulie cannoli Post author

    OK, That’s a schedule I can keep up with. One of these every several days, I can do. I’ll work on a response to your latest at some point today.

  122. Prospective Advertiser

    Your buffoonery isn’t analysis, Holtz. All your jabs at Angela make you look like a clown.

    You can rant all you want, but you aren’t a libertarian. You advocate initiatory force, you delegate force, and you pay your taxes. These things make you a mass murderer.

  123. Robert Capozzi

    As the subject of liberventionism has come up, my take is Brian’s “Right Thing” is not without merit. All else equal, given the choice of forcefully stopping a genocide or doing nothing, I’d choose stopping the genocide. I take that view in the same way as a bystander (police or not) intervening in a murder in progress. Forcefully stopping a crime is not an “initiation of force” in my book, even if it involves crossing borders. Genocide is a crime.

    I’m reflexively a non-interventionist when it comes to crossing borders to intervene for a host of reasons: Who’s to judge what’s a genocide or atrocity?; history of excesses and manipulation; inappropriate use of tax dollars; almost always unconstitutionally executed; blowback; triggers domestic State growth; a ruse for geopolitical machinations; etc.

    Still, life trumps all other rights in my book. So, at the moment, I’m (very reluctantly) open to intervention for humanitarian purposes. It would need to be Constitutionally authorized, and I’d want it to be clearly in line with international treaties. Heretical as it may sound to some, I’d prefer the US never intervene unilaterally, preferably as a contributor to a UN/”world community” effort. (It really pains me to say that, since the UN is profoundly dysfunctional…work needs to be done there.)

    The Coalition of the Willing didn’t cut it for me. Iraq fails my test. Vietnam, too.

    Now, when there are no States nowhere, I’d have a different view. Not holding my breath on that one.

  124. Jeff Wartman

    You advocate initiatory force, you delegate force, and you pay your taxes. These things make you a mass murderer.

    It’s comments like these that make good people re-think any membership or affiliation with the Libertarian Party.

  125. paulie cannoli Post author

    And even if he were in the LP, if the extremist comments of one or a small handful of members were enough to make you reconsider your membership in any party, what party could you join?

    You recently went through a Republican Party stage; want some extremist comments by Republicans? Not hard to find at any number of web sites, starting with “Free Republic.” Killing all the Arabs and Muslims is seen as a good start with many of them.

    But suppose you couldn’t join any party. There are people who practice extreme rhetoric in many non-partisan groups, too.

  126. Robert Capozzi

    Yes, these sorts of comments cause me to rethink my opposition to forcibly prescribing anti-psychotic drugs. People who make these sorts of charges don’t seem to realize that they destroy any credibility they may have.

  127. Jeff Wartman

    But suppose you couldn’t join any party. There are people who practice extreme rhetoric in many non-partisan groups, too.

    You know what, Paul, I think you’re right. My apologies.

    I agree with a comment I saw from Peter Orvetti months ago. He said, and I’m paraphrasing, “Why do I feel so good about being a Libertarian when I visit Reason.com yet feel so ashamed when I visit IPR” I know exactly how he feels, but I do like IPR — it brings out some of the radical element (which is fine — you know Paulie that I really personally love hanging out with the radicals) and serves as the best vehicle for minor party news on the web.

  128. Steven R Linnabary

    Instead of calling me a “bully”, try engaging my arguments.

    Which is precisely what I did. YOU are the one that was “laughing” about torture. In my eyes, that is bullying. I also find it repulsive.

    I asked of you a very simple “I’m still waiting for a Libertarian justification for this monstrous war of choice.“, to which you responded with a link to a site that gave only discredited neo-con arguments and justifications for this war of choice. These neo-con arguments were discredited before the war began. If you want to still believe in the discredited WMD’s (that have STILL NOT BEEN FOUND), that is your prerogative. But please, don’t advertise this as “Libertarian”.

    I find your concern for the Kurdish people to be rather empty as you are strangely silent when the US invites the Turkish army to indiscriminately kill Kurdish women and children in Iraq. And please, don’t advertise this as “Libertarian”.

    Finally, I’ll grant you that there are no government studies showing a link between DU and cancers, leukemias and birth defects. Of course, there are still no government studies showing a link between “cancers, leukemias and birth defects” and Agent Orange.

    You might find it interesting, too, that there are NO government studies showing the safety of marijuana. But which of the three would you rather be sprinkled over your Wheaties?

    PEACE

  129. libertariangirl

    BH:_LG, reasonable radicals like Tom and Paulie and you do a good enough job already of keeping me on my toes, so please don’t go discouraging radical punching bags like Prospective Advertiser. My plans for the LP depend on radicals being unreasonable, dammit

    to take a lesson recently learned from Hogarth , Im going to have to refute the idea that every person who is unreasonable and argumentative is a ‘radical’.
    The Radicals is the title of a particular caucus and there are many , many sound members most of which never post here.

  130. paulie cannoli Post author

    Somewhere above, Brian says the antiwar issue does not bring anyone to the party.

    In fact, it was one of the key issues that made me switch to the LP, when the Democrats did not try to bring the troops home from around the world after the cold war ended.

  131. Prospective Advertiser

    Trent, “wow.”

    If you advocate the initiation of force and you pay taxes to bring about delegated initiation of force, what is the ethical difference between that behavior and hiring a hit man to gun down a stranger? There is no difference.

    Of course, you can pay taxes and oppose the war, and you aren’t a mass murderer. You can also escape this conviction if you avoid paying taxes, perhaps by living in poverty.

    LG “Radical is a caucus” yes, and it is a rather narrow-minded group run by a control freak who doesn’t like people to talk about certain topics. When the LP Radicals embrace anything resembling free and open expression, they may become vaguely useful for something.

  132. Prospective Advertiser

    Steven at 169. (If 169 is good, 269 is twice as good. And I know this girl 469.)

    I would rather have marijuana sprinkled on my breakfast cereal than depleted uranium or agent orange, thanks. Though, in point of fact, I have no breakfast cereal in the house.

    On the topic of agent orange, I’ve known several veterans who suffered terrible rashes on their legs from slogging through defoliated Southeast Asia. Of course, that was LBJ’s dirty little war, also based on a lie – the Gulf of Tonkin “incident” that he later said was just a bunch of stupid sailors firing at flying fish.

    No doubt Holtz is proud of the USA military’s role in libertarian intervention in South Vietnam, at the cost of some 8.9 million lives obliterated or forever altered by injury. What a mass murdering fuckhead Holtz is.

  133. Prospective Advertiser

    Paulie, somewhere above, Holtz admits to being a mass murdering fuckhead, as many historians have said. Or was that Eddie Izzard? lol

    Yes, the anti-war issue brings a lot of people to libertarian politics. People actually don’t like to be drafted to serve in the military and fight wars so that rich contractor company shareholders can sell garbage to the military that blows up in the faces of conscripts. Many people don’t like to see men and women sent to distant countries to be killed by angry locals. Some people are even unhappy to see their tax dollars spent butchering foreigners for no good cause.

    Come clean, Holtz. You own lots of stock in big defense contractor companies, don’t you? You get wood every time another bomb goes off over a village in Afghanistan because you get dividends from bomb makers, don’t you?

  134. paulie cannoli Post author

    Yes, the anti-war issue brings a lot of people to libertarian politics. People actually don’t like to be drafted to serve in the military and fight wars so that rich contractor company shareholders can sell garbage to the military that blows up in the faces of conscripts.

    The draft issue, and the Vietnam war in general…yes, that was why a lot of 1960s libertarians split off from the young conservatives. That, and sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. This was the milieu from which the LP emerged.

    When the Republicans embraced wage and price controls, that was the last straw. But well before that, there was the split at YAF in St. Louis in 1969. So, the antiwar issue has always been a key part of libertarian politics.

  135. Thomas L. Knapp

    “Radical” and “extremist” do not mean the same thing. Radicalism is a mode of ideological analysis. Extremism is an adjective for where certain prescriptions fall on the bell curve of mass appeal.

    Holtz occasionally (and IMO credibly) claims to be a “radical,” albeit not of the Rothbard-influenced variety usually associated with LP radicalism.

    I do regard myself as a radical, and tend to think that it’s the extremists who are most likely to eventually accomplish something for freedom.

  136. paulie cannoli Post author

    In fact, it was one of the key issues that made me switch to the LP, when the Democrats did not try to bring the troops home from around the world after the cold war ended.

    Some others: the Democrats continued lack of progress on ending the drug war after the baby boomers got to the top leadership posts.

    Learning about the work of Julian Simon and other dissenting voices on free market approaches to environmental problems.

    Support for the Second Amendment and individual and community self-defense as a better alternative to relying on the police, and as a bulwark against tyranny – I came around on that one and matched my theory to my practice several years earlier (late 80s, whereas I held out on the economic issues until ’92-’94).

    Taxes and spending: I always hated bureaucracy personally, but for a long time I though social programs were necessary. A combination of reading through and debating Libertarianism in One Lesson and books “for further reading” in the index in ’92-4, plus personal experience in the bite income tax withholding has on the low paid wage worker, and I came to see that there were better voluntary alternatives on issues such as poverty and education to coercive government solutions, just as I was learning that there are on environmental issues.

    Really, it was just a case of systematizing the same arguments I was already making as a drug peace activist: just because something is bad does not mean it should be illegal, and just because something is good does not mean it should be mandatory.

  137. paulie cannoli Post author

    As the subject of liberventionism has come up, my take is Brian’s “Right Thing” is not without merit. All else equal, given the choice of forcefully stopping a genocide or doing nothing, I’d choose stopping the genocide. I take that view in the same way as a bystander (police or not) intervening in a murder in progress. Forcefully stopping a crime is not an “initiation of force” in my book, even if it involves crossing borders. Genocide is a crime.

    I’m reflexively a non-interventionist when it comes to crossing borders to intervene for a host of reasons: Who’s to judge what’s a genocide or atrocity?; history of excesses and manipulation; inappropriate use of tax dollars; almost always unconstitutionally executed; blowback; triggers domestic State growth; a ruse for geopolitical machinations; etc.

    Still, life trumps all other rights in my book. So, at the moment, I’m (very reluctantly) open to intervention for humanitarian purposes. It would need to be Constitutionally authorized, and I’d want it to be clearly in line with international treaties. Heretical as it may sound to some, I’d prefer the US never intervene unilaterally, preferably as a contributor to a UN/”world community” effort. (It really pains me to say that, since the UN is profoundly dysfunctional…work needs to be done there.)

    The Coalition of the Willing didn’t cut it for me. Iraq fails my test. Vietnam, too.

    I’m hard pressed to think of any case that overcomes the factors in your second paragraph – or why the US government is the correct, or best, way for Americans who care about injustices around the world to address them. Repealing the neutrality act which forbids Americans to take action as individuals and/or groups which are voluntarily organized seems like a better idea to me.

  138. paulie cannoli Post author

    PA aka Jim Davidson, thanks yet again for making disagreement with me seem even more unreasonable than it is. Now if only I could somehow establish that you’re not a sock puppet I’m using to my own advantage…

    I will confirm that PA is not Brian Holtz, unless Holtz is using some hacker tricks. Jim Davidson also denies being PA, if I understood his email to me today correctly. He also says that I am a self centered worm and a butt munch.


    My Waco exception for my friend Paulie is not bait and switch, it’s the opposite: I said I wouldn’t debate him on the topic, and then I conditionally changed my mind.

    No problem – take your time. I’ve said that I’m willing to use the wikipedia article as a good starting point for discussion. At the time I read it, it seemed pretty good. If you manage to edit it out of recognition before launching your argument, you might place me at an unexpected disadvantage, having stipulated to it already 😛


    Michael Wilson, you’re saying that a dispute about alleged slant drilling is grounds for annexation via a war of aggression,

    I didn’t know that the slant drilling was disputed. War of aggression implies that the slant drilling was not an initiation of force, or that diplomacy had not already been attempted. Also, I understand it that Iraq claims Kuwait as part of its historical territory, carved out by British colonialists.


    but that genocide and multiple wars of aggression aren’t grounds for liberating a nation from a madman?

    Genocide is disputed. Multiple wars of aggression – well, there was the Iran-Iraq war, where the US encouraged and backed Saddam (or do you deny that as well?), provided material support, etc.; what other wars of aggression?

    Meanwhile, the Euro theory is just funny — a perfect little unfalsifiable conspiracy theory, just the right size for the minds in the antiwar choir.

    Seems to make sense. Motive, opportunity, etc.


    Paulie, thanks for in effect admitting that you fear that I’d demolish any particular alleged Bush “lie”. That’s the only reason I can think of for you declining to embarrass me by picking any one lie out of your allegedly bulging arsenal.

    I admitted no such thing. I just didn’t go through the extra work of selecting just one Bush lie.

    http://www.thenation.com/doc/20040329/scheer

    http://www.buzzflash.com/contributors/03/07/22_lies.html

    http://www.bushlies.net/

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xz9Ew1UBBj0

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x249g4_cia-whistleblower-on-wmds-iraq-and_news

    http://terrasol.home.igc.org/IraqLies.htm

    http://www.motherjones.com/bush_war_timeline/

    http://projects.publicintegrity.org/WarCard/

    http://www.bushwatch.com/bushlies.htm

    http://www.alternet.org/story/16274/

    http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0716-12.htm

    And that is just page one of the google search results.


    Fear of retaliation by evil people against America for America doing the Right Thing just isn’t a big worry for me, sorry.

    It’s not the right thing, and people avenging the killing, poisoning, robbing, raping, torturing, humiliation, rape, etc., etc. of their relatives, neighbors, friends and countrymen by foreigners is not necessarily evil – although it tends to beget a vicious cycle of escalating revenge by targeting innocent people. Other wonderful byproducts include increasing domestic surveillance, curtailing of civil liberties, and gradual conversion of the economy to a war footing, leading eventually to an imperialist global police garrison state, followed by collapse because such are economically unsustainable.


    I guess I just am not as easy to intimidate as you.

    I’m not easily intimidated.


    Or maybe I have more confidence that a free and prosperous society can successfully defend itself.

    You certainly have more confidence that it will continue to be anything which can in any way be characterized as free or prosperous as this process continues.


    Here it comes, the trotting out of the past mistakes in America’s foreign policy. Yes, America has done some horrible and shameful things in its past. That’s just not a good argument for me that America shouldn’t do the Right Thing in the present or future.

    Those who fail to heed the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them.


    As for trotting our the past, I’ll repeat this unanswered list: England, Italy, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Holland, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Greece, Germany, Austria, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Grenada, Panama, Kuwait, Bosnia, Kosovo.

    I’ll answer it after you explain what this list of countries represents to you.


    Saddam’s bodycount is estimated at two million: http://www.moreorless.au.com/killers/hussein.html.

    That’s far on the high side of many other estimates.

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/wanniski/wanniski11.html

    Memo To: Sen. Pat Roberts [R KS]
    From: Jude Wanniski
    Re: More Bad Intelligence

    As chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator Roberts, you have done the country a great service by issuing the committee’s report on the errors made by the Intelligence Community [IC] that led to the President’s decision to war against Iraq. You have also been good enough to acknowledge that if what is now known to be true – that Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction and no connection with 9-11 – there would not have been the votes in the Senate in November 2002 to authorize the use of force against Iraq should diplomacy fail. What seems to be the consensus view of the Intelligence Committee, especially its vice chairman Jay Rockefeller [D-WV], is that the IC came to believe the administration was bent on regime change in Iraq and the “group think” produced the erroneous intelligence. That is, the “process” was flawed, directing information up the ladder to the Oval Office in ways that would support a war decision and suppress counter arguments that would prevent that flawed information flow.

    It is human nature, Senator, that when you know the Boss wants information to justify an action he really wants to take, that’s the way the process will work. Even when “Ombudsmen” are put in place as a check on this human tendency, as already exist in the IC, the “truth” can always be subverted at the last minute at the very top of the information ladder – as it was when CIA Director George Tenet told President Bush it would be a “slam dunk” to prove Iraq had WMD, when Tenet knew full well that the IC could only speculate on that point.

    The reason I write you today, Senator, is that a similar problem has come up with you. I’m afraid you are still relying on faulty intelligence in saying, as you did on the weekend talk shows, that the war could be justified because of Saddam’s cruelty to his own people. Here is how you put it on “Meet the Press,” in response to a question from Tim Russert:

    SEN. ROBERTS: Well, that was then. This is now. I know I stood on a gravesite at Hillah in Iraq and looked at 18,000 bodies being unearthed, you know, one at a time; 500,000 were dead. I think we’re probably in better shape. I know the people in Iraq are in better shape, if we can achieve the stability, which is a very tough challenge over there. But I don’t think anybody in terms of threat to regional stability, to Israel, the possibility of reconstituting – he did have the capability of the weapons of mass destruction. I think we’re better off without Saddam there.

    I was a bit puzzled, Senator, because I have been following the “genocide” issue in Iraq for several years and wondered how you could get these numbers. If you were not chairman of the Intelligence Committee, I wouldn’t bother you today, because most members of Congress have bought the genocide story that has become embedded in the national consciousness because it has been repeated too many times. As a result, I contacted your staff (your eyes and ears, so to speak), and asked: “Can you help me better understand where Senator Roberts gets the numbers of Iraqis killed by Saddam Hussein… particularly the number 500,000. He used it several times in the weekend talk shows. There have been reports of as many as 200,000 killed in the Anfal campaign of 1987–88, but so far no mass graves have been found in Kurdistan, none at all. The Senator also says he watched 18,000 bodies being unearthed at a gravesite at Hillah. The most recent number I’ve seen relating to that area is 2,200. The Senator’s inference is that these dead were victims of genocide, when all the accounts say the victims were Shiite rebels who were attempting to overthrow the government – and were of the belief the USA would come to protect them because they were incited to rebel by CIA agents.”

    Your staff responded with an e-mail referring me to the now defunct website of the Coalition Provisional Authority, with the comment that my numbers were “way too low.”

    I went to the website and found a press release of the CPA that referred to a press conference given March 17 by US AID director Andrew Natsios: “Iraqi and U.S. officials have prepared a long-range plan to excavate mass graves in Iraq and prepare forensic evidence of crimes against humanity…There are 300,000–400,000 bodies reported to lie in mass graves in Iraq.” The way Natsios put it: “How many died in these mass murders? Some say 300,000. Some say 400,000. We are helping the Iraqis as they begin the terrible task of counting.”

    See what I mean, you have already added another 100,000 to the mass murders, and as far as I know from following these accounts, not one body has been unearthed that can be identified as a victim of genocide. There are gravesites all over Iraq, but the “forensic evidence of crimes against humanity” has yet to be presented. As I pointed out in my note to your staff, I had previously seen “reports” of as many as 200,000 Iraqi Kurds killed by the Iraqi army at the end of the Iraq/Iran war, but if you would now ask your staff to check, they will have to tell you that so far no bodies at all have been found in connection with that “Anfal” campaign. The original charge of mass murder by gassing of the Kurds was made by then Secretary of State George Shultz on September 8, 1988, but when the Iraqi foreign minister asked Shultz for proof, Shultz said he could not do so as it would compromise his sources. Sadoun Mahmoudi, the foreign minister, then asked: “Where are the victims?”

    No kidding, Senator. It is now almost 16 years later and the victims have yet to be found. If you ask your top intelligence people on your committee to check, they will find articles in the contemporaneous press by journalists who traveled to Kurdistan during this uproar over genocide, and who could find no evidence of it. In fact, I think your committee staff will admit to you, if you asked, that the Intelligence Community has never been able to confirm these deaths. Indeed, if you read page 400 of your own committee’s report, you will find under. “Information sources,” the following: “According to comments from IC analysts who spoke to Committee staff, a large part of the information available to the IC concerning human rights abuses was from refugees, defectors and opposition groups. The IC also depended on the Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS). In all cases, verification of the reporting on human rights abuses was difficult… Unfortunately, the immigrant/refugee reporting usually could not be verified on the ground in Iraq.”

    I hope you understand what’s going on here, Senator. The IC is telling you the same people who supplied the erroneous intelligence about WMD and Al Qaeda connections to Iraq are the people who cooked up the genocide stories. Of course it is human nature for you to want to believe our government can be ultimately vindicated by a trial of Saddam that proves he was the mass murderer you believe him to be. The Republican chairman of the Intelligence Committee should not have been snookered, but you were, and it has to be an embarrassment to suspect as much. But as I indicated to your staff, it will be an even greater embarrassment for you to discover how to this day you are relying on bad intelligence in your public statements. There were, for example, no 18,000 bodies at Hillah, a number suggested at the time when bodies in this battlefield area were unearthed. The latest number after 14 months of counting before the forensic experts left the area was 2,200. That’s a lot of dead Iraqis, but they were encouraged to overthrow their government by our CIA, were they not? Kind of like the Bay of Pigs, yes? We can’t really accuse Fidel Castro of genocide when he put down the rebellion, or we would have to file charges against Abraham Lincoln.

    In addition, Senator, there are fairly careful estimates that as many as 90,000 Iraqis – civilian and military – have died since we decided we had to save Iraq from Saddam and his genocidal impulses. That’s a lot of dead Iraqis.

    You can go to Google as I did and run this down for yourself. It may not be a happy experience for you, but it should make you a better chairman.

    Much, much more if you read the rest of Wanniski’s archive at

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/wanniski/wanniski-arch.html

    as I previously recommended. For instance,

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/wanniski/wanniski32.html

    Memo
    To: David Broder, Washington Post

    From:
    Jude Wanniski
    Re: Those Mass Graves

    Remember, David, back on Sept. 27 I posted a memo
    on the margin
    that I wrote to you, complimenting you on your column about how the news media had been “losing their way”? It had to do with your observation that the major news media was chasing sham stories while not asking serious questions about the most important topics of the day, including the war in Iraq – which both your newspaper and
    The New York Times acknowledged in price, apologizing for not being more aggressive in the months leading up to the President’s decision to go to war. In my note you, I suggested you look into the long-held conventional wisdom that Saddam Hussein committed genocide, a view largely propagated by Human Rights Watch. The organization estimated that as many as 290,000 Iraqis were killed by Saddam during his reign, with 100,000 Kurds slaughtered in 1988, in the last months of the Iran/Iraq war. Prime Minister Tony Blair at one point said as many as 400,000 Iraqis had been killed by Saddam’s regime.

    Partly as a result of the HRW assertions, the Bush administration justified its use of force to replace the duly constituted government in Baghdad. The most recent estimates of the dead total 100,000 Iraqi civilians and 60,000 to 80,000 Iraqi military, plus the almost 1200 Americans who have died during the course of the war. We are currently bombing the 300,000 people of Falluja in hopes of pacifying the city and may wind up leveling it altogether. Is the sky the limit on what it will take to bring freedom and democracy to the people of Iraq? Don’t you wonder?

    Meanwhile, this week Human Rights Watch issued its long-awaited conclusive report on Saddam’s genocidal record. As far as I know, the major news media has not picked up the report, which is available on the Internet at HRW’s website. I read about the report in the British press. It turns out that in 19 months HRW’s experts have not been able to find the missing 100,000 bodies it said were of Kurds who had been rounded up and trucked south of Kurdistan, machine-gunned to death and buried in mass graves. In fact, it now blames the U.S. coalition for not securing those mass graves containing smaller numbers of Iraqis or keeping looters from carrying off official Iraqi records of the genocide and the mass graves. You should read the report in its entirety, David, and maybe you will get your editors to take a look too. Here are two pertinent graphs from the summary:

    In the case of both documents and mass graves, U.S.-led coalition forces failed to secure the relevant sites at the time of the overthrow of the former government. They subsequently failed to put in place the professional expertise and assistance necessary to ensure proper classification and exhumation procedures, with the result that key evidentiary materials have been lost or tainted. In the case of mass graves, these failures also have frustrated the goal of enabling families to know the fate of missing relatives. The findings of the report are all the more disturbing against the backdrop of a tribunal established to bring justice for serious past crimes, the Iraqi Special Tribunal. Human Rights Watch has serious concerns that the tribunal is fundamentally flawed and may be incapable of delivering justice.

    [and]

    The extent of the negligence with which key documentary and forensic evidence has been treated to date is surprising, given that the U.S.-led coalition and Iraqi authorities alike knew that trials of Hussein and key Ba’ath government officials would be important landmarks in Iraq’s political recovery, that successful trials require solid evidence, and that, as international experience has shown, preserving such trial-ready evidence is a difficult task. Some of the evidence has been destroyed, but it is not too late to assume custody of millions of additional pieces of evidence.

    Some of this material, if it is given the urgent attention it needs and deserves, may prove critical in the proceedings of the upcoming trials. It will also play an important role as Iraqis attempt to construct an accurate historical record of their traumatic experiences under Ba’th Party rule.

    Do you see what I mean? Saddam Hussein will soon be put on trial for crimes against humanity, and the Iraqi prosecutors will not have the goods on him.

    Now that the election is over, maybe you will have more time to devote to this exercise. You should at least give a call to Dr. Stephen Pelletiere, the retired CIA analyst who has never believed in the genocide stories, but has awaited the report of Human Rights Watch to see what it has found. After reading the report in its entirety, he told me they had, as he expected, come up empty:

    This claim of HRW that they haven’t got evidence that will stand up because the graves have been compromised, overlooks one key fact: they were claiming that the Ba’th killed hundreds of thousands. If these graves really contained all the bodies they’re supposed to contain, the numbers of dead alone would convict the Ba’th. If you read the report, they say over and over again they “believe” such-and-such a grave actually contains thousands of bodies; but all they’ve been able to find is a few score (at best). I think that’s what gives the scam away. They can’t produce the hundreds of thousands, or even the tens of thousands they promised they would.

    I’ve tried to get lots and lots of reporters interested in the story, David, but in every case they have a reason why they just can’t do it at this time. They’ve lost their way, as you noted. As the dean of the Washington press corps, you should please help them find it.

    Much, much more in the Wanniski archives – to speak nothing of all the other authors published at LRC and AWC over the years, among many other sites. But if you just read through the Wanniski archives alone, that would be a great start.


    I don’t want your DU search terms; I want a credible estimate of demonstrably DU-caused deaths. If it’s not well into the thousands (when of course it’s more like zero), then by your own accounting it adds nothing — other than the unthinking sensationalism of shouting “uranium!” — to your case.

    Sounds like you have a rather closed mind about the issue.

    Of course?

    Let’s start with wikipedia:

    Normal functioning of the kidney, brain, liver, heart, and numerous other systems can be affected by uranium exposure, because in addition to being weakly radioactive, uranium is a toxic metal. …The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry states that: “to be exposed to radiation from uranium, you have to eat, drink, or breathe it, or get it on your skin.” However, the Institute of Nuclear Technology-Radiation Protection of Attiki, Greece has noted that “the aerosol produced during impact and combustion of depleted uranium munitions can potentially contaminate wide areas around the impact sites or can be inhaled by civilians and military personnel.” …studies using cultured cells and laboratory rodents continue to suggest the possibility of leukemogenic, genetic, reproductive, and neurological effects from chronic exposure. In addition, the UK Pensions Appeal Tribunal Service in early 2004 attributed birth defect claims from a February 1991 Gulf War combat veteran to depleted uranium poisoning. Also, a 2005 epidemiology review concluded: “In aggregate the human epidemiological evidence is consistent with increased risk of birth defects in offspring of persons exposed to DU.”


    The Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities of the United Nations Human Rights Commission, passed two motions — the first in 1996 and the second in 1997. They listed weapons of mass destruction, or weapons with indiscriminate effect, or of a nature to cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering and urged all states to curb the production and the spread of such weapons. Included in the list was weaponry containing depleted uranium. The committee authorized a working paper, in the context of human rights and humanitarian norms, of the weapons. The requested UN working paper was delivered in 2002 by Y.K.J. Yeung Sik Yuen in accordance with Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights resolution 2001/36. He argues that the use of DU in weapons, along with the other weapons listed by the Sub?Commission, may breach one or more of the following treaties: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Charter of the United Nations, the Genocide Convention, the United Nations Convention Against Torture, the Geneva Conventions including Protocol I, the Convention on Conventional Weapons of 1980, and the Chemical Weapons Convention.
    ….
    In 2001, Carla Del Ponte, the chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, said that NATO’s use of depleted uranium in former Yugoslavia could be investigated as a possible war crime.
    …………

    Some states and the International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons, a coalition of more than 100 non-governmental organizations, have asked for a ban on the production and military use of depleted uranium weapons.

    The European Parliament has repeatedly passed resolutions requesting an immediate moratorium on the further use of depleted uranium ammunition

    ………………

    DU is considered both a toxic and radioactive hazard that requires long term storage as low level nuclear waste in very large quantities.Its use in incendiary ammunition is controversial because of potential adverse health effects and its release into the environment. Besides its residual radioactivity, U-238 is a heavy metal whose compounds are known from laboratory studies to be toxic to mammals.

    Although slow, metallic uranium is prone to corrosion and small pieces are pyrophoric at room temperature in air. When depleted uranium munitions penetrate armor or burn, they create depleted uranium oxides in the form of dust that can be inhaled or contaminate wounds. Additionally, fragments of munitions or armor can become embedded in the body.
    …..

    Normal functioning of the kidney, brain, liver, heart, and numerous other systems can be affected by uranium exposure, because in addition to being weakly radioactive, uranium is a toxic metal. The chemical toxicity of depleted uranium is about a million times greater in vivo than its radiological hazard. Health effects of DU are determined by factors such as the extent of exposure and whether it was internal or external. Three main pathways exist by which internalization of uranium may occur: inhalation, ingestion, and embedded fragments or shrapnel contamination.

    …..

    Epidemiological studies and toxicological tests on laboratory animals point to it as being immunotoxic, teratogenic, neurotoxic, with carcinogenic and leukemogenic potential

    …………..

    A 2005 report by epidemiologists concluded: “the human epidemiological evidence is consistent with increased risk of birth defects in offspring of persons exposed to DU.”

    ………..

    Increased rates of immune system disorders and other wide-ranging symptoms, including chronic pain, fatigue and memory loss, have been reported in over one quarter of combat veterans of the 1991 Gulf War.

    …………….

    Veterans of the conflicts in the Gulf, Bosnia and Kosovo have been found to have up to 14 times the usual level of chromosome abnormalities in their genes.

    ………………………..

    Human epidemiological evidence is consistent with increased risk of birth defects in the offspring of persons exposed to DU. A 2001 study of 15,000 February 1991 U.S. Gulf War combat veterans and 15,000 control veterans found that the Gulf War veterans were 1.8 (fathers) to 2.8 (mothers) times more likely to have children with birth defects.After examination of children’s medical records two years later, the birth defect rate increased by more than 20%:

    “Dr. Kang found that male Gulf War veterans reported having infants with likely birth defects at twice the rate of non-veterans. Furthermore, female Gulf War veterans were almost three times more likely to report children with birth defects than their non-Gulf counterparts. The numbers changed somewhat with medical records verification. However, Dr. Kang and his colleagues concluded that the risk of birth defects in children of deployed male veterans still was about 2.2 times that of non-deployed veterans.”

    In early 2004, the UK Pensions Appeal Tribunal Service attributed birth defect claims from a February 1991 Gulf War combat veteran to depleted uranium poisoning. Children of British soldiers who fought in wars in which depleted uranium ammunition was used are at greater risk of suffering genetic diseases such as congenital malformations, commonly called “birth defects,” passed on by their fathers. In a study of U.K. troops, “Overall, the risk of any malformation among pregnancies reported by men was 50% higher in Gulf War Veterans (GWV) compared with Non-GWVs.”

    ………………….

    The U.S. Army has commissioned ongoing research into potential risks of depleted uranium and other projectile weapon materials like tungsten, which the U.S. Navy has used in place of DU since 1993. Studies by the U.S. Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute conclude that moderate exposures to either depleted uranium or uranium present a significant toxicological threat.

    …………….

    Since 2001, medical personnel at the Basra hospital (Iraq) claimed that they observed a sharp increase in the incidence of child leukemia and genetic malformation among babies born in the decade following the Gulf War. Photographs of birth-defected newborns and maps showing the location of their families, which were consistent with the use of DU in the war, were kept and shown to foreign reporters. Iraqi doctors, some of them British-trained, attributed these malformations to the supposed long-term effects of DU.Dr. Janan Ghalib Hassan of the Basra Teaching Hospital stated nearly 25% of the babies born there in 2002 were deformed. He stated,”Before the Gulf War, women would ask when their babies arrived, `Is it male or female?’ Now they ask, `Is the baby normal?’ ”

    For anyone unafraid of following links, see:

    http://www.yesmagazine.org/article.asp?ID=594

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article4207.htm

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article4439.htm

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xjvl1Rk_jE

    http://www.mindfully.org/Nucs/2003/Rokke-Depleted-Uranium-DU21apr03.htm

    http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/95178_du12.shtml

    http://www.ratical.org/radiation/DU/DRonDU2000.html

    http://disc.yourwebapps.com/discussion.cgi?disc=149495;article=119614;title=APFN

    As some good starting points, among many others.


    Madeleine Albright making an idiotic off-the-cuff statement on camera doesn’t rebut what I wrote above: “UNSC Resolution 706 of 1991 offered to allow Saddam to sell oil to buy food and medicine for his people while he was under UN Security Council disarmament sanctions for his blatant war of aggression. He refused for five years. Reason magazine says that the estimate of 1 million deaths is inflated, but whatever the number, Saddam was responsible for every single one.”

    When you have the perpetrators admitting war guilt, and justifying it, it is rather difficult to keep pointing the finger somewhere else.


    The Wanniski article you chose to highlight is worthless.

    Actually, I did not choose to highlight it. I just used it as one example of the vast materials in the Wanniski archives at LRC, which I recommended you read in full. I’m including just a few of the better ones here.

    What you apparently don’t know is that, two years after Wanniski wrote, Saddam was indeed put on trial for the genocide of the Anfal military campaign against the Kurds of northern Iraq

    Read Wanniski’s archives to learn more about Anfal.

    And that, Paulie, is what you get for relying uncritically on sources (like LewRockwell.com) writing stuff you already knew you’d agree with. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias

    Thanks, I know what confirmation bias is. I don’t rely on anything uncritically. However, you seem to dismiss Wanniski’s entire body of work because you have an inverse confirmation bias about his publisher, or something. At best, I can conclude you didn’t read the archives, as suggested.


    No, it’s not accurate to say that Saddam was a “U.S. client”.

    Wikipedia:

    In 1958, a year after Saddam had joined the Ba’ath party, army officers led by General Abdul Karim Qassim overthrew Faisal II of Iraq. The Ba’athists opposed the new government, and in 1959, Saddam was involved in the attempted United States-backed plot to assassinate Qassim.

    …..
    Various U.S. diplomats and intelligence officials have asserted that Saddam was strongly linked with the CIA, and that U.S. intelligence, under President John F. Kennedy, helped Saddam’s party seize power for the first time in 1963.

    Saddam Hussein in the past was seen by U.S. intelligence services as a bulwark of anti-communism in the 1960s and 1970s. His first contacts with U.S. officials date back to 1959, when he was part of a CIA-authorized six-man squad tasked with ousting then Iraqi Prime Minister Abdul Karim Qassim.

    ……

    Iraq invaded Iran, first attacking Mehrabad Airport of Tehran and then entering the oil-rich Iranian land of Khuzestan, which also has a sizable Arab minority, on September 22, 1980 and declared it a new province of Iraq. With the support of the Arab states, the United States, the Soviet Union, and Europe, and heavily financed by the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, Saddam Hussein had become “the defender of the Arab world” against a revolutionary Iran. Consequently, many viewed Iraq as “an agent of the civilized world”.
    ………….

    As Iraq-Kuwait relations rapidly deteriorated, Saddam was receiving conflicting information about how the U.S. would respond to the prospects of an invasion. For one, Washington had been taking measures to cultivate a constructive relationship with Iraq for roughly a decade. The Reagan administration gave Saddam roughly $40 billion in aid in the 1980s to fight Iran, nearly all of it on credit. The U.S. also sent billions of dollars to Saddam to keep him from forming a strong alliance with the Soviets. Saddam’s Iraq became “the third-largest recipient of US assistance”.

    ……

    U.S. ambassador to Iraq April Glaspie met with Saddam in an emergency meeting on July 25, where the Iraqi leader stated his intention to continue talks. U.S. officials attempted to maintain a conciliatory line with Iraq, indicating that while George H. W. Bush and James Baker did not want force used, they would not take any position on the Iraq–Kuwait boundary dispute and did not want to become involved. Whatever Glapsie did or did not say in her interview with Saddam, the Iraqis assumed that the United States had invested too much in building relations with Iraq over the 1980s to sacrifice them for Kuwait. (Humphreys, 106)

    Back to Holtz:


    Paulie, I said the “war!” _topic_ had hijacked this article, not any one person. I didn’t even mention Iraq or war as “divisive” — I just included “no obsession with a single internally divisive issue” in a list of reasons why a previous editor did a better job than Sipos. My earlier mention of “multiple antiwar articles per issue” would be a valid complaint even if I agreed with Sipos on the war. It was Sipos who thought that flaunting his antiwar LP outreach would bother me, but he was so mistaken that I didn’t even notice that he did so. What then happened was that Susan Hogarth, Rob Power, and Tom Knapp in quick succession all jumped in to beat their antiwar chests — while Sipos slinked away instead of answering my point that he obfuscated the eight most charges against Angela.

    So, in other words, the focus of this thread turning to the war issue started with you, continued with people replying to you, you replying to them, etc.


    Hey, no worries, it’s fun to klunk some antiwar skulls together every once in a while. 🙂 My time here is pretty much up, but I’ll be back in a few days to make sure I get the last word. 🙂

    Unfortunately, I too am afflicted with lastworditis. A dreadful condition, I must say.

    Bonus track:

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/wanniski/wanniski8.html

    Memo To: Political Reporters
    From: Jude Wanniski
    Re: Refresh Your Memories on Iraq

    In watching the Sunday talk shows today I was astonished at how everyone – interviewers and guests – seems to have forgotten that in the last month before President Bush pulled the trigger on Iraq it was clear we all should have known Saddam had NO WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION. I’m posting below a memo I ran in this space 30 days before the war began entitled, “Finally, A Disarmed Iraq.” When everyone who supports the war continues to say that EVERYONE believed Saddam had WMD, including the French, the Germans, the Russians, etc. That is true only BEFORE the UN inspectors returned and spent months going over all the possibilities. A full month before the President decided that diplomacy had failed, Baghdad addressed the only issue still outstanding on the UNMOVIC and IAEA report cards: Proving the negative.

    Strip away all gabble we hear today and you should remember the US position was that it was NOT THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE INSPECTORS to locate WMD, it was Iraq’s responsibility to ‘fess up and take the inspectors to the locations where they were hiding WMD!! To be quite correct, this was essentially the thrust of the 1991 UN resolution, which required Baghdad to own up to any unconventional weapons they had, show them to the inspectors, and have them destroyed. The record now indicates Iraq did EXACTLY that in 1991, but none of that mattered as the US did not want to lift the sanctions that were crippling the Iraqi economy. The neo-cons had their hidden agenda of occupying Iraq, which is where we are now.

    Senator John Kerry should be making the most of this, but his “helpers” are not doing much to help him. On “Meet the Press,” Tim Russert asked former Clinton Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Chief of Staff John Podesta how Kerry could really complain about the war when he “voted for it.” Russert asked: What is the difference between Kerry and Bush? Both Albright and Podesta parroted the party line that Kerry would have allowed the UN inspectors “to finish their work,” but then slipped into the line that a President Kerry could then have assembled an international coalition to take out Saddam. Huh?

    Their assumption is that if the inspectors finished their work, they would have found the WMD!! Why do they say this? Because if they do not, they will have to come to the conclusion that the United Nations would announce, “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED,” and submit that the sanctions against Iraq should finally be lifted. It is now still politically incorrect to say the world would be better off if we had not gone to war and removed Saddam. We know the Bush team wanted war and their smartest players knew Iraq had been effectively disarmed. But why do you reporters to this day run film clips and cite quotes of Hillary Clinton and John Kerry from the Senate floor supporting the use of force against Iraq? Of course, at the time EVERYONE thought WMD would be found (except Scott Ritter, the UNSCOM inspector who ran around telling everyone he knew that this wasn’t the case.)

    To repeat, political reporters (you too, Tim), should refresh your memories. Go back and watch the UNSC sessions and read the daily accounts of how diplomacy was working, except the major media at the time did not seem to notice.

    Memo on the Margin
    Finally, A Disarmed Iraq

    Memo To: Website Fans, Browsers, Clients, Feb. 17, 2003
    From: Jude Wanniski
    Re: Closing the Last Gaps

    If you watched the proceedings of the UN Security Council last Friday, you had to be paying special attention when UNMOVIC’s Hans Blix mentioned in passing a list of 83 names he had gotten from Baghdad in the last few days. US Secretary of State Colin Powell clearly missed the point or was thinking about something else at that moment. So were the editorialists at The New York Times, which led me to write a letter to the Times explaining the importance of what Blix had mentioned. You may recall that in his remarks which followed, Powell again and again made the point that while it was clear Iraq had been cooperating on “process,” it was still not cooperating on “substance.” He also hammered away on the point that UNSC Resolution #1441 was not about “inspections,” but about “disarmament.” In its lead editorial Saturday, the Times made the same point, that Iraq was still doing nothing to deal with the “substance” of the disarmament issue that has dragged on since the summer of 1991.

    What was that list of 83 names and why is it so crucial? It is the only way Iraq has of proving the negative, an otherwise impossible demand by the hawks in the Bush administration. As Iraq’s UN Ambassador Mohammed Aldouri put it in his remarks Friday, “You cannot give with an empty hand,” an old Arab saying. What Blix finds promising on “substance” in the list is that these are the men who actually carried out the destruction of materials that could be assembled into weapons of mass destruction if Iraqi scientists knew how to do so. When the UN inspectors left Iraq in 1998, they had accounted for 95% of the chemical and biological programs, which led Scott Ritter to say Iraq had been “qualitatively” disarmed. What was left were these “gaps” in the records, which UNSCOM’s Richard Butler insisted was the responsibility of Iraq to prove did not exist. I don’t know if he ever asked Baghdad for a list of names of the workers who destroyed the missing materials, but now Baghdad has supplied the list without being asked for it. If the interviews get started now, Blix will be able to report to the Security Council on March 14 that Iraq has been “quantitatively” disarmed, removing any reason for war.

    Here is the letter to the Times, which the paper chose not to run:

    Letter to the Editor:

    Both the Times in its 2/15 editorial, “Disarming Iraq,” and Secretary of State Powell in his remarks to the UN the day before missed the most substantive offer made by Iraq last week, as recounted in the report of UNMOVIC’s Hans Blix. It has never been possible for Baghdad to prove with documentation that some of the missing chemical/biological materials were destroyed as claimed in the summer of 1991. Documents had been able to account for almost all the materials, but after inspections from 1991 to 1998 there remained these gaps. Mr. Blix told the UN that Iraq’s National Monitoring Directorate has presented a list of 83 names of participants in the destruction process. “The presentation of a list of persons who can be interviewed about the actions appears useful and pertains to cooperation on substance,” he said, adding the hope that a similar list be proffered for proscribed items in the biological field.

    There has never been credible evidence that Iraq ever produced “weapons of mass destruction” in the chemical, biological or nuclear fields. The gasses the Iraqi army used in the Iran/Iraq war were deadly to those caught in the vicinity of an incoming shell, but were mainly used not to kill but to disorient the human-wave attacks employed by the Iranians.

    Iraq clearly tried to “weaponize” anthrax, VX, and biological agents in the ’80s, but failed and abandoned the efforts. What remains missing are records of some the ingredients that would be needed for such weapons. The most encouraging part of the positive report by Mr. Blix is that a method is being worked out to close those gaps to the satisfaction of the inspection teams.

    June 29, 2004

    Jude Wanniski

  139. Robert Capozzi

    Paulie: Repealing the neutrality act which forbids Americans to take action as individuals and/or groups which are voluntarily organized seems like a better idea to me.

    Me: I used to be persuaded by the Lincoln Brigade argument, but I now find it insufficient. I’ve no problem with Lincoln Brigades, but modern technology and transportation makes that approach less compelling for me.

    If an overwhelming international force could be quickly deployed to stop verifiable atrocities, I’m for it. It won’t be perfect, but then nothing ever IS perfect. There’s a lot of gray areas for me.

    So, call me an heavily biased toward non-intervention, but not a strict non-interventionist.

  140. paulie cannoli Post author

    Fair enough. However, when weighing

    “Who’s to judge what’s a genocide or atrocity?; history of excesses and manipulation; inappropriate use of tax dollars; almost always unconstitutionally executed; blowback; triggers domestic State growth; a ruse for geopolitical machinations; etc.” (and adding the dangers of world government to the mix – yet another subject)

    against

    “I’ve no problem with Lincoln Brigades, but modern technology and transportation makes that approach less compelling for me.”

    I tend to err heavily on the side of dealing with technology and transportation issues through market and voluntary cooperative means.

    I think markets and other voluntary forms of organization are better equipped to solve any such problems than governments, anyway – even if governments can marshall overwhelming resources quickly through command and control, I think it comes at too high a price.

    Ultimately, relying on coercive means such as monopoly government to solve problems increases aggregate amount of aggression. This is not always through direct effects, but often through secondary, tertiary, etc,. side effects.

    Holtz:

    “A libertarian is a person who believes that the role and incidence of aggression are to be minimized — i.e. that the role and incidence of liberty are to be maximized. Everyone is libertarian to the extent that they support decreases in the amount of aggression suffered, whether they realize it or not. Those who worry more about sources of aggression than the aggregate amount of aggression are suboptimally libertarian, regardless of what they may claim.”

    Our difference is only in applying the system analysis of aggression, I think.

  141. Robert Capozzi

    Paulie,

    I appreciate that you understand my perspective, even if it differs from yours…slightly.

    I also err toward markets and voluntarism. At the moment, there’s no appreciable “market” for high-scale peacekeeping forces…moving troops and munitions requires large capital outlays. For the most part, governments already HAVE the capital equipment, so I can imagine using them for good (e.g., ending genocide).

    The marginal cost to taxpayers would be rather low to quell mass murder.

    I’d welcome the day when the Red Cross or something like that could be dispatched to places like Kosovo and Darfur to stop the slaughter.

    That day hasn’t come. Now, the Red Cross can only make a dent in cleaning up the mess.

  142. Michael H. Wilson

    paulie writes: ,
    “I didn’t know that the slant drilling was disputed. War of aggression implies that the slant drilling was not an initiation of force, or that diplomacy had not already been attempted. Also, I understand it that Iraq claims Kuwait as part of its historical territory, carved out by British colonialists.”

    Nice work. As I recall Kuwait has a long standing relation with BP oil which is why Kuwait even exist. The Brits need the oil.

    Also I haven’t had time to read your entire piece, but I have read that Saddam was willing to leave Iraq, but the details had not been worked out. I think the Swedes were part of those negotiations, so the war may not have happened had some time been given to the diplomats.

    MW

  143. Michael Seebeck

    Brian asked a ways up there:

    “Can somebody explain why the LPCA should be paying this guy $4000 a year to inflict his act on the LPCA membership?”

    To which I answer, in full tongue-in-cheek snark:

    “So Brian Holtz doesn’t bore us to death on the newsletter in his place, and to give Brian Holtz and Bruce Cohen something more to complain about.”

    Take it up with Kevin, Brian. The rest of us hardly give a damn.

    And yes, PA is Jim Davidson. That’s hardly a secret.

  144. Pingback: Debate: Is ‘California Freedom’ Too Antiwar?

  145. NDRealWorld

    @188:

    “And yes, PA is Jim Davidson. That’s hardly a secret.”

    Why do BTP people spend large portions of their time on blogs whining about internal LP business? That’s just sad!! Those of you who have left the LP for the BTP, go run your own party, write your own newsletters, mind your own business at your own conventions. Why should we care what you think about how the LP is run? When you send nasty emails to LP activists and sign internet petitions about LP business, do you footnote it to point out that you’re not even a party member?

  146. Mel

    Ron Paul is a confederate not a Paleo-con. Paleo-cons believe in the American system of economics and that government should stimulate the private sector. The free-market slaveocracy was particularly a southern Confederate feature.

  147. phil law

    Constitution party hacks in california truly pathetic grundman, nightingale and lussenheide…dorks and nuts. They hang out together bashing gays…the government…sick twisted unamerican losers.

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