Nicholas Sarwark: ‘Afghanistan and NATO’


Via LP.org and email list:

Dear Libertarian,

You have probably heard the news about the President’s plan to increase American military involvement in Afghanistan.

The Libertarian perspective is very different.

After toppling the Afghan government almost sixteen years ago, the United States entered into nation building thinking that it would help improve corners of the world that terrorists find inviting. Our country has spent hundreds of billions of dollars and lost thousands of lives in these futile efforts.

According to Forbes: “Since [the initial] intervention in the aftermath of 9/11, roughly 2,400 American military personnel have died and more than 20,000 been wounded attempting to bring democracy to Central Asia. Some 3,500 military contractors have been killed, along with more than 1,100 allied personnel. Overall the US has poured more than $800 billion into the war. Set aside the costs of combat. The US has spent $117.3 billion on relief and ‘reconstruction,’ that is, attempting to create a functioning state in Afghanistan.”

Despite all of this sacrifice and hard work, nation building in Iraq and Afghanistan has been a failure. No matter how sophisticated our military is and no matter how much we sacrifice, nation building is far more difficult than our politicians believed. Not only that, it may create more terrorists than it quells.

Foreign military intervention is insanely complicated. In any foreign conflict there are countless people, organizations, and countries involved, each with their own motives, goals, and methods. It is very hard to accurately predict what will happen because there are so many actors involved. Things often don’t work out as predicted, so we must be wary of unintended consequences before taking any action, especially war.

We are now living with the unintended consequences of previous military action in Afghanistan, both by the US government and others.

The President’s announcement of increased military action in Afghanistan flies in the face of his past positions on American involvement in Afghanistan, such as “We have wasted an enormous amount of blood and treasure in Afghanistan. Their government has zero appreciation. Let’s get out.”

This President is consistent: consistently breaking campaign promises and saber rattling with American lives.

In recent weeks, he’s threatened North Korea with “fire and fury” comments. North Korea is another complex problem without any “good” answers. Backing someone into a corner is not a good way to get a peaceful resolution; this is especially true when that someone is a tyrannical dictator. It is a very tricky scenario, but the ideal approach is to work towards de-escalation rather than poking him and encouraging him to lash out violently.

The President has also publicly commented about a “possible military option” to deal with the regime in Venezuela. We are all heartbroken by the tragic state of Venezuela right now but we know from Iraq and Afghanistan that simply overthrowing a dictator is not enough to greatly improve the well-being of a population. After years of nation building in Iraq and Afghanistan the people who live there are still in a horrible situation. Overthrowing the regime in Venezuela would not make the lives of ordinary Venezuelans any better and might even make things worse.

The US military is very powerful. Overthrowing dictators is not hard for our troops to accomplish. But dealing with the aftermath is, because that aftermath is so insanely complicated and unpredictable. That is one of the chief reasons we should be so careful with military action.

Libertarians believe in self-defense. If America is attacked, then we have the right to defend ourselves. But too often American presidents have pursued military action that meddles in other countries that have not attacked the United States. Other times, American presidents use the saber rattling of various despots as an excuse to use military action. Libertarians believe that using our brave men and women as pawns is inappropriate and immoral, so we oppose military action that is not truly defensive in nature.

The Libertarian Party also advocates a restructuring our country’s interactions with the world. We want to prioritize diplomacy and peaceful resolution of conflicts. We also seek to move past old grievances. In his Farewell Address, President George Washington warned against permanent allies and permanent enemies. He also warned against “permanent alliances”. The Libertarian Party advocates these same principles. Towards that end, this past weekend, the Libertarian National Committee passed a resolution calling for the US to withdraw from NATO.

In the same spirit as President Washington, we seek to “Observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all.”

I hope you’ll find these thoughts helpful as you talk with your friends and neighbors about current events. If we want to make progress in the polls, we need to be discussing these critical topics and the Libertarian perspective on them with our networks throughout the election cycle.

Towards liberty,

Nicholas Sarwark
Chair, Libertarian National Committee

57 thoughts on “Nicholas Sarwark: ‘Afghanistan and NATO’

  1. robert capozzi

    A-

    This is a superior message to the last press release. To me, though, it still feels like the withdraw from NATO resolution is shoehorned into the message.

    This could have used another paragraph after the NATO aside to say that Ls believe we should rethink a range of Cold War relics in our nation’s foreign policy. We should seriously consider moving toward a world where nations value being good neighbors above the current situation where we are more like armed camps of combatants. The US should of course strongly and vigilantly protect its citizens from nation states and terrorist organizations, but we should not be in the business of provoking other countries and non-government entities.

    Good communications require institutions to follow the steps: Ready, aim, fire.

  2. Tony From Long Island

    Except for the unrealistic “withdraw from NATO” part, I agree with much of this.

  3. paulie

    Why unrealistic? Why does Europe need the US to defend it, when they have more people and money than the US does? Why would Europe want to be on the hook for what the US does in the Muslim world and face the terrorism that results? Trump won while floating the idea of getting out of NATO. As I expected and predicted, he was a lying sack of shit as usual on this, but it shows that the idea is not necessarily anathema to voters. I see nothing unrealistic in either calling for it or actually doing it.

  4. Kevin S Bjornson

    Even if all his assertions about fact were right, still his proposed remedy is worse. The US cannot stand alone as an island, while allies fall to predators. The US should charge NATO members for military services rendered to NATO members.

    Nicholas has no clear ideology, and he gets some major facts wrong. Permit me to suggest, he remain silent on matters where he is ignorant. Instead, interested readers might be interested in this article:
    http://www.defendliberty.net

  5. Bondurant

    @ Kevin Bjornson

    What allies would be in danger if we left NATO and who would the threat come from?

  6. Kevin S Bjornson

    If you’re not aware of the single greatest threat to western civilization, you haven’t been paying attention or are in denial. In either case, there is no point to pointing out the threat to you, as you would not listen, because to acknowledge the existence of a threat, would validate the need to counter the threat.

    Seriously, you’re not aware of any threat to the US or Europe? Seriously?

  7. George Phillies

    The notion that Islam is the greatest threat to western civilization is nonsense. Europe has a severe problem with ca. seventh world refugees, but this would be true regardless of their religion.

  8. Kevin S Bjornson

    Notice, I deliberately didn’t mention Islam, so this was like a sentence-completion test. Why did you pick Islam, instead of, say, Russia? (which is often used as a bogeyman to justify NATO. That was true during the Soviet era, but not so much now.)

    George, speaking ex cathedra from the realm of perfect circles, implicitly claims that all religions are equivalent. Why? Because they are all religions. Just like all hydrogen atoms are identical because they are all hydrogen. I got it.

    In this delusional worldview, Christian or pagan refugees are equivalent threats. The vehicle rammings in Europe could just as likely have been done by Christians fleeing the middle east, the fact that most were done by Muslims is dismissed as unlikely coincidence.

    Facts are a stubborn thing, and cannot be dismissed by appeals to ideology. Here are the facts:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_terrorist_incidents_in_January_2017

    What stands out like a flashing red light, is that the overwhelming majority of these attacks were done by Muslims. Two were by anarchists, one by neo-nazis, one by IRA, virtually all the rest were by adherents of the “religion of peace”.

  9. dL

    Facts are a stubborn thing, and cannot be dismissed by appeals to ideology. Here are the facts:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_terrorist_incidents_in_January_2017

    A partial consideration of the facts(noting that the linked list was one month, January, 2017)). A full consideration would also note that the incidence of terrorist attacks worldwide have increased 5-fold since the War on Terror
    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/nov/18/fivefold-increase-terrorism-fatalities-global-index

    suggesting that the policies Bjornson support precipitate the very thing he claims to prevent/contain.

  10. dL

    If you’re not aware of the single greatest threat to western civilization,

    Something like Charlottesville suggests the greatest threat to “western civilization” is ourselves.

  11. Kevin S Bjornson

    You need more statistics? Seriously?

    You then point out that terrorist attacks have increased since 9/11. I suppose that means, Buddhists have become incensed at our attacks on Jihadists? No, your own article points out that the terrorist incidents are by Jihadists.

    Your logic confuses correlation with causation. By the same logic, we could correctly point out that Nazi attacks on Americans increased after US troops were inserted into Morocco and France. The solution? Simply don’t attack Nazis, and they will leave us alone? Seriously?

    Of course they are fighting back, hitting at easy targets (a la the Art of War), because they would lose if they formed armies and attack our armies on the field of battle. You propose to give in to their extortion, to change our behavior to avoid terrorist attacks.

    But this is a slippery slope. Where does it end? What if the US stopped fighting terrorists; would they simply lay down their arms? Did the Barbary Coast pirates not seize US merchant ships simply because the US did not have a deep water navy? No, they stopped only when Jefferson created a deep water navy and defeated them, militarily.

    What if a western cartoonist publishes something disrespectful of Islam. Would Jihadists say, “That’s OK, at least they are not attacking us. Let the infidels continue their sinful ways.”. No, they would threaten terrorist attacks if we don’t submit. That’s what “Islam” means, it has the same root word as submission.

  12. Kevin S Bjornson

    The Charlottesville attacker is not part of “ourselves” if by that you mean to include me; speak for yourself. To claim otherwise, is to display an ignorance of what “western civilization” means.

    I never said that 100% of terrorist attacks are by Muslims. I explicitly cited statistics showing a few outliers, like Nazis, anarchists, IRA, etc.

    In fact, Jihadists and Nazis are natural allies, they both reject western civilization and hate Jews. Judaism is part of western civilization because it is a paleo-humanism. Hitler admired Islam, and regretted Germany was not Islamic. The two forces formed a alliance during WW2:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relations_between_Nazi_Germany_and_the_Arab_world

  13. dL

    Your logic confuses correlation with causation.

    The post hoc fallacy applies when the the only available evidence is one of correlation. E.g, relating incidences of UFO sightings to the success of a professional football team. However, only an imbecile would flap “correlation is not causation” to an event such as prohibition of the possession of alcohol preceding a spike in arrests for the illegal possession of alcohol.

    Now, RE: logical fallacies, a textbook example is below.

    By the same logic, we could correctly point out that Nazi attacks on Americans increased after US troops were inserted into Morocco and France. The solution? Simply don’t attack Nazis, and they will leave us alone? Seriously?

    Non sequitur.

    Of course they are fighting back, hitting at easy targets (a la the Art of War), because they would lose if they formed armies and attack our armies on the field of battle. You propose to give in to their extortion, to change our behavior to avoid terrorist attacks.

    Actually, it is people like you, advocating the liberty encroaching policies that go into effect, that end up forcing a change in my behavior.

    But this is a slippery slope. Where does it end? What if the US stopped fighting terrorists; would they simply lay down their arms?

    My guess is that they would have a lot less arms to lay down, given that the US indirectly is the largest arms supplier to the terrorists.

    In fact, Jihadists and Nazis are natural allies, they both reject western civilization and hate Jews. Judaism is part of western civilization because it is a paleo-humanism. Hitler admired Islam, and regretted Germany was not Islamic. The two forces formed a alliance during WW2:

    Germany is a protestant Christian country. The Christians put the Jews in the ovens, not the Muslims.

  14. Kevin S Bjornson

    I don’t propose to provide weapons to terrorists, nor do I think this has anything to do with what I recommend. Because selling weapons is not an intervention.

    Yes, I realize that Nazis put Jews in ovens, not Muslims. As I pointed out, Nazis and radical Muslims were allies (you appear to have mis-read what I wrote).

    I don’t propose to encroach liberties and you have not defined what you are talking about. While you would prohibit intervention, thus encroaching on the liberty to intervene.

    You said that attacks on Americans increased after the US launched a war on Jihadis. As I pointed out, that is what happens in war. One side shoots back if the other side is still fighting and has not surrendered.

    Of course, prohibiting alcohol will lead to increased arrests for alcohol. And likely, some pro-alcohol forces will fight back. But alcohol and Jihad are not morally equivalent, for obvious reasons. I’m not sure what your point is here.

    The underlying cause of terrorism, is ideology which justifies terrorism. Radical Islam justifies terrorism. Fighting terrorism does not mean terrorists will not fight back. Of course they will fight back, unless we surrender. Which is what you seem to be proposing, that is, you would give in to their demands, and not just the demands you like, but all their demands, because they do not agree with your ideology. Terrorists won’t allow you to pick and choose among their demands. They will continue terrorism until you agree to all their demands.

  15. George Phillies

    KB asks ” Why did you pick Islam, instead of, say, Russia? ”

    Why? Because I’ve read enough of your rants on other sites to realize that you are some variation on the alt-right Republican hatemongers, as proven by your diatribes against “radical islam”. In fact, the largest number of terrorist attacks in the United States, over recent decades, have been from Christian anti-abortion extremists. A half-century back the riots (the one at Old Miss required much of an Army division to put down; the 1964-1967 riots needed a significant part of the Army and National Guard to contain) were racially linked and largely between Christians, except for a systematic effort to burn out small stores owned by Jews.

    With respect to the demands of Mr. Bin Laden, there were in fact three of them: (1) we should withdraw our troops from Saudi Arabia and its neighbors, (2) we should stop giving large amounts of military foreign aid to Israel, and (iii) we should stop propping up Islamic kleptocracies. The position of the Taliban is apparently simpler, namely that we should stop invading their country and bombing and dronifying them.A reasonable estimate is that the crazy wars of Bush and Obama against this part of the world have led to the detaths ofa million or a million and a third people, so we cannjot be surprised that they are shooting back at us.

  16. dL

    Of course, prohibiting alcohol will lead to increased arrests for alcohol. And likely, some pro-alcohol forces will fight back. But alcohol and Jihad are not morally equivalent, for obvious reasons. I’m not sure what your point is here.

    Um, I didn’t say they were morally equivalent. Jez. I simply used alcohol prohibition as an analogy to demonstrate the spuriousness of a “correlation is not causation” flap when the available evidence is a bit more than a single random correlation.

    Yes, I realize that Nazis put Jews in ovens, not Muslims. As I pointed out, Nazis and radical Muslims were allies (you appear to have mis-read what I wrote).

    And, as I pointed out, the Nazi-Muslim link is down the list compared to the Nazi-Christianity link…if we are going to play the game of religious culpability.

    You said that attacks on Americans increased after the US launched a war on Jihadis. As I pointed out, that is what happens in war. One side shoots back if the other side is still fighting and has not surrendered.

    No, I said incidences of terrorist attacks have increased 5-fold since the War on Terror and used that fact to:
    (1) balance your incomplete list of facts
    (2) suggest that your favored policies precipitate the very thing you claim to want to prevent/contain.

    I don’t propose to provide weapons to terrorists, nor do I think this has anything to do with what I recommend. Because selling weapons is not an intervention.

    You said that we cannot end current policy b/c it is naive to think that islamic terrorists will simply lay down their arms. I countered that US policy/defense budget is largely responsible for arming them in the first place.

    The underlying cause of terrorism, is ideology which justifies terrorism.

    Terrorism is an asymmetric warfare tactic. Per the standard definition, it is a tactic employed against civilians. There are many reasons why that tactic might be employed but the chief underlying reason is always some perceived injustice committed by a tactically superior foe. Now ideology may or may not play a role in defining the nature of said injustice, but it is rare for any ideology to simply sanction terrorism as means to spread the ideology itself.

  17. Kevin S Bjornson

    The initial cause of Islamic terrorism, is a literal interpretation of Islam. The ideology is laid out in great detail, available to anybody with eyes to read. Of course, if a nation submits to Islam, then they would not be subjected to Islamic terrorism (unless from a competing sect).

    But if a nation (or other group) rejects Islamist supremacism, then of course they might be attacked (depending on opportunity). That’s called “war”, which means, both sides attack. If only one side attacks, then that’s “surrender”. Again, I’m not sure what your point is, though the implication I’m getting is, if we don’t attack them, they will mirror our behavior (because they would be so impressed by our noble example).

    Yet history does not bear out your theory; there are plenty of examples of Jihad attack on people who are peaceful, even non-resisting. US merchant ships were attacked, before the US had the means to attack them (after independence, the US was no longer protected by the British navy, and the US did not yet possess a deep water navy).

    I’m not aware of a Nazi-Christian link. Documentation, please.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_views_of_Adolf_Hitler#Hitler_on_Islam
    According to Speer, Hitler said: “The Mohammedan religion too would have been much more compatible to us than Christianity. Why did it have to be Christianity with its meekness and flabbiness?”
    ————————————

    Similarly, Hitler was transcribed as saying: “Had Charles Martel not been victorious at Poitiers […] then we should in all probability have been converted to Mohammedanism, that cult which glorifies the heroism and which opens up the seventh Heaven to the bold warrior alone. Then the Germanic races would have conquered the world.”
    —————————————-
    Nazi true believers were a type of occult pagan. The SS especially. Here is a documentary on the topic:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHxeOT8A6sQ&t=26s

    Though Hitler was more pragmatic, and would even mock his own book in private. That would explain his alliance with non-Nordics, like the Italians, Japanese, and Arabs.
    ————————————————
    Concerning the alleged increase in terrorism after the US waged war on it: that reminds me of the global warming controversy. Does the warming cause the CO2 increase, or the reverse?

    The simple fact is, terrorism is a war tactic. We have to expect that if we fight back against Islamic terrorism, of course there will be more Islamic terrorism. That is, until they are defeated.

    History is full of examples of Islamic attacks against innocent people and not based on any kind of self-defense or response to aggression.Islam spread by conquest and there is ideological support for that. Of course, there are different methods of attack, whether propaganda, legal, economic, social, etc. But underlying the soft Jihad, is the hard Jihad, which explains their rapid expansion.

    Though I don’t deny that Muslims can be unjustly attacked, and sometimes have been; but their ideology does not fit into the non-initiation of force principle. We have to accept that not everybody is a libertarian at heart. You seem to assume that counter-terrorism must always be an aggression, and must be stopped to avoid initiating force. Yet you don’t explain how you will stop counter-terrorism, without engaging in counter-counter-terrorism (in that case, wouldn’t counter-terrorism be a response to your proposed counter-counter-terrorism? Because likely, counter-terrorist forces will not surrender to your counter-counter terrorist forces, so there will be more attacks against your proposed side.

    Please listen to what i say, not that script running in your head. It’s like you have an auto-play that is triggered by any proposal to attack Islamic terrorism. I have said many times, I don’t endorse current policy. I propose different policies.

    Not all asymmetric warfare is against civilians. There are explicit endorsements and lauded examples of terrorism in Islamic texts. If you seriously doubt that, i can provide many texts and historical examples.

  18. Ad Hoc

    There are plenty of non-Islamic, including European, countries which don’t submit to Islam, don’t intervene in the Muslim world and don’t have a problem with Muslim terrorism. Finland, Switzerland and Iceland for example. Thus, it would be a fair conclusion that not interfering in the Muslim world would greatly cut down on Muslim terrorism.

    As for the reverse, what exactly is interfering in the Muslim world going to accomplish besides breed terrorism? Is NATO going to bomb 1.5 billion Muslims into abandoning Islam? Occupy the whole Muslim world and “nation-build”? No one has those kinds of resources, and the track record of trying such things isn’t good.

    Even supposing that a reconstituted Islamic Caliphate launched a full military attack on Europe, Europe still doesn’t need NATO. There are over 700 million people in Europe with a $20 trillion GDP. They have nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and every type of conventional weapon. What exactly do they need NATO for other than to have US taxpayers subsidize them long after they no longer have any need of any such subsidy?

  19. Ad Hoc

    The only thing that Western military intervention in majority-Muslim nations has accomplished is drastically increase the spread of radicalism and fundamentalism within Islam, increase the flow of refugees and breed resentment against the West.

    What are we going to do? Bomb them into peace? Kill all of them? Occupy every Muslim nation from now to eternity? What’s the game plan here, warmongers? Every time Europe or the US bombs, blockades or occupies a Muslim-majority nation it just spreads extremism, terrorism, and resentment not just in that country but throughout the Muslim world, including among Muslims already living in (and in many cases born in) Europe, the US, et al.

    So what’s the solution? Peace, commerce with all, entangling alliances with none, free trade, freedom to immigrate while ending the bombing and occupation of Muslim nations that drives refugees. Tolerance and respect of diversity at home. Uninfringed gun rights for ordinary citizens, so terrorism can be stopped whenever it occurs more quickly. Cutting red tape, so Muslim immigrants can more easily find jobs, start and expand businesses and integrate into Western societies, as opposed to being unemployed and isolated.

    Not all Muslims are fundamentalists or extremists, but fundamentalism and extremism in Islam have spread drastically in reaction to non-Muslim nations bombing, blockading and occupying majority-Muslim nations. Doing the opposite will have the opposite effect; doing even more of those things will accelerate the cycle of increasing violence both from Muslims and against them.

  20. dL

    I’m not aware of a Nazi-Christian link. Documentation, please.

    lol.

    NOTE: From your own wikipedia link, Hitler on Islam

    According to Speer, Hitler stated in private, “The Mohammedan religion too would have been much more compatible to us than Christianity. Why did it have to be Christianity with its meekness and flabbiness?

    QED

    The simple fact is, terrorism is a war tactic. We have to expect that if we fight back against Islamic terrorism, of course there will be more Islamic terrorism. That is, until they are defeated.

    You are a genocidal lunatic…

  21. Kevin S Bjornson

    I’m not sure that one photo proves substantial links between Christianity and Nazism. I asked for an article. I could as easily show photos from the same time period, of American students routinely doing that salute, which at the time, in the public mind, did not have the level of association with Nazism that we now view.

    We must remember that the Vatican is in Italy and the church made compromises in order to survive. A few priests did sympathize with Nazism, and helped them escape for example, but not to the extent of recruiting all-Christian SS brigades, encouraging and planning genocide and murder of Jews, or touring death camps.

    In the distant past, Christianity was almost as bad as Islam is today. I’m not excusing any of that, in fact as a humanist I criticize all religions. But I don’t subscribe to your notion, which seems to be, Christianity and Islam are equivalent morally and have equal or greater levels of cooperation with genocide of Jews. Perhaps you’ve had bad experiences with Christianity, relating to your upbringing, which leads you to view all evil through the prism of Christianity.

    Calling me a “genocidal lunatic” does seem a substitution of name-calling for reasoned dialogue. Such unsubstantiated hyperbole does seem a projection, saying more about you than me.

    In your rage, you seem to mis-interpret the Hitler quote. He’s not talking about the association of Christianity with Nazism, but with it’s association with Germany. Which you would know if you had read the other Hitler quote I cited:

    “Had Charles Martel not been victorious at Poitiers […] then we should in all probability have been converted to Mohammedanism, that cult which glorifies the heroism and which opens up the seventh Heaven to the bold warrior alone. Then the Germanic races would have conquered the world.”

    Perhaps you weren’t aware, but Martel’s victory at Poitiers occurred in 732 AD. Well before Nazism.

  22. Kevin S Bjornson

    Ad Hoc’s theory seems to be, the only way to counter Jihad is to not fight them, on the theory that if we are peaceful, they will mirror our behavior and also be peaceful.

    Does this apply to all enemies, or just Jihadists? If that were the case, then the US military should be disbanded, for there would be no use for it.

    Islamic State, as an organized government and military, is in the process of being defeated. Realizing they lack the resources to create a military strong enough to defeat Russia, Iran, and the US, they are holding innocent civilians as hostages. Stop attacking us militarily, or we will attack your civilians. Like bank robbers holding bank patrons as human shields, demanding police withdraw and allow them to leave with the loot.

    Whatever behavior is rewarded, we will tend to see more of. For Jihadists, disbanding the US military would be a reward (but not their only demand). So if that reward were delivered, they would have other demands that we must meet, or they will again attack our civilians. In fact, they do have other demands, like, not have art exhibits or cartoons that make fun of Muhammed; or public displays of human flesh; or anything else which violates Sharia law.

    Jihadist ideology does not mirror the non-initiation of force principle. It’s not like Jihadists are saying, “You have initiated force against us; stop doing that, or we will initiate force against your civilians (in effect, innocent hostages).” The very act of deliberately targeting civilians, is an admission they don’t subscribe to the non-initiation of force principle.

    Let me ask you this: do you acknowledge the possibility that some Jihadists want the entire world to submit to Sharia law? How do you plan to accommodate that?

  23. robert capozzi

    kb: Let me ask you this: do you acknowledge the possibility that some Jihadists want the entire world to submit to Sharia law?

    me: Personally, I’m reasonably convinced that Jihadists want that. I don’t consider that anywhere a credible threat. Do you, and if so, how so?

  24. George Phillies

    There are also some contemporary Americans who want the USA to become a monarchy under the Washington dynasty. I don’t take them too seriously either.

    On the other hand there is the religion (not Islam) with the instruction that if someone becomes an apostate, you should level their village and kill all the occupants. And if their lawn is mixed fescue, they should be stoned to death. The religionists in question do not take these instructions as anything other than a fossilized wrong remnant, no matter what it says in their holy book.

  25. dL

    Calling me a “genocidal lunatic” does seem a substitution of name-calling for reasoned dialogue. Such unsubstantiated hyperbole does seem a projection, saying more about you than me.

    You’ve demonstrated no capability for reasoned dialogue on this issue, instead opting for repeating the brain dead tripe of the far right. It’s just plain silly to go searching for jihadist links to Nazi Germany. The Axis powers had no formal alliance with any Arab or Muslim countries. They were either neutral or sided w/ the allies(although in some cases, the alliance was done by force, e.g, when Iran’s Reza Shah was removed for his son, converting neutral Iran into an allied Iran).

    If you looking for the religious roots of anti-semitism in Nazi Germany, you might want to start w/ Martin Luther. Germany, after all, being the birth place of Protestant Christendom.
    [Martin Luther and antisemitism]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Luther_and_antisemitism

    In your rage, you seem to mis-interpret the Hitler quote. He’s not talking about the association of Christianity with Nazism, but with it’s association with Germany. Which you would know if you had read the other Hitler quote I cited:

    LOL, I’m not the one w/ the hardon for a never ending mass religious genocide. And I actually did read the full quite from the source material. The full quote makes it quite clear that Hilter’s association was with the biological destiny of the Fatherland. The question of what Hitler anecdotally supposed was more compatible with a superior biological destiny of the Fatherland, be it the Japanese Shinto or Mohammedanism, is beside the point to the one that did breed it: political christianity.

  26. Ad Hoc

    My theory is that Jihadism is bolstered by Western bombing, occupation and interference in majority Muslim nations, Western aid to Israel and to Muslim dictators, and mistreatment of Muslims living in Western nations. Still unanswered is why Western nations that don’t do this, e.g. Switzerland, Finland and Iceland, have little or no problem with Jihadi terrorism. After all, it’s not like they have submitted to Islam, made their women cover up, banned alcohol, etc.

    It’s true that fundamentalist Islam calls for conquering the world. People using fundamentalist Christianity, fundamentalist Judaism etc have also undertaken conquest. It’s all in the interpretation, and fundamentalists and extremists within Islam are greatly bolstered by the western behaviors mentioned above. A few decades ago, Muslims worldwide tended to be much less extreme and less prone to terrorism overall. The appetite for this kind of behavior among Muslims has been greatly increased by the response.

    Furthermore my theory is that terrorism is a problem for domestic law enforcement, not for military alliances between Europe and the US. There are things that conventional military forces are good at – meeting other conventional military forces on the battlefield, conquering and occupying foreign countries, bombing foreign governments into submission. None of those apply to combating terrorism. They may apply to a single terrorist organization such as Daesh, the so-called Islamic State, but others rise up to take its place and all you’ve accomplished is create more terrorists.

    Terrorism is a problem for domestic law enforcement. Some terrorist groups have links to terrorist groups in other countries and others are purely domestic. In any case, there is some room for law enforcement cooperation to combat terrorism a la Interpol but that in no way requires the continued existence of NATO. Do purely domestic terrorist groups also need NATO to combat them?

    Neither Europe nor the US has the resources, separately or combined, to occupy the entire Muslim world for an indefinite length of time. Nor would that in any way put a stop to terrorism if we did; it would only increase it as never before.

    Even if it was a good idea to use military bombing and occupation to combat terrorism, I’ve seen no one as yet explain why the US needs Europe for this or vice versa. Europe has a population of 700 million and a GDP of 20 trillion. The US has a population of over 300 million and a GDP also approaching 20 trillion. Both Europe and the US have plenty of nuclear, chemical, biological and conventional weapons and forces. Why do either of them need NATO?

    Further I do have a solution to preventing and not just combating Jihadi terrorism. Free trade, open immigration and lack of entangling alliances, a laissez faire economic policy that makes it easy to get jobs and start businesses, and a well-armed citizenry. Lack of military adventurism abroad creating less refugees. All of these things are within Europe and the US’s power without the existence of NATO.

    I’ve noticed none of my questions were answered so here they are again:

    What are we going to do? Bomb them into peace? Kill all of them? Occupy every Muslim nation from now to eternity? What’s the game plan here, warmongers?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

  27. Kevin S Bjornson

    Capozzi acknowledges that Jihadists exist, who want the world to submit to Sharia; but does not consider the threat credible. In other words, just a bunch of guys playing fantasy games, with little or no impact on the real world.

    However, the threat has already been acted on, multiple times, in various places around the world. What would a “credible threat” look like, to you? In Europe and the US, artists and cartoonists have been attacked; is that fantasy? In Africa, Pakistan, Egypt, and other places where there is some diversity of religion, infidel girls have been kidnapped and forced to become wives while producing babies and doing menial work. Is that not real? In Britain for example, there are “Sharia patrols” acting against un-Islamic behavior. And so on. What would be real, in your mind?

    Are there significant numbers of self-identified Christians doing those sorts of things, today? Is the difference between the two sets of behaviors to chalked up to temporary statistical fluke?

    In any event, where or not political Islam is a threat, and to what extent–these are factual questions that cannot be decided by appeals to “a priori” ideology. It’s not like, being a self-identified “libertarian” gives you special knowledge to what is happening in the real world of phenomena.

    Organizing force in defense of life, liberty, and property is a form of intervention allowed by the non-initiation of force principle. Rightful force must be organized to counter rights-violative force (whether organized or lone wolf). To deny the right to organize force against organized threats, effectively leaves the world unprotected from predation.

  28. George Phillies

    A credible threat would be, like “How many aircraft carriers do they have? How many tank divisions?”
    If we want to find kidnappers, we do not need to leave the USA?

    Sharia patrols? Pull another one, it has bells on.

    And yes, in America there are lots of Christian terrorists, mostly antiabortionist daughter-murderers, doing exactly this sort of thing, complete with bombings and assassinations

  29. Kevin S Bjornson

    There are very few Muslims in Iceland, so the threat there is very low. I’ve seen charts of Europe that identify where the most attacks occur. Those countries with little or no welfare, who restrict Muslim immigration, and have strong security, suffer the least.

    Jihadists are not powerful enough to attack everywhere in the world, so of course they will prioritize, and attack soft targets that have lots of unprotected plunder. They will also attack countries that attack them; but not attacking them will at best, provide temporary benefit. If three people are fleeing a crocodile, the slowest runner will get eaten first; but that will not sate appetite for long. Better to attack the crocodile, and of course, those who counter-attack, will be attacked.

    About 2400 Americans died in the Pearl Harbor attack. Yet, US attacks on Japan caused far greater American casualties. If you don’t counter-attack, you might get to live longer–as a slave or dhimmi.

    I don’t propose general occupation of Islamic countries. Some sites are necessary, for instance to protect the oil infrastructure (which would be “privatized”). But most US casualties occur when patrolling cities, which usually have little or no value to American interests. Jihad is fueled mostly by nationalized oil infrastructure; that which can’t be “privatized” should be destroyed. Either we benefit, or deny benefit to the enemy.

    “open immigration” sounds good in theory, but in reality, would-be Muslim immigrants should be screened for security and economic reasons. We don’t want to import Jihadists or welfare-seekers. Theoretically, welfare could be ended, and those countries like Georgia with the least welfare, have far fewer Muslim immigrants.

    The reason for the refugee flow, is that Jihadists are being defeated militarily. They get a better cost-benefit ratio if they go into countries like Germany or Sweden, where the men have been neutered by feminism and welfare benefits high. Of course, to not attack the Jihadist military, might lead to fewer refugees; but then their military would be unopposed and would triumph,

    Since WW2, the US has subsidized European defense. This allowed them to create more welfare and stronger economies. Creating sufficient military almost from scratch, would be very difficult for Europeans, and also deprive the US military of lucrative contracts for their defense. Analogously, I happen to manufacture sub-panel breaker box with outlets. My clients could make their own, but then I would be out of that job.

  30. Kevin S Bjornson

    I apologize for not individually answering all the critical posts. There are so many, and they basically say the same things I’ve heard a million times. Strip away the flowery rhetoric, the arguments boil down to:

    1. basically, everybody is a libertarian. If we don’t initiate force against them, they will not initiate force against us. They must mirror our behavior.

    2. intervention by it’s nature, always initiates force. Because to enter in between two parties in a dispute, employs force against those who have not employed force against us. Every person should be a self-defense island, each person should use force only against those who have attacked him or her personally (when other people are attacked, that is their problem).

    3. until the “anarcho-capitalist” utopia arrives, we must try to get as close as possible to that ideal. Attacking enemies outside of US borders, increases costs, because to transport them there, would cost energy.

    4. rulers have a right to rule in their own territory, their rulership is a type of property right. Overthrowing rulers, whether by revolution or intervention, violates properties rights of rulers.

  31. dL

    Strip away the flowery rhetoric, the arguments boil down to:

    Not even close. More like four straw men constructions that come close to duck typing you as “some variation on the alt-right Republican hatemonger.”

  32. Ad Hoc

    I see some warmongers would rather mischaracterize the views of others than answer questions about their own views. ‘Tis a shame. Any other warmongers and NATO fans available to answer questions here?

  33. Kevin S Bjornson

    George, you are probably a genius at Physics, but on military matters…
    Aircraft carriers are becoming obsolete, at least against advanced countries with ship-killer missiles or swarm technology. They are hard to sink, but require…
    –a lot of personnel, so a ship-sinking would be catastrophic
    –lots of expensive escort vehicles
    –require difficult or as yet unrealized technology to get sufficient distance for safety
    –(are built for) manned warplanes, themselves becoming obsolete (ever heard of drones?)

    (GP) “If we want to find kidnappers, we do not need to leave the USA?”
    I don’t propose to rescue non-Americans kidnapped abroad. My point is, the kidnappers are motivated by examples and exhortations in Islamic holy texts. Why invite them into the US, if you do, you will see those problems here.

    (GP) “Sharia patrols? Pull another one, it has bells on.”
    Cute phrase, where did you learn that one? You appear to deny the existence of sharia patrols. Amazing.
    Here is documentary proof (from 60 minutes):
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ra45nX9JmW4

    (GP) “And yes, in America there are lots of Christian terrorists, mostly antiabortionist daughter-murderers, doing exactly this sort of thing, complete with bombings and assassinations”

    Amazing. Here, you appear to be saying, there are equivalent amounts of terrorism coming from Christians as Muslims. You got that idea from your “a priori” assumption that all religions are stupid, therefore all religions are equivalent. I realize all religious faith is stupid, but some religions have a higher faith-force content than others. It’s not like all religions have identical nature, like hydrogen atoms.

    There have been 7 anti-abortion murders in the US, mostly in the 90s:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-abortion_violence

    How many Islam-inspired murders do you think occurred in the same timeframe? Any idea? Are you serious about this? I think you’re putting me on, pretending to be stupid to get a reaction.

  34. robert capozzi

    kb: However, the threat has already been acted on, multiple times, in various places around the world. What would a “credible threat” look like, to you?

    earlier kb: Let me ask you this: do you acknowledge the possibility that some Jihadists want the entire world to submit to Sharia law?

    me: Putting it all together, then, jihadism certainly appears to be a threat. The point is that it’s not at all obvious to me that they have an even remote chance of getting the entire world to submit to Sharia. For the US, I see jihadism as a very minor threat.

    Is there reason to believe that they DO have potential to impose Sharia on the RoW, including the US?

    That would concern me. Perhaps more aggressive, preemptive measures would be justified if that were the case. My heavy bias is for non-intervention, but worldwide domination gets my attention.

    I do note that I reluctantly supported the invasion of Afghanistan, despite my bias. Given that the US is still there, and given that I do NOT see the continuing occupation to be justified and in fact counterproductive, the bar I set for justification has gone up.

  35. Ad Hoc

    “Aircraft carriers are becoming obsolete, at least against advanced countries with ship-killer missiles or swarm technology. ”

    Since Mr. Bjornson seems to be unable or unwilling to explain his thoughts, can anyone else explain to me how this is relevant to the continued existence of NATO, continued US occupation of Afghanistan, or fighting terrorists? Are Afghani based terrorists sinking aircraft carriers with ship-killer missiles or swarm technology? What are we talking about here, and how does any of it require NATO to continue to exist?

    Sound to me like:

    1. Leaky roof
    2. Flail arms vigorously. Whatever you do don’t stop flailing them.
    3. ?

  36. George Phillies

    The obsolescence of aircraft carriers has yet to be shown. I would worry more about the DS-9 with a solid-core warhead (well, unless you go thermonuclear.) Also, the advanced countries with navies are almost all our allies or should-be allies.

  37. George Phillies

    If you follow the rest of the report on antiabortionist terrorist attacks, you will find that in the USA there have been large numbers of them, notably arson and chemical weapons. There have been large numbers of church burnings here, too, mostly by other Christians.

    you missed the European problem with gangrapes, though since that activity is directly contrary to the teaching of all of the Abrahamic religions blaming it on Islam is, well, improbable. (And if you go to south Itlay, the issue with rape to force marriage is a national scandal.)

  38. Kevin S Bjornson

    Robert sees Jihadism as a “very minor threat”. I imagine that the 3000 Americans who perished in 9/11, thought otherwise as they were consumed by flames and building collapse.

    Those who perished were some of the most highly skilled and contributed greatly to the world economy. NYC is a major business center and the event disrupted the economy greatly. (I’d estimate the short-term economic damage at about $1 trillion. Bush Jr. papered-over the damage, leading to bubbles and the collapse of 2008. Since then the Fed has been busy reflating and we can expect another, greater collapse soon.)

    I could cite statistics all day, but I think in Robert’s mind, ideology trumps facts. He even repeats his misgivings about the occupation of Afghanistan, even though I’ve repeatedly repudiated general occupation, and called for limited occupation of economically vital sites only when feasible, according to circumstances.

    In any event, no matter what facts might be, liberty ideology does not prohibit intervention. Quite the contrary, the practical existence of liberty in post-hunter-gatherer society requires intervention to counter aggression. Otherwise, every individual would be a self-defense island, unable to protect others or call upon others for protection.

    There seems to be a confusion over language here. “Intervention” is a late Latin word meaning, to come in between. As in, between a force-initiator and the victim.

  39. Kevin S Bjornson

    Ad Hoc: my comments about the obsolescence of aircraft carriers (against technologically advanced foes) were in response to GP’s comments that Jihadism would be a threat only if they had aircraft carriers. George’s comments about aircraft carriers were in reference to the Jihadist threat, not NATO.

    But if you want to talk about NATO instead, fine, let’s do that. I propose that the military services the US provides to Europe be priced much higher, or we withdraw from NATO. Also, Turkey should be expelled from NATO, or the US should withdraw.

  40. Kevin S Bjornson

    (GP) “The obsolescence of aircraft carriers has yet to be shown.”

    (KB) That’s because since WW2, carriers haven’t been used against technologically advanced enemies (who recently have acquired the means to destroy them). If you want to get up to speed on this development, you could start with this article:

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-06-28/how-america-s-aircraft-carriers-could-become-obsolete

    Carriers might still be useful against third-world opponents; but if Jihadists acquired advanced carriers, the domains they now control would have to suddenly vault into first-world technology and economics. Even if they accomplished that, the US and a few others have the means to destroy carriers, so they would not be a serious threat to the US.

    The US would be much better off pursuing other technologies, such as drones, and adopting new strategies, instead of trying to pretend the world has not advanced technologically since WW2.

    (GP) “I would worry more about the DS-9 with a solid-core warhead (well, unless you go thermonuclear.)”

    (KB) You’re more worried about an imaginary threat from a TV science fiction series, than Jihadism? Well, at least you implicitly acknowledge, Jihadists would be a threat if they acquired nukes. Bad news, that will likely happen, unless the US intervenes.

    (GP) “Also, the advanced countries with navies are almost all our allies or should-be allies.”

    (KB) On that, we agree. The downside for you is, now you could be targeted by Democrats for collusion with Russia. If you were credible enough to be taken seriously.

  41. Kevin S Bjornson

    George, I’ve already posted the Wikipedia documenting the small number of anti-abortion murders in the US. You respond with vague mutterings with no documentation. You appear to have a problem with Christianity due to your personal experiences with it, and believe the religion with which you are not familiar, and which opposes Christianity, to be not a threat. For you, is this about facts, or feelings?

    Rape is not contrary to Islam, but is permitted, even encouraged, against infidels. Which you would know if you had bothered to study the issue. Islamic doctrine permits master-slave sex, and enslavement of infidel women is approved. There are plenty of historical examples.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/14/world/middleeast/isis-enshrines-a-theology-of-rape.html?mcubz=3

  42. Ad Hoc

    “But if you want to talk about NATO instead, fine, let’s do that. I propose that the military services the US provides to Europe be priced much higher, or we withdraw from NATO. ”

    Withdraw sounds good.

    “Also, Turkey should be expelled from NATO, or the US should withdraw.”

    Same answer: withdraw.

    Glad we potentially agree after all.

  43. robert capozzi

    ksb: I imagine that the 3000 Americans who perished in 9/11, thought otherwise as they were consumed by flames and building collapse.

    me: Yes, that seems true enough. That would also be likely true for any one person who is a victim of a crime motivated by a political agenda. For me, the relevant question would be what is the best response to an act of terror. What means are available to respond, and what is the likely outcome of any response.

    Killing innocents in response doesn’t seem like a good way to go. “Collateral damage” may be unavoidable, but it’s real bad karma, in my estimation.

    ksb: I could cite statistics all day, but I think in Robert’s mind, ideology trumps facts.

    me: You seem to have me confused with NAPsters and other L dogmatists. I do believe it’s important to have serviceable, general principles to help one look at the world, but to also recognize that specific situations require a range of considerations and a weighing of possible alternatives to those situations.

    ksb: In any event, no matter what facts might be, liberty ideology does not prohibit intervention.

    me: I haven’t said otherwise. I’m sorry I’ve not made that clear for you. In my case, I am heavily biased against intervention. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have deepened my bias, as my take is that they contributed almost nothing to our national defense (possibly even subtracted from our security) and have weakened the American economy and — most importantly — restricted our individual ability to maximize our potential.

  44. Kevin S Bjornson

    FIrst Capozzi says Jihadism is “a very minor threat”. Then after I prove the obvious, that it is not very minor, he shifts to talk about what is the proper response. He cites the examples of intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan as the reason for his bias against intervention, though he does commendably acknowledge his bias does not arise from his libertarian views, but from his interpretation of factual circumstances.

    All too often, the LP chair speaks as if he were channeling the one and true libertarian view on foreign policy. Discovery of what works is not a matter of adopting a simple ideological mantra, and even there, the LP chair does not even seem aware of what the libertarian ideology is.

    Once again, I am not a spokesperson for the US military nor do I necessarily endorse everything the US military has done. Granted, the US does not have the best of all possible military strategies. The goal should be to improve the military strategy, not to take the military option (nearly) off the table. One could as easily point to the many errors the US did in WW2, and falsely conclude the US should not have been involved at all.

    Robert, do you seriously think that if the US simply left Jihadists alone, the problem would go away?

  45. Starchild

    Libertarianism and nationalism are two different and fundamentally incompatible philosophies. Libertarianism rests on a foundation of individual rights, whereas nationalism rests on a foundation of collectivism or group identity. On the whole, Nick Sarwark’s letter is a solid statement of libertarian views on the topic as far as it goes, but he regrettably refers to the United States as “our country”, and uses the phrase “our troops” when speaking of the U.S. government’s troops, terminology which plays into nationalism.

    Of course it is generally those who support U.S. government militarism who explicitly justify their views in nationalist terms, but it is very easy for libertarians who oppose such extra-national military interventions to fall into nationalist tropes ourselves.

    Traditional nationalism, the kind that most people generally think of when they hear the word, involves attitudes like revering the flag associated with “your” country, and more ironically, taking vicarious pleasure in the military power of the government that claims jurisdiction over you and oppresses you, etc. But there’s another kind of nationalism which I call reverse nationalism which sort of inverts this, and is arguably no less irrational and anti-libertarian. Reverse nationalists bear a particular animus toward the government that claims jurisdiction over them, and the symbols and military forces associated with that government. To a committed traditional nationalist, the “national interest” of “their” government is almost always good and must be supported; to a committed reverse nationalist, the “national interest” of “their” government is almost always bad and must be opposed!

    What’s ironic is that both those advocating reverse nationalism, and their opponents the traditional nationalists, tend to see reverse nationalism as opposing nationalism, when in fact it is just the flip side of the same nationalist worldview! “My country is uniquely evil and wrong” is no less nationalist than “my country is uniquely good and right” – both attitudes involve the individual in some manner feeling some special connection with “his” or “her” government, whether a positive connection or a negative one, instead of looking at the world from a more objective, universalist stance. When invoked by a person who associates himself or herself with the United States, they are both different forms of American exceptionalism.

    I’m not saying Nick Sarwark is necessarily making the reverse nationalist error of perceiving the U.S. government as the worst in the world and the only one (with the possible exception of the Israeli government) whose extra-national militarism must always be consistently opposed when it is seeking to advance its “national interests”. An occasional ill-considered meme or phrase going out under the party’s name notwithstanding, I believe our chair like most Libertarians understands that there are regimes in the world, such as the ones in North Korea, Syria, and Eritrea, which are worse than the U.S. government. That does not necessarily mean they are more harmful or dangerous to people living in the United States, but acting as if the well-being of people in the United States is more important than the well-being of people elsewhere is of course bigoted nationalism rearing its ugly head again.

    Being a spokesperson for a national organization, Nick is also doubtless under more social and political pressure than most commentators when it comes to feeling obliged to frame his arguments in national terms. Yet the first part of the wise old adage “Think globally, act locally” still applies. While the immediate goal of the Libertarian Party of the United States is to advance freedom in the United States, our ultimate goal is to advance freedom globally. Libertarianism is about the liberation of all people, not just those who live in the U.S. or are privileged under the government entitlement program known as “citizenship”, and I believe our party’s messaging should seek to reflect this.

    “Our troops” in libertarian terms don’t qualify for that designation by being government soldiers, but by being freedom activists in the U.S. or around the world as part of the libertarian movement. And as members of the Libertarian Party, “our government” is the party’s own elected and appointed decision-makers, not people like Donald Trump, Paul Ryan, and Nancy Pelosi.

    If the “pragmatists” who argue for some military intervention by the U.S. government against so-called Islamic terrorism, or against evil regimes like the ones in North Korea, Syria, and so on would frame their arguments in universalist terms, rather than in traditionally nationalist terms which are not only contrary to libertarianism, but inflame reverse nationalist sentiments against them, I believe they could over time build more support in the Libertarian Party and the libertarian movement for extra-national military interventions in defense of freedom and human rights. Especially to the extent they champion military intervention of the non-State variety, which is a sorely neglected area of libertarian focus and activism.

    Journalist and freedom fighter Matthew Van Dyke, who went on his own initiative without government funding or sponsorship to help overthrow dictator Moammar Gaddafi in Libya, has started a promising organization called Sons of Liberty International (https://www.sonsoflibertyinternational.com/) which could help to fill this gap in the freedom movement.

  46. robert capozzi

    ksb: FIrst Capozzi says Jihadism is “a very minor threat”. Then after I prove the obvious, that it is not very minor, he shifts to talk about what is the proper response.

    me: I’m getting the sense that you are bringing a lot of baggage to this conversation. It sounds like you have long fought for the hawkish L perspective, largely unsuccessfully. But you are certainly misunderstanding my view. The short version is: in the grand scheme of things, jihadism is a very minor threat to the US. That doesn’t mean that it’s not a threat. Obviously, there have been some awful killings done in the name of jihad here on American soil. At this point, it’s the Mouse That Roared.

    That’s why I “shift” to the more practical question of what to do about this Mouse. It’s also important to keep in mind that this is no unified Mouse, but instead more like mosquitoes.

    ksb: He cites the examples of intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan as the reason for his bias against intervention, though he does commendably acknowledge his bias does not arise from his libertarian views, but from his interpretation of factual circumstances.

    me: Ah, no. I have long been a non-interventionist, well before Iraq and Afghanistan. I am in recovery from Randian/Rothbardian dogmatic NAPsterism. I think labels like “libertarian” are not (and cannot be) precisely defined, as political philosophy is not mathematics. Instead, I suggest a different model, where we apply GENERAL principles to political matters flexibly and with wisdom. I prefer to maximize individual peace and liberty, but to recognize that the world is a complex place, one where simplistic nostrums are no replacement for careful, holistic considerations.

  47. Kevin S Bjornson

    Anti-interventionism in the context of foreign relations, usually assumes that the affairs of other nations are rightfully their own affairs (i.e. intervention unjustly interferes with the alleged sovereignty rights of other nations). Hence, anti-interventionism, the way our LP chair talks, assumes the rightfulness of nations.

    While I oppose nationalism based on territory, and instead would organize force based on voluntary subscription to services based on ideas, including a legal code.

    I don’t believe rulers necessarily have a right to rule, they lost that privilege when they (massively) initiate force. Therefore, intervention to depose or regulate them can be justified, while anti-interventionism assumes the sovereign should not be forcibly deposed.

  48. Kevin S Bjornson

    Capozzi does more apparent shifts in position than a gymnast.

    Now he re-affirms his belief that Jihadism is a very minor threat. While I pointed out, 9/11 caused massive losses to Americans. Therefore we can conclude, he does not believe that thousands dying, and more thousand being maimed, with trillion dollar losses–constitute other than a very minor threat.

    Amazing. What would a threat that is not “very minor” look like, to you?

    Question: do you base your bias toward anti-interventionism on liberty ideology or factual circumstances or both? What ideological principle are you referring to, that you would use as your general guide? Do you derive your general belief in anti-interventionism on the non-initiation of force principle, and if so, how did you deduce that from the principle?

  49. Ad Hoc

    I don’t oppose your right to organize people and money on a voluntary basis and intervene in foreign affairs. To the extent this is illegal now, I would do away with those laws. I do believe that the US government has not shown itself to be very smart in its interventions and in general I believe they have done more harm than good. I don’t appreciate being held responsible for their bad decisionmaking and I don’t like the involuntary nature by which they are financed. But if you want to use your own self, your own money, and that of others who agree with you – by all means, knock yourself out, go fight in someone’s wars on the other side of the world or pay someone to do so.

  50. Ad Hoc

    I would have to scroll up, and I don’t feel like it, but I don’t remember Robert Capozzi saying that there was a minor threat of Islamic terrorism. Everyone already knows that Muslims carry out acts of terrorism, including some horrific ones that claim a lot of lives. I believe the reference to minor threat was in the context that the threat of Muslims actually taking over the US and imposing Sharia law on everyone already here is minor. I would agree, if that was the claim he made. I’m also still not sure how the fact that terrorism exists justifies the existence of NATO or the continued occupation of Afghanistan. Neither is stopping or preventing Islamic terrorism, they are just draining the US taxpayers for the benefit of the war profiteers. I think we already at least potentially agreed that NATO is neither necessary nor a good deal for most Americans. And Afghanistan is the graveyard of empires and those who don’t learn from history, well, you know…

  51. Starchild

    “Ad Hoc” – If someone said to you, “I don’t oppose your right to organize people and money on a voluntary basis against extortionate taxation, drug prohibition, police abuse, and other forms of government oppression, knock yourself out”, I suspect you might not find that very helpful/satisfying. I know I don’t.

    There’s nothing wrong with it as far as it goes, but it’s kind of like needing personal help in a crisis, and having a friend tell you, “Go ask your other friends for help, I won’t stand in the way.” Gee, thanks.

    I believe we as the libertarian movement should be actively supportive of non-State efforts to oppose tyranny overseas, not talk as if it’s somebody else’s problem. Mere lack of opposition in the face of tyranny is not good enough. Maybe for bigoted nationalists it is, but for those who recognize freedom as a universal human right, it should not be.

  52. Ad Hoc

    Rest assured that if there’s ever a foreign cause which is important enough to me I will get involved my own self. At the time being I am well aware that my resources are limited. I don’t have the time and money to help with every good cause out there. Again, I have nothing against people organizing to help with things on the other side of the world. My personal focus tends to be on my very immediate vicinity – not other states, cities, or counties, not even far flung neighborhoods in my own city. People I actually see every day, hear and touch. That’s just me, I have no interest in forcing those preferences on anyone else, I am not saying that those will always be my choices for the rest of my life, and I am damn sure not interested in having anyone else force different preferences on me.

  53. robert capozzi

    ksb: do you base your bias toward anti-interventionism on liberty ideology or factual circumstances or both?

    me: Both.

    ksb: What ideological principle are you referring to, that you would use as your general guide?

    me: Social orders work best and are at their most virtuous when state coercion is minimal and individual liberty is maximal, so long as a semblance of domestic tranquility is maintained.

    ksb: Do you derive your general belief in anti-interventionism on the non-initiation of force principle, and if so, how did you deduce that from the principle?

    me: No, I’m not a NAPster/NIOFster. Principles of this nature don’t work for me, particularly as articulated by NAPsters, who use them quite SPECIFICALLY rather than GENERALLY. Intervention is by definition a state action and requires taxpayer funding. Intervention is also generally uncool, in that it involves one State forcing another State and its citizens how to behave, often without provocation or meaningful justification.

    This fails for me both on a moral basis and a practical one. The US has now had a string of completely unjustified military actions that have not gone well, costing taxpayers, military bodies and lives, and many deaths and injuries in other nations. Apparently, the US inclination is to repeat the same mistake over and over again, which is, of course, insane.

    How about you?

  54. Starchild

    “Ad Hoc” writes (August 29, 2017 at 19:42), “Rest assured that if there’s ever a foreign cause which is important enough to me I will get involved my own self. At the time being I am well aware that my resources are limited. I don’t have the time and money to help with every good cause out there. Again, I have nothing against people organizing to help with things on the other side of the world. My personal focus tends to be on my very immediate vicinity – not other states, cities, or counties, not even far flung neighborhoods in my own city. People I actually see every day, hear and touch. That’s just me, I have no interest in forcing those preferences on anyone else, I am not saying that those will always be my choices for the rest of my life, and I am damn sure not interested in having anyone else force different preferences on me.”

    I totally understand limited time and resources, but I’m generally under the impression that we on IPR and similar Internet forums are talking about best courses of action for the libertarian movement and the world, not just what you or I might do locally. I don’t know who you are or where you live, but I presume that most of the people you interact with here, and the focus of most of your comments here, do not fall within the limited geographical proximity to which you refer. Since this is a globally-available Internet site, it seems likely that some posters on this forum do indeed live outside the United States.

    I’m simply trying to discourage the false nationalist dichotomy of “stuff-pertaining-to-the-United-States = I-should-care-about-it” vs. “stuff-not-pertaining-to-the-United-States = I-don’t-care-about-it” among libertarians, so that we discuss violations of rights in, say, Damascus as being no less morally important and deserving of attention than violations of rights in, say, Ferguson (presuming we don’t live in or near Ferguson).

    I think it tends to be human nature to give precedence to those we know, those nearby, etc., in our moral calculations, but that like the “fight-or-flight” instinct, these parochial feelings are in the category of primal impulses that civilization can ameliorate, and which should not be confused with libertarianism, or with an objective take on public policy.

  55. Kevin S Bjornson

    (AH): “I don’t oppose your right to organize people and money on a voluntary basis and intervene in foreign affairs.”

    (KB) Then we agree in theory. The question is, how do we get there from here.

    Let us consider the example of government education. Libertarians agree that education should not be government-owned or funded by tax dollars, even if after “privatization” their curriculum were to remain the same. Do we tear down government school buildings and destroy their other resources? Or “privatize” them.

    Unfortunately, world crises cannot await until the “anarcho-capitalist” utopia arrives. So for the time being, we must rely upon tax-funded military for military services.

    Military action is necessarily a type of intervention. A military that is prohibited from intervening, would be completely useless, as it would have nothing it could do.

    Natural justice applies universally, to all natural persons, in all times and places. If a tax-funded military intervention were unjust, so would the same action by a user-fee-funded military. Injustice necessarily arises from taxation, not necessarily from the use to which it is put.

    Though tax-funding does tend to lead to bad actions (more than voluntary funding), that is a factual matter. There is simply no ideological basis (in libertarianism) for saying that intervention is necessarily unjust.

    Analogously, there are many very fine government schools, like MIT; and many miserable non-government schools, like those of religious cults.

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