World Safety

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George
Bush has abandoned the campaign contention that John Kerry flip-flops
on the issues. Instead, Bush now says just the opposite – that
Kerry votes on the same side (the liberal side), no matter what
the issue. Would you call Bush’s change on this a flip-flop?

The
Bush campaign is also congratulating itself on the “elections” in
Iraq next month, as well as the elections just completed in Afghanistan.
It’s probably just a coincidence that the U.S.-backed candidate
won the Afghan Presidency (just like the Communists always seemed
to win the elections in Eastern Europe). And it’s also probably
just a coincidence that the Iraqi elections come after the U.S.
election – so that when the Shiites win the elections and transform
Hussein’s secular state into another Fundamentalist Islamic nation,
similar to Iran, it will be too late to contradict Bush’s campaign
rhetoric that “freedom
is on the march
.”

But
Bush’s #1 mantra, which he repeats endlessly and tiresomely is that
“America and the world are safer with Saddam Hussein gone.” However,
this is just as much a lie as Bush’s allegations about Hussein’s
dangerous
weapons
, mobile
laboratories
, aluminum
tubes
, unmanned
aircraft
that could carry WMDs to America’s east coast, ballistic
missiles
that could threaten the whole Middle East, uranium
purchases in Africa
, Al-Qaeda
training camps in Iraq
, and Hussein
kicking the UN inspectors out of Iraq
.

The
world is not a safer place. George Bush’s arrogant, heavy-handed
invasions of two countries have undoubtedly caused the recruitment
not only of thousands of more terrorists, but also millions more
supporters of terrorism around the world. I’d hardly call that making
the world a safer place.

Libertarians
for Bush
: Here is an amalgamation of two emails I’ve received.
. . .

At least
four celebrity libertarians that I know of, at least some of whom
are Libertarian Party members, have issued statements of support
for the reelection of George Bush. They urge libertarians to vote
for Bush, instead of voting Libertarian. I know you don’t agree
with them, but I do.

While too
many libertarians keep their heads in the sand, George Bush has
stood up to terrorists and is taking steps to fight them.

There has
been throughout history, and continues uninterrupted today, hordes
of people who need no more excuse than their own bloodthirsty
and genocidal impulses to aggress on others. Think about the sort
of being that enjoys slowly sawing off the head of someone else.
Think of Hitler’s concentration camps and gas chambers. Think
of Stalin’s gulags. Think of Mao’s mass starvation. Think of Pol
Pot’s killing fields. Did they do these things because they had
legitimate grievances?

I
don’t know. Do the people inside America – who kidnap, torture,
and kill other people – have legitimate grievances? Should
we start bombing New York? Chicago? Washington, D.C.? – to
get rid of the thugs inside America?

What
I do know is that there always have been and always will be thugs
in the world. Mostly those thugs are feared and condemned by respectable
people. But when millions of people – well-meaning, relatively
decent people – give their support to those thugs – as
they did with Hitler and as they are today with the terrorists –
you know that there are legitimate grievances that allow the thugs
to command the respect of others. To whatever extent you dismiss
those grievances, you multiply the support given to the thugs. What
the thugs are doing is wrong – just as it was wrong to commit
the acts that created the legitimate grievances.

There
are two possible courses of action available to America – and
I sincerely hope you will think long and hard about these two possibilities:

Choice
#1: You can try to stamp out the thugs, which is impossible, if
the history of the world is any guide whatsoever. That means that
the so-called War on Terror will continue for the rest of our lives.
And for the rest of our lives we will be subject to humiliating
searches at airports, to our email being monitored, to warrantless
searches and seizures, to wire-tapping. And what we must put up
with today is just the beginning, because every time there’s another
terrorist act (anywhere in the world, such as the Chechen attack
in Russia), the invasions into our lives will be expanded and expanded
and expanded.

Choice
#2: You can change American foreign policy.

Stop
the U.S. government from invading other countries.

Stop
the U.S. government from supporting dozens of dictators around the
world.

Stop
the U.S. government from having the world’s largest national offense,
but absolutely no national defense.

Stop
the U.S. government from telling other countries “you’re either
with us or against us.”

Stop
the U.S. government from meddling in the affairs of other countries.

Stop
the U.S. government from stationing troops in 702
bases in over a hundred foreign countries
.

Stop
the U.S. government from bribing foreign governments with your tax
money.

This
won’t bring peace to the whole world (and neither will choice #1).
But it will bring relative peace to America, and allow it to once
again be a nation of liberty – proud of the Bill of Rights
and the freedoms Americans enjoy, rather than obsessed with security.

Do
you really want to live in an expanding police state for the rest
of your life?

October
28, 2004

Harry Browne [send
him mail
], the author of Why
Government Doesn’t Work

and many other books, was the Libertarian presidential candidate
in 1996 and 2000. See his website.

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