by Rick Fisk
by Rick Fisk
candidacy has sparked a lot of controversy amongst so-called libertarians
who continue to back American imperialism under the guise of "defending"
us from evil brown people who talk funny and hate
freedom. It's not clear that they are racists, but their rhetoric
tends to be directed at those who harbor such tendencies. New terms
and nuances to discredited ideas have been hashed and rehashed since
the neocon influence
over Washington D.C. was solidified after the 2000 elections.
One of my
favorites is "Islamo-Fascism"
– a meaningless term meant to associate any Muslim to Hitler. How
beautifully ironic. The Iraq war itself is being prosecuted by the
DOD in conjunction with one of the largest suppliers of mercenaries
and corporate expertise in Iraq – Halliburton.
This sort of corporate/government cooperation is the very definition
of Fascism according to Mussolini.
Is it that
strange then that some of the most vocal proponents of U.S. intervention
in Iraq call themselves libertarians? Nay, they want to own the
term and marginalize anti-war libertarians. These same misguided
or lying pundits of American hegemony are totally transparent when
you view their claims in light of true libertarian ideals, not the
faux libertarianism with which they attempt to pummel their detractors.
libertarians – liebertarians (lahy-ber-tair-ee-uhns)
– seek to convince us that "rogue" nations are subject to licensure
and aggressive measures if they do not comply with our ideas of
"liberty." Strong nations are not
subject to these rules. The liebertarians advocate the
initiation of aggression or "preemption"
against weaker nations under the premise that this is really a matter
Offense = Defense. As in, "the best defense is a strong offense."
This is a lie
of course. Whoever first coined that phrase had an agenda the wrong
end of which you want to avoid.
a few of these pundits, many of whom misspell liebertarian
as libertarian, the concept of justified preemptive war appears
to stem from an Ayn Rand essay called "Collectivist 'Rights'"
which can be found in The
Virtue of Selfishness.
nations are outlaws. Any free nation had the right to
invade Nazi Germany and, today, has the right to invade
Soviet Russia, Cuba or any other slave pen. Whether a free nation
chooses to do so or not is a matter of its own self-interest,
not of respect for the non-existent 'rights' of gang
rulers. It is not a free nation's duty to liberate other
nations at the price of self-sacrifice, but a free nation has
the right to do it, when and if it so chooses.
however, is conditional. Just as the suppression of crimes does
not give a policeman the right to engage in criminal activities,
so the invasion and destruction of a dictatorship does not give
the invader the right to establish another variant of a slave
society in the conquered nation."
I think Rand
was wrong – though I am not sure that Objectivists who use this
passage as justification for foreign intervention are considering
it properly – selfishness is not
a virtue, for one, but more importantly, Governments do not
possess rights. They are granted powers, derived from the natural
rights of the individuals under their jurisdiction. Governments
do not possess some collective notion of a "right" which allows
them to act in a manner emulating a real human. Beyond that, the
initial compact between the citizenry and the government it elects
to represent them – in our case the U.S. Constitution – is for the
purpose of the individual citizen's defense. Defense of life, liberty
posit that because Saddam Hussein was a dictator, the U.S. government
had a "right" to attack as long as it established a worthy replacement
government afterwards. However, this ignores the inconvenient
fact that in order to prosecute the war, the government must exercise
powers individual citizens do not themselves possess. This
is known as fraud in most circles. The U.S. founder's belief that
only individuals have the right to abolish or institute governments
must also be conveniently ignored. A government using force to form
a government is a fraudulent use of power. The other missing element
here is due process which liebertarians refuse to even acknowledge
as an issue. The President was given war
powers to be used in cases where an imminent threat to the U.S.
was evident. There isn't anyone, including the President, who has
been able to demonstrate that such a threat to the U.S. existed
in 2003 (or in 1991).
posit that Rand's assertion can be used to justify U.S. intervention,
generally defend the concept by explaining that individuals have
the right (but not the obligation) to stop a crime in process. Assuming
this is true, a person taking action to stop the crime would be,
according to the Objectivist view, performing the act to satisfy
self-interest. However, A does not equal A here. It doesn't even
equal B. For the examples to truly be equivalent, a citizen would
first begin to thwart the crime by stealing
the property of his fellow citizens. To prosecute this war, our
government has committed to spend 1/2
trillion dollars, much of it yet to be collected from the citizenry
since the source of the funds have been obtained through borrowing.
What right do you or I have to take out loans in order to "thwart
crime" and then demand our neighbors pay the interest and principle
claiming they owe the debt because the act was taken
on "their behalf"? What's happening in Iraq, though presented
as a gift to the Iraqi people and a defense of U.S. "interests,"
is a fraud and an offense against both Iraqis and Americans.
one of the first acts the U.S. military undertook once initial hostilities
had subsided, was to send troops door to door to confiscate
firearms of individual Iraqis. This is in direct violation of
Rand's caveat invaders have no right "to establish another
variant of a slave society in the conquered nation" – as well
as the U.S. Constitution. The war is being prosecuted without a
formal declaration, and attacks
directly the rights allegedly protected by the same constitution.
would either have to respond that rights are only to be recognized
within U.S. borders, a concept repugnant to liberty, or that the
Iraqis can petition the new puppet government for license to bear
arms. Either response is an indictment on their motives.
Allen Root, and other like-minded liebertarians, the
caveats and specifics of this war's execution are irrelevant. If
they were to actually examine the war's prosecution in detail, they
would have to conclude that there is no justification whatsoever
for U.S. foreign policy in Iraq. But it gets worse. Historically
we can examine similar actions, both covert
and see that not only does this not qualify as a defense of the
country, it causes ill-will and future plots against us wherever
we are vulnerable to attack. It cannot be said with any credibility
that such foreign interventions are even remotely defensive in nature
or that they make U.S. citizens any safer. Yet the liebertarians
continue to assert
that fighting terrorists "over there" prevent us from having to
fight them "over here."
also, apparently, do not even consider what might happen were the
U.S. military to turn its attention
to a domestic city that might be "harboring terrorists."
soldiers break into each and every dwelling in the city using
dynamic entry tactics. They use explosives like C-4 to decimate
outside walls and entryways. Fragmentation grenades blow apart
rooms. Soldiers are scaling walls and bridging houses with ladders
as they are cleared. Platoons report running out of shotgun shells
after blowing open door after door after door.
Or do they?
Could it be that the liebertarians would be happy to have
U.S. troops and police agencies "defending" us domestically, the
same way that we are being "defended" abroad? Is this what some
mean by claiming the mantle "Pro-Defense"
libertarian? Whatever their ultimate intentions, it is clear
that they have, either due to cowardice
or avarice, rejected libertarian ideals while pretending that their
views are a part of the legitimate
debate amongst libertarians. Unfortunately for the liebertarians,
they lost the debate before it began.
Fisk [send him mail] is
a 44-year-old software developer and entrepreneur. He is married,
has 3 children and resides in Austin, TX.
© 2007 LewRockwell.com