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 Post subject: World War IV
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 6:01 pm 
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The World War IV essay was written back in the summer of 2004 when I was laboring mightily to help prevent John Kerry from being elected CINC of our Armed Forces. While a lament on Partisan Politics, I think it provides an interesting perspective on why Iraq was chosen as the second theater in WWIV. Comment welcome.
-Dave

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2007 11:46 am 
Dave wrote:
I distinctly remember one which presented the "Domino Theory" very succinctly and graphically with maps of Indochina, etc.

Of course, basic morality takes precedence over such imperialist rationalizations as the Domino theory. But the DT is an excellent example of how short-sighted such statist geopolitical schemes are. Vietnam finally evicted the foreign invaders, the dominos fell, and what happened? Today, the capitalism of Hong Kong is well on the way to "taking over" the communism of China. Vietnam has a healthy capitalist tendency, with Vietnamese catfish farmers striving for freedom of trade, while Mississippi and Arkansas catfish farmers begging their governments for protectionism! Could it be that freedom cannot be imposed at the point of a gun, that it is better promoted by peace than invasion and occupation? I think so.

Dave wrote:
I nevertheless understood that the enemy of America was the ideology of communism, not just the Soviet Union or Khrushchev. ... In today’s ever so politically correct culture, one is thought a cretin for even naming our enemy, which is no less than the ideology of the Islamic Fundamentalist fanatics...

You are correct that there is an opposing ideology, but your (implied) premise - that one can fight an ideology with guns - is mistaken. An ideology must be "fought" with reason, with a better ideology. Brute force cannot convince. This was one of Rand's themes.

Dave, your alligator analogy seems to support non-interventionism, rather than interventionism as you seem to suppose. You correctly aver that, when alligators invade your property it is rational to shoot them. But to carry on your analogy, it would be terribly counterproductive to destroy their habitat in the swamps and everglades, forcing them into populated areas. That is what military interventionism does. The US military murders people's parents, brothers and sisters, put bases in holy lands, funds the military of their enemy Israel, and then the rulers feign surprise when someone hits back!

Better, both morally and practically, is the non-interventionist policy of Washington and Jefferson: "Free trade with all ... entangling alliances with none." Be a beacon of freedom rather than getting involved in foreign squabbles. Here is a diagram of the four basic foreign policies. Funding such intervention through plunder (taxation), or engaging in slavery (conscription) are further reasons to oppose military interventionism.

Dave wrote:
In a rational world, we could simultaneously bomb every Wahhabi mosque on the planet on a Friday morning...

You must be kidding. This would of course be a barbaric initiation of force, like promoting the bombing of all Southern Baptist churches. Please don't fall for the warmongers' absurd collectivist claims that all of "them" are criminals. In fact, most Muslims (or Sunnis, or Shiites, or Wahhabis) are not criminals. Action against real criminals should respect innocents. It's not okay to spray machine gun fire down a busy street to apprehend a criminal running away. Retaliatory force is only permissible against those who initiate it, not against people who look like them, have the same belief or religion, age or skin color. We reject such collectivist thinking, the notion of group moral responsibility.

Dave wrote:
Be aware, you are not safe in your own house of worship; these barbarians recognize no civilized rules of engagement.

LOL! Sheer hyperbola. The chances of someone being bombed in their Ozark home or church is considerably less than being struck by lightning. Such crisis-mongering only helps increase the power of State. Get a grip!

Dave wrote:
Terrorism is a tactic, not an enemy.

Yes! Ergo, the whole anti-concept of a "war on terrorism" is a sham. I have a letter coming out in the NWA Times to this effect.

Dave wrote:
We are in no less than World War IV...

Not "we." You mean "the rulers of the USEmpire." I really don't think that you, Dave, qualify as one of the ruling elite. This slave "we" is one of my pet peeves. I call it the Stateholm syndrome - people identifying with their oppressors. It is a very very common form the the fallacy of the ambiguous collective.

Dave wrote:
First, don’t discount the WMD issue.

This part of the essay seems outdated. Nowadays it is well-known that everyone from the UN inspectors to the CIA knew that the so-called WMDs were expended during the Iran-Iraq war, and there were none left to speak of, old decayed stashes of agricultural pesticides notwithstanding. The WMD thing was an outright lie - your basic political crisis-mongering. (BTW, a wonderful book about "the ratchet effect" and how governments use crises to ramp up power is Crisis and Leviathan by Robert Higgs. Billy Bob sez check it out!)

Dave wrote:
We have intervened in less compelling causes around the world when our national interest was far more obscure.

The rulers, using their milfare minions have intervened. Early and often. And they shouldn't have. The results have been almost invariably bad, and have led to the massive State the USEmpire has become. Every war has resulted in a ramp-up of govt power; interventions have created terrorists. 911 is it logical result of that policy.

Dave wrote:
Another minor point is that Saddam was harboring and funding terrorists.

This is misleading on several fronts. First, Saddam was a secular ruler - the Muslim fundies opposed him. You mention that Saddam hid Abu Nidal, but not that he was murdered on the orders of Saddam Hussein. Yes, Saddam shook hands with some Muslim fundies, and compromised, and chummed up with them, just as US rulers do with people from Gaddafi to Bin Laden and family. Which simply shows that all rulers are opportunistic scumbags - no surprise there. Secondly, the US funds terrorism, too. Cf: The School of the Americas, the overthrow or assassination by the CIA of democratically-elected rulers from Mossadegh in Iran (installing the murderous Shah), Pinochet in Chile, Guatemala, probably Torrijos in Panama, etc. It is ludicrous to try to justify the aggression of the USEmpire on terrorism, when the US is the biggest terrorist of all!

Dave wrote:
Speaking of oil, while we don’t wish to steal it, ending sanctions and increasing the world supply by cranking up Iraq’s production capability would be a definite plus for the world.

Your whole oil discussion is based on the incorrect assumption that, if (slave) "we" don't control it, "we" won't get it. But people don't pump oil to hoard it. The fact is that "they" would sell it, and Americans could and would still buy it. No matter how much "they" don't like "us," they prefer more money to less. The question is not whether or not "we" get oil; the question is whether "we" take it by military conquest or buy it on the market. And that should be a no-brainer for anyone who supports non-aggression and free markets.

Dave wrote:
For every one of our heroes that falls, literally hundreds of fresh martyrs go to claim their virgins.

As noted above, I believe that US military intervention creates more terrorists than it kills. Every orphaned child is a potential anti-American terrorist. Has the US occupation reduced or increased terrorism in Iraq? In other countries? The answer is obvious.

Dave wrote:
If a secular government, representative of a free people, could be established in Arabia, the theory goes, citizens of neighboring countries would demand their own free society and these failing Arab dictatorships, monarchies, and theocracies would fall one by one.

Yet, that is exactly what the US did in Iran by installing the Shah. Far from establishing a free society, the backlash led to Khomini and an even more totalitarian theocracy. You can't impose freedom at the point of a gun. Furthermore, a free society can't spring out of the forehead of despotism - it requires certain institutional and cultural prerequisites. "Democracy" has no more chance of emerging from modern Iraq than it would emerging from 14th century inquisition Europe. The whole notion of democracy building is bankrupt.

This pretty much covers your main points, Dave. Sometimes I can get quite, uh, ardent in expressing my opinion, so I hope I haven't written anything that offends you too much. I apologise if I have. I hope we can have a reasonable and productive discussion.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2007 1:43 pm 
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Hogeye wrote:
This pretty much covers your main points, Dave. Sometimes I can get quite, uh, ardent in expressing my opinion, so I hope I haven't written anything that offends you too much. I apologise if I have. I hope we can have a reasonable and productive discussion.

No, I am by no means offended. I am in the process of repaying your kindness for reading some of my essays, by exploring your site. Well done! I was almost finished with the FAQ when the notification of this post popped in, so I understand where you are coming from. As I anticipated, I don’t disagree in principle with most of what I find there. I can see why I am still a libertarian, because I do see the value in mutual defense pacts and civil courts to adjudicate disputes.

I am also a pragmatist, and realize your dream, however worthy, will not come to fruition in my lifetime, or even in the next century. In fact, I predict the opposite. Therefore, I live my life in as free a manner as possible, in the one place where I can get away with it, by pretty much ignoring the government and allowing it to ignore me. It is far too inefficient to concern itself with my contumacy.

Were I to choose to fight it, as you apparently have done, it might become irritated and more obtrusive in my life. As is, I am a freer man than most will ever encounter. I prefer to keep it that way by emulating the model of John Galt rather than the dragon slayer. What would happen if they held an election, and nobody cared?

I very much look forward to the promised “reasonable and productive discussion.” I’ll continue my exploration of your endeavors, and give you a more cogent critique in due course. -Dave

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2007 5:12 pm 
Dave wrote:
I can see why I am still a libertarian, because I do see the value in mutual defense pacts and civil courts to adjudicate disputes.

Both (market) anarchists and minarchists are libertarian. The anarchist form, anarcho-capitalism, is the extreme form. Libertarians want a less powerful State, anarchists want no State. I started a thread about this: Minarchism vs. Anarchism.

Dave wrote:
I am also a pragmatist, and realize your dream, however worthy, will not come to fruition in my lifetime, or even in the next century. In fact, I predict the opposite.

I, too, don't see stateless societies being very common for a long time. But I do see an evolution toward it. There are more and more competing political entities, meaning smaller and smaller States. (Welcome to the latest: Montenegro.) At some point, when it is cheap and easy to switch "products," we will have de-facto anarchy. I see lean and mean entities competing successfully with the bloated welfare-warfare States like the USEmpire, Britain, France, Germany, Japan, etc. I see people "voting with their feet," or becoming PTs, with the competitive low cost smaller entities winning out in the long run. As we progress from the landbound industrial age to the information age, this roll toward anarchism is enhanced. Technology favors us! For the whole story, I recommend a book called The Sovereign Individual by Davidson and Rees-Mogg. Guaranteed to cheer up a pessimistic libertarian!

I am optimistic that the US will break up in under 20 years, due to hyperinflation of the dollar. (Think 1790s France or 1920s Germany, except worse since the fiat dollar is the world monetary standard.) I predict that the US will devolve much like the USSR did, into 50 or 60 smaller entities, probably current states and part-states, plus some city-states like NYC, SF Bay Area, and so on. Some of the resulting entities will be libertarian and even anarchist zones. But this should be another thread...

I'm more of a gulcher than you think. I used to be a PT in Costa Rica, and thought I'd left the Evil Empire for good, but got done in by the dot.com bust. I was (probably) the last founder of Laissez Faire City.


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 Post subject: Interesting...
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2007 9:51 pm 
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Well Bill, I have to admit that your links get more intriguing all the time. I feel like I am drinking from a fire hose, though. I am adding books to my must-read list, esoteric words to my vocabulary, and concepts to my “I just gotta ponder that a bit” stack. I was particularly fascinated by the “PT” concept, and the realization that I have been one most of my life without knowing it.

Occasionally, I have settled down a spell in a spot, with a legitimate job or business that forced me to play by the rules of the state, but more often than not, I have been bumming around the world off the grid and off the local tax rolls in the underground economy as a PT. Even now, in retirement, I live alone in an RV, home is where I choose to park it, and the locals usually take me for a welcome tourist spending money in their community. Like when I was a commercial fisherman or a yachtie, when I tire of my neighbors, I can weigh anchor and move to a quieter cove. Interesting concept…

I have read the Minarchism vs. Anarchism thread and Child’s letter. I’ll get to it soon. –Dave

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 9:34 pm 
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Interesting joust. this Hogeye Bill seems like a purty smart feller! He seems to be quite brilliant as a debater. Unfortunately, he seems to be smitten with the drug culture and counters his own arguments against violence by urging the death of Asa Hutchinson, the guy that was in charge of the DEA.

I think he is serious about that so it is difficult for me to give much of my time to consideration of his views.

Also, he is likely hiding somewhere that is not affected so directly by the actions of the Islamic Fundamentalists and can safely preach moderation in dealing with them.

I tend to agree with him that we cannot force ideology on them. However, we can kill their leaders and subjugate them while we work on trying to re-educate their children. Pretty much the same plan they have.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 10:11 pm 
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I really enjoyed the exercise for a time, Larry, and hated to have to pull his plug; but when he started advocating murdering government agents, I just couldn't abide it. I concur with your assessment of his debating skills and the cannabis cloud he likely lives in. His website has some very interesting data, and the PT concept was intriguing. In any case, it is a shame that debates of this caliber are just not possible on the SKPFreethinkers forum. –Dave

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