One rotter is catching on to the foreign policy most favored by sensible Americans. “I don’t think nation-building is a good sentiment,” Gov. Chris Christie told Megyn Kelly, during a grueling interview. About “exporting our values,” also touted by Jeb Bush big time, Christie said it depends on how you do it. Leading by example, making the nations of the world want to emulate the US: that’s a worthwhile impetus (@4:51 minutes). And then, being a Republican, Chris Christie went and spoiled it all by saying something stupid like, “I’ll spy on YOU!”
When he is not marshaling “Jeffersonian” lines from crap movies like “Taken” with Liam Neeson, presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio is demonstrating that only if shamed and embarrassed will he and his Republican rivals shy away from wars that are immoral from the inception, unjust, cost trillions in treasure and tens of thousands of precious lives, and flout American national interests.
CHRIS WALLACE TO SEN. MARCO RUBIO, R-FLA: This brings us back to Iraq and the question of the week, which is, given what we know now, would you have invaded Iraq back in 2003?
As we all know, Jeb Bush had a tough time answering that this week. Here’s what you’ve had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
RUBIO: Oh, I don’t believe it was — the world is a better place because Saddam Hussein doesn’t run Iraq.
MODERATOR: After finding that there were no weapons of mass destruction, would you, if you knew that, have been in favor of the Iraqi invasion?
RUBIO: Well, not only would I have not been in favor of it, President Bush would not have been in favor of it. And he said so.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
WALLACE: Senator, isn’t that a flip? Six weeks ago, it made sense to invade Iraq in 2003. Now you say it was a mistake.
RUBIO: No, they’re two different questions. It was not a mistake. The president, based on — this is the way the real world works. The president, based on the information that was provided to him —
“We will look for you. We will find you. And we will kill you” is the atavistic line from “Taken,” repeated by Rubio in his many interviews.
UPDATE I (5/18): In The Rotten Department, Rubio Has Stiff Competition: Mitch McConnell. Via ABC:
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell underscored his support today for the controversial NSA program for bulk collection of domestic phone records, arguing it is essential to protecting the homeland.
“This has been a very important part of our effort to defend the homeland since 9/11,” McConnell said in an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s ‘This Week.’ “We know that the terrorists overseas are trying to recruit people in our country to commit atrocities in our country.”
UPDATE II: Don’t let any Republican present you with this false choice. Republicans always say, “But what would you have done about Iraq?” That’s something of a non sequitur, an assertion intended to make you ASSUME something had to be done about Iraq. “The burden of proof is on he who proposes the existence of something, not on he who claims that it does not exist.” That was written 12 years ago.
Seymour M. Hersh is not only “a legendary investigative reporter,” known for his shoe-leather journalism; he’s positively old-school in his methods. Hersh’s London Review of Books “national-security” piece details “Pakistan’s involvement in the SEAL Team Six raid on bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad.” The lengthy report would be quite humdrum had it not shattered the mythical thinking perpetuated by the elites about the US military, the commander-in-chief and his national security apparatus.
And the military marches to the beat of government. No need to “pray to the military Moloch.”
This is not to say that the SEALS did not do the deed, only that “the Osama bin Laden assassination” had a few extra kinks to it. As I say, Hersh’s account sounds like business as usual: government SOP (standard operating procedure).
Hersh explained that, days after the May 2, 2011 SEAL operation, he told Remnick that his intelligence sources were saying Obama’s account was fiction. “I knew right away that there were problems with the story,” Hersh said.
If anything, the hyperbole being disgorged by the media and military’s professional myth-makers is more fantastic than Hersh’s report. Examples:
“The Hersh piece reads like Frank Underwood from House of Cards.”
“Sy Hersh is a far-left fantasist and conspiracy theorist.”
The Obama of the Obamacare hoax, the NSA, Fast and Furious, government-by-executive order; Libya, lawless immigration, on and on, and the Bush of WMD in Iraq, illegal, unlawful wars and similar spending: These stellar statists would never lie in the service of self-aggrandizement, now would they?! Perish the thought.
READ “The Killing of Osama bin Laden” by Seymour M. Hersh. As I say, it’s pretty unremarkable.
“The Curse Of Col. Gadhafi” is the current column, now on the UK’s Libertarian Alliance Blog. An excerpt:
When they destabilized Libya and overthrew strongman Muammar Gadhafi in 2011 the U.S. and its Canadian and European allies unleashed a series of events that accounts for the steady flood into Europe of migrants from North Africa. There are, purportedly, “up to 1 million” poor, uneducated, possibly illiterate, predominantly male, and by necessity violence-prone individuals, poised to board rickety freighters in the Libyan ports of Tripoli and Zuwarah, and make the perilous journey across the Mediterranean, to southern Italy. The 900 migrants who perished off the coast of Libya when their vessel capsized embarked in Zuwara.
Zuwara has always been “famous for people smuggling,” notes Richard Spencer, Middle East editor of The Telegraph. “The modern story of Zuwara and its trade in people,” says Spencer, whose newspaper has documented the genesis of the exodus well before the U.S. press awoke to it, “was a key part of the late Col. Muammar Gadhafi’s relationship with the European Union.”
The “indigenous, pre-Arab inhabitants of North Africa,” Berbers, as they are known in the West, have long since had a hand in human trafficking. As part of an agreement he made with Silvio Berlusconi’s government, “Col. Gaddafi had agreed to crack down on the trade in people.” For prior to the dissolution of Libya at the behest of Barack Obama’s Amazon women warriors—Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice and Samantha Power—Libya had a navy. Under the same accord with the Berlusconi government (and for a pretty penny), Gadhafi’s admiralty stemmed the tide of migrants into Europe.
Here’s an interesting aside: Because he cracked down on their customary trade, the Zuwarans of Libya rose up against Gadhafi; the reason for this faction’s uprising, in 2011, was not the hunger for democracy, as John McCain and his BFF Lindsey Graham would have it. …
… Read the rest. “The Curse Of Col. Gadhafi” is the current column, now on the UK’s Libertarian Alliance Blog.
UPDATE (4/25): Sean Gabb goes to bat for truth against statists and assorted neoconservatives on the matter of the Anglo-American sphere warring with the world and overthrowing its dictators for “democracy” and more deaths.
Our detractor, on the UK’s Libertarian Alliance Blog, is the same commenter who thinks of Andrew Roberts, a court ‘historian” of the worse kind–as Rob Stove has pointed out—as a legitimate reference on the Boer war.
I will say nothing in my own defence, But Ilana Mercer is a woman of strong and consistent moral principle. She has an impressive record of saying what she believes, and saying it very well. You are at perfect liberty to disagree with how she believes the libertarian case should be put. I only ask you once again to stop regarding any disagreement with what you believe as a sign of moral corruption. It does no credit to you, and makes argument less profitable than it ought to be.
Because your comments are never moderated, and are sometimes promoted to the front page, where they can be read by large number of people, you have the confidence to put a lot of effort into this blog. Please consider that the tolerance you enjoy is owed to others.
David Gordon is hopeful. “Surely it is grounds for optimism when one finds a knowledgeable account of [Murray] Rothbard in The New Republic!” he remarks. David is referring to “Rand Paul Will Break Libertarian Hearts, Just Like Reagan Did” by Jeet Heer. An excerpt:
… The late Murray Rothbard, a towering intellectual and political activist in libertarian circles, was a striking example. During the 1940s, he belonged to New York’s Young Republican Club, but during the Cold War he concluded that the GOP’s militarism was a betrayal of the traditional anti-war and isolationist principles of the Old Right. During the 1950s, Rothbard preferred Democrat Adlai Stevenson to Eisenhower, and while some other libertarians like Milton Friedman jumped on the Goldwater bandwagon in the early 1960s, Rothbard still distrusted the Republicans. “Goldwater and the Conservative Movement are not only not libertarian, but the preeminent enemies of liberty in our time,” Rothbard wrote in 1964 in a letter to a small libertarian magazine called the Innovator. “For the Goldwaterites are, first, aggressive and ardent champions of American imperialism and intervention in political affairs all over the globe; and, second and most important, are eager advocates of nuclear war against the Soviet Union.” During the heady days of the late 1960s, when he dreamed of a new politics cutting across the traditional left-right spectrum, Rothbard even forged an alliance with the Maoist Progressive Labor Party, preferring them to Nixon’s Republicans.
Although Rothbard had a propensity for extremist gestures, he shouldn’t be dismissed as a fringe figure, at least not among libertarians. His application of Austrian economic theory to America, formulating a critique of the Federal Reserve as a central source of bad policy, was widely influential, not least on Rand Paul’s father, Ron Paul. Moreover, Rothbard’s allergic reaction to the Republican Party was widely shared within the libertarian movement, culminating in 1971 with the formation of the Libertarian Party (LP).
The party—founded by David Nolan, an anti-statist advertising man who was disgusted by Nixon’s embrace of wage and price control—quickly gained the support of a wide swath of the libertarian movement, including generous subsidies from David and Charles Koch. David Koch was even the LP’s vice presidential candidate in 1980. In the 1970s, the Koch Brothers seemed to have shared Rothbard’s hope that libertarians forge a partnership with the radical left. In the mid-1970s, Charles Koch made a bid to buy The Nation magazine, hoping to use it as a wedge for an opening to left-of-center opinion. When that attempt failed, Koch financed Inquiry, a libertarian journal that published many left-wing radicals like Noam Chomsky.
For Rothbard, the mission of the LP was to be a “party of principle,” as against the GOP, a party of expediency. This disgruntlement with the GOP remained core to the LP’s identity. Andre Marrou, who was the LP’s presidential candidate in 1992, despite his checkered history of not making child care support payments, voiced the common consensus when he said in 1991 that Nixon “really disappointed me. He didn’t cut government like he said he would—just like Bush and Reagan.” After a lifetime of spurning the GOP, Rothbard returned to the Republican fold in 1992, just three years before his death, giving his blessing to George H.W. Bush. Rothbard became a born-again Republican because he saw Pat Buchanan’s success in the primaries as proof that there was a still a vital anti-establishment wing to the party. Ron Paul, who was deeply swayed by the ideas of Rothbard and his ideological mate Lew Rockwell, made a similar return to the GOP. The Koch Brothers, perhaps out of pragmatism, have also turned their energies toward the Republican Party.
Yet if there has been a Republican turn among libertarians, it is worth remembering that this movement has come from people who don’t see the GOP as their ideal vehicle but rather as a necessary evil. Moreover, Rand Paul is not necessarily one of those people. Unlike his father, he didn’t leave the Republican Party and return as a blistering libertarian voice. He has always been a Republican, albeit one that spoke with a libertarian lilt …
Admirably, Sean Hannity went through the gamut of issues with Rand Paul, who announced today he would stand as a Republican presidential candidate. From Paul’s initial critique of the Civil Wrongs Act to the war against Iraq—Mr. Hannity shied away from no controversy. On toppling secular strongmen—Saddam, Assad, Mubarak, Gaddafi—Rand Paul did not, for once, let libertarians down, as is his wont. Instead, Paul condemned the disastrous toppling of all the secular strongmen of the Middle East who kept radical Islam at bay. If it were up to the neoconservative, we’d be bombing both Assad and ISIS in Syria. Cui Bono?
“Almost anyone in the Senate would have better defended the Bill of Rights than Lindsay Graham,” snorted Paul, taking a much-needed swipe at the awful Graham, evil twin of more-bombs-from-above-and-more-boots-on-the-ground John McCain.
Paul cleverly framed his plan to poach traditionally Democratic and independent voters, not by promising them stuff, but by emphasizing the entire Bill of Right and not only the 2nd Amendment.
Yes, weening people off “free” stuff and onto freedom is a good tone to strike.
Let’s see if he keeps it up.