I can think of quite a few ordinary and not-so ordinary individuals who exemplify brave resistance to government tyranny. The Iraqi insurgents are not among them. In contrast, some libertarians feel (for they can’t be thinking) that these cold-blooded murderers ought to inspire Americans in their quest to reclaim lost liberties. “The-Iraqi-resistance” is how these libertarians refer to the ragtag entity that is purported to have hitherto, intentionally, taken the lives of 12,000 Iraqis over the past 18 months.
One such libertarian urges (in long compound sentences) “patriotic Americans” at home to “take a lesson from the growing Iraqi insurgency and the response of that nation nearly destroyed by our pretext-laden invasion and the American neo-Jacobin possession of that country.”
Note how the distinction between Iraqis in general and Iraqi insurgents—the murdered and the murderers—is collapsed. Once she messily conflates the Iraqi nation (is there such an entity?) with the insurgents and their offensive, the writer leads her readers, in a text suffused with moral confusion and Lawrenthian romanticism, to conclude that these interchangeable entities are united in common purpose—resisting the occupier under a benevolent, all-encompassing faith.
No doubt there are points of intersection: some Iraqis support the insurgency; and some insurgents don’t support the slaughter of innocent Iraqis. But if Iraqis are united in a decision to “pursue one or more of the countless paths of resistance to the state, why are ordinary Iraqis being slaughtered by the underground they purportedly support? Have they consented to supply the blood that soaks the streets? Or does the writer simply agree with the creed that innocents can be sacrificed in a greater cause?
Next, the writer holds up the falsely equated Iraqis-cum-insurgents as inspiring role models of resistance to government tyranny. American patriots: meet your new heroes!
Have Libertarians allowed righteous rage against an unjust invation to turn into fawning admiration for killers of innocents? This misplaced deference an interlocutor of mine has characterized perceptively as typical of the Left’s “Rousseauian sympathy for the Symbolic Savage, any savage, wherever he may be, whom they fantasize as fighting nobly against the stifling strictures of Civil (and civilizing) Authority.”
Ludwig von Mises, a great classical liberal, considered romanticism, which is what this moral miasma reflects, to be man’s revolt against reason.