War and politics


Iraq, Iran, and the Lobby
by Justin Raimondo
Antiwar.com, 2007-03-19

Four years after the invasion of Iraq,
and the War Party is still in the driver's seat

The Pelosi-crats and the War
by Justin Raimondo
Antiwar.com, 2007-03-23

Caught like a deer in the headlights

But Who’s Against the Next War?
New York Times Sunday Magazine, 2007-03-25

[An excerpt; emphasis is added.]

[It is the positions of the Democratic candidates for president]
on Iran’s nuclear program,
a subject that is almost certain to bedevil whoever becomes president in 2009,
that most strongly suggest that
the foreign-policy differences
between Democratic and Republican policy elites
have been vastly overblown.

[As George Corley Wallace famously said,
There’s not a dime’s worth of difference
between the Democrat and Republican parties.
He was referring to another issue where a near-total elite consensus existed,
while the population was sharply divided,
with almost surely a majority opposing the elite consensus.

In his case, the issue was racial segregation;
in the current case it is support for a militaristic foreign policy
which is sharply opposed by the vast majority of the world,
aside from the United States and Israel.]


Members of the Bush administration can surely be excused for wondering why,
when he uses such language [“We need to keep all options on the table”],
Cheney is accused of saber-rattling,
whereas when the leading Democratic presidential candidates
use the same language,
there are virtually no complaints
within the Beltway or on the major editorial pages,

and there is widespread support
from the Democratic Party’s foreign-policy elite.

[Let me be bold enough to suggest an answer to David Rieff’s very valid question.
The media, dominated as it is by supporters of Israel,
is actually reasonably happy with Bush’s Middle East policy.
(For evidence of that, if it isn’t obvious already,
see these columns by Greg Mitchell,
like 2007-01-06-Mitchell and 2007-02-17-Mitchell.)

But they wish to weaken President Bush politically as much as possible,
because they oppose much of his domestic program, most especially,
his ability to appoint socially conservative judges.
The media, being feminized and homosexualized as well as Zionized,
is petrified that more justices to the Supreme Court might be appointed
along the lines of
Clarence Thomas,
Miguel Estrada,
J. Michael Luttig, and
Edith Jones.
By driving down Bush’s approval ratings, they reduce to near zero
his ability to pull such conservative judicial nominees to victory
in the Senate.
Thus they use the war, like they used Hurricane Katrina,
just as an excuse to get Bush.

If they really opposed the war,
why didn’t the media promote Chuck Hagel, one of the most antiwar Senators,
as a candidate for president rather than
Barack Osama, Clinton, and John McCain?]

Indeed, the national-greatness conservatism
advanced by neoconservative figures like William Kristol,
and in large measure adopted by the Bush administration
as it prepared for war in Iraq,
finds its echo in a national-greatness liberalism among leading Democrats. National-greatness liberalism, the argument goes,
was the foreign-policy signature of Democratic political predominance
from Truman forward;
any step away, toward more modest ambitions,
is seen as McGovernite weakness destined for defeat.


Iran seems, to Democratic leaders,
to epitomize the need for continued American hegemony,
[Sorry, Mr. Rieff.
The idea that Democratic senators, including such as
Diane Feinstein, Barbara Boxer, Patty Murray, Maria Cantwell, Debbie Stabenow,
and Carl Levin,
are united in support of military action against Iran
as a way of asserting “continued American hegemony”,
seems risible.
The main thing Iran symbolizes to most politicians is:
If I don’t follow the AIPAC line on an issue critical to them, like Iran,
they will terrorize me.]

though so does the wish to intervene more often on human rights grounds,
above all in Darfur,
or to protect allies like Israel and Taiwan.
More broadly, however, the issue that is dividing the Democrats is that
their leaders believe a muscular foreign policy
is what the age of terrorism demands,
while antiwar voters believe such a policy may only breed more disasters.
The question is whether the party can seriously hope to regain the White House
when it is so seriously divided against itself on what is,
in the minds of many Americans, the central issue of our time.

That Was an Antiwar Vote?
by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair
Antiwar.com, 2007-03-31

The Fake Fight Over the Iraq War

Democrats Earn Their Stripes in the War Party
By Philip Giraldi
Antiwar.com, 2007-04-04

[This is an expanded version of 2007-04-09-Giraldi.]

Philip Giraldi’s “Deep Background” Column
By Philip Giraldi
The American Conservative, 2007-04-09

[Here is the current installment
of Philip Giraldi’s excellent “Deep Background” column
from the equally excellent The American Conservative.
(For an expanded version, see 2007-04-04-Giraldi.)
Emphasis is added.]

Those who have harbored concerns that
the new Democratic Congress would differ little from the Republican one
on foreign policy
have noted with dismay recent developments regarding Iran.
On March 12, the Democratic Party leadership announced that
it would decouple the issue of Iran
from consideration of funding measures for the troop surge in neighboring Iraq.
Opponents of possible military action directed against Iran
sought specific language in the appropriation
that would deny funding for military operations outside Iraq
without prior congressional approval.
The proposal seemed reasonable enough
given the Bush administration’s track record on the use of force,
but apparently that was not acceptable to some Congressmen and lobbyists.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee,
which was meeting in Washington for its annual conference,
mobilized immediately,
initiating an intensive lobbying campaign against the measure.
AIPAC instructed its supporters to flood Congress with calls,
adding that it is best to telephone just after lunchtime,
when there are more staffers available to answer the phone. [???]
Democratic Caucus leader Rahm Emanuel,
a congressman from Illinois who served in the Israeli Army,
organized resistance to the measure from inside the House,
while Charles Schumer from New York did the same in the Senate.
Emanuel promised that the offensive language would be dropped.
The Democratic Party subsequently held closed-door meetings and
decided to exclude Iran from the funding discussion
because of “possible impact on Israel.”
Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi, under intense pressure from AIPAC,
initially favored the linkage
but reluctantly agreed that there was too much opposition to proceed.
Congressman Gary Ackerman of New York stated that
reluctance to be “taking things off the table” vis-à-vis Israel’s security
was the reason for the decision,
“if you’re trying to modify their behavior and normalize it in a civilized way.”
Ackerman’s belief that a possible nuclear first strike
is the height of civilized demeanor might be disputed,
particularly as the lack of any legislative hurdle
empowers the White House and gives it carte blanche to attack Tehran.
Congresswoman Shelley Berkley of Nevada,
citing “widespread fear in Israel about Iran,”
provided a groundbreaking definition for the work “negotiating,”
adding that the threat of an impromptu attack on Iran
is the “most important negotiating tool that the U.S. has…”

Separate bills introduced by Democratic Senator Jim Webb
and by Republican Congressman Walter B. Jones
that would forbid military action against Iran without congressional approval
are meanwhile languishing due to a lack of co-sponsors,
while the mainstream media is also continuing to do its bit on Iran,
as it did in the lead-up to Iraq.
Senator Webb’s legislation, accompanied by a lengthy floor speech,
was tabled on March 5,
but it was not reported by either “newspaper of record,”
the New York Times or the Washington Post.
Neither newspaper would respond to queries as to
why Webb was considered unworthy of mention.
[Yes, both newpapers are avoiding anything
which would interfere with the conflict with Iran Israel so desires.
For another example,
see their non-coverage of
Brezinski’s striking Senate Foreign Relations Committee testimony.]

neither Webb nor Jones
is receiving any support from their respective political parties

in their efforts to stop another catastrophic war of choice.

Democratic Illusions
by Justin Raimondo
Antiwar.com, 2007-04-16

Foreign policy advisers to the ‘big three’ Democrats
bode ill for antiwar movement

Showdown at the Congressional Corral
by Justin Raimondo
Antiwar.com, 2007-04-23

'Idiot liberals' versus welfare-state liberals on the war

Get Real
by Dimitry Simes
National Interest Blog: Subjective Evaluation, 2007-05-18

Rarely has there been a more offensive, counterproductive,
and—frankly—undemocratic and un-American idea in public politics

as the suggestion by Michigan Republican Party Chairman Saul Anuzis
to exclude Representative Ron Paul from the Republican presidential debates
because of remarks he made during the South Carolina debate
about the reasons behind the September 11 terrorist attacks.


I admire Representative Paul’s courage and consistency
and cannot understand why his comments
should make him a pariah in the Republican Party.
[Hint: When have you ever seen a Jew entertain the notion that
America’s support for Israel may be the principal motivator for
Muslim anger with America?]

Mr. Anuzis and his ilk had better watch themselves—
if they succeed in removing Mr. Paul from the debate,
they would send a powerful signal not only to Democrats,
but also to independents and quite a few Republicans
that the Republican Party is not a big tent,
that there is no place in the party
for those who are skeptical of foreign interventions, and
that on the most important campaign issue—Iraq—
the Republican Party has lost touch with reality on the ground
in both Iraq and America.


Forcing presidential candidates to be game show contestants
does demean them—and all of us too.
Worse, it is a fundamental danger to the United States.
The sad fact is that the most articulate contestant,
even if he or she is also the best fundraiser,
is not necessarily the best person to lead the nation.
Most dangerous of all if the possibility that
the winner will not even be able to do so.

Former Chief of CIA Osama Unit:
Why They Attack Us

by Michael Scheuer
Antiwar.com, 2007-05-22

[The full text; emphasis is added.]

The following is a letter from Michael F. Scheuer,
former Chief of the CIA’s Osama bin Laden Unit,
to the editor of Antiwar.com,
regarding Congressman Ron Paul’s exchange with Rudy Giuliani
about why the al Qaeda network has targeted the United States.


In the dozen-plus years I have been active
in matters relating to Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda,
I have watched them go from a small Islamist organization
to a worldwide insurgent movement,
while bin Laden has established himself as
the primary source of inspiration and leadership
for tens of millions of Muslim Islamists.
This process has been made possible by two things:
  1. the skill, courage, patience, and ruthlessness
    of bin Laden and his ilk, and

  2. the refusal of the U.S. government to understand the motivation
    of bin Laden and his allies.
    [Scheuer is too narrow in brush here.
    America’s media, political and academic elite (ruled by guess who?)
    have joined forces in blanketing the American scene
    with disinformation on this issue.]

Last week,
Representative Paul did all Americans an immense service
by simply pointing out the obvious:

Our Islamist enemies do not give a damn about the way we vote, think, or live.
Though any country they ruled would surely not look like ours
they are motivated by the belief that
U.S. foreign policy is an attack on Islam, its lands, and its believers.

This, of course,
is not to say that America is to blame for the war it is now engaged in
[ambiguity alert: which war?
My opinion is that the U.S. is surely to blame for our war with Iraq;
we initiated it.
The war with al Qaeda?
Continuing escalation by both AQ and the Zionist alliance.
Both need to restrain themselves.]
but it is to say that it is foolish – and perhaps fatal –
for Americans to believe that are we are being attacked for such ephemera as
primary elections, R-rated movies, and gender equality.
If our Islamist enemies were motivated by such things
their numbers would be minuscule
and they would be a sporadic lethal nuisance, not, as they are,
the most serious national security threat we face today.

Of the eighteen presidential candidates now in the field from both parties,
only Mr. Paul has had the courage
to square with the average American voter.

We are indeed hated and being warred against because we are “over there,”
and not for what we are and how we live.

Our failure to recognize the truth spoken by Mr. Paul –
and spelled out for us in hundreds of pages of statements by Osama bin Laden since 1996 –
is leading America toward military and economic disaster.

At day’s end,
Mr. Paul has at least temporarily shaken
the pillars of the bipartisan consensus on U.S. foreign policy.
Neither party, and none of the candidates,
want to discuss the Islamists’ motivation
because they would have to deal with
energy policy,
support for Israel, and
the 50-year record of U.S. support and protection for Arab tyrannies.
These holy cows of U.S. politics have long been off limits to debate,
but Mr. Paul has now accurately identified them as
the source of motivation for our Islamist enemies,
and implicitly has said that
the obsessive interventionism of both parties
has inspired al-Qaeda and its allies to kill 7,000-plus U.S. civilians and military personnel since 11 September 2001.
The war we are engaged in with the Islamists is a long way from over,
but it need end in America’s defeat
only if Mr. Paul’s frank statements are ignored.
[Which most of the media is doing its darndest
to make sure is what comes to pass.]

And no matter how you view Mr. Paul’s words,
you can safely take one thing to the bank.
The person most shaken by Mr. Paul’s frankness was Osama bin Laden,
who knows that the current status quo in U.S. foreign policy toward the Islamic world
is al-Qaeda’s one indispensable ally,
and the only glue that provides cohesion between and among
the diverse and often fractious Islamist groups that follow its banner.

Michael F. Scheuer
Falls Church, VA

Rep. Paul and the Founders versus
Our Interventionist Elite

by Michael Scheuer
Antiwar.com, 2007-06-01

Stay-the-Course Plus
By Fred Hiatt (Hiatt is editorial page editor for the WP)
Washington Post Op-Ed, 2007-06-04

Obama, Romney and Foreign Engagement on Steroids

[An excerpt:]

[Candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney]
have laid out their foreign policy visions in parallel articles,
released last week prior to publication in the July/August issue of Foreign Affairs.
And after you cut through some of their campaign rhetoric, here’s what you find:
  1. The two candidates’ programs are strikingly similar to each other.

  2. Both are strikingly similar to Bush administration policy.

  3. And both, far from retreating to isolationism
    in the face of Iraq and other challenges,
    set forth their own wildly ambitious calls for American leadership
    and the promotion of American values.
    “Boldness” is an operative word for both of them.

A Confederation of War-Seeking Factions
by Glenn Greenwald
Antiwar.com, 2007-06-26

This is an excerpt from Chapter 4 of
A Tragic Legacy: How a Good vs. Evil Mentality Destroyed the Bush Presidency,
released today.

[An excerpt from the excerpt:]

And then there is America’s alliance with Israel and the role it plays in our bellicose posture toward Iran. In examining the president’s 2002 decision to include Iran in the axis of evil despite increasing U.S.- Iran cooperation – and to this day to insist that Iran is an enemy of the United States – the role played by Israeli interests (as perceived by its right-wing American supporters) simply cannot be ignored. But when it comes to discussions of Iran in the national media and by national political figures, that topic typically is ignored.

While Iran has repeatedly demonstrated a willingness to seek cooperative relations with the United States, relations between Iran and Israel have been genuinely, and mutually, hostile. The depiction of Iran as pure Evil being propagated by Bush-supporting, war-seeking Americans has been echoed by the Israelis with increasing fervor.

As is true for the rhetoric of the president’s supporters and the president himself, 2006 saw a marked escalation in the Israelis’ hostile rhetoric toward Iran. On October 27, 2006, Israel’s prime minister Ehud Olmert invoked the standard neoconservative “historical analogy” by expressly comparing Iran to Nazi Germany. Referring to Iran, Prime Minister Olmert said: “We hear echoes of those very voices that started to spread across the world in the 1930s.”


In his 2007 New Year’s speech, Netanyahu made clear that he shares the same goal – convincing the U.S. to consider Iran as an American problem, not just an Israeli one. He said that Israel must immediately launch an intense, international, public relations front first and foremost on the U.S., the goal being to encourage President Bush to live up to specific pledges he would not allow Iran to arm itself with nuclear weapons. “We must make clear to the government, the Congress, and the American public that a nuclear Iran is a threat to the U.S. and the entire world, not only Israel.”

UPI’s de Borchgrave quoted from an article in Ynet by Oded Tira, chairman of the Israeli Manufacturers Association and former chief artillery officer in the IDF, in which he made clear that many Israelis are committed to finding a way to make an American attack on Iran a political necessity (emphasis added):

“Bush lacks the political power to attack Iran.
As an American air strike in Iran is essential for our existence,
we must help pave the way by lobbying the Democratic Party,
which is conducting itself foolishly, and U.S. newspaper editors.

“We need to turn the Iranian issue into a bipartisan one
and unrelated to the Iraq failure.

Hillary Clinton and other potential presidential candidates in the Democratic Party (must) publicly support immediate action by Bush against Iran.”

[And, of course, that is exactly what has happened.
Is that just a coincidence, or yet more proof of how
  1. American Jews unwaveringly follow the line set in Jerusalem, and

  2. American politicians are unwaveringly obedient to their Jewish masters?

As the prewar “debate” over the invasion of Iraq demonstrated, the key to persuading Americans to support a new war is to convince them that the country targeted for attack is governed by terrorists and those who support international terrorism. Those terms, by design, evoke images of the 9/11 attacks, and the accusation is designed to tie the accused to those attacks even where the so-called terrorist supporters have nothing to do with 9/11.

Indeed, to claim that a country “supports international terrorism” is the most inflammatory accusation that can be made, as it will be understood by many Americans to designate specifically that the accused “participated in the 9/11 attacks,” or more generally that they are close allies of Al Qaeda. Even with Americans’ growing emotional distance from the 2001 attacks, many Americans will reflexively – one could even say understandably – support military action against not just anyone who directly participated in the 9/11 attacks but anyone who seems to have close proximity to those responsible.


From its inception, the campaign to depict and treat Iran as pure, unadulterated Evil has been driven by this manipulative and dishonest attempt to conflate Iran’s posture toward Israel with its posture toward the U.S. Whether the president himself was a victim of that manipulation or a knowing propagator of it is something one can debate, and the truth likely lies somewhere in between. But what is beyond dispute is the centrality of Israel and its right-wing American supporters in shaping the president’s moralistic and absolutist view of Iran.

Few things are more threatening to Israeli interests than deceitfully securing American policies based on pretext, conflation, and contrivance whereby Americans are manipulated into supporting policies based on false pretenses. People can be fooled for only so long, and people who feel deceived generally backlash against the deceivers.

Sheehan’s Rebellion
by Justin Raimondo
Antiwar.com, 2007-07-11

Cindy Sheehan to take on Nancy Pelosi:
some advice for a would-be candidate

Pandering and triangulating
Washington Times Editorial, 2007-07-26

[A typical wt editorial,
arguing for continuing the war in the Middle East.
The only interest is the conclusion:]

Do not be surprised if more Democrats follow
Mrs. Clinton's example of triangulation:
pandering to the left on Iraq,
while talking tough about Iran.

The Progressive Values of "Responsible" Democrats
by Arthur Silber

Democrats Say Leaving Iraq May Take Years
New York Times, 2007-08-12

[After listening all these years to Dems saying
Bush is the problem,
corporations are the problem,
Big Oil is the problem,
now it turns out they can’t summon the will to leave Iraq,
and come up with
exactly the same excuses
the much-hated Bush-Cheney administration comes up with
to prolong our unfortunate involvement in that country, and region.

Rather than the line put out by the Demo Dumbos,
I suggest that the real answer for our continued involvement in Iraq
can be found here.]

The Democrats Are Selling Out the Peace Movement
by Justin Raimondo
Antiwar.com 2007-08-13

And much of the peace movement is selling out to the Democrats...

Neolibs and Neocons,
United and Interchangeable

by Philip Giraldi
Antiwar.com 2007-08-14

[An excerpt.]

When it comes to foreign policy,
particularly as it relates to the Middle East,
there is not a whole lot of separation
between the Democratic and Republican Parties.

Republicans tend to be more bellicose in their statements,
but Democrats have more than made up for that
with their steely resolve to take the fight to the enemy wherever he might be.
Both Republicans and Democrats reflexively support Israel
[I don’t think “reflexive” is the right word.
They uniformly support Israel out of fear
of what the Jews will do to them if they don’t.
The proper image is
The politicians as the Nibelungen,
fleeing with shrieks of terror when AIPAC (Alberich) snaps its whip.
(“What’s that? You didn’t vote for Israel?
Two lumps of coal for you, you appeaser!
And expect a well-funded opponent in all your future elections.”).
and nearly all candidates are in agreement on a number of other areas,
including an aggressive policy toward Iran.

This unanimity is not particularly surprising as
there is little or no serious debate on foreign policy and
many of the leading candidates’ advisers
are graduates of the same school of thought,
i.e., that the United States must use its military power
to impose certain standards on the rest of the world.
Neoconservatives and neoliberals are really quite similar,
so it doesn’t matter who gets elected in 2008.
The American public,
weary of preemptive attacks, democracy-promotion, and nation-building,
will still get war either way.

The key to understanding the direction that candidates will take
is to examine their foreign policy advisers.
The candidates themselves, with one or two exceptions,
know little about the world and its problems.
They operate on a basis of packaged responses to set questions
and are essentially looking for quick, soundbite solutions
that will enable them to be characterized as strong on national security.
Apart from that, most would be quite willing to leave the subject alone.
How they think is processed and filtered by their advisers,
most of whom appear to believe that the American public
has an unending appetite for overseas adventures
in spite of the fact that
such policies have brought nothing but grief for the past 15 years.

Neither Republicans nor Democrats are shy about using force.
Bill Clinton enforced sanctions on Iraq
that led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands;
he killed hundreds, perhaps thousands, of civilians when he bombed Serbia; and
he was more than willing to use cruise missiles
against civilian targets in Sudan and Afghanistan.
George Bush has accepted a rather broader mandate,
invading two countries and bombing several more,
resulting in hundreds of thousands dead.


All of the Republican and Democratic presidential aspirants
appear to believe that
a hard line on foreign policy
makes them less vulnerable to attack in their run for the nomination.
[The key here is how the media will spin any debate on these issues.
The media, due to their Zionist controllers,
will find a way to castrate anyone who defies
the foreign policy specified here.]

It is very discouraging to note that the advocates of the Iraq war,
which is almost universally seen as
Washington’s greatest foreign policy blunder of the past hundred years,
are continuing to play a major role in the shaping of policy
for the next generation of political leaders of both parties.

Amateur Hour on Iran
New York Times Editorial, 2007-08-16

Editorial says international asset freezes and foreign travel bans
should be directed at Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps,
but that State Dept proposal
to label Revolutionary Guard as terrorist organization
is distraction aimed at
conflict-obsessed administration hawks;
says Bush administration must open comprehensive negotiations with Tehran,
backed by increasing international economic pressure.

[Nice to see the NYT editorial page advocating
a reasonable and responsible position towards Iran,
but the question that is begged is:
Just who are these “conflict-obsessed administration hawks”,
and what gives them their power?
I think the answer, if it could be published,
would be that they are, in the large,
Jews who place Israel’s interests ahead of America’s
(like, for example,
Norman Podhoretz, William Kristol, Charles Krauthammer,
Martin Peretz and Alan Dershowitz
(just to prove that they are not all conservatives),
miscellaneous Kagans and Kaplans,
and Eliot Cohen and Elliott Abrams),
and who gain their political power from a combination of
political money and media influence.]

The Outer Limits
by Justin Raimondo
Antiwar.com, 2007-08-20

The War Party’s wackos are indicative of a trend

The stakes in Iraq are too high and
the consequences too grave for our security here at home
to allow politics to harm
the mission of our men and women in uniform.
It is my hope that we can put partisanship and politics behind us
and commit to a common vision
that will provide our troops what they need to succeed
and secure our vital national interests
in Iraq and around the world.

George W. Bush

Phase III of Bush's War
by Patrick J. Buchanan
Antiwar.com, 2007-09-01

Ron Versus the Huckster
by Justin Raimondo
Antiwar.com, 2007-09-07

Antiwar Republican sets the terms of GOP debate

[This is a great article.
Here is about half of it, with some added emphasis,
but without the many links embedded in the original.

(“The Huckster” has been silently transformed to its referent “Huckabee.”)]

[Ron] Paul,
the ten-term libertarian Republican congressman from Texas,
is stealing the spotlight from the so-called frontrunners
[among the 2008 GOP candidates for president].
For the first time in many a moon, we witnessed
a genuine knock-down drag-out brawl between presidential contenders:
a real mix-up in which
Representative Paul, the only antiwar candidate in the GOP pack,
succeeded in framing the debate around
his challenge to neocon orthodoxy
on the all-important issue of foreign policy.


The people who say there will be a bloodbath [if we leave Iraq now]
are the ones who said
it would be a cakewalk,
it would be slam dunk, and
it would be paid for by oil.
Why believe them?

[Because they are advocating what Israel wants,
thus the opinion-leaders in the MSM must give it their support.
But of course the typical Woody Allen-loving, New Yorker-reading Washington left-wing female will never admit that.]

They’ve been wrong on everything they’ve said.
Why not ask the people
who advised not to go into the region and into the war?

The war has not gone well one bit.


Who lost Iraq?
The question is even now being asked,
and one’s answer seems to largely depend on
ideological and partisan allegiances.

The neocons blame Bush:
he didn’t follow their instructions to the letter, you see,
by putting their sock puppet, Ahmed Chalabi, in charge from the beginning.

The Israelis, too, blame Bush:
now they’re saying that they always wanted him to go after Iran, not Iraq –
perhaps he got the two countries mixed up, somehow.

[For what they said at the time, click here.]

McCain also blames Bush, claiming that the war has been “mismanaged,”
although we hear very little about
how he would manage to occupy a nation of some 30 million souls
that resent and have come to hate the American presence.

And we haven’t even gotten to the Democrats, who, naturally,
blame the Great Decider for practically everything
an inadequate explanation for the disastrous course of the past six years
that they nonetheless think is sufficient for their purposes.

This is a blunt sword with which to slash away at the Republicans,
and yet Paul has found a sharper instrument,
one that cuts to the quick and provides the electorate
with what they’re looking for –
a truly deserving scapegoat.
But we’ll get to that in a minute.

[Chris] Wallace asked if Paul would “leave troops in the region
to take out any al Qaeda camps that are developed after we leave,”
and Paul’s answer, interwoven with his riff on
“they were wrong then, why should we believe them now?”,
takes an unequivocal position –
“Yes, I would leave, I would leave completely” –
that outflanks any of the ostensibly antiwar Democratic candidates
[except Bill Richardson],
and yet still resonates with the old conservative adage, “win or get out,”
which dates back to the Vietnam era.
Paul, however, goes beyond a mere critique of the present policy,
and offers a coherent and comprehensive alternative,
succinctly and with real passion in his voice:
I am less safe, the American people are less safe for this.
It’s the policy that is wrong.
Tactical movements and shifting troops around and
taking in 30 more and reducing by five,
totally irrelevant.
We need a new foreign policy that said
we ought to mind our own business,
bring our troops home,
defend this country, defend – (bell sounds) – our borders…

What’s this – a presidential candidate who thinks in terms of principles?
And a Republican, to boot!
Good lord, we can’t have that!
What is he, some kind of kook?!
Wallace’s fangs extended to their full length before Paul was done,
and he leapt at the chance to pull off a Fox News-style on-air smear:
So, Congressman Paul, and I’d like you to take 30 seconds to answer this,
you’re basically saying that
we should take our marching orders from al-Qaeda?
If they want us off the Arabian Peninsula, we should leave?
You have thirty seconds to tell us
why you’re not a terrorist-loving, pro-jihadist tool
of radical militant violent crazed bloodthirsty Islam
and Osama bin Laden’s best friend –
No! (Cheers, applause.) I’m saying – (laughter) –
I’m saying we should take our marching orders from our Constitution.
We should not go to war – (cheers, applause) –
we should not go to war without a declaration.
We should not go to war when it’s an aggressive war.
This is an aggressive invasion.
We’ve committed the invasion of this war,
and it’s illegal under international law.
That’s where I take my marching orders, not from any enemy.
(Cheers, boos.)


Mike Huckabee’s honor-mongering: -->
The American people didn’t go in [to Iraq].
A few people advising this administration,
a small number of people called the neoconservative[s]
hijacked our foreign policy.
They’re responsible, not the American people.

They’re not responsible.
We shouldn’t punish them.
(Cheers, applause.)
Here’s the blame-the-neocons theme popping up again....

[This, of course, is a key point:
Who is responsible for the decision to go to war?

The president who gave the orders?
The components of the intellectual “elite”
who only presented the case for war (e.g.),
not the case against war (e.g.),
to the general public?
Or the American public itself,
for electing the politicians
and gullibly accepting the case for war without significant opposition?]


Who lost Iraq?
Was it us, the American people, as the neocons imply,
because we didn’t have the spine [or guts] to stick it out?

Neocon military guru Max Boot once bemoaned
the lack of American casualties in Afghanistan,
because such a supposedly easy victory
wouldn’t prepare us for the coming slaughter [cf.]:
today, presumably, the bloodshed has lived up to Boot’s expectations,
and he must be satisfied with some 3,500 dead
and 40,000-plus with major wounds.
Boot’s point, however, was that
the American people lacked the toughness it takes to run an empire:
they are too squeamish about taking casualties.
This theme of our supposed moral deficiency
has run through the War Party’s propaganda,
especially now that the Iraq war is hugely unpopular,
amounting to a taunt:
Are we tough enough to tough it out until victory?
Do we have what it takes?

This – what might be called the argument from machismo –
worked in the beginning
[it was a staple of William Kristol and the Weekly Standard],
but has long since lost its power to intimidate.
And Paul is hardly one to be intimidated by such a facile playground jibe.
Instead of reacting defensively,
he went on the offensive and challenged the premise behind
fellow presidential candidate Mike Huckabee’s
emotional appeal to our collective “honor”
by pointing an accusing finger at specific individuals, namely, the neocons.
This “we are all to blame” collective guilt-tripping
isn’t going to go over very well with the electorate,
for the very good reason that they know it isn’t true.

The War Party
conducted their own “shock and awe” campaign on American shores
before Bush ever unleashed a more deadly version in the skies over Baghdad.
We all heard the neocons –
Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, former CIA director James Woolsey, Bill Kristol,
and whole platoons of laptop bombardiers tapping away
in the hangars of the American Enterprise Institute –
it was going to be a “cakewalk,” and that
the Iraqi people would greet us as “liberators.”
We heard them ‘round the clock in the run-up to war,
declaring, with utter certainty,
that those “weapons of mass destruction”
were a threat to the entire region and a challenge to US national security
that had to be answered with force.
We heard these same voices
echoing and elaborating on the administration’s talking points
[One should ask:
To whom did those talking points really belong?
Who was really calling the shots?

The President merely controls the executive branch,
not the ministries of propaganda.]
the supposed threat posed by Iraq-inspired terrorism
right here on our shores.
Now this same crew is braying that we can’t leave,
that we have a moral obligation to clean up the mess they made,
and that to fail to do so is to risk losing our honor.

What honor we had was lost the moment we went to war under false pretenses.
The only way to recapture it is to retrace our steps,
to conduct a thorough investigation in order to discover
how and why
we were deceived into invading and occupying Iraq –
and, most important of all, by whom.

[My personal hope is that Raimondo (possibly with Jim Lobe)
will write a book on this very subject.
He has an enormous amount of relevant material
accumulated in his back columns.
In the meantime,
a major head start on this issue is in a chapter of The Israel Lobby.]

After all, we can’t do much about our looming defeat on the battlefield,
because the announced war aims of the administration never were achievable,
but we can find and punish
those responsible for pushing such a reckless strategy.


Mike Huckabee, in answer,
reached into his bag of emotional salves and demagogic snake-oil,
and pulled out a Lincolnian trope to fit the occasion:
Congressman, we are one nation. We can’t be divided.
We have to be one nation under God.
That means if we make a mistake,
we make it as a single country, the United States of America,
not the divided states of America.

Oh really? If the head lemming goes over a cliff,
the rest have a patriotic duty – or is that a compulsion? –
to follow him.
This is the red-state fascist Leader Principle
drawn out to its logical conclusion:
we must commit collective suicide –
in the name of “unity.”
One nation,
under the neocon hucksters who sold us a rotten bill of goods,
with climbing debt for all and war profits for the few.
How convenient for the War Party –
and how the Republicans are dreaming if they think they can get away with this,
even with their alleged “base.”
Paul was speaking for a lot of rank-and-file Republican voters when he replied:
When we make a mistake,
it is the obligation of the people through their representatives
to correct the mistake,
not to continue the mistake!
(Cheers, applause.)

Paul wins this argument because he is here showing that
Huckabee has already conceded –
by acknowledging that we did indeed “break” Iraq, instead of liberating it.
If we continue to occupy it,
we continue the process that will lead to its final break-up:
our presence makes the situation worse, not better,
and this is what Huckabee is tacitly admitting.
The belief that we’ll somehow get a different result
by engaging in the same actions is tantamount to madness.
Huckabee protested that Congress is stepping into the breach,
but Paul would have none of it:
We’ve dug a hole for ourselves and we dug a hole for our party!
We’re losing elections and we’re going down next year
if we don’t change it,
and it has all to do with foreign policy,
and we have to wake up to this fact.

Even if we lose elections, we should not lose our honor,
and that is more important to the Republican Party.

Let’s stop a moment, here, and note this extraordinary admission:
Huckabee is saying, well, we’re going to lose anyway,
so why not nominate me?
If you were a Republican, would you find that very inspiring?

Aside from that, however, there’s the question of
how many lives the War Party’s “honor” is worth.
3,500? 10,000? 50,000?
These are questions
Huckabee’s emotion-laden appeals to American machismo
are designed to quell,
but they require answers.
Here is Paul’s answer, as, a seventy-something man standing straight as an arrow,
he raised his voice over the applause and the catcalls:
We’ve lost over 5,000 Americans over there in Afghanistan and Iraq
plus the civilians killed.
How many more do you want to lose?
How long are we going to be there?
How long – what do we have to pay to save face?
That’s all we’re doing is saving face.

It’s time we came home!

Whose face are we saving?
Whose honor is at stake?
Not America’s, because, as Paul pointed out,
it wasn’t the American people who wanted this war,
and it wasn’t they
who conducted a campaign to convince themselves and the world
that Iraq was a deadly threat that had to eliminated.

It was the neocons
who wanted this war, who planned it, who agitated for it,

and who finally got their heart’s desire
when the bombs began to fall on Baghdad.
It is their honor that is at stake –
and, as we all know,
the honor of those who never had any to begin with cannot be compromised.

Washington's serious stars
US foreign policy experts who got the Iraq war badly wrong
are still somehow holding sway

by Michael Tomasky
Guardian (UK), 2007-09-10

[Most of the article; emphasis is added.]

[In his testimony before Congress, General David] Petraeus
in fact has only a limited role to play
in seeing to it that the US continue its mad engagement.
The stars of that dispiriting drama will be
the phalanx of foreign policy experts based in Washington,

who will, in the wake of the general’s testimony,
fan out across the cable channels and op-ed pages,
arguing that
giving the surge one more chance
is the only “serious” option.

These, you see, are the “serious” foreign policy people.
It’s good work if you can get it.
You may be thinking that you become a serious foreign policy person
by often being right about foreign policy.
But this just shows how little you know about how these things work.

No -
you become a serious foreign-policy person in Washington
by dint of meeting two criteria.
  1. You should adopt the most hawkish position you can plausibly adopt,
    so that you come across as appropriately “tough-minded”.

  2. You must note
    what all the other serious foreign policy people are saying
    and take care to ensure that your position
    is sufficiently indistinguishable from theirs
    for you to be lumped in with them
    when the time comes for the Washington Post to write a group profile
    of Washington’s serious tough-minded foreign policy people.

    [Note what he is saying here:
    That ultimately it is the Washington Post that decides
    who gets to give the thumb up or thumb down
    on American foreign policy.]

For skilled practitioners of the art,
this tends to work out marvellously, career-wise.
Take Kenneth Pollack and Michael O’Hanlon,
the two emblematic seriousistas of the Bush age.
Both are scholars at the Brookings Institution, a centre-left thinktank,
and both are nominal Democrats.
Both were also early fans of the Iraq war.
Pollack achieved special notoriety with his book The Threatening Storm,
which persuaded many a liberal
who might otherwise have looked askance
at a war undertaken by the likes of George Bush and Dick Cheney
to support it.

Here in America, we’re taught that in the realm of ideas,
no less than of products of commerce,
the free market sorts everything out -
it rewards the good ideas and punishes the bad ones,
and at the end of the day fairness will obtain.

the famous invisible hand
seems to have left the world of foreign policy seriousness untouched,

because Pollack and O’Hanlon,
far from paying any price for their errors,
are just as celebrated as ever.
They published a major op-ed piece in the New York Times
in late July touting the progress being made in Iraq,
and O’Hanlon’s byline appeared again on the page a mere five weeks later.
This week, cable bookers will be calling them so often
that they might as well set up cots in the studios.

Of course, all this hasn’t worked out too well for the country or the world.
But that’s tolerable in Washington,
because the important thing here is that the status quo should not be disrupted.

A friend immersed in the foreign policy world once described to me
the enormous pressure that people in that orbit felt
to support the war in 2002-03.
The status quo then:
back military force, especially when a president is advocating it,
and don’t take a position that could remotely be construed
as soft-headed, post-Vietnam liberalism.
The status quo today?
Not much different, really.
The American people desperately want the war to end as soon as possible.
But it isn’t up to them.
It’s up to the experts.

Are Republicans Crazy?
by Doug Bandow
Antiwar.com, 2007-09-14

[About half the article:]

After every Republican presidential debate, viewers must ask: are the candidates crazy? Not Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.), who has proposed dropping a nuke on Mecca or Medina, but the others, who have tied themselves to the Bush administration’s disastrous Iraq policy.

Only Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) has forthrightly criticized the administration....


Of course, even if things aren’t going well the Republican candidates don’t believe America can leave. To the contrary, the supposedly clinching argument is that since we’ve made such a mess, we’ve got to stick around. Warned McCain, “I want our troops home with honor, otherwise we will face catastrophe and genocide in the region.” He sounds like the man who murdered his parents and then requested mercy because he was an orphan.

The only candidate willing to contest this illogic is Ron Paul. When asked about leaving forces in Iraq to limit violence against Iraqis who supported Washington, Paul observed: “The people who say there will be a bloodbath are the ones who said it would be a cakewalk, it would be slam dunk, and that it would be paid for by oil. Why believe them? They’ve been wrong on everything they’ve said.”

Thus, he insisted, “I would leave. I would leave completely. Why leave the troops in the region? The fact that we had troops in Saudi Arabia was one of the three reasons given for the attack on 9/11. So why leave them in the region? They don’t want our troops on the Arabian Peninsula. We have no need for our national security to have troops on the Arabian Peninsula, and going into Iraq and Afghanistan and threatening Iran is the worst thing we can do for our national security.”

The bottom line? “I am less safe, the American people are less safe for this,” he said.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee responded that “we bought it because we broke it” so “we can’t leave until we’ve left with honor.” But Paul retorted: “How many more [lives] do you want to lose? How long are we going to be there? How long – what do we have to pay to save face?” After the debate Huckabee declared, “He really lit my fuse when he continued to assert that it was our fault we were attacked on Sept. 11.”

Of course, Paul said no such thing. But Huckabee was not alone in putting words in Paul’s mouth. In the previous debate, McCain again proved to be one of the war’s chief cheerleaders, saying “we must win.” In contrast, Paul bluntly stated: “We shouldn’t be there. We ought to just come home.” Romney then offered the demagogic non sequitur: “Has he forgotten about 9/11?”

Before that came the interchange with former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Paul asked: “Have you ever read the reasons they attacked us? They attack us because we’ve been over there; we’ve been bombing Iraq for 10 years. We’ve been in the Middle East.” Giuliani dishonestly charged that Paul had blamed America, causing that latter to reply, “They don’t come here to attack us because we’re rich and we’re free. They come and they attack us because we’re over there.”

As Huckabee, Romney, and Giuliani certainly know, Paul does not blame the U.S. for 9/11, and Iraq has nothing to do with 9/11. However, the truth does not matter to them. Having lost the intellectual case for going to war, and now losing the intellectual case for continuing the occupation, they prefer demagoguery to analysis. Anyone criticizing the Iraq disaster is attacking the troops. Anyone criticizing the occupation is forgetting 9/11. Anyone advocating withdrawal is giving in to al-Qaeda.


In contrast to his competitors, Paul has been consistently right in diagnosing the problem of terrorism. First, it has long been evident that being “over there,” as Paul put it, generates opposition that can lead to terrorism. This is a statement of fact, not of blame. Had Washington not inserted troops in middle of the Lebanese civil war, for instance, there would have been no bombing of the Marine Corps barracks in 1983.

Had American officials not sought to buttress the Saudi monarchy with U.S. forces, there would have been no Americans living in the Khobar Towers to be killed in the 1996 bombing. One of the neoconservatives-in-chief, then-Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, said of America’s presence in Saudi Arabia, “It’s been a huge recruiting device for al-Qaeda. In fact if you look at bin Laden, one of his principle grievances was the presence of so-called crusader forces on the holy land, Mecca and Medina.”

Recognizing that terrorists have reasons for killing means neither that their actions are justified nor that Americans are “to blame” for terrorism. But the only way to make good policy is to recognize reality. The Huckabee-Romney-Giuliani strategy of sticking their heads in the sand to win political points guarantees more American casualties in the future.


Obviously, it isn’t easy to simply “come home” from Iraq as Ron Paul proposes. But that is the only strategy for real victory.

And not just a withdrawal from Iraq. As Paul said in the last debate, “We need a new foreign policy that said we ought to mind our own business, bring our troops home, defend this country, defend our borders.” So true. Why are we defending South Korea, which has 40 times the GDP of its northern antagonist? Why are we defending Japan, which has the second largest economy on earth? Why do we have troops in Europe, which faces no military threat? Why do we insist on sprinkling garrisons and detachments around the world in an attempt to micro-manage other peoples in other lands?

Yes, it’s time for a new foreign policy.


The bell is tolling for the GOP warmonger caucus. Unless the leading Republican presidential contenders join Ron Paul – soon – in detaching themselves from the failed Bush policies, many more Americans are likely to conclude that the Republicans are crazy. And to vote accordingly.

Stopping the Next War
by Patrick J. Buchanan
Antiwar.com, 2007-09-14

[About half the article:]

President Bush has won the Battle of September.
When he turns over the presidency on Jan. 20, 2009,
there will likely be as many U.S. troops in Iraq
as there were when Congress was elected to bring them home
in November 2006.

That is the meaning of Gen. Petraeus’ recommendation,
adopted by President Bush....


[A]s this writer warned the day Baghdad fell,
this time, we really “hit the tar baby.”


Once the most advanced countries in the Arab world,
Iraq has been devastated and is coming apart.
[But some people are delighted.]
And it is a fair prediction that when the Americans depart,
they will have fought the longest war in their history,
only to have replaced the Sunni dictatorship of Saddam Hussein
with a Shi’ite dictatorship aligned with Iran.

Across the region, the situation appears bleak.
In Pakistan, al-Qaeda has reconstituted itself.
Bin Laden is sending out tapes.
Gen. Musharraf, who rules a nation of 170 million with atom bombs,
is floundering.
The Taliban have made a comeback.
As our allies have left or are leaving Iraq, including the Brits,
so, too, the NATO allies in Afghanistan are wearying of the struggle.


To the cost of our dead and wounded must be added
the near-breaking of the U.S. Army,
the estrangement of our allies and
the pandemic hatred of America across the Arab world.

As for the “cakewalk” crowd
that accused opponents of the war of lacking in patriotism,
they never repented their demagoguery.
  • the pre-invasion propaganda they pumped out
    about Saddam’s awesome weapons and ties to 9-11,

  • their assurances that U.S. troops
    would be welcomed with candy and flowers,
    like Paris in ‘44,

  • their prediction that a democracy would arise in Iraq
    to which Islamic nations would look as a model,
they have never been called to account.

Now they are back with a new enemy for America to attack.

This time the target is Tehran – and once again,
they have the ear of this most ideological and unreflective of presidents.

Speaking to the American Legion, Bush used rhetoric against Iran
equal in bellicosity to anything he used on Iraq before invading.

Iran “is the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.”
Iran “funds terrorist groups like Hamas. ...
Iran is sending arms to the Taliban.”
Iran’s pursuit of nuclear technology
threatens to put the Middle East and Gulf
“under the shadow of a nuclear holocaust.”

[All lines written for him
by those who value Israel’s occupation of the West Bank
ahead of morality, justice, legality, or peace.]

As Bush ratchets up the rhetoric, Russia, China and, reportedly, Germany
are balking at new U.N. sanctions.
That leaves Bush only the military option
if he wishes to effect the nuclear castration of Iran.
And Gen. Petraeus just provided him the rationale.

“It is increasingly apparent,” said Petraeus,
“that Iran, through the use of the Quds Force,
seeks to turn the Iraqi Special Groups into a Hezbollah-like force
to serve its interests and
fight a proxy war against the Iraqi state and coalition forces in Iraq.”

Petraeus’ charge that Iran is fighting a “proxy war”
against America comports with the new War Party propaganda line
that we have been at war with Iran since 1979
and Bush needs no authorization from Congress to fight it more aggressively.

Congress gave Bush a blank check for the Iraq war.
Any chance Congress will at least insist
the administration come to Capitol Hill
to make the case for the next war, on Iran,
before Bush launches it?
Probably not.

Petraeus: GOP Man on Horseback?
by Justin Raimondo
Antiwar.com, 2007-09-14

Savior of the surge has big political ambitions

Who Will Lead a Filibuster of the Iraq War Spending Bill?
The Latest Betrayal by Senate Democrats

by John V. Walsh
CounterPunch.org, 2007-09-22/23

The allegedly “antiwar” Senate Democrats
betrayed the antiwar movement again last week,
and the coming weeks will make Judas seem a model of loyalty by comparison.
Prowar Senators used the filibuster provision repeatedly this past week
to win the day,
and the allegedly antiwar Senators did - nothing.
Friday, the Senate failed to get the votes necessary
to stop a filibuster and vote on an amendment
ordering most U.S. troops home from Iraq in the next nine months.
The vote was 47-47, well short of the 60 required to bring debate to an end.
On Thursday, the Senate blocked legislation
by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.)
that would have cut off funding,
albeit only for “combat” forces in June 2008.
Now comes the news that Bush’s spending supplemental for the war
to be submitted to the Senate this week
will amount to nearly $200 billion dollars
($195 billion to be precise,
the price tag put on more or less the way done for a used car).
Essentially Bush is thumbing his nose at the antiwar sentiment in the country,
and the Dems are going along
while trying to preserve a rapidly eroding antiwar veneer.


At FilibusterForPeace.org
there is a petition calling for a Senate filibuster against the war.
Sign and circulate.
And if you are a member of UFPJ or other peace group,
get them to support this in an active way.
There will be mighty resistance but it is still possible.

No Hope in the Democrats
by Justin Raimondo
Antiwar.com, 2007-09-28

Democrats signal capitulation on Iraq – and Iran

The false Beltway script never changes
by Glenn Greenwald
Salon.com, 2007-10-21

The War and the Wimp Factor
by Justin Raimondo
Antiwar.com, 2007-11-16

Reid blames GOP “bullies” for his party's spinelessness.


The War and the Elections
by Justin Raimondo
Antiwar.com, 2008-01-04

Is the antiwar wave cresting?

The Hundred-Year War
by Justin Raimondo
Antiwar.com, 2008-01-14

McCain wants us in Iraq permanently

Imperialism, Interventionism, and Isolationism
by Jacob G. Hornberger
Future of Freedom Foundation, Hornberger’s Blog, 2008-12-08

[Paragraph numbers are added.]

Conservatives and neo-conservatives sometimes claim that
libertarians are “isolationists”
because we oppose empire and interventionism.
Their suggestion is that
if the U.S. government did not have
the unrestrained power to drop bombs on countries around the world,
that would mean that America would be an “isolationist” country,
sort of, I suppose, like Switzerland,
whose government does not drop bombs on anyone.
One of the amusing aspects to all this is that
at the same time that conservatives and neo-cons
declaim against “isolationism,”
they’re building walls around the United States and
harassing people who enter our country, including those who come here legally.
[I disagree.
By the information that I am aware of,
the neocons are, in general, big fans of immigration, legal or not.]

Let’s clarify the issues.

The conservative/neo-conservative position contains two core elements:
  1. The U.S. government must continue to wield
    the unrestrained, omnipotent power to do whatever it wants
    to any country anywhere in the world.
    This power encompasses such things as
    military attacks, invasions, sanctions, embargoes,
    wars of aggression, bombing, kidnapping, coups, regime changes,
    assassinations, torture, military tribunals, overseas prisons,
    foreign aid, and renditions.

  2. To protect the American people
    from retaliation from the victims of U.S. foreign policy,
    the U.S. government wields the power
    to isolate Americans from the rest of the world.
    This includes such things as
    building walls along America’s borders,
    visa restrictions on foreigners,
    fingerprinting tourists, and
    travel restrictions on Americans traveling abroad.

The libertarian paradigm is exactly the opposite.
  1. The U.S. government’s overseas power would be reined in.
    That would entail the dismantling of the U.S. Empire
    and the restoration of a limited-government republic.
    That would mean
    the dismantling of the 700 U.S. military bases in more than 100 countries.
    It would also mean bringing all U.S. troops stationed overseas home
    and discharging them into the private sector.
    The U.S. government would be prohibited
    from interfering in the internal affairs of other countries,
    including the use of
    military attacks, invasions, sanctions, embargoes,
    wars of aggression, bombing, kidnapping, coups, regime changes,
    assassinations, torture, military tribunals, overseas prisons,
    foreign aid, and renditions.

  2. All restrictions on the freedom of the American people
    (i.e., the private sector)
    to interact with the people of the world would be lifted.
    Foreigners would be free to travel back and forth to the United States
    for work, tourism, cultural activities, or investment.
    Americans would be free of all U.S. governmental restrictions
    to travel to foreign countries for the same reasons.

Notice the big difference between the two paradigms.
It’s the conservative/neo-con paradigm
that inevitably leads to isolationism of the private sector
in order to protect
the unrestrained, omnipotent power of the public sector.
In the libertarian paradigm, the effect is the exact opposite —
the government’s power is reined in and
the American people are free to interact with the people of the world.

Conservatives and neo-conservatives sometimes argue that
it’s necessary for the U.S. government
to wield unrestrained, omnipotent power in foreign affairs
in order to help foreigners who are suffering tyranny,
citing Iraq as an example.
They say that the Iraqi people are better off today
than they were before the U.S. invasion of their country
despite the fact that
there are now an estimated million dead Iraqis
and countless more maimed, including many Iraqi children.
They maintain, oftentimes somewhat cavalierly,
that the U.S. invasion of Iraq has been worth it,
the same position that they (and liberals) took with respect to
the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children
who died from the brutal sanctions imposed on Iraq during the 1990s.

Yet, the libertarian paradigm provides a much better solution
to help people who are suffering under foreign tyranny.
Rather than invade their countries
and kill and maim hundreds of thousands of their people in the process,
the libertarian paradigm sends out the following message:
“If you are suffering tyranny or economic oppression in your country,
our government will not come to save you with
invasions, bombs, missiles, sanctions, assassinations, and occupations.
Instead, if you are willing and able to escape your plight,
know that there is always at least one country to which you can come
without fear of being repatriated to your nation —
the United States of America.”

Although certainly not perfect,
the libertarian paradigm is certainly a much more humane approach
to foreign tyranny and oppression than the conservative/neo-con approach.
In fact, isn’t it ironic that while the conservatives and neo-cons
claim to be occupying Iraq out of love for the Iraqi people,
they have absolutely refused to permit
more than a few thousand Iraqis to immigrate to the United States,
despite the fact that other nations
are permitting millions of Iraqi immigrants to enter their countries?

As the various crises facing our country increase in magnitude and intensity,
both here at home and abroad,
there is at least some solace in knowing that there is a solution to them.
That solution is libertarianism.
It’s just a matter of time and pain before Americans
finally reject the conservative-neo-con paradigm
of imperialism, interventionism, and isolationism,
and embrace the libertarian paradigm of limited government
and peaceful and harmonious relations with the people of the world.

[I certainly agree with
Mr. Hornberger’s arguments for non-interventionism,
however I strongly disagree with his “open borders” plan.]

The Audacity of Hype
by Justin Raimondo
Antiwar.com, 2008-11-12

Dissent in the Age of Obama


The Silence of the Liberals
As Obama launches "war on terrorism" II
by Justin Raimondo
Antiwar.com, 2009-02-27

Conservatives need a humbler foreign policy
By Gene Healy
DC Examiner, 2009-03-03


Bill Kristol must resign
Ann Coulter disses notion 'permanent war'
is now a requirement of Republicanism

by Ann Coulter
anncoulter.org, 2010-07-07

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele was absolutely right.
Afghanistan is Obama’s war and,
judging by other recent Democratic ventures in military affairs,
isn’t likely to turn out well.

It has been idiotically claimed that
Steele’s statement about Afghanistan being Obama’s war
is “inaccurate” –
as if Steele is unaware Bush invaded Afghanistan soon after Sept. 11.
(No one can forget that –
even liberals pretended to support that war for three whole weeks.)

Yes, Bush invaded Afghanistan soon after Sept. 11.
Within the first few months we had toppled the Taliban,
killed or captured hundreds of al-Qaida fighters
and arranged for democratic elections,
resulting in an American-friendly government.

Then Bush declared success and turned his attention to Iraq,
leaving minimal troops behind in Afghanistan
to prevent Osama bin Laden from regrouping,
swat down al-Qaida fighters and gather intelligence.

Having some vague concept of America’s national interest –
unlike liberals –
the Bush administration could see that
a country of illiterate peasants living in caves ruled by “warlords”
was not a primo target for “nation-building.”

By contrast, Iraq had a young, educated, pro-Western populace
that was ideal for regime change.

If Saddam Hussein had been a peach,
it would still be a major victory in the war on terrorism
to have a Muslim Israel [??] in that part of the globe,
and it sure wasn’t going to be Afghanistan
(literacy rate, 19 percent; life expectancy, 44 years; working toilets, 7).

But Iraq also was a state sponsor of terrorism;
was attempting to build nuclear weapons
(according to endless bipartisan investigations
in this country and in Britain – thanks, liberals!);
nurtured and gave refuge to Islamic terrorists –
including the 1993 World Trade Center bombers;
was led by a mass murderer who had used weapons of mass destruction;
paid bonuses to the families of suicide bombers; had vast oil reserves;
and is situated at the heart of a critical region.

Having absolutely no interest in America’s national security,
the entire Democratic Party (save Joe Lieberman)
wailed about the war in Iraq for five years,
pretending they really wanted to go great-guns in Afghanistan.
What the heck:
They had already voted for the war in Afghanistan in the wake of Sept. 11
when they would have been hanged as traitors had they objected.

The obsession with Afghanistan was pure rhetoric.
Democrats have no interest in fighting any war
that would serve America’s interests.
(They’re too jammed with their wars against
evangelicals, Wal-Mart, the Pledge of Allegiance, SUVs and the middle class.)
Absent Iraq, they’d have been bad-mouthing Afghanistan, too.

So for the entire course of the magnificently successful war in Iraq,
all we heard from these useless Democrats was that
Iraq was a “war of choice,”
while Afghanistan – the good war! – was a “war of necessity.”
“Bush took his eye off the ball in Afghanistan!”
“He got distracted by war in Iraq!”
and – my favorite – “Iraq didn’t attack us on Sept. 11!”

Of course, neither did Afghanistan.
But Democrats were in a lather and couldn’t be bothered with the facts.

The above complaints about Iraq come – nearly verbatim –
from speeches and press conferences by Obama, Joe Biden
and Obama’s national security advisers Susan Rice and Richard Clarke.
Also, the entire gutless Democratic Party.
Some liberals began including them in their wedding vows.

(By the way, Democrats:

Obama hasn’t ramped up the war in Afghanistan
based on a careful calculation of America’s strategic objectives.
He did it because he was trapped by his own rhetorical game of
bashing the Iraq war while pretending to be a hawk on Afghanistan.

At this point,
Afghanistan is every bit as much Obama’s war
as Vietnam was Lyndon Johnson’s war.
True, President Kennedy was the first to send troops to Vietnam.
We had 16,000 troops in Vietnam when JFK was assassinated.
Within four years, LBJ had sent 400,000 troops there.

In the entire seven-year course of the Afghanistan war under Bush,
from October 2001 to January 2009,
625 American soldiers were killed.
In 18 short months, Obama has nearly doubled that number
to 1,124 Americans killed.

Republicans used to think seriously about deploying the military.
President Eisenhower sent aid to South Vietnam,
but said he could not “conceive of a greater tragedy” for America
than getting heavily involved there.

As Michael Steele correctly noted,
every great power that’s tried to stage an all-out war in Afghanistan
has gotten its a-- handed to it.
Everyone knows it’s not worth the trouble and resources
to take a nation of rocks and brigands.

Based on Obama’s rules of engagement for our troops in Afghanistan,
we’re apparently not even fighting a war.
The greatest fighting force in the world
is building vocational schools
and distributing cheese crackers to children. (Cf.)

There’s even talk of giving soldiers medals for NOT shooting people,
which I gather will be awarded posthumously.
Naomi Campbell is rougher with her assistants
than our troops are allowed to be with Taliban fighters.


But now I hear
it is the official policy of the Republican Party
to be for all wars,
irrespective of our national interest.

[I’ve noticed what seems to be that trend too.
But I think actually, there is a more specific criterion present here.
They’re for all wars that are in Israel’s interest,
irrespective of whether they’re in America’s interest.
The Jews have the money,
the Christian evangelicals have (a considerable part of) the vote.]

What if Obama decides to invade England
because he’s still ticked off about that Churchill bust?
Can Michael Steele and I object to that?
Or would that demoralize the troops?

Our troops are the most magnificent in the world,
but they’re not the ones setting military policy.
The president is –
and he’s basing his war strategy on the chants of Moveon.org cretins.

Nonetheless, Bill Kristol and Liz Cheney have demanded that
Steele resign as head of the RNC
for saying Afghanistan is now Obama’s war –
and a badly thought-out one at that.
(Didn’t liberals warn us that neoconservatives want permanent war?)

I thought the irreducible requirements of Republicanism were being for
life, small government and a strong national defense,
but I guess permanent war is on the platter now, too.

Of course, if Kristol is writing the rules for being a Republican,
we’re all going to have to get on board
for amnesty and a “National Greatness Project,” too –
other Kristol ideas for the Republican Party.
Also, John McCain.
Kristol was an early backer of McCain for president –
and look how great that turned out!

Inasmuch as demanding resignations is another new Republican position,
here’s mine:
Bill Kristol and Liz Cheney must resign immediately.

Ann, We Hardly Knew Ye
by Justin Raimondo
Antiwar.com, 2010-07-12

Coulter vs. the neocons

Taking a Look at New ‘Antiwar’ Republicans
by Kelley B. Vlahos
Antiwar.com, 2010-07-27

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