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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/16110/say-no-to-libyan-intervention/

Say No to Libyan Intervention

March 18, 2011 by

Is it possible to both oppose Gaddafi and oppose a war on Gaddafi? Absolutely.

This is a position that all Americans should adopt. In the same way, it is possible to oppose the Obama administration but also oppose having a foreign army oust him in order to liberate us.

FULL ARTICLE

{ 182 comments }

Abhilash Nambiar March 18, 2011 at 3:58 pm

For the sake of freedom and human rights, we must say no to war.

Except the war that the Libyan people are waging against Qaddafi right? That has to be just, because it is war by humans without rights for human rights.So supporting it facilitates justice even if it is not supported for just reasons. Just like French support for the American Revolutionary War facilitated justice even though they did not support it for just reasons. Not supporting it may most likely facilitate injustice.

Supposing the impossible happened and the Obama actually listened to Lew Rockwell and abandoned the US lead effort to contain Qaddafi, all those freedom fighters would almost certainly get slaughtered. Would then Lew feel a bit guilty for facilitating that injustice?

Dan March 18, 2011 at 4:12 pm

** rolls eyes ** Or we can another Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, etc. where thousands of innocents are being killed the USA government.

Abhilash Nambiar March 18, 2011 at 4:35 pm

It is not the killing of innocents that is being opposed in this instance. It is intervention. But it is the killing of innocents that will most certainly take place absent intervention. Here is how the situation stands right now – with intervention innocents may or may not die; without intervention innocents will certainly die.

Freedom Fighter March 20, 2011 at 10:28 am

New weapons of mass mobilization will make it possible to intervene militarily on vast theaters of operation without causing any sorts of casualties nor destruction of assets.

newson March 20, 2011 at 11:05 pm

the brown wave?

Walt D. March 18, 2011 at 4:49 pm

The fact that the US wants to take action against Libya now as as opposed to 5-10-15-20 years ago, and the fact that the US is not supporting freedom forces in Saudi Arabia and turning a blind eye to violence by the Saudi military, indicates that this action has been poorly thought ought.
Why does the US need to be the world’s policeman?
“If you don’t know what you want to accomplish you will end up accomplishing something else.”

Abhilash Nambiar March 18, 2011 at 4:55 pm

The agenda of the US government is certainly not liberty, it is power. That was the point I was making about supporting a just cause for unjust reasons.

Walt D. March 18, 2011 at 5:01 pm

Well said.

Freedom Fighter March 20, 2011 at 10:37 am

Power is the agenda of everything and everybody. Freedom is the power to do what you want. In order to have freedom you first need power. This is how reality, physics and natural laws work.

Of course the agenda of the US government is power and so is my agenda and so is yours and so is ours all.

I have absolutely no shame in admitting that my agenda is power.

Frank March 20, 2011 at 2:34 pm

You’re confusing freedom and power, and the two are not synonymous. Read Hayek, “The Road to Surfdom”, Chapter 2: “The Great Utopia”. To conflate the two is to embrace socialism.

Abhilash Nambiar March 20, 2011 at 2:37 pm

What is the relationship between power and freedom?

Troy Doering March 19, 2011 at 12:25 am

Walt,
you are right that does make us look foolish.

Brian Macker March 20, 2011 at 3:34 pm

Those are not necessarily evidence it was poorly thought out. Might just be a different set of circumstance now than in the past, and that the people making the decisions use a different set of criteria than you.

They waited an awful long time to take action, many are arguing that they have waited too long. Several weeks have passed in fact, and they ran this through the UN. I think that is evidence that counters the notion it wasn’t well thought out. That doesn’t mean it is correct. Even well thought out actions can be in error.

I just don’t think it follows from your assumptions that they didn’t think about the implications. I’m sure they spent a lot more time on it than you did, and with a lot more input, and discussion.

Inquisitor March 18, 2011 at 8:52 pm

Feel free to use your own money to finance an invasion of Libya. :)

Abhilash Nambiar March 18, 2011 at 8:54 pm

We are giving the government money anyway. At least let them do something good with it.

Inquisitor March 19, 2011 at 12:05 am

The very best thing it could do is just give the money back. ;)

Abhilash Nambiar March 19, 2011 at 12:12 am

Ok, what is the second best thing?

Never mind. Just kidding.

Mike D. March 18, 2011 at 4:59 pm

We can’t balance the budget – we’re at war.

babybell March 20, 2011 at 11:18 am

We can’t win any wars – we’re out of money. Empire decline incoming…

J. Murray March 18, 2011 at 5:08 pm

Apparently it doesn’t matter if the locals who are supposedly to be saved don’t want anyone butting in.

Abhilash Nambiar March 18, 2011 at 5:30 pm

That matter is not so clear cut. Since they do not have enough fire power to do it alone, the ideal situation for the rebels is enough outside intervention to help win the war, but not enough that outsiders end up dictating policy.

But in the real world, if you want help from someone, they too would expect you to be helpful to them in some way. Or they can refuse all outside help and be slaughtered, which Gaddafi will not hesitate to do.

Troy Doering March 19, 2011 at 12:14 am

good comment,

Gaddafi is Evil and Insane, but a very crafty manipulator. He would shake your hand, while he slit your throat with his free hand. I still wonder why it has taken so long for anyone to challenge him. We know he has murdered his own people for years, he sponsored terrorism. and Gaddafi is rumored to have played a part in the Sadat Assassination.

Brian Macker March 20, 2011 at 3:36 pm

Some locals do and some locals don’t. My experience is that the locals that do won’t be grateful and won’t repay us.

BoB March 18, 2011 at 6:31 pm

So we must go throught the same old tired channels of Socialist govt. intervention (aka help), and expect a different result Abhilash? Maybe I’m missing something here. I may be wrong here, but unfortuneatley govt. has a monopoly on miliatry style arms and companies. Privately helping them is one thing, but that is not a reality in this govt. monopolized world!

Abhilash Nambiar March 18, 2011 at 7:01 pm

You have a point. Nevertheless right now there is no such private agencies ready and capable to fill the void. Or if there are, they operate within legal frameworks set by governments. If there where they would be helping the rebels and no one would be crying for help. Maybe the intervention will not properly work and that will open up the space for private agencies.

Colin Phillips March 19, 2011 at 3:57 am

The best way for the intervention to “Not properly work” is surely to not have that intervention? That way, anyone who wants to go help Libya can do so, and they only have to be worried about being bombed by the Libyan army, not both the Libyan and the US armies.

Abhilash Nambiar March 19, 2011 at 4:18 pm

Do you think anyone without a military force can help the Libyan against Gaddafi?

Freedom Fighter March 20, 2011 at 11:00 am

No, it takes a military force and that’s what NATO is doing. Helping the will of the Libyan people against Gadhafi’s violence.

Joe March 22, 2011 at 9:46 pm

Abhilash,
Well if the rebels had more money than Gaddafi they could out bid him for the mercenaries. Hell, just think of all the ex-military guys in the US without a job. They would love to go over and make a few bucks or whatever the name is of the Libyan currency. (I would personally settle for gold)

Brian Macker March 20, 2011 at 4:02 pm

You’d be in pretty much the same situation with private enforcement agencies that are not territory based. Gaddafi’s victims could hire many different agencies promising them a performance based payment. Your geographic isolation would be of no help then, and if these agencies tended to form alliances, as would be likely in order not to be overwhelmed by larger “monopolized” governments. So if you wanted any protection at all then it’s likely you’d have to pay dues that in part were paying for the overthrow of Gaddafi. Especially given that nature has seen fit to place so much oil under Libya. The reality is that if your protection agency doesn’t get involved in protecting an asset like that another will that isn’t quite what you desire.

Besides, I always thought it foolish to think that protection agencies would necessarily decide to operate along principles of anarcho-captiatlism. There are so many reasons to believe they wouldn’t. Even if initially set up that way by magic they would devolve. More likely it would devolve to a form of tribalism, which I think is worse.

The percentage of deaths due to inter-group fighting is far less now under nationalist governments (including those lost in war) than under the old kin/clan/tribe/ethnic based protection schemes. Far less.

Minarchists put much more weight on such realities, while anarcho-captialists tend to put more weight on philosophical purity. It’s like the Marxists who argue how their beliefs work in theory vs. how they work in reality. The reality those societies closest to the ideal have been isolated or supported via threat of retaliation by States. Eventually these “anarchist societies” were dissolved by or lost their isolation from their State sponsors, and evaporated, or destroyed.

Peter Surda March 25, 2011 at 9:06 am

Brian,

Minarchists put much more weight on such realities, while anarcho-captialists tend to put more weight on philosophical purity.

Not necessarily. There is, for example, the economic calculation argument.

Besides, I always thought it foolish to think that protection agencies would necessarily decide to operate along principles of anarcho-captiatlism.

Of course. But it would be also foolish to think that the introduction of a government improves the situation.

Andrew March 18, 2011 at 6:40 pm

Abhilash,

So what you’re saying is the US has a duty to support the rebels against this clearly oppressive regime. But you don’t want them going in there and dictating policy. So maybe they shouldn’t get directly involved – maybe they should just support the rebels, or freedom fighters if you will, with money and arms. Hmmmm. Interesting. I think I’m in. If only there was historical precedent of the US doing exactly that. That way, we could just go back and see how that worked out for all involved – you know, the rebels, the US, everybody. If only.

Oh wait….

Sincerely,

Afghanistan

Abhilash Nambiar March 18, 2011 at 7:04 pm

I am not saying anything of that sort. What I am saying is, is that opposing intervention may not necessarily be the right thing not withstanding valid criticism of the US government.

J. Murray March 18, 2011 at 7:11 pm

Nothing we do will withstand valid criticism. It’s a catch-22. I’d rather we do nothing, and deal with the immediate impotent complaints by equally impotent European powers than to create yet another excuse for whoever is on the losing side to send over bombed strapped people (and those in the neutral and winning side inevitably caught as “collateral damage”). It’s the guy on the ground that gets the blame. Let France deal with terror attacks for a while if they’re so inclined to help out.

R Lee March 18, 2011 at 7:29 pm

When foreign wars which serve no interest to this country have already brought this country to it’s knees economically, the threat to get involved in another one is absolutely unconscionable and, in my opinion, nothing less than treason. I am very sorry the raw power our so-called leaders so willfully use is not available to be used against them.

Brian Macker March 20, 2011 at 4:06 pm

Actually the wars had little to do with bringing us to our knees. It was the interventions in our money supply and economy that did that. We were well on the path with the internet bubble long before Osama attacked us with the explicit and open support of the Afghan Taliban. You don’t want us coming after you for killing our people then don’t befriend a guy who advocates such behavior, and follows through on it. Certainly give him up when we tell you to.

R Lee March 20, 2011 at 10:15 pm

Brian

Were you around by any chance at the time of Vietnam? Remember the great Jimmy Carter inflation followed by the Reagan depression? It’s a common sense thing, Brian: you can’t piss away a huge sum of money you don’t have without negative consequences.

Yes, the housing bubble and bank fraud doubtless had a lot to do with it, maybe enough to have serious problems on it’s own. But that applies to the wars as well.

And if you don’t want other people trying to kill yours, don’t go killing theirs.If you do then you can only expect retaliation. But even that won’t fly as an excuse for invading Iraq, and neither will oil.

Peter March 19, 2011 at 5:46 am

I’d rather we do nothing, and deal with the immediate impotent complaints by equally impotent European powers than to create yet another excuse for whoever is on the losing side to send over bombed strapped people

The absolute best way to achieve that right now is to do nothing. Maybe the UN decision on the no-fly zone shouldn’t have been made (I disagree, but it doesn’t matter now), but since it was made, to allow Gaddafi to continue his attacks while the various countries hold meetings and delay is stabbing those people in the backs again, and it won’t be forgotten. Nobody needs to be endangered, even…just getting some armed drones over Libya now would go a long way.

Inquisitor March 18, 2011 at 8:53 pm

The US cannot afford it. End of argument.

Abhilash Nambiar March 18, 2011 at 9:00 pm

That is a good argument. But is that the argument Lew is making?

Adam March 19, 2011 at 12:59 pm

That is indeed one of the arguments Lew makes.

Walt D. March 18, 2011 at 9:54 pm

Why not – once you are at war any notion of fiscal responsibility goes out the window. The FED can, and will, just print the money. This is a godsend for Obama – no need for a balanced budget while this is still going on – he can play the National Security canard.

Inquisitor March 19, 2011 at 12:05 am

“Why not – once you are at war any notion of fiscal responsibility goes out the window.”

Which is part of the problem. Look at the US’s scheduled fiscal deficit. Look at its unfunded liabilities. Consider whether you really, really want to add to those. It’s true that Obama can and will exploit this but I am looking at this as a libertarian. Aside from viewing coercive extraction of funds morally dubious (to say the least), it will only aggravate the US’s financial condition and deteriorate its real economy further.

Peter March 19, 2011 at 5:47 am

Can the US afford NOT to do it?

Inquisitor March 19, 2011 at 9:17 am

With a fiscal deficit of $1.6t and unfunded liabilities to the tune of $100t, yes, it can afford not to do it.

Peter March 19, 2011 at 9:17 pm

You’re only looking at the seen and ignoring the unseen…cardinal sin :)

The Fresh Prince of Darkness March 19, 2011 at 9:37 pm

So he can see what everyone else can see (namely, that the US taxpayer is beyond strapped), but you can see…what, exactly?

Peter March 20, 2011 at 6:41 am

You don’t think there might be advantages to the US to (a) doing something that will actually improve its standing in the Arab world for a change, (b) not having a crazy terrorist-supporting dictator in one of the most strategically important areas in the Mediterranean region…etc.?

J. Murray March 20, 2011 at 6:51 am

Since when has that actually happened, Peter? Considering every time the US goes in there to “improve its standing in the Arab world for a change” and “not having a crazy terrorist-supporting dictator in one of the most strategically important areas in the Mediterranean region”, we end up:

a) worsen our standing in the Arab world as usual.
b) propping up a tyrannical dictator that ends up leading to a revolt and the formation of a terror state.

What is that road to Hell paved with again?

Walt D. March 18, 2011 at 9:07 pm

Lew: Good post – I think you’re winning on this one. When you have both CNN and FOX News supporting even some of your views, and thinking things through and using common sense, I think it is fair to say that you are making headway and you are not just a one man quest for sanity.

augusto March 18, 2011 at 9:31 pm

Here’s a suggestion. Just thinking outside of the box, you know. Drop the security laws that prevent US companies from selling “military grade” weapons to foreign civilians without government authorization. If the rebels then want to buy a couple of fighter jets, let them. If american citizens or the rebels themselves want to voluntarily contribute a number of Blackwater (I think it’s called XE nowadays) mercenaries, let them do that too…

hayeksheroes March 18, 2011 at 10:04 pm

In 1939′s , Bertrand Russell and a Jewish philosopher were sitting in a Parisian cafe. The Jewish philosopher asked Betrand what should France do if the Germans attack? Russell replied, Let them march in.
We should not fight them?
Why? War is such a waste. So if the Germans come, what will they do? Take the Eiffel tower to Berlin?
What will happen to us? the Jewish philosopher said.
You will still be French, and the Germans will force your kids to learn German. Big deal.
The Jewish Philosopher went home and felt safe that the impending war with Germany would not impact him in the least.

Rockwell has become the Bertrand Russell of our time. He refuses to see genocide in his mists. We have seen throughout history the genocide in Germany, Russia, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Rwanda, and Yugoslavia. You can add Libya to that list if Gadaffi remains in power.

I don’t want war as much as Dr. Rockwell. But I can’t sit idly by while innocent people get slaughtered by a brutal dictator. Don’t let history repeat itself.

Walt D. March 18, 2011 at 11:44 pm

Here is the problem with Obama’s reasoning and this line of thinking:
Within days, whole parts of the country declared their independence from a brutal regime, and members of the government serving in and abroad chose to align themselves with the forces of change. clearly lost the confidence of his own people and the legitimacy to lead.

Instead of respecting the rights of his own people, chose the path of brutal suppression. Innocent civilians were beaten, imprisoned, and in some cases killed. Peaceful protests were forcefully put down. Hospitals were attacked and patients disappeared. A campaign of intimidation and repression began.

In the face of this injustice, the United States and the international community moved swiftly. Sanctions were put in place by the United States and our allies and partners. The U.N. Security Council imposed further sanctions, an arms embargo, and the specter of international accountability for and those around him. Humanitarian assistance was positioned on ’s borders, and those displaced by the violence received our help. Ample warning was given that needed to stop his campaign of repression, or be held accountable.

Now insert your country from
A) Yemen
B) Saudi Arabia
C) Bahrain
D) Libya
with the appropriate choice for Brutal Dictator or Brutal Dictatorial Regime.

Anthony March 19, 2011 at 12:13 am

So instead you would slaughter innocent people yourself? Look at the results of past interventions… more hatred of the US and less safety. Why are you so eager to repeat the past?

Abhilash Nambiar March 19, 2011 at 12:18 am

I tried to make the point that slaughter may or may not happen with intervention but will most certainly happen without it.

Andy March 19, 2011 at 4:07 am

More accurately, hayeksheroes isn’t as eager to repeat the past as Gadaffi. I would think that dictators around the world would learn to expect a drastic, worldwide reaction to this kind of brutality. hayek said, “I don’t want war as much as Dr. Rockwell”, and probably means exactly that.

Our government doesn’t want another war either, if for no other reason than it makes for difficult politics. The superior Libertarian logic escapes some people, I suppose. Gadaffi included, as with Hitler and Stalin, and the people that opposed them forcefully.

Dagnytg March 19, 2011 at 2:53 am

Hayeksheroes,

But I can’t sit idly by while innocent people get slaughtered by a brutal dictator.</p

The problem with your point of view is not its intent. But the question becomes who do we sacrifice for your cause?

Because in order to accomplish what you desire, many are going to have to give up something.

If I feel strongly about a cause, then it is up to me to take action. But it is incredibly unethical to expect others to carry that burden.

For example, am I to expect children, of a family whose parents are unemployed, to have less to support your cause? Should I expect those same parents to serve up their sons and daughters to die for your cause? Should I expect those Libyans who choose not participate in the fight to serve up their lives and the lives of their children?

Hayeksheroes…can you make such moral judgments? I can’t. It is even beyond me to want to force my libertarian beliefs upon others.

But the thing that has forever bothered me is how much effort everyone in this country puts into helping others abroad but when it comes to helping a poor black kid in the ghetto, a Latin kid in a barrio or white kid in a trailer park, there’s never a word. I guess their liberty just doesn’t count.

hayeksheroes March 19, 2011 at 9:45 am

You see you think that we are unaffected by all this. We are not. Remember the Jewish philosopher ended up in a concentration camp. He thought that war would only lead to senseless killing and no change in Europe.

I am not for ground troops. I think a no fly zone is reasonable and does not put our pilots in too much danger. We need to let the Libyan freedom fighters do the fighting. We have to give them a fair chance.

If the no fly zone had been imposed 3 weeks ago, the Libyan Revolution would be over.

Dagnytg March 19, 2011 at 3:25 pm

Hayeksheroes,

You didn’t address my ethical argument of who should sacrifice.

You didn’t address my rhetorical argument (at the end of my comment)-which implies we should take care of our own first.

Your Bertrand Russell example is of a situation where one country (Germany) is attacking another (France). This is an example of nation-state self-defense.

This is very different from many of the examples you site which are revolutions or civil wars (i.e. domestic). In Rwanda it was tribal, Yugoslavia was ethnic, and Ethiopia and Cambodia were political…Pol Pot was a derivative of American foreign policy during the Vietnam War. Libya is like those examples in that the issues involved are domestic.

In domestic conflicts, the outcomes that exist are perpetuated by the combatants within the country. If you think about it, Libya is unique- there was a no death or destruction before the protesters turned violent. It is they who are responsible for the deaths that have occurred.

If someone attacks my neighbor, I may find reason to help him…but if he and his wife are fighting…it’s none of my business. (Am I going to break into their house and try to stop them?). And if it escalates, where one kills the other…that’s unfortunate, but they chose to fight and they alone carry the responsibility for its outcome.

Other observations:
The problem with using history as a guide to support moral positions is that we can look at any point in time to support our position.

I could just as easily say, if the U.S. had not gotten involved in WWI, there never would have been a WWII. I could use this example as a reason for non-intervention.

And last, once you grant gov. moral authority, there is no limit to their actions. A no fly zone may seem reasonable today but what about tomorrow?

hayeksheroes March 19, 2011 at 3:43 pm

I have been advocating for a no fly zone. My hope that there will be none or very little sacrifice of our pilots. I believe that is possible.

“If someone attacks my neighbor, I may find reason to help him…but if he and his wife are fighting…it’s none of my business. (Am I going to break into their house and try to stop them?). And if it escalates, where one kills the other…that’s unfortunate, but they chose to fight and they alone carry the responsibility for its outcome.”

I hope you would call the police if you thought a person was in danger. There is no sense for you to get directly involved.

“And last, once you grant gov. moral authority, there is no limit to their actions. A no fly zone may seem reasonable today but what about tomorrow?”
This is why you have a Constitution and limited government, because if you feel that government is overstepping its bounds, you can change it.
that does not mean that if people are being slaughtered like in Rwanda or If people are being gassed, Nazi Germany, that if you have the power you don’t try to prevent it.
I will agree with you that the US should not fight other countries battles for them, Vietnam and Korea, Iraq and now in Afghanistan.

hayeksheroes March 19, 2011 at 4:20 pm

In domestic conflicts, the outcomes that exist are perpetuated by the combatants within the country. If you think about it, Libya is unique- there was a no death or destruction before the protesters turned violent. It is they who are responsible for the deaths that have occurred.

Protesters are not responsible for the deaths in Libya. Are you condoning Gaddaffi’s actions? Gaddafi has enslaved and oppressed his people for 40 years. Really, get a clue.

Dagnytg March 20, 2011 at 4:36 am

hayeksheroes,

Look, let’s not pretend that things are better now than they were before. Life there is worse for many people.

Gaddafi has enslaved and oppressed SOME of his people for 40 years but during that time he wasn’t bombing them.

Hayeksheroes…you know what…for a brief moment… I am going to embrace your line of thinking.

If I’m going to assume moral superiority (as you have), then why such a wimpy solution as a no fly zone. Why waste time? People are dying…you said so yourself.

If you are really committed to helping these people, then why not use the most powerful military in the world. Let’s put some of that gov. debt to work for a good cause.

I say let’s send in the dogs of war, our black opts, our stealth fighter planes… let’s locate this tyrant and drop a bomb through his front door. Let’s kill him, his family, and others who support him. Let’s wipe them from the face of the earth. People like him and his followers are less than human and let’s allow them no quarter.

This could all be accomplished in 24 to 48 hours. Yes, some innocent people will die from our bombs and bullets but I’m sure you’ll agree- that the needs of the many out weigh the needs of the few.

And hayeksheroes, my new brother in arms, why stop there?

There are all kinds of the assholes in the world…and they piss me off. Let’s go to Cuba ( Fidel-out!), then to Zimbabwe (Mugabe- can’t stand that guy…no really, I can’t) onto Venezuela and…I am sorry…how could I forget…North Korea.

Together you and I will cleanse the world of these oppressors and create a new world order based on liberty and freedom. Yahoo!

PS>You still didn’t address my ethical argument…

Who do we sacrifice for your cause? Isn’t it incredibly unethical to expect others to carry that burden?

Predrag March 18, 2011 at 11:22 pm

I guess they had fun bombing us in Yugoslavia so they want to do it one more time.

hayeksheroes March 19, 2011 at 9:46 am
The Fresh Prince of Darkness March 19, 2011 at 12:24 pm

Even by wiki’s standards this article is jokingly unbalanced; could have been written by the Bosnian govt itself.

These links are a bit dated, but may prove a useful start:

http://www.antiwar.com/srebrenica.html

Also have a look at the Istina documentary:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9tpx-zvHNM

(HT to Abhilash)

Predrag March 19, 2011 at 1:06 pm
Abhilash Nambiar March 19, 2011 at 2:36 pm

I agree to your point that there is no objective means to measure the costs and benefits of any humanitarian military intervention. However that does not make the case for non-intervention because there is no objective means to measure the costs and benefits of non-intervention either.

It may seem absurd to think that non-intervention can have a cost. After all you know that there are resources that you do not have to expend for the intervention, so where is the cost? Well, there is a situation that you did not initiate. you sympathize with one side although you intervene in behalf of neither. So one side hates you for where your sympathies lie. The other side hates you because you refused to intervene not withstanding your sympathies. So no matter who wins there is a fall out to you.

But since like you rightly point out no one knows the future, you really do not know if this fall out is greater than the fall out that comes through interference. Which means it is a judgement call. That is the way with armed struggles. Things get out of hand pretty quickly, even for observers. Which is why it is better not to have one in the first place.

Predrag March 19, 2011 at 3:20 pm

People are free to hate. The only “greater” and “lesser” is in each of our’s heads.

Abhilash Nambiar March 19, 2011 at 3:27 pm

I was speaking about greater and lesser in terms of fallout, not hate. My point was the difficulty in discovering the situation that leads to minimal fallout at times of war. Even neutrality or non-intervention can lead to significant fallout.

hayeksheroes March 19, 2011 at 3:47 pm

Abhilash: It is pretty clear cut in this case. I really don’t care if Gadaffi and his family and his loyal followers hate the US. They have hated us for no particular reason for decades. I just want these nuts gone. There are clearly bad people in this world and its ok to hate them.

Predrag March 19, 2011 at 3:48 pm

And who is evaluating this “fallout”?

Abhilash Nambiar March 19, 2011 at 3:58 pm

All of us are. The evaluation depends on your subjective sense of value. But my point is, during war, regardless of what you value, it is still very difficult to know what the best course of action is to minimize fallout.

Which is one of the reasons I have reservations over “Say No to Libyan Intervention”.

Predrag March 19, 2011 at 4:09 pm

Are you minimizing your own evaluation of the fallout or some aggregate?

Abhilash Nambiar March 19, 2011 at 4:14 pm

Are you minimizing your own evaluation of the fallout or some aggregate?

I do not follow your question.

Predrag March 19, 2011 at 4:20 pm

are you trying to make a decision based on your evaluation of other people’s suffering or you are trying to create an aggregate of other people’s evaluations of their own suffering?

Abhilash Nambiar March 19, 2011 at 4:45 pm

@Predrag
I am trying to understand the situation, the understanding guides action. There is really nothing more to it.

Predrag March 19, 2011 at 5:11 pm

If this is only about your preferences, then discussion really does not have much point.

Abhilash Nambiar March 19, 2011 at 6:30 pm

@ Predrag
By the same token I can say the article only speaks about Lew’s preferences. In any case, my point that both intervention and non-intervention can have a fall out is not a simple expression of my preference.

Predrag March 20, 2011 at 12:53 am

Maybe his article was but mine wasn’t. For something to be qualified as fallout, if first needs to be evaluated, which implies preference.

Predrag March 20, 2011 at 1:08 pm

Maybe his article was but mine wasn’t. For something to be qualified as fallout, it* first needs to be evaluated, which implies preference.

[*] Correction.

Abhilash Nambiar March 20, 2011 at 1:12 pm

And the preference is for liberty. That is what everyone on this thread seems to prefer, unsurprisingly.The question of fallout can be comfortably evaluated from that viewpoint.

Predrag March 20, 2011 at 1:25 pm

This is where it may be useful to define liberty. An ethical principle under which anything you do could be evaluated as wrong contradicts the purpose of an ethical principle.

Abhilash Nambiar March 20, 2011 at 1:46 pm

An ethical principle under which anything you do could be evaluated as wrong contradicts the purpose of an ethical principle.

The ethical principle recognizes that people have to use their own sense of judgement to evaluate situations. Which means someone can always evaluate what you or I do as wrong based on his or her understanding. That is perfectly normal.

Libertarian ethics does not dictate what the purpose of individuals ought to be. It does not require people to have capacity for perfect judgment, nor does it require people to have perfect information.

It places only a single constraint on individuals; that property rights are not violated. That can be said to be the purpose of this ethical system, if you may – to ensure that property rights are not violated.

Predrag March 20, 2011 at 2:05 pm

The ethical principle recognizes that people have to use their own sense of judgement to evaluate situations. Which means someone can always evaluate what you or I do as wrong based on his or her understanding. That is perfectly normal.

Individual preferences and an ethical principle are not synonyms.

Abhilash Nambiar March 20, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Individual preferences and an ethical principle are not synonyms.

Of course they are not. Ethical principles provide a framework within which individual preferences can be understood. Which is what I tried to show. You seem to be trying to extract a single purpose for all individuals from libertarian ethics. It does not work that way. It works on an abstract level.

So some people think liberty is better safe-guarded through intervention, while others think liberty is better safe-guarded trough non-intervention. No one has perfect foresight, but hind-sight is always perfect. So time will tell who is right.

Predrag March 20, 2011 at 2:42 pm

Action X: Johnny puts a bomb in my back yard without my consent.

Please evaluate action X using an ethical principle of your choice.

So some people think liberty is better safe-guarded through intervention, while others think liberty is better safe-guarded trough non-intervention. No one has perfect foresight, but hind-sight is always perfect. So time will tell who is right.

This ethical principle could be described as pragmatism.

Abhilash Nambiar March 20, 2011 at 2:49 pm

Depends on what I am doing on my backyard. Am I accumulating RPGs and RPG launchers to attack Johnny’s home? If so then Johnny did right by putting a bomb in my back yard.

Pragmatism does have a legitimate role in the defense of liberty.

Predrag March 20, 2011 at 2:51 pm

I dont know Johnny and i grow organic cabbage in my back yard.

Abhilash Nambiar March 20, 2011 at 2:57 pm

Ok, in that case Johnny did wrong. But how exactly is that similar to Libya?

Predrag March 20, 2011 at 3:04 pm

There are many back yards with organic cabbage in Libya and many Johnnies going to Libya right now.

Abhilash Nambiar March 20, 2011 at 3:18 pm

You have seen the news, just like I. What exactly are the Johnnies bombing? And can you tell without reservation that they are doing this without consent?

Predrag March 20, 2011 at 10:15 pm

I might be able to tell but let us leave that aside for a moment. Instead, let us evaluate action Y using the same principle we used to evaluate action X.

Action Y: Johnny watches Saturday Night Live sitting on his couch in his living room.

Tom Puckett March 21, 2011 at 2:41 am

Abhilash
There is more to this issue than a simple difference of opinions regarding sympathies. There is an objective loss of human rights in any region where Sharia-based governance predominates. We see this in Iraq,Iran,Egypt,Saudi Arabia for example and for the most part the entire Middle East. The fall of western supported secular totalitarian governance in the region is being portrayed in the media as an end to USA hegemony in the region while ignoring the oppression that is sure to arise when a Muslim population surely votes to instill a more Shariah based government over its people.
Theocracy is totalitarian. Religious fascism will only benefit the few and leave the rest of the population just as hobbled socially and economically. Women will become more oppressed. Other religious groups will be exterminated or forced to flee because of non-compliance with the Koranic law. I would sadly submit that it may be better to have a dictator who oppresses a few than to have a religion that oppresses many.
If the world were really interested in advancing human rights and religious freedoms for everyone there would be pressure placed on Islamic countries to eliminate the obvious criminal acts from the religion and to guarantee individual rights and liberties to everyone in the region regardless of race, religion or sex. Western governments should work to help these countries support leaders that would advance this will instead of the current crop of psychotic yes men. My personal feeling is that if USA lives are being lost in the improvement of these cultures we should not be supporting theocracies that hate America and reject the liberties and freedoms our troops are dying to give them.
Doing nothing in the Mideast means that an emboldened Shariah based system of governance will dominate the region. When that happens and all these countries share the same political will do you really think that they will cease to try and spread that will beyond their existing borders? Minus an Islamic reformation of sorts, the violence of Jihad will exacerbate with the expansion of Shariah law. History thus far has given no reason to doubt this. So objectively, I believe that the intervention of the USA in the Middle East is saving more lives than an expanded Shariah state would. How do we do a better job? As I said before support leaders that advance the cause of liberty and freedom instead of politically expedient corporate puppets. Eventually this will lead to a genuine free market and individual rights for everyone, not just the religiously connected. A better cause for the lives lost than expansion of states that simply use the sacrifice of the USA to advance more totalitarian governments religious or otherwise.

hayeksheroes March 19, 2011 at 4:08 pm

Predrag, your point is well taken. We should not be searching the world for conflicts, picking a side and then intervening. However, you will have to admit there are situations that may justify intervention.
One of those situation is when a country’s people protest their government and the government brutally suppresses the demonstrations as in Libya. Another situation is when country A invades country B to enslave the people and take their natural resources as in Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. The third situation is where country A employs terrorists to terrorizes country B and yet claim no responsibility. Example is Somalia and Afghanistan.

Abhilash Nambiar March 19, 2011 at 4:25 pm

@hayeksheroes

It may interest you and people in this forum to know that Murray Rothbard, the great anarcho-capitalistic libertarian highly respected by people of the LvMI and in these forums did consider the Indian war of 1971 for the liberation of Bangladesh to be a just war. That Rothbard could consider any war to be just is in itself surprising, even he did not paint all wars with a single broad brush. It is in his book ‘For a New Liberty’.

Why do I say this? Just to reinforce my case that protesting intervention is not always the most ethical stand.

Dan March 19, 2011 at 5:02 pm

You say it as an appeal to authority, as if Rothbard couldn’t be wrong.

Abhilash Nambiar March 19, 2011 at 5:10 pm

@Dan

It is not an appeal to authority. You can be easily forgiven for mistaking it to be. It is just that Rothbard is highly respected in this circles, which means there is food for thought.

Dan March 19, 2011 at 7:03 pm

Your point about the Indian war is a restatement of your point of which this entire discussion is about and it doesn’t help us understand that point any further. So why did you bring it up if not to appeal to authority?

Abhilash Nambiar March 19, 2011 at 7:12 pm

Like I already said, food for thought.

Dan March 19, 2011 at 7:14 pm

Lol. Okay.

Walt D. March 18, 2011 at 11:49 pm

Here is the problem with Obama’s reasoning and this line of thinking:

Within days, whole parts of the country declared their independence from a brutal regime, and members of the government serving in “Country” and abroad chose to align themselves with the forces of change. “Dictator” clearly lost the confidence of his own people and the legitimacy to lead.

Instead of respecting the rights of his own people, “Dictator” chose the path of brutal suppression. Innocent civilians were beaten, imprisoned, and in some cases killed. Peaceful protests were forcefully put down. Hospitals were attacked and patients disappeared. A campaign of intimidation and repression began.

In the face of this injustice, the United States and the international community moved swiftly. Sanctions were put in place by the United States and our allies and partners. The U.N. Security Council imposed further sanctions, an arms embargo, and the specter of international accountability for “Dictator” and those around him. Humanitarian assistance was positioned on “Country”’s borders, and those displaced by the violence received our help. Ample warning was given that “Dictator” needed to stop his campaign of repression, or be held accountable.

Now insert your country from
A) Yemen
B) Saudi Arabia
C) Bahrain
D) Libya
with the appropriate choice for Brutal Dictator or Brutal Dictatorial Regime.

hayeksheroes March 19, 2011 at 9:48 am

It looks like we got a lot of work to do. We’ve put off political reform in these countries for decades. As Rev Wright says, the chickens come home to roost. For the first time, we have a chance to radically change the regimes in the Middle East but not from the outside but from the inside by the people of the Middle East. If we only had a strategy?

newson March 20, 2011 at 2:13 am

but there is a strategy, and it’s working fine!
http://www.rense.com/general58/decades.htm

R Lee March 20, 2011 at 10:32 pm

Who the hell is the “we?” Are you a citizen of all those countries, and if you aren’t why are you talking “we” trash? “We” who want to live peacefully in our own country and not go screwing around with other people are really sick of supporting wars in which we have no interest.

babybell March 19, 2011 at 8:37 pm

B) Saudi Arabia!!!

AM I RIGHT?

Troy Doering March 19, 2011 at 12:01 am

The Middle East is at a Cusp. What happens there in the next few years will shape not only their future, But the rest of the Worlds too. I know people are fearful of War, terrorism , and the price of oil. while we cannot predict the outcome of the changes, We know that the status quo there has failed and created so many ills . I am not speaking of the people, or there beliefs, but rather there governments and leaders who have left there people to suffer in poverty. funded militant anti west sentiment, and stole any riches they could get there greedy little hands on.

The Anti-Gnostic March 21, 2011 at 12:33 pm

I am not speaking of the people, or there beliefs, but rather there governments and leaders who have left there people to suffer in poverty. funded militant anti west sentiment, and stole any riches they could get there greedy little hands on.

Don’t be a naive fool. The Middle East is the Middle East because of its people and their beliefs. The smart ones figured that out and left.

Peter March 19, 2011 at 1:38 am

LvMI: Is there Austrian literature available in Arabic? Not necessarily HA, but some shorter and more basic tracts in Arabic should be made available NOW…

R Lee March 19, 2011 at 3:51 am

Noting the warhawk spearheads have been Joe Lieberman and his echo John McCain should give a thoughtful person a clue of what this is all about, and it’s not oil. One might also ask who has profited from the wars we’re already involved in, who’ve profited from the shambles our economy is in, and who is leading the systematic genocide of the white race while they continue their long history of playing victim. There is an unspeakable outrage here alright, but it’s not in Libya.

newson March 19, 2011 at 7:27 am

sure, it’s galling to be betrayed by mccain jnr. (seed didn’t fall far from that tree), but there are rare moments of pleasure at watching him squirm on the hook.
http://is.gd/auRDhH

Abhilash Nambiar March 19, 2011 at 7:14 am

Sounds like a good idea. It is not like all the material needs to be translated to Arabic, just enough to catch the fancy of some well-educated reform minded persons from that part of the world who can make a difference.

Laurent March 19, 2011 at 12:24 pm

I’m surprised that none of you has asked why France wants all this.
France has a problem with too many Muslim immigrants who do not want to integrate with the French culture.
Quadaffi in the west of Libya is trying to expel rebels who are immigrants and refugees who have come into the east of Libya. If Quadaffi has success, France will end up with more Muslim refugees that she does not want.
I think Britain may think the same way.

Abhilash Nambiar March 19, 2011 at 12:31 pm

That does not seem like a very sinister motive to me. It is all well and good to accept people from failed societies into your midst, but then if they do not become contributing members of your society, you have just brought a problem far away, closer home. Better it is to use your power and influence (while you still can) to fix those broken societies so that the people there come to you not as thankless refugees or asylum seekers but as tourists, traders and the like.

Having said that, I think private firms have a better chance of fixing the problem than governments.

Dan March 19, 2011 at 3:02 pm

Abhilash,

If you want to take your body and other resources to Libya to help the people there, then go ahead and do so. After all, that’s not what we are arguing against. However, what we are arguing against is for the state to intervene in the matter.

If Costco Wholesale wants to donate food to the Libyans (assuming it’s okay with the shareholders), then I wouldn’t be against that. However, what I am against is for the USA government to send food.

If Baretta USA wants to donate firearms to the people in Libya, then I wouldn’t be against that. However, I am against the USA government sending firearms to Linba.

I hope I’ve cleared things up for you.

Abhilash Nambiar March 19, 2011 at 3:09 pm

This a copy paste from earlier on. You really should read all my responses.

Nevertheless right now there is no such private agencies ready and capable to fill the void. Or if there are, they operate within legal frameworks set by governments. If there where, they would be helping the rebels and no one would be crying for help. Maybe the intervention will not properly work and that will open up the space for private agencies. And now I add, or maybe it won’t.

Dan March 19, 2011 at 3:12 pm

You act as if the USA government (or any other government) would do so for humanitarian reasons. For all we know, this is a CIA coup.

Abhilash Nambiar March 19, 2011 at 3:13 pm

You have not read any of my earlier posts.

Dan March 19, 2011 at 7:13 pm

I’ve read your earlier comments and it is clear that you advocate statism as lesser-of-two-weevils option or a second-best option.

The Fresh Prince of Darkness March 19, 2011 at 12:42 pm

I agree with Abhilash on this point here. Perhaps Laurent has not expressed himself clearly enough, but there is nothing wrong with any Western country not wanting more Muslim immigration, given the track record of assimilation (ie, it’s been an utter failure). At any rate, the real problem here is the French govt not simply standing up to world liberal opinion (and we all know who that is) on this issue and saying “no more Muslim immigration.”

Ultimately this whole discussion is pretty pointless; the only reason the Western govts are talking about intervention now is that Qaddafi is on the verge of victory, so the West wants to give an impression that they at least tried something before the smoke clears. Plainly these govts are basically satisfied with the status quo in Libya. Nothing more is going to come of this.

Peter March 19, 2011 at 10:00 pm

Gaddafi on the verge of victory? He was done for weeks ago; it was always just a matter of time.

newson March 20, 2011 at 9:55 am

sarkosy feels le pen’s hot breath on his neck and is toughening up both rhetoric and deed to see off the challenge.
http://is.gd/Nosqh0

Dan March 19, 2011 at 2:54 pm

Abhilash,

You want the states of the world to intervene in Libya using stolen resources but you don’t want to accept the Libyans into your country? Would you have done the same to the Jews fleeing Nazi Germany?

Abhilash Nambiar March 19, 2011 at 2:58 pm

I said opposing intervention is ethically questionable and restriction of large scale immigration is understandable. I did not say anything about what I personally want done. I do not see how it matters since I am not in control. I do not know what Nazi Germany has to do with any of this.

Dan March 19, 2011 at 3:06 pm

I suggest you read about teh Nazi persecution of Jews. Many European countries and the USA allowed Jews who fleeing the Nazis to enter their countries. I see this as a parallel for any Libyans trying to flee Libya by entering another country.

Abhilash Nambiar March 19, 2011 at 3:12 pm

If you read history you will know that many more where turned back than where allowed in. Nation-states do not like to import problems of failed nation-states.

Dan March 19, 2011 at 7:08 pm

Yes, and those who stayed in Nazi Germany were killed or put in concentration camps. So much for helping out the Jews.

I ask you this: Do you call for the government of the country in which you live to halt any immigration of Libyan refugees into said country?

Abhilash Nambiar March 19, 2011 at 7:34 pm

The way I hope to see things is that, the Libyans are in Libya trying to solve their problems and people elsewhere are doing what they can to help. I think that is how they like it too. You cannot solve the problem by perpetuating a refugee crisis. You just spread it out.

The Fresh Prince of Darkness March 19, 2011 at 9:13 pm
The Fresh Prince of Darkness March 19, 2011 at 3:31 pm

How about fleeing to Israel? Should they go there?

newson March 20, 2011 at 11:19 pm
Hashem March 19, 2011 at 4:07 pm

Only an ignorant or lunatic or both compares Obama administration with a dictatorship so brutally criminal and corrupt as Ghadafi’s and his sons who own the country’s riches as if it was a ranch of their own.
Mr…. I am sure you would give a hand to a complete stranger fallen helpless man or woman in the street in need of protection or help. Or I hope so. This is the case with the Libyan people today, the majority.

NotSwedish March 19, 2011 at 5:02 pm

Oh come on, it is not that easy to decide whether this intervention is legitimate or not.

Gaddafis army is killing civilians en masse! The LVMI seem to be too us-centric (“no we should not support intervention, because we are us-americans and that is a foreign country”). Since when do users here adopt statist thinking?

R Lee March 19, 2011 at 6:11 pm

I hope Americans will understand that once again, the puppet masters have had their way. Remember that at the grocery store and the gas pump; the job no longer there, the alien culture shoved down your throat, and the freedoms lost a faded memory.

NotSwedish March 19, 2011 at 6:29 pm

Whats that? Nationalist propaganda? Your statements sound as if foreigners are the root of all evil???

kumbaya March 19, 2011 at 7:10 pm

there’s no such thing as foreigners. we’re all brothers. enroll in some social science course post-haste before your mental pollution spills over into the environment. esperanto will surely help remedy your pathology.

R Lee March 19, 2011 at 7:48 pm

I had four years of social science, thank you, and I’m very well aware of what a crock it is.

R Lee March 19, 2011 at 7:51 pm

I had four years of social science, thank you, and I’m fully aware of what a crock it is. I suggest you dump yours and get a clean fresh breath of reality. The old stuff has gotten a really bad odor.

The Fresh Prince of Darkness March 19, 2011 at 9:10 pm

“there’s no such thing as foreigners.”

Right, and there’s no such thing as family, either.

R Lee March 19, 2011 at 7:45 pm

What? You’re trying to turn what I said into anti-white propaganda?

kumbaya March 20, 2011 at 1:58 am

relax. i was just winding up non-swedish, who’s clearly got no nationality.

Walt D. March 20, 2011 at 12:18 am

If you see any of the following code words “liberty, freedom, dictator, morality, just cause’” chances are it is not legitimate. We are getting the same phony BS bellicose rhetoric from Obama that we got from Bush – are the using the same K-Street propaganda firm? There are always unintended consequences. When are going to learn to butt out?

newson March 20, 2011 at 6:11 am
Walt D. March 20, 2011 at 2:49 pm

newson;
Can you check this out?
http://rt.com/news/libya-oil-gaddafi-arab/

Walt D. March 20, 2011 at 2:16 pm

BTW I forgot to mention the Grand Daddy of them all “Democracy”.

newson March 20, 2011 at 6:55 pm

i think oil is important, but strategically not the reason behind the us intervention, any more than it was in toppling saddam hussein. sniegoski analyzes the pnac vision for the gulf here.
http://is.gd/czCX81

Philemon March 19, 2011 at 6:27 pm

Anything I might say has been expressed far more eloquently by Smedley Butler in War is a Racket and by Tom Lehrer in his song “Send the Marines”:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93n-EmGknEU&feature=related

Aiden Gregg March 20, 2011 at 5:57 am

I would like to make two small points.

First, I would like to commend Abhilash Nambiar on his patience and coolness of his argumentation. I am not saying that his case is necessarily sound. However, I am saying that the manner in which he makes his case is exemplary.

Second, I completely agree with Lew that, in general, US military intervention has a history of venal intent and sordid failure. However, it’s just possible that, in this instance, such intervention may actually *work*–or at least, not necessarily be attended by all the negative consequences that Lew predicts. For example, the US — by attacking Gadafi and assisting a popular reform movement — may not impair its perceived standing in the eyes of many arabs, but may instead improve it, even justifiably, by helping to topple an unquestionably evil regime. Furthermore, if the US only assists, then indigenous rebels may still be able to credibly claim any new political as their own, and the political change need not be seen as illegitimate.

Again, there is no need to emphasize the US’s bad track foreign policy record, or the unpredictable nature of war, or the illegitimate funding of war via coercive taxation, or the fact that the US is broke: I accept all that.

But: if it is justifiable for X to use defensive aggression again Y when Y viciously attacks X, then it is in principle justifiable–albeit not obligatory–for Z to assist X in defending against Y. Of course, if Z steals money to assist, or is out of money to assist, then this undermines the legitimacy of assisting. However, if a great good is done, or a great evil avoided, by assisting, then one might at least oppose the assistance less strenuously.

R Lee March 20, 2011 at 6:36 am

And so it goes on and on as it has for a century to our great detriment. We’re already hearing the big lie about our “limited involvement”, just as we heard about Iraq and Afghanistan. Does common sense tell you that could possibly be true? Will we ever learn anything from experience? In my opinion these globalist criminals need a heavy dose of the medicine they pretend to be so fond of. The U.N. needs to be treated like the toxic waste it is and buried Chernobyl style. And our great friends Britain and France, who are always at the forefront egging on our involvement in every war, should be considered among our worst enemies and boycotted in every possible way.

newson March 20, 2011 at 8:57 am

the riff: this time is different. neocons certainly have chutzpah.

Franklin March 20, 2011 at 8:47 am

“…justifiably, by helping to topple an unquestionably evil regime…”

The same logic can be applied to Iraq’s Saddam and sons, and the horrifying murder of their “subects.”
And the same can be applied to Afghanistan’s Taliban and the despicable violence and repression it poses, as well.
And then the US can continue thoughout the East, Africa, South America…..

Freedom Fighter March 20, 2011 at 11:01 am

Why not and they have the means to do so militarily, it’s just that it’s very complicated politically.

Franklin March 20, 2011 at 11:27 am

If they have the means to do so militarily, why is Iraq still a bloody mess (not just Iraqui blood), not completed, more volatile than ever, and Afghanistan in the same situation?

Further, it’s not very complicated politically, at all — it’s standard operational procedure.
The war machine is employed to support the special interests who profit from the war.
If you believe it’s because some poor goat herder sent a personal communique to Obama about his family’s repression, then there’s no hope.

Aiden Gregg March 20, 2011 at 9:39 am

I am not arguing for the current military action here. I don’t personally support it. What I am suggesting is that, in this instance, it’s *possible* (not likely: possible) it may have some mitigating benefits, and that it may not entail *all* the negative consequences Lew predicts (even if it is likely to entail some of them).

Having said that, BBC News 24 is reporting that the Arab League are now complaining about the US’s *manner* of intervention. Too much firepower, apparently. So no propaganda victory yet, or maybe ever.

I guess we’ll see how limited or unlimited the intervention will be. I predict will be much a more limited than it was in Iraq and Afganistan. There is little domestic political appetite for a protracted conflict, nor is there much money to fund one.

I may yet update my 99% cynicism about state military intervention to 100%.

Freedom Fighter March 20, 2011 at 10:23 am

I say yes to the Libyan intervention. We must unite in solidarity against tyranny and massacres all around the world. I am proud that NATO finally did something and did intervene.

We must show the tyrants of the world that they have company and they had better behave themselves.

I don’t share the isolationist policies of Ron Paul, we must form strong alliances and stand united. That’s the first thing that I was taught in the army, that unity means strength and division means defeat.

I am soon going to join the navy as an electronics technician and I am absolutely proud of NATO for cracking down on Gadhaffi’s violences. It makes me want to serve even more and give all that I can give.

R Lee March 20, 2011 at 11:51 am

Then there’s only one I’d ask of you, “Freedom Fighter”: Start here.

The Fresh Prince of Darkness March 20, 2011 at 9:19 pm

“Freedom Fighter,” here is a proper sendoff as you begin your new career:

I’m not too exercised by the Ground Zero Mosque in particular, but I do have an answer for the liberals and other establishmentarians who impatiently ask opponents of the project how far away from Ground Zero the thing should be built. My thought is, at least three thousand miles.

That’s because as a white Westerner I wish to live in a civilization as little influenced by Mohammedanism as possible.

………..

If the West were still as free as it once was, with the freedom of association largely intact, Westerners could effectively shun and ostracize radically alien cultural influences such as those represented by the Ground Zero Mosque. Westerners could refuse to sell property to Mohammedans and refuse to cooperate with them in any way. If Western cultural morale were still vigorous, Westerners would be far more likely to do exactly that. [Nicholas Strakon]

P.S. Veteran readers of TLD wouldn’t be surprised to see me also answer “at least three thousand miles” if anyone were to ask me how far the military of the U.S. Empire should stay away from Mohammedan countries.
For that matter, I’d like to see the legions stay at least three thousand miles away from our own country.

courtesy of The Last Ditch

http://www.thornwalker.com/ditch/

(Sep10 Stop and Think archive)

Fight your heart out, comrade, and please: stay there.

hayeksheroes March 20, 2011 at 12:57 pm

The issue is not with intervention. It is with our expectations of the intervention. If we are to overthrow a tyrant so be it. Then we should leave. If we have the expectations that we are to nation build and create good democratic capitalistic citizens, then we are only kidding ourselves.

Abhilash Nambiar March 20, 2011 at 1:00 pm

I wish it was that simple. Remember what happened in Afghanistan where the US government assisted in bringing about the downfall of the communists, but did not stay long enough to assist in the nation building efforts? No nation ever got built and worse. Please do not confuse the nation here with the nation-state.

hayeksheroes March 20, 2011 at 1:15 pm

I think the US and other powers are justified to intervene into conflicts to protect civilians or prevent senseless slaughter. Rwanda and Sudan are two examples where the West failed to act and millions were killed.

What happens after the intervention is entirely up to the people of those countries. Another brutal dictator could come to power in Libya or in Egypt. He could oppress the people. I think that if we give the people a chance to form something better, than that is all we can really expect. Ultimately, the type of government will be up to the free will of the people of that society.

In Afghanistan, we have helped establish a “democratic” government in Karzai. We should now leave. Because it is the responsibility of the Afghan people to either make the government more democratic or less democratic.

The only thing that troubles me about Afghanistan and Iraq is Iran. Iran will do all it can to disrupt the democratic process and thwart the will of the people of those countries. If that influence did not exist, then I would surely remove our liberators at this time.

Abhilash Nambiar March 20, 2011 at 1:25 pm

Brutal dictators seldom remain a menace just to their own people. Soon they become a menace to their neighbors and then to the rest of the world. The reason being that they are incapable of developing prosperous societies. There will always be a shortage of essential resources in their countries. War is one way to distract his own people from his shortcomings. Besides a military victory can bring him war booty that he can use. Having an unproductive society, he cannot count on looting his people for long, as there is soon very little to loot.
Why I am telling this is that, brutal dictators are everyone’s problem.

hayeksheroes March 20, 2011 at 1:33 pm

“Why I am telling this is that, brutal dictators are everyone’s problem.”
I could not agree more. Although many on this site would disagree. I wish we lived in a vacuum. Rothbard talks about invasive action and noninvasive action. Yes, the world would be better off if every country engaged in non invasive action, such as gifts and voluntary exchange. Unfortunately, there are those on the Macro Level, like Gadaffi, who engage in invasive action, war, murder, assault, robbery and slavery, to achieve wealth and power. We seem to be OK on a micro level to say ok, we need a legal system. We need a night watchman. But on a Macro or international level, we have the Rockwells who are against stopping invasive action. I can’t comprehend why they separate the two.

Abhilash Nambiar March 20, 2011 at 1:59 pm

The trouble is, we still live in a world where war is not yet obsolete. As long as people anywhere in the world believe that problems can be solved using wars, there exists the necessity of developing bigger better and more capable military infrastructure to meet the threat they pose.

R Lee March 20, 2011 at 2:10 pm

To sit in this country and condemn other countries for invading other countries is hypocrisy on an almost unimaginable grand scale. And still more so when trying to make a case for invasions.

newson March 20, 2011 at 6:56 pm
newson March 23, 2011 at 2:19 am

to hayeksheroes:
here are some other role models for you.
http://is.gd/A67mrw

newson March 21, 2011 at 8:38 pm

hayeksheroes shows the real objective that neocons have in enmeshing the us and pals in libya, viz. to engage iran militarily. cui bono?

Dagnytg March 22, 2011 at 4:11 am

newson,

Have you noticed? It seems like the libertarian quality of mises.org (at least on these Middle East issues) has hit a low point.

There is an epidemic of self-denial to basic libertarian principles.

In one week, I have had more negative comments (and words no one has ever used) than in the two or so years I’ve been commenting. Let’s see…stupid, clueless, bigot, and straw man . (By the way, all four of these guys are currently commenting on this thread.)

But the thing that is so disillusioning is mises.org is a site about learning Austrian economics and Libertarian values. It’s apparent that these guys and others are not interested in learning anything. Their sole purpose is to preach and to take up space.

If they had any self-respect they would just leave. There are plenty of neo-con and conservative sites from which they can revel in their ignorance. (A yahoo message board might be more to their liking.)

So, if those of you commenting on this thread (and others) wish to understand libertarian values as presented by Rand, Rothbard, Mises and many others…then please stay.

The rest of you…go!

newson March 22, 2011 at 7:44 pm

here’s something for full-blooded interventionists to enjoy:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2mzhcgq0AU

Abhilash Nambiar March 22, 2011 at 7:09 am

Does your position not seem a bit Orwellian. Opposing the intervention to stop a man who acts in a manner perfectly inconsistent with principles you hold dear? I thought libertarians understood about trade and consequently trade off. I would swap Gaddafi for Obama any day, any time. Even if you have ideological differences with the current administration, as many people here do, can’t you at least during some instances make peace under the notion of ‘my enemy’s enemy is my friend.’?

Would you do it if you think it helps creates the circumstances that permit what you value to flourish? aka liberty. And what better facilitates free trade than liberty?

Franklin March 22, 2011 at 8:42 pm

The enemy of my enemy is…. the enemy of my enemy.
And that’s all.

Dagnytg March 23, 2011 at 3:05 am

Abhilash,

Your comment perfectly illustrates what I’m talking about. You have no clue or are in self-denial of libertarian principles.

Trade is voluntary…coercion by the state in all its manifestations (i.e. your so called trade-off) is not.

The trade-off you speak of is the desire to give liberty to some while denying it to others. There is no trade-off in libertarianism.

The mistake you make is assuming that liberty is an omniscient value to be embraced at any cost. It’s not…it’s an outcome. It’s an outcome produced from libertarian principles (property rights/non-aggression). To violate those principles (via your trade-off) does not produce liberty for all…but a perverse and contorted version for some at the expense of others. And that is not liberty… it is slavery.

All of you on this thread supporting state intervention refuse to see the contradiction. Those of you who know better…shame on you.

By the way…

Libertarians are not opposed to intervention…we are opposed to the state intervening. So, Abhilash…if you, hayeksheroes, and others wish to volunteer and go to Libya to defend the Libyans…by all means, you’re within your libertarian rights to do so. I wish you the best of luck.

But you have no right to pave the streets of Tripoli with blood from the American war machine via American taxes (i.e. stolen money).

Another contradiction many of you refuse to see.

Abhilash Nambiar March 23, 2011 at 6:32 am

The trade-off you speak of is the desire to give liberty to some while denying it to others.

Not exactly, just anything that will improve the existing situation although it may not result in full fledged liberty, it is better than a one man brutal dictator.

Libertarians are not opposed to intervention…we are opposed to the state intervening.

Which in practice means no intervention at all, which means Gaddafi stays. Which is what you do not seem to mind. Libertarians ending up giving de-facto support for dictatorship.

But you have no right to pave the streets of Tripoli with blood from the American war machine via American taxes (i.e. stolen money).

I am not. I am just commenting on events as they unfold and how best to take advantage of them to fulfill a certain political (libertarian) agenda. The situation is not of my making. It has its own dynamics. But I (and you) can impact it for the better. Which I do not see happening if Gaddafi stays.

Predrag March 24, 2011 at 1:38 pm

You are using a mix of utilitarian and pragmatist ethics.

Abhilash Nambiar March 24, 2011 at 2:21 pm

Utilitarianism and pragmatism need not be separate from the concept of liberty. There is no logical reason that they should be.

Predrag March 25, 2011 at 6:45 am

There is no logical reason to separate utilitarianism and pragmatism from any end you choose as the higher end. But, using liberty as the higher end does not change the fact that you are using a theory of justice in which the future desired ends justify the current means used. The problems with this approach is that (1) ends are subjective and (2) it is not clear whether liberty has any role in evaluating how the chosen means conform to its principles in the present.

Abhilash Nambiar March 25, 2011 at 7:43 am

But, using liberty as the higher end does not change the fact that you are using a theory of justice in which the future desired ends justify the current means used.

Of the future no one knows about. It is in the present that Gaddafi committed mass slaughter to stay in power. Any basic understanding of him is sufficient to know that he will continue in that direction, given half a chance. Stopping him is better for liberty than otherwise. So opposing intervention is wrong.

(1) ends are subjective and (2) it is not clear whether liberty has any role in evaluating how the chosen means conform to its principles in the present.

It is true that ends are subjective. However it almost goes without saying that in this forum, liberty is the preferred end. Which means opposing those that oppose Gaddafi makes no sense.

Liberty may have had no place in evaluating the means means chosen, to me it is just a given. But considering that the end preferred by libertarians is liberty, it is up to libertarians to ensure whatever means anyone chooses helps better facilitate the cause liberty. Which I do not see happening if intervention is opposed.

Predrag March 25, 2011 at 9:09 am

I don’t think you are getting my point.

Abhilash Nambiar March 25, 2011 at 11:50 am

I very specifically quoted your points and addressed them, even agreeing with them partially. Stil you think I do not understand them?

Predrag March 25, 2011 at 12:03 pm

Yes.

Walt D. March 22, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Perhaps the best reason for Obama to go to war is that it might help him get re-elected. After all, this did work for George Bush.

Smith March 23, 2011 at 12:03 pm

I do not like dictatorship but it is not right that “You can not kill your own people, let me or us kill your people”

newson April 3, 2011 at 10:50 pm

bernard-henri lévy is taking credit for talking sarkozi into intervening militarily. nice to see such candour.
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/02/world/africa/02levy.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1
http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,753797,00.html

obligations exceed rights…yeah, sure.

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