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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/8356/provoking-war/

Provoking War

July 31, 2008 by

Most people, despite their aversion for war, are not pacifists. If they have been attacked, they will fight back; and, once battle is joined, matters usually get out of hand. This gives the political leaders their opportunity. They have only to provoke an enemy into an attack. By doing so, they will be able to rally their nation to “defend” against an assault they have themselves instigated. FULL ARTICLE


Jacob July 31, 2008 at 9:00 am

Then who is responsible for the provocation resulting in 9/11? What was the pathway toward provocation – who did what, when to guide the provocation to the end result? We know the beneficiaries – the Middle Eastern oil producers and the OPEC cartel from the run up in oil and gas prices, the oil and gas companies from the higher prices resulting in the run up in prices due to the war, defense contractors, Haliburton, Bechtel and others receiving no-bid contracts, the military who always gain more power during war, the government generally as people grant government more power to win the war against terrorism. But who actually provoked this attack?

TLWP Sam July 31, 2008 at 10:14 am

So the moral of this story? The U.S.A. is wrong. Apparently the Japanese of 1935-1945 were the same nice guys who give all manner of hi-tech gadgetry – just ask the Chinese.

Keith July 31, 2008 at 11:58 am

All very interesting, but unfortunately this avenue of argument often ends up leading to at least partly defending slavery or fascism or some other real evil, which makes the argument very easy to discount (which the people that use these tactics are probably depending on).

Abhilash Nambiar July 31, 2008 at 1:11 pm

Yes arguments like these have a tendency to partly defend fascism and slavery. There is an underlying implication that challenging and destroying social and political institutions that threaten the cause of freedom is acceptable in the name of their ‘freedom’. Which is absurd because the societies that where challenged where ones without adequate civil liberties. So what they never had, they can never lose.

Of particular interest to me is the re-branding of the Civil War as the Southern War of Independence.

The people at the Mises Institute have given more than adequate account of their position on Lincoln. And maybe Lincoln does not deserve cult status that he currently enjoys.

But that does not excuse slavery, nor am I claiming anyone says it does. The war of secession from 1861 – 1865 cannot be called a Civil War because the confederates where not challenging Washington, they wanted to secede from it. So that term is misleading as a Civil War implies struggle between two powers over the authority of a single nation.

But to call it the Southern War for independence is equally misleading. It cannot be a war for Southern Independence because a significant population of Southerners where not Independent. There where slaves and had no say on the political process and therefore not independent. Had the Southern States won the war they would have remained slaves, so the South could not have been politically independent. In fact the South would have never been independent.

If the Union won (and they did), then too the South would loose political independence but in a different way. In other words the 1861 War of Secession was a lose-lose situation for the South. It would just be a different interest group that will be complaining today, and that too in a different country that is all.

Abhilash Nambiar July 31, 2008 at 1:15 pm


Abhilash Nambiar
There is an underlying implication that challenging and destroying social and political institutions that threaten the cause of freedom is acceptable in the name of their ‘freedom’.

Ouch!! I meant to say “There is an underlying implication that challenging and destroying social and political institutions that threaten the cause of freedom is unacceptable in the name of their ‘freedom’.”

More proof reading required.

C. Evans July 31, 2008 at 2:17 pm

The issue of slavery in this country illustrates the intractable nature of humanity. Many have criticized the colonial period for the hypocrisy of arguing for freedom while keeping slaves. Even some British commentators brought up this point, questioning the motives of the colonists who claimed they wanted freedom but still wished to retain slaves. The philosophical problem is that while man may wish to be free to pursue his own interests, he still wishes to use coercion to force others to pursue his own interests. “Freedom for me, not for thee.” The South had very good reasons to secede, reasons similar to the American Revolutionaries. But very few people can tolerate expanding freedom to all individuals. Whites during this period regarded blacks as inherently inferior which eased their consciences regarding slavery. Even though many Northern States has abolished slavery, these States, such as Illinois, wrote harsh laws in their constitutions so hostile to blacks, slavery seemed like a better option. While we should continue to condemn slavery in the South during the War Between the States as well in the colonies during the American Revolution, we should not be so blind as to ignore the good arguments for freedom found in both seceding areas. Rather we should strive to advance these concepts of freedom to all who want liberty without the use of aggression.

josh m July 31, 2008 at 4:30 pm

That’s the best explanation of what was behind the Ft. Sumter incident I’ve read. Thanks.

Also, I’m glad to see the recognition that many Southerners may have believed that slavery was threatened, imagined or irrational as that likely was. Of course the forcible shift of resources from South to North was driving the conflict, but nevertheless, an imagined threat to slavery may have been a proximate cause. Is that a fair statement?

Eric July 31, 2008 at 7:50 pm


To understand the events leading up to 9/11 which led to some accurate predictions of war, you should read this book by Richard Maybury. It was written prior to 9/11 so you can check out Maybury’s crystal ball clarity. He all but wrote how they would do it.


In his chapter on Iran, he recommends reading a book called “The enemy within” which begins with a terrorist action that to this day, I’m surprised we have not seen played out (hijack gasoline tankers and blow them up). Here’s a quote,

“Bond offers a stunning insight. In the 1990′s the Bush-Clinton arms embargo against Moslems in the Balkans got a lot of innocent Moslem men, women and children killed by the better-armed Serbs. Let me emphasize, children, Killed. The embargo created for America a lot more ‘terrorist’ enemies.”

This was written before 9/11. At that time Americans were more concerned about Bill’s sexual peccadillo’s than the deaths of Moslem children. This was one of the reasons given by Bin-Laden for declaring war on the US government – the deaths of Iraqi children.

Maybury is amazingly prophetic. He spoke about $100 a barrel oil, when it was still selling in the $20 range. His recent prediction was for $300 oil. He made that prediction about a year ago. Sound improbable? Well, he’s been right up to this point.

He says, “The plot of Bond’s book is not just plausible, it’s probable. For 23 centuries, Europeans and Iranians have hated each other. In the 1950′s the US government stepped in for the Europeans. Political power corrupts both the morals and the judgment.

Nothing is likely to affect oil prices as much as the ongoing war between Iran and the White House”.

In this emphasis on Iran, it appears that Maybury was about 10 years ahead of history. Investors that listened to him 10 years ago would have made out quite well as he was talking about gold and silver when others certain that the “new economy” and the dot com craze were solid financial wisdom.

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Greg August 1, 2008 at 1:28 pm

Jacob and Eric,

There have been some interesting theories advanced about the fall of the twin towers. I am an engineer and do understand some of the physics involved and the idea that these two tiny airliners could bring down these massive structures is simply preposterous.

If you watch the collapse carefully frame by frame there does seem to be evidence of cascading explosive charges (small puffs of Smoke) immediately before each of the floors collapse. It also seems to be a near textbook demolition that tends to limit collateral damage.

I have read but cannot verify that there was a ‘maintenance’ crew that had full access to the structures the weekend before the collapse. If the high jacking plan had been revealed in advance there may have been additional steps taken by certain interests to ensure that a spectacular demonstration ensued. Other theories indicate the planes were remotely controlled and Middle Eastern ‘terrorists’ had nothing to do with it.

Of course, these ‘conspiracies theories’ are a dime a dozen. The evidence that the government knew about Pearl Harbor and still allowed it to happen now seems to be incontrovertible. Perhaps 50 years from now we will know more about 9/11.

That fact that our government has done this sort of thing before does raise some doubts. The biggest argument against government involvement in the destruction of 9/11 is how such a big operation could have been maintained so long without any leaks. They can’t even seem to keep the identities of top secret agents secret, but then that information appears to have been leaked on purpose.

I find the attack on the Pentagon even more disturbing. Careful review of the footage on this doesn’t even reveal any plane. Was it totally obliterated? Why were all surrounding security cameras rounded up and that footage never released to the public?

Thanks to God that the vast majority of the American public are lemmings who will swallow any explanation the government provides it or we may have already degenerated to ‘mobs rule’.

Stanley Pinchak August 1, 2008 at 8:18 pm

With regards to the war of Southern Secession and all armed conflicts, the libertarian should side with party looking to devolve power away from the centralized state, other things being equal. In the particular war in question, both sides had grievous flaws in terms of upholding libertarian principles, but only the South was looking to reduce the scope and size of the centralized government. If they had achieved this, further libertarian reforms would be more easily achieved. Instead we ended up with the Leviathan.

As for the 911 report, I received an email from a trusted associate who is a mechanical engineer and has performed research in fluid dynamics, including pyro-clastic flows. The email contained a link to a rather intriguing web site.


At the very least, I think that the commission should be reopened and the evidence marshaled on that website be investigated. It appears that the requests under FOIA are being stifled for no logical reason other than to hide the culpability of Washington insiders.

cavalier973 December 13, 2008 at 4:05 pm

If the so-called American Civil War cannot be rightly referred to as the War for Southern Independence, on the basis that the South owned slaves and therefore not all of the South would have been independent; then the so-called American Revolution likewise should not be referred to as a War for Independence. (And it’s also then not the “Declaration of Independence”, it’s the “Declaration of Separation”) It’s wasn’t really a revolution, either. Perhaps the War of American Secession from the British Empire?

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