is particularly galling, however, is that his article is not
only a lie, and a smear, it is also a brazenly dishonest attempt
to pass himself off as a follower of the late Murray N. Rothbard,
a radical libertarian social theorist, economist, and stalwart
opponent of our interventionist foreign policy. Which just
goes to show that nothing is sacred to a warmongering opportunist,
not even the memory of a man who Kantor once claimed was a
model for us in every way.
THAT GUY A MEDAL
am a libertarian," proclaims Kantor, and therefore "the
murderous aggression perpetrated this Tuesday by terrorists
incenses me." So whaddaya want, Myles, a medal? It damn
well incenses everyone who lives in this country, or
is a US citizen, because this means that the threat of terrorism
is very real far more real than it has ever been before.
It means we are all a target, warmongers and peace-mongers
alike. Is that really so hard to understand?
to both logic and common sense, Myles meanders on: "The
most bizarre response to the World Trade Center, Pentagon,
and Pennsylvania massacres is an attempt by some libertarians
to rationalize it as an entailment of American foreign policy."
He then quotes a section of my piece, "Terror:
The Price of Hegemony":
down along with this symbol of capitalism [the World Trade
Center], modernity, and civilization is the overweening hubris
of a government and a people who thought themselves
immune. It is the doctrine of 'American exceptionalism', the
theory that the US blessed by Providence and released from
the travails faced by other nations is immune, exempt not
only from the rules that govern and limit the powers of other
nations, but also from history itself. For history and
not only history but physics tells us that for every action
there is an equal and opposite reaction."
where is the "rationalization,"
i.e. justification, for a murderous act? I attempted to explain
the act, which is not the same as "rationalizing"
it. But such subtleties are dissipated in the war fever now
coursing through young Kantor's veins. To this born-again
superpatriot, clearly auditioning for the role of the neocons'
my view that the US is reaping the consequences of a cravenly
pro-Israel foreign policy is interpreted as follows:
foreign policy thus spawned the slaughter of September 11.
The perpetrators acted less out of autonomous choice than
as agents of historical inevitability who, Raimondo implies,
taught America a salutary lesson in humility."
The US? Hah! Even now, the US is making noises about
striking out at the alleged perpetrators without too much
regard for where or whom they hit. That this will merely confirm
the opinion of the Arab "street" that, for the US,
Arabs are less than human, doesn't seem to bother Kantor.
Nor does the likelihood that it will merely accelerate the
cycle of terrorism and retribution a cycle that could end
in a third world war.
so far this saber-ratting appears to be for domestic political
consumption only, since they have no idea who the enemy is
or where he is they just want to lash out and stage a display
of their coercive might for its own sake, to strike fear in
the hearts of their enemies. In the end, they may go with
option, not only bombing but maybe even launching an invasion
(with Russian support). If I were them, I wouldn't go there:
remember what the Afghanis did to the Red Army. In any case,
so what if a few hundred (or thousand) innocents are killed?
The US government's credibility is at stake, and so that is
a small price to pay isn't it, Myles?
the Palestinian militants, Osama
bin Laden, the Democratic
Front for the Liberation of Palestine, or whomever,
acted out of autonomous choice, but so what? What does
that have to do with explaining and analyzing their behavior
and tactics, as opposed to editorializing about it? Perhaps
Mr. Kantor, as an aspiring pundit, has mistaken my job for
his own. As a wannabee talking head, right up there with his
Horowitz and, say, Bill
Kristol, young Kantor has written reams of Internet columns
that are full of his opinions about everything. The evil Abe
Lincoln, the glorious Confederacy, the nastiness of Fidel
Castro's regime, but nothing on foreign policy until now.
The reason is that dealing with foreign policy issues requires
knowledge, and not just opinions: you can't just sit
down and rant for some 1,000-plus words on a subject like
the ins-and-outs of the Macedonian crisis. You need not only
a few facts, but also a value-free methodology, i.e. one that
starts out by evaluating cause-and-effect relationships and
then drawing the appropriate conclusions and making
MYLES KANTOR SCHOOL OF FALSIFICATION
notice that there are no specifics in Kantor's brief hit piece:
Israel is never even mentioned, even though it is the crux
of my article. Instead he lifts a single sentence from
Murray N. Rothbard's
a New Liberty that reiterates the nonaggression axiom
and goes on to cite Rothbard's views on war:
mass murder, and this massive invasion of the right to life,
of self-ownership, of numbers of people is not only a crime
but, for the libertarian, the ultimate crime."
then, it looks, from this, as if Kantor is going to come out
against the possibility of a US invasion of Afghanistan
but, uh, no, his ire is directed not at his government,
but at his fellow libertarians Harry and me, to wit:
mass murder perpetrated on September 11 is antithetical to
the libertarian creed, an act of war, and very much 'the ultimate
crime.' For a libertarian to soft-pedal it is obscene incoherence."
Myles, I have some hot news for you: whomever pulled off the
biggest terrorist act in US history is no libertarian. But
the nonaggression axiom cited by Kantor is not a pacifist
creed. Rothbard clearly believed that defensive violence is
justified and necessary (see The
Ethics of Liberty): he wrote a long essay on the concept
of what constitutes a just war, and certainly the Palestinian
war on Israeli settlers who are expropriating Arab land fits
into that category.
says nothing about the means the Palestinians are using
to advance their cause, but only points to the underlying
justice of the cause itself. The US has bombed Iraq on a quasi-daily
basis since the alleged "end" of the Gulf War. By
libertarian standards, they have the moral right to retaliate
but only with proportionate force, and only against those
who initiated the aggression. This does not include
the thousands of civilians who worked at the World Trade Center.
again, nobody said we were dealing with libertarians here.
to Kantor, by pointing out how the US government invited this
sort of terrorism by meddling in the affairs of other nations
and, in the process, committing a few "ultimate crimes"
of its own both Harry Browne and I go "far beyond
a sound opposition to the federal government's aggression"
abroad by attempting to "mitigate terrorists' accountability
for massacring thousands of Americans." But why isn't
the US government also accountable for its actions?
Is it because we aren't supposed to question our government
in wartime? Is it because the US is exempt from all such criticism
by its very nature?
TO STOP TERRORISM
is one and only one way to stop this sort of terrorism, and
that is to keep out of the affairs of other nations. We should
be neither pro-Israel, nor anti-Israel; neither pro-Albanian,
nor anti-Albanian; neither pro-Taiwan, nor anti-Taiwan. Our
foreign policy should consist of the following principle,
one handed down to us by the Founders: entangling
alliances with none, free trade with all. It is a foreign
policy that puts America first not Israel, not Kosovo,
not Taiwan, not "human rights," nor "democracy,"
but America's interests, narrowly conceived. Failing that,
we reap the whirlwind.
THIS BE TREASON
idea that in analyzing the Arab mindset I am justifying acts
of terrorism is a vicious smear, one that is, furthermore,
typical of the war-addled brain: I must pay ritual obeisance
to our glorious government, and denounce the Evil Enemy as
the epitome of all that is dastardly. Why, those miserable
ragheads, who would've thought they could have pulled off
such a spectacular feat, simultaneously hijacking four commercial
airliners to topple three of the biggest symbols of US preeminence?
Never mind analyzing and trying to understand their point
of view: let's just bomb the hell out 'em and be done with
it! This, in effect, is what Mr. Myles Macho and lots of
our hate mail is saying, and to them I say: you can go
to hell. That isn't the spirit of justice, or of the America
I love, and, if this be treason, then make the most of it.
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