The Greatest Blunder in British History

It was 70 years ago on March 31 when Great Britain committed the fatal blunder that led to World War II: issuing a war guarantee to Poland. This was the war, as Pat Buchanan says in his recent book, Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War, that “led to the slaughter of the Jews and tens of millions of Christians, the devastation of Europe, Stalinization of half the continent, the fall of China to Maoist madness, and half a century of Cold War.” Buchanan’s book is essential for understanding why World War II was so unnecessary.

So begins my article on The New American website. You can continue reading here.

Burt Blumert, RIP: A hero of the freedom movement

A dear friend died this morning.

Burt Blumert was not only an old and close personal friend, he was an important friend to Antiwar.com.

In 1999, when Antiwar.com started really taking off, Burt took us under his wing by making us a part of the nonprofit Center for Libertarian Studies, giving us the ability to substantially expand. I don’t think we would be even a shadow of what we are today without Burt.

I met Burt in 1975, during my early involvement with the Libertarian Party. Burt was well-known as a successful businessman and and a very successful fund-raiser for libertarian causes. He was a good friend and early promoter of Murray Rothbard, forming the Center for Libertarian Studies to publish his works. He was a good friend and advisor to Congressman Ron Paul, and served as Ron’s national finance chair in his 1988 run for the White House. Burt was also a very close friend of Lew Rockwell, and was the publisher of LewRockwell.com. Burt was a radical, antiwar and anti-state to the core.

Over the next 34 years, Burt was always there, helping me with both my political endeavors and my personal problems. He always had great advice, just the right connections, and a loose wallet to help with seed money. And Justin Raimondo told me he doesn’t think he’d be alive without Burt’s help.

Burt was one of the funniest men I ever met. He really missed a career as a stand-up comic. His material and timing were flawless. Last year, the Mises Institute published a collection of his essays, Bagels, Barry Bonds, & Rotten Politicians. I highly recommend it to anyone of any political stripe.

Burt recently retired from his successful coin dealership, Camino Coins. Only months after he retired, Burt was diagnosed with cancer. He spent the next year battling the cancer while still keeping active to the end. Just last month, Burt cooked me a delicious feast. The way he waited on me, you would have thought I was the sick one. Burt turned 80 a few weeks ago.

I will write further about Burt, and I know Justin will be writing about him. Check out Lew Rockwell’s thoughts on Burt, and David Gordon’s essay on his humor.

War Is a Racket: General Smedley Butler

I never heard the speech before, it is awesome and timeless. The actor does a great job, he even looks like Butler.

During his 34 years of Marine Corps service, Smedley Butler was awarded numerous medals for heroism including the Marine Corps Brevet Medal (the highest Marine medal at its time for officers), and subsequently the Medal of Honor twice. Notably, he is one of only 19 people to be twice awarded the Medal of Honor, and one of only three to be awarded a Marine Corps Brevet Medal and a Medal of Honor, and the only person to be awarded a Marine Corps Brevet Medal and a Medal of Honor for two different actions.

Watch it:

National Call-In Day on Cluster Bombs

Monday the Friends Committee on National Legislation is organizing a national call-in day encouraging people to call their senators (1-800-590-6313) and asking them to co-sponsor S. 416, the Cluster Munitions Civilian Protection Act of 2009, a bill sponsored by Sen. Feinstein (CA) and already co-sponsored by 23 other senators.

Though it’s unfortunately still somewhat short of a total ban, S. 416 would seriously curb American use of cluster bombs, particularly where they would imperil civilians. The United States is one of only a handful of nations which didn’t sign the Oslo ban on cluster bombs late last year, and has heavily used them, quite infamously, in recent wars.

On Monday, Scott Horton will also be interviewing the national coordinator of the US Campaign to Ban Landmines & Cluster Bombs Lora Lumpe on Antiwar Radio.

FCNL has a list of which senators are already on board with the measure and which ones still need to be called. With the Obama Administration yet to take a public stance on cluster bombs, this bill may be a serious chance to alter America’s policy on the matter.

Washington Post Shills for Terrorists

Not all terrorists are equally damndable, apparently.

The Washington Post has an article today on the Iraqi government’s plan to shut down the camp of the Mujaheddin-e Khalq, or MEK. This is a violent Marxist organization that was designated by the State Department as terrorists in 1997 because of their long record of killing civilians (they also killed some Americans). But the Post characterizes MEK as merely an “Iranian opposition group.”

The Bush administration -especially Dick Cheney – loved and protected the MEK because the MEK ginned up information to justify threatening to attack Iran. The Post notes that “U.S. officials credit the MEK with providing information about Iran’s nuclear program.”

The Post neglects to mention that MEK’s allegations turned out to be crap and were debunked by a National Intelligence Estimate in late 2007.

MEK sanctified U.S. aggression, and thus they were the good guys. The Washington Post’s Middle East reporting continues its hallowed tradition of rising above the facts… [[This riff is also posted here