Posted by: quiscus | March 31, 2012

March 31, 2012

1. “Noninterventionism: Cornerstone of a Free Society

A free society is impossible under an empire. Even the most just war you can imagine is a disaster for liberty and prosperity, as Ludwig von Mises pointed out. An unjust war amounts to murder, mayhem, and mass destruction. And a perpetual state of war guarantees that liberty will never be achieved. James Madison said it very well:

”Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people. [There is also an] inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and … degeneracy of manners and of morals…. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.”

Indeed, from a purely consequentialist point of view, America has lost most of its freedom during its wars. Even the American Revolution itself had negative effects — martial law, massive debt that ushered in Hamiltonian control of the new republic, and consolidation of power in the national capital.

America has waged virtually no just wars. Some wars might have been in retaliation for a direct act of aggression — such as World War II in the wake of Pearl Harbor, but even that did not justify the firebombing or nuclear destruction of Japan’s civilian centers, or the firebombing of Dresden and more than a hundred other German cities. Most American wars fail the Just War test on almost every count. And the morality of a nation that embraces immoral wars is more threatened than by all the social deviancies one could imagine combined. ”

2. “The Problem Isn’t Cholesterol … It’s the WRONG KIND – and OXIDATION – of Cholesterol | | ”

3. “Tongue-cutting at Al Jazeera

That’s about as overtly racist a statement from a media figure with a platform as you’ll see (and the it’s-just-a-joke excuse is obviously irrelevant: just imagine analogous “jokes” about how disfavored journalists would be punished at The Jerusalem Post, or Black Entertainment Television, etc.). To Podhoretz, Al Jazeera is filled with Arabs and Muslims, which means: The Terrorists (for many years after 9/11, that was virtually official U.S. government policy). Podhoretz is the same person who wrote a New York Post column in 2006 lamenting that in the early stages of the Iraq War, “we didn’t kill enough Sunnis in the early going to intimidate them and make them so afraid of us they would go along with anything,” suggesting that the big U.S. mistake in the war was allowing “the survival of Sunni men between the ages of 15 and 35.” Remember, though: it’s those Muslims who are The Terrorists (when influential American “terrorism experts” start talking about the John Podhoretzes of the world as terrorism advocates, and about “Shock and Awe“, the assault on Fallujah and the bombing of Gaza as terrorism, and about Ronald Reagan as a “state sponsor of terrorism” for his funding of El Salvadoran death squads and Nicaraguan contras, and about the parties responsible for the assassination of Iranian civilian scientists as international terrorists, then I’ll start to take the honorific more seriously).

I have no doubt that most respected “terrorism experts” would find Podhoretz’s comment about Al Jazeera repugnant. But the mentality on display here — and it’s quite pervasive (which is why this is one of the few remaining forms of overt bigotry that provokes no real sanction) — finds nourishment in the constant discussion of Terrorism, the Supreme Evil, as: acts of violence by Muslims directed at us (but not violence by our own government or those of its allies directed at Muslims).”


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