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Post 40

Friday, March 19, 2004 - 1:28pmSanction this postReply
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Regi - I note with concern your claim that you were not allowed to post the message that you then put up on your own site. I did not see that message in the moderator's queue, & if I had I certainly would have let it through. I can't locate my fellow-moderators at this moment, but I'm certain they would have let it through too. Look at all the other posts saying similar things just as vigorously & ask yourself why on earth we wouldn't let yours on?! The moderation that folk undergo at the beginning is just a device to fend off nutballs like a certain Henry of recent memory; it is most assuredly not designed to close down debate or suppress dissent. We leave *that* sort of thing to your own pin-up boys at the ARI, Regi!! :-)

Oh, & submit that post again & I'll make sure it gets on.

Linz



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Post 41

Friday, March 19, 2004 - 1:40pmSanction this postReply
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In fact, here *is* the post Regi claims we suppressed. I've copied & pasted from his web site:


 3/17/04  Thin Skin:  Not So Objective Objectivists


As hard as it is to believe, I'm afraid I offended someone. I posted a response to an interesting article by David Bertelsen on SOLOHQ, entitled "Giving in to the Terrorists: Spain says, 'You Win' to Al Qaeda," and what is especially interesting about the article is, David lives in Spain.
David's view is reflected pretty much in his title. Some of those who responded did not agree, and my response was actually in support of one of those (Logan) who disagreed with David and Lindsay Perigo (Linz).

[WARNING: Lindsay frequently attempts to express skyscraper ideas in gutter language. I have not included any of that, but it is in the original postings, if you read them.]
Here is my offending post:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Logan: Spanish citizens had no moral obligation to do anything whatsoever to alleviate the suffering of Iraqis or ease the burden of U.S. troops or meet the demands of "allies." A government exists to protect its citizens interests.

Linz: Protecting the interests of its citizens will often, properly, lead a government to enter coalitions with other governments.

Regi: Such coalitions are almost never in the interest of the people. How many Spanish people have been protected by Spanish troops in Iraq?

Logan: Necessary wars are fought in response to clear and indisputable threats, not "arguable" or conjectured ones.

Linz: ... there was absolutely no reason to give Saddam the benefit of a smidgeon of doubt.

Regi: I am still waiting for the first piece of evidence that suggests Saddam was a threat to the United States in any way.

"The source of the government's authority is 'the consent of the governed.' This means that the government is not the ruler, but the servant or agent of the citizens: It means that the government as such has no rights except the rights delegated to it by the citizens for a specific purpose." [Ayn Rand, The Virtue of Selfishness, p. 110]

A proper government is only a policeman, acting as an agent of man's self-defense, and, as such, may resort to force only against those who start the use of force. [Ayn Rand, Galt's Speech, For The New Intellectual, p. 183]

There is no Objectivist grounds justifying the invasion of Iraq, much less obligating the citizens of other countries to support that invasion. If by some convoluted reasoning, Iraq is supposed to have been a threat to America, justifying the invasion as, "self-defense," the much more plausible and likely threat is North Korea. Is there something about North Koreans that makes them less worthy of being freed of oppression, murder, and torture by their government?

I am sure many of Iraq's people are pleased that we deposed Saddam, (though not all are), but he is not the only evil tyrant in the world. Since when was our government formed to ensure other people's governments treated them well?
If we are so worried about how governments treat citizens, maybe somebody needs to invade the United States to free us from the despots that steel our money and economic future and send our gullible young men off to die in foreign countries? I'm sure the citizens of the United States, and their children, the U. S. government burned to death at Waco would appreciate it; if they were alive to do so.



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Post 42

Friday, March 19, 2004 - 1:45pmSanction this postReply
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Regi,

If your post didn't go through, it was due to a software error.  None of the moderators rejected it.  I personally didn't find your comments to be controversial at all.  In fact, they're pretty standard.  Nothing new or interesting there.

I'm impressed by the way you immediately plunge into attacks and insinuations such as "established SOLO religion" without bothering to ask if there was a problem.  It obviously shows that you're grown up enough that you don't need to go through the regular moderation process.




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Post 43

Friday, March 19, 2004 - 1:53pmSanction this postReply
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I don't dig this view of the Spanish government "failing to protect" its citizens.  It's like saying the police fail to protect citizens from a petty thief, even though in any society--even a perfect one--there will be criminals, and for someone to be a criminal--in a perfect society--there has to be a victim.  These things will happen, especially to free nations where government force is restrained to being used only against those overtly committing or planning crimes. 

There's never been a defense against attack that hasn't been thwarted, and laying blame at the feet of a relatively free nation's relatively vigilant government doesn't produce many effective, positive results.  If terrorists want to initiate an attack, they will.  You can stop what your intelligence agencies pick up on the radar screen prior to an attack or event, but you can't stop what you can't see coming, or what the relative freedom of your nation allows for, e.g. freedom of association and movement.  Unless the government is willfully ignoring threats (as, I believe, the entire Clinton administration and early Bush administration was doing), or colluding with the enemy, then governments like Spain's shouldn't be blamed for "failing to protect" its citizens.  The terrorists failed to not commit murder.  The Spanish government, as far as I know, has been pretty tough on Basques, and I doubt they regard al Qaeda as harmless either.  (But I don't live there and I don't get regular reports from their intelligence chiefs, so I'm going off of what I hear in the news.) 

Like I said, Spain is faced with an important decision.  Either: stay the course you set when shipping off to war, ignoring the demands of savages and brutally avenging any attacks they may perpetrate, and accomplish your mission.  Then go home.  Or, let a mass murder by thugs dictate your nation's policies and  milieu, and hope the poor, ignorant beasts will only ask for your head just this once "pretty-please and then we'll leave you alone".  They want you dead, Spain; not just out of Iraq, but dead.






Post 44

Friday, March 19, 2004 - 5:17pmSanction this postReply
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Mannan,

Just one point. The cultural influence that is "squeezing the life" out of those in the middle east is not particularly Arab, it is Muslim. It does the same thing in Iran and Afghanistan, neither of which are Arab countries, for example.

There is a tendency to confuse the terms Arab and Muslim. Just for the record, not all Arabs are Muslims. In the United States, more than half the Arabs are Christians, and less than half of the Muslims in the country are Arabs. The largest Muslim country in the world is Indonesia. Except for the Middle Eastern Muslims, none of the others are Arab, but certainly suffer the social and economic deprivations associated with Middle East Arab countries.

In other cases Thomas Sowell had been careful to make this distinction. It is important, because the problem is not ethnic, it is ideological.

Regi




Post 45

Friday, March 19, 2004 - 5:56pmSanction this postReply
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Joe,

I'm impressed by the way you immediately plunge into attacks and insinuations such as "established SOLO religion" without bothering to ask if there was a problem. 
 
I need to ask if there is problem when I already know there is one? I don't care if it was a software problem or a human problem, the post didn't get posted. I'm sorry if pointing it out seems unreasonable to you, I still won't change my methods to gain  brownie points.
 
It obviously shows that you're grown up enough that you don't need to go through the regular moderation process.
 
Well, obviously not, but I never did do well in Sunday School. It doesn't bother me, don't let it bother you.

Now, can we get back to the subject of this thread before Linz gets upset again.

Regi
 
 






Post 46

Friday, March 19, 2004 - 5:30pmSanction this postReply
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Linz,
 
In fact, here *is* the post Regi claims we suppressed.

Well, you did suppress it, even if it was only a "software" error.

Now you've gone and posted it and spoiled all my fun. I had some great plans, and now I suppose I have to apologize and stuff. (Eck, Patuey!)

Thanks! I suppose.

Regi





Post 47

Friday, March 19, 2004 - 6:17pmSanction this postReply
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A bunch of quality comments, on both sides.  A few more of my own.

Matthew, you talk about 50 years of immoral statist foreign policy, but that doesn't mean anything.  If you're quoting the non-interventionist libertarians, that means something very different from what I think of as "immoral statist foreign policy".  If you go look at the ARI site, they're clear that they don't think the US intervened enough.  Which is it?  Too much?  Too little?  Some good?  Some bad?  Unless you'd like to do a thorough analysis, I'd hesitate before using that line.  It's an easy one for anarchists and other haters of the US to use.

You also won't stop with the "explaining, not justifying".  I reject that it explains anything, let alone the important parts.  It gives no understanding at all what the goals of the terrorists are, or their real motivations.  It's just another way to blame the victim.  That's why the rape case is appropriate.  You blame the victim.  And saying "but that doesn't make his actions right either" doesn't help.  And when that phrase is used to justify only talking about the US foreign policy, and always ignoring the problem of religious nuts, it sounds hollow.  Just as if someone kept saying "yeah, but she did walk into the dark alley at night!" over and over.  So what?  If all that someone talks about is the US foreign policy

Rick and Chris disagree on whether you wage a war against a nation or against criminal aggressors.  Here are my thoughts.  Government's today do have jurisdictions, and those include physical boundaries.  If the US wants to hunt down terrorists, it has two choices.  Secure the help/permission of the foreign governments, respecting their sovereignty, or extend our own sovereignty to that location.  And unless they want to be just puppet leaders, the foreign government will fight back.  That's war.  The purpose isn't necessarily to conquer the nation, but some other ends.  Toppling the Taliban was secondary to getting al Qaeda.  If they had surrendered bin Laden immediately, it is likely that it would have been averted, since there was little else to gain.  Even Iraq was given a decade worth of warnings.




Post 48

Friday, March 19, 2004 - 6:35pmSanction this postReply
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Regi,

Your post gets lost in some computer error, and you start howling about being suppressed, and that you must have really offended us, and that's what happens when you go against the "established SOLO religion".  And now you downplay it to merely "pointing it out" that "the post didn't get posted"?  Wow.  You truly are an Objective Objectivists.

Fortunately, you were man enough to apologize.  You really are a hero.  Not my hero, of course.  And maybe not a hero to anyone else.  But symbolically a hero.

You don't have to try to score brownie points.  The thought of you trying is a little frightening.  And Atlas points are often reward for intelligent posts, so I assume eventually you'll get enough.  But it would be nice if you could be a little less quick to accuse.  Or if you want to accuse, you could at least accuse us of something more impressive that deleting that post.  Perhaps you could accuse us of convincing Bush to start the war in Iraq?  Corrupting the youth?  Hiding the presence of extraterrestrials?




Post 49

Friday, March 19, 2004 - 7:53pmSanction this postReply
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"Just one point. The cultural influence that is "squeezing the life" out of those in the middle east is not particularly Arab, it is Muslim. It does the same thing in Iran and Afghanistan, neither of which are Arab countries, for example...It is important, because the problem is not ethnic, it is ideological."

It seems that Den Beste and Sowell were using the UN statistics of the Arab world to make a general point about the wider Arab/Muslim world.  But you make a good point. Ethnicity is irrelevant, and ideology is everything; it is the root causes of the danger to the West (failure, humiliation, and anger, as mentioned in the previous post) that make the Islamist ideology so appealing to those in the Muslim world. 

-Manan

(http://juggernaut-of-love.blogspot.com/)




Post 50

Friday, March 19, 2004 - 8:58pmSanction this postReply
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Fortunately, you were man enough to apologize.  You really are a hero.  Not my hero, of course.  And maybe not a hero to anyone else.  But symbolically a hero.

Ha! Ha! LOL!

I get it now!

-Logan




Post 51

Friday, March 19, 2004 - 9:31pmSanction this postReply
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Linz’s angry, zany, paranoid word purges on this forum suggest to me that he’s made a fundamental choice to pursue passion without reason.

 

There’s a rationalistic mindset that infects everyone at ARI and (I gather) about half the people here.  They become seduced by the idea of government fighting evil and conceive of Big Brother as a hero in a Randian adventure novel.  He never shies away from a morally righteous fight against a terrorist or a dictator.  To them, questions of proper foreign policy can be answered by moralistic proclamations.  If there’s evil out there, then the government should do something about it -- costs, consequences, or any other practical considerations are, in their rationalistic netherworld, irrelevant.  To allocate finite resources away from warmaking and toward other values (like tax cuts or border defense) would be not a strategic option, but “appeasement,” which is inherently immoral.  Hence, Linz and Peikoff et al. have been driven into the position of calling for the U.S. government to wage a global war on all countries that may (you can never give them the benefit of any doubt) promote terrorism.  Total war at any cost to lives, liberty, and wealth -- for the sake of morality.  To conclude that a war wouldn't practically be worth fighting would be "appeasement."

 

A rational person (as opposed to a rationalistic moralist) doesn’t view morality in terms of obligations morality imposes on him to fight evil.  He doesn’t obsess over evil (which has always existed and always will) or what he will do next in the grand moral crusade to fight it.  He focuses on achieving good, which means achieving his values.  It is moral to be selfish, period.

 

I don’t intervene every time I see an injustice.  It’s not my purpose in life.  And it is not the purpose of a proper government.  To say that a government always has “a right” to intervene internationally is to take a totally unprincipled “blank check” approach to government power.  Governments don’t have rights; they have legitimate functions, which must be carefully defined and circumscribed.  Politicians do not have “a right” to launch wars against rogue governments whenever they feel like it.  That’s the code of despots.  Politicians may only (legitimately) commit forces for defensive purposes, in response to aggression or imminent threats thereof.

 

I pay taxes to the politicians, which some may describe as “appeasement” of the thugs in suits who go around extorting them.  I’m helping them enlarge their criminal enterprise.  But it’s not my purpose in life to achieve some sort of imagined moral purity that comes from fighting the extortionists and never giving in to them.  I could stop paying taxes, but I calculate that doing so is at the moment too risky.  So I cough up tax money and focus on pursuing other values.  I suppose I’m a “free rider” on the backs of those who refuse to pay taxes.  By keeping their money out of government coffers, they are helping to limit the amount of damage government can do through regulations, central planning, unnecessary wars, etc.  So I benefit from tax protestors, but I don’t plan on becoming one right now.  I fight confiscatory taxation more indirectly and do so only at my convenience.

 

No, it’s not the stuff of a great allegorical novel, but it’s the sort of practical choice, necessitated by circumstances, that rational people can and do make in real life.  It’s sort of like wanting the entire world to be free and terrorism to be vanquished everywhere but not wanting to commit my entire life to the cause or have my government assume great and costly powers over me in endless attempts to pursue utopian ideals that are impossible to achieve in this lifetime.

 

“Saddamite”-blathering, irrationalist, emotionalist, Bush-appeasing state worshippers and “kill ‘em all” Randroid, fascist, Chicken-Little Israel worshippers aren’t going to protect us from terrorists.  These hijackers of Objectivism are religious fanatics themselves who lust for an all-out morally righteous global holy war.  And if bodies pile up by the thousands, war saps the life out of the economy, and terrorist attacks in war-waging countries increase…it won’t matter to them, because their cause is “moral.”  Their delusions of grandeur will feed their hunger for ever more warfare/nation-building until the soldiers and the tax money run out (they have no principle to tell them when to stop or which among the dozens of evil Iraq-like countries to pass up).

 

These madmen must be stopped…or, if possible, brought to their senses (literally).

 

-Logan




Post 52

Friday, March 19, 2004 - 10:16pmSanction this postReply
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Manan said:


And that is why the invasion of Iraq was necessary. The invasion had very little to do with WMDs, even though that was the core of the public debate in the UN. The real reason we needed to invade Iraq was because we needed to take control of one core Arab nation so we could establish something like a western liberal government and society there, with equal rights for the women, with a truly free press, with the right of free speech and free assembly and free exercise of religion, and a government which served the people rather than trying to rule them. If we are even partially successful in doing that, it will seed those ideas into the entire region, and bring about reforms elsewhere more indirectly.

and I agree.

In support of this view I would like to quote the following interview on Australia's ABC Lateline :


MARGOT O'NEILL:
minutes north of Oslo lies the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment.

It's here that Thomas Hegghammer researches Islamist websites.

Last year he found a 42-page document detailing how terrorist attacks timed for the Spanish elections could damage the Western coalition in Iraq: "Spain can stand a maximum of two or three attacks before they will withdraw from Iraq."

With hindsight it provides a further possible link between Al Qaeda and the Madrid bombs.

But there was something else which grabbed Thomas Hegghammer's attention.

THOMAS HEGGHAMMER, NORWEGIAN DEFENCE RESEARCH: What was surprising both to us and to other analysts was the level of sophisticated analytical thinking in the document and it is very informed about the internal political situation in Spain, in Britain, as well as in Poland.

So, this is quite unique in the, sort of, Al Qaeda literature which we've seen so far.

MARGOT O'NEILL: Mr Hegghammer says there may be now tens of thousands of Islamist web sites inciting violence.

Al Qaeda is not just a terrorist organisation anymore.

It sees itself as a global movement, as an ideology out to win over the Islamic world and the Internet is one of its most powerful weapons.

THOMAS HEGGHAMMER: The Internet is important in maintaining a certain cohesion among like-minded radical Islamists.

It has, in a sense, replaced Afghanistan as a meeting place.

 
What I conclude from this is that Spain was not attacked because its participation in Iraq but because its anti Iraq government  was vulnerable  to being replaced by a more favorable government which had promised to pull out its troops. This also points to a firm link between Al Qaeda and Iraq, I imagine that from Ossama's point of view another attack on the USA or Austarlia (I don't know about England) would be counter productive ,because the resultant anger ( not fear) would galvanise the people more against Al Queda , terrorists and militant muslims.I suppose he (Ossama) believes that , in some countries, body bags from Iraq are more productive towards his political aims.

Would it be fair to say that :the stronger a peoples resolve,the safer they are? In which case I hope the USA stays firmly behind Bush.
 

 




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Post 53

Friday, March 19, 2004 - 10:31pmSanction this postReply
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Unsurprisingly, I don't recognise my position in Logan's depiction of it. It seems I'm destined to have to repeat myself endlessly in this debate, since points I have made over & over are *ignored* over & over. Let's just take a couple of paras from Logan's diatribe:

__________________________________________________
 
Logan: There’s a rationalistic mindset that infects everyone at ARI and (I gather) about half the people here.  They become seduced by the idea of government fighting evil and conceive of Big Brother as a hero in a Randian adventure novel.  He never shies away from a morally righteous fight against a terrorist or a dictator.  To them, questions of proper foreign policy can be answered by moralistic proclamations.  If there’s evil out there, then the government should do something about it -- costs, consequences, or any other practical considerations are, in their rationalistic netherworld, irrelevant.  To allocate finite resources away from warmaking and toward other values (like tax cuts or border defense) would be not a strategic option, but “appeasement,” which is inherently immoral.  Hence, Linz and Peikoff et al. have been driven into the position of calling for the U.S. government to wage a global war on all countries that may (you can never give them the benefit of any doubt) promote terrorism.  Total war at any cost to lives, liberty, and wealth -- for the sake of morality.  To conclude that a war wouldn't practically be worth fighting would be "appeasement."

_______________________________________________________

Linz: OK. Of course I can't answer for Peikoff, & I assuredly don't subscribe to the ARI's nuke-everything-in-sight attitude. So - please show me where I have called for the US Government to wage a global, total war against all countries that may promote terrorism. Just show me. If you can find any words of mine advocating that, I'll yield. But you won't find them. What I *have* said consistently from the beginning is that a free country has the right, but not the duty, to liberate a slave pen; that the dictator, Saddam, in one such slave pen, Iraq, in addition to running a slave pen by means of torture & genocide, had a history of invasion & deceit that meant he was not entitled to the benefit of any doubt as far as his status as a threat was concerned; that his being toppled was an excellent thing; that it didn't, however, oblige the US to take out every other dictator on earth (I'd be delighted if the US did, but it ain't practical, for precisely the sorts of reasons Logan mentions); that once the decision to liberate Iraq was taken & the boys & girls were on the ground, those who continued to express opposition to the liberation were "Saddamites" in that they were offering Saddam "succour" in a time of war. I have said their position of "Why Iraq, & not Iran or North Korea or Zimbabwe et al?" is hypocritical because if the US *did* take action
against any of those countries they, the Saddamites, would be the first to protest. They don't think there's any right to liberate a slave pen *at all*. *That* is *their* shabby little secret. I have challenged the Saddamites openly to advocate Saddam's reinstatement, since they so explicitly state he shouldn't have been toppled. I have faulted them for their indifference to the enormity of Saddam's evil, & ridculed their absurd delusion that Bush & Saddam are on a moral par. I have argued that whatever was wrong with US foreign policy in the past is not an excuse for paralysis in the face of evil in the present. Those are my positions still. Disagree with them if you will, Logan, but please do not misrepresent them so egregiously.

______________________________________________________

Logan: A rational person (as opposed to a rationalistic moralist) doesn’t view morality in terms of obligations morality imposes on him to fight evil.  He doesn’t obsess over evil (which has always existed and always will) or what he will do next in the grand moral crusade to fight it.  He focuses on achieving good, which means achieving his values.  It is moral to be selfish, period.

____________________________________________________

Linz: Again I say, show me the evidence that I "obsess over evil." To point it out where it exists is hardly "obsessing" over it. Go through the screeds & screeds that I have written & spoken & show me where is the obsession with evil. And Logan, I'll pit my own record in "achieving good" against anyone's, any time. As it happens, I regard SOLO as part of that achievement. You are free, within SOLO's purview, to insult me as you see fit. That's the nature of the organisation. And believe it or not, in all my years in public life, I've been insulted by people who were actually quite good at it. But *you* are the one being a "rationalistic moralist" in your tacit demand that Bush be a perfect libertarian & America a perfect libertarian society before any action against despots is permissible.

They announced the results of a survey of Iraqis today, one year since the liberation began. Most Iraqis evidently are pretty happy about it. Most Iraqis know better than to be Saddamites. They have first-hand knowledge.

Linz

 





Post 54

Friday, March 19, 2004 - 10:49pmSanction this postReply
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A quick response to Joe,

Re: "immoral statist foreign policy", I mean roughly what Rand termed suicidial and pragmatic foreign policy in "The Wreckage Of The Consensus" (in Capitalism: The Unkown Ideal). Take one look at that essay and it will become clear what to make of the ARI's analysis.

Re: explaining not justifying etc, the whole point is too grasp their motivations and how those motivations are linked to US foreign policy. I really don't understand why you can't grasp this. It has nothing in common with your analogy.

Sorry this is a little brief , I'm going away for a day or two and I will respond further upon my return.

MH




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Post 55

Saturday, March 20, 2004 - 7:40amSanction this postReply
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My, my, my, my, my.

It's gettin' hot in heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrre.

Look, gents:  I have absolutely no problem with passion.  I have been called every name in the book for my position on the war in Iraq.  And I've dished it out too---one time, I really lost my cool in this forum.  And there's nothing wrong with showing a little rough and tumble.  But the truth is that I do have respect for the people whose opinions I oppose on this subject.  I have had enormous differences of opinion with Joe on the Iraq war, but we have lots of other agreements (including his comments here about waging war against nations or criminals).  I have had enormous differences of opinion with Linz on the Iraq war, but we agree fundamentally on so many other issues, including the issue of Objectivism & homosexuality (upon which we built my five-part series, which became the monograph, Ayn Rand, Homosexuality, and Human Liberation).  With regard to that series, I have had enormous differences of opinion with Regi, but find myself in agreement with him here on many of the points he's made about Iraq.  (In fact, I have a forthcoming review of Regi's e-book, The Hijacking of a Philosophy, wherein he accuses me of "hijacking" Objectivism.  So these charges of "hijacking" can cut both ways on many issues...)

And I could go on.   We have lots of dynamic lines that intersect, run parallel, and even perpendicular to one another.  But that's the nature of a unique forum that provides disagreement among those who share important values.

So, let me therefore say:  I do agree quite a bit with Logan on many of the substantive issues of the Iraq war, and I genuinely appreciate his passion.  But I too don't recognize the Lindsay Perigo that he's painted in his portrait of Linz's foreign policy pronouncements.  I can't imagine Lindsay endorsing the kind of orthodox Objectivist jihad against "evil" that one finds among the ARIans.  I have pressed him on the issue of the logic of his Iraq strategy, but I just don't think he's of the same character as the ARIans who would pulverize the Middle East and start from scratch.  Linz has been an exemplary opponent of ARIan dogmatism and rationalism, even if I think he is profoundly wrong about this Iraqi war.

Now I'm not engaging in simple New Agey, touchy-feely, Rodney King-like "Can't we all just get along" ecumenicalism (although I've been known for this bridge-building tactic).  We can disagree fundamentally and passionately about a lot of issues.  But the SOLO framework that Lindsay and Joe and others have built provides a forum for our disagreements.  You won't find these fireworks anywhere in Objectivist cyberspace.  This is a unique experience.  At the very least, the, uh, "madmen" who built it deserve our thanks.




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Post 56

Saturday, March 20, 2004 - 9:52amSanction this postReply
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please show me where I have called for the US Government to wage a global, total war against all countries that may promote terrorism
In an earlier post, wherein I listed several countries scattered about the globe that may promote terrorism and suggested that one could just as logically support a war on any or all them as a war on Iraq, you responded with, "bring it on!"  I took that to mean that you support war on them.  If you don't, then which countries specifically should the U.S. wage war on besides Iraq?
 
What I *have* said consistently from the beginning is that a free country has the right, but not the duty, to liberate a slave pen
Presumably, you regard the U.S. as a free country, or at least free enough to have the right to wage war on any country that isn't free.  But it's not the rights of dictators and terrorists that are at issue (they obviously have relinquished theirs).  It's the rights of individual citizens of countries that are waging war that I'm concerned with.  To suggest that politicians have "the right, but not the duty" to force taxpayers to fund military action in any or all "slave pens" around the world, regardless of whether they pose any threat to the citizens, is to disavow the basic principles of limited government.  Governments (in a free society) don't have open-ended mandates such as you propose.  There's no limit to the amount of money a government can spend in efforts to liberate oppressed people around the world or feed them or clothe them or pay for health insurance for them.  But these aren't legitimate purposes of a national government to begin with.  Just because a government is dropping bombs to help people rather than giving away goodies doesn't mean it's a legitimate government function.

As I wrote previously: "Politicians may only (legitimately) commit forces for defensive purposes, in response to aggression or imminent threats thereof."  This is merely an expression of the principle that government exists only to defend its citizens' rights.  Either that's the purpose of government or it isn't.  A government that undertakes a more expansive foreign policy along the lines of Vietnam, Somalia, Kosovo, Iraq, etc., will necessarily violate its citizens' rights, as it is doing it now. 

I'm astonished how the Saddamites keep bringing up arguments that have already been answered.
When you're challenged, you just keep repeating yourself.  You don't actually address the questions raised or arguments made against your positions.

Now perhaps Chris doesn't mind being called a "Saddamite," but I don't find the slur acceptable.  Linz uses it in an inherently dishonest fashion.  Obviously, when you take a person's name and add "ite" or "ist" or "ian" to it, the term refers to a follower or supporter of that person.  But Linz never (or almost never) uses "Saddamite" in its proper (English) sense.  He uses it as an anti-concept, to try to bundle together opponents of the Iraq war and conflate their views with those of Saddam.  It's just a crude personal attack that has the added bonus of sounding just like "sodomite."  "Saddamite" was amusing the first time I read it, but you're just using it over and over again as cover for your failure to articulate a rational case against Chris's, mine, and others' anti-interventionist views.  An insult is not an argument.

Now perhaps I should apologize for (once) insinuating that Linz was among "madmen."  I meant that mostly in jest, but it didn't come across that way in the text.  But then, there are people in the Objectivist movement who, if put in charge of the government, would behave like madmen.  Linz has a largely open-ended conception of government's role in international affairs, which certainly would make me worry about what he'd do if in power.

If you're a rational individualist, you believe government exists for defense and ONLY defense...period.  Although I never regarded Iraq as a threat requiring a war, it is conceivable that others who share may same values would have a different interpretation of the available evidence prior to the onset of the war.  However, once the argument that Saddam posed a grave threat to U.S. citizens was shown to lack merit (a point I think Linz has recently conceded), thinking individuals should have withdrawn their support for Bush's war.  The only arguments NOW left for it (and that keep being repeated to my consternation) are tacitly statist/altruistic/rationalistic/moralistic ones.

-Logan




Post 57

Saturday, March 20, 2004 - 4:36amSanction this postReply
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Joe,

Fortunately, you were man enough to apologize.  You really are a hero.  Not my hero, of course.  And maybe not a hero to anyone else.  But symbolically a hero.
 
Wow, what a great line. Whatever made you think of it?

But it would be nice if you could be a little less quick to accuse.

NICE? Listen, I've got a reputation to maintain. I can't go around being nice.

Regi


 




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Post 58

Saturday, March 20, 2004 - 2:40pmSanction this postReply
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Chris: "But the SOLO framework that Lindsay and Joe and others have built provides a forum for our disagreements.  You won't find these fireworks anywhere in Objectivist cyberspace.  This is a unique experience.  At the very least, the, uh, madmen who built it deserve our thanks."

Linz: Thank you, Chris! An excellent sense of proportion & perspective. But then, I'd expect nothing less from a diabolical dialectician. :-)

____________________________________________________

Logan: "In an earlier post, wherein I listed several countries scattered about the globe that may promote terrorism and suggested that one could just as logically support a war on any or all them as a war on Iraq, you responded with, 'bring it on!'  I took that to mean that you support war on them.  If you don't, then which countries specifically should the U.S. wage war on besides Iraq?"

Linz: Here is what I actually said. Please quote in full, rather than one part of one sentence out of context: "Indeed it *could* have been any or all of those countries & I would have said, 'Bring it on.' But which part of 'the right, but not the obligation' do Saddamites not understand? One can leave them all alone, or take out one or two or all of them, as one pleases. One has the right, but not the obligation. Of course, the Saddamites will oppose *any* taking out of *any* of them - and *then* they'll have the unspeakable hypocrisy to pretend to be pleased when one of them *is* taken out! Ugh! Puke!"

So again I ask, how does this equate with the Peikovian view that you lump me in with? And why, when my meaning is quite clear, do you choose to misrepresent me?

______________________________________________________

Logan: "Presumably, you regard the U.S. as a free country, or at least free enough to have the right to wage war on any country that isn't free.  But it's not the rights of dictators and terrorists that are at issue (they obviously have relinquished theirs).  It's the rights of individual citizens of countries that are waging war that I'm concerned with.  To suggest that politicians have 'the right, but not the duty' to force taxpayers to fund military action in any or all 'slave pens' around the world, regardless of whether they pose any threat to the citizens, is to disavow the basic principles of limited government."

Linz: Bollocks! It's simply to acknowledge the reality of the context in which we currently live - that no government *anywhere* is based wholly on the principles *we* believe in. Your stricture would prohibit *any* government from waging war under any circumstances. Western governments routinely violate the rights of their citizens via compulsory taxation. We all know that. But to suggest that that disqualifies them from waging war against *quintessential* despots, that there is no significant qualitative difference between the latter & the former is to engage in *precisely* that moral rationalism that you accuse *me* of.

________________________________________________

Logan: "Now perhaps Chris doesn't mind being called a 'Saddamite,' but I don't find the slur acceptable.  Linz uses it in an inherently dishonest fashion.  Obviously, when you take a person's name and add 'ite or 'ist' or 'ian' to it, the term refers to a follower or supporter of that person.  But Linz never (or almost never) uses 'Saddamite' in its proper (English) sense.  He uses it as an anti-concept, to try to bundle together opponents of the Iraq war and conflate their views with those of Saddam.  It's just a crude personal attack that has the added bonus of sounding just like 'sodomite.'  'Saddamite' was amusing the first time I read it, but you're just using it over and over again as cover for your failure to articulate a rational case against Chris's, mine, and others' anti-interventionist views.  An insult is not an argument.

Linz: "Saddamite" is not an insult. It's an accurate depiction of people who offer a despotic enemy succour in a time of war. Given the screams of protest "Saddamite" causes, it's clearly touching a nerve.

_________________________________________________

Logan: "However, once the argument that Saddam posed a grave threat to U.S. citizens was shown to lack merit (a point I think Linz has recently conceded), thinking individuals should have withdrawn their support for Bush's war.  The only arguments NOW left for it (and that keep being repeated to my consternation) are tacitly statist/altruistic/rationalistic/moralistic ones."

Linz: I conceded no such thing. I have said all along that, given that he was behaving as though he were hiding something, & given his past record, there was no reason to give him the benefit of any doubt. And it's fantastic that he's gone. Yesterday as I walked home from the gym I encountered several hundred smelly Saddamite socialists conducting a protest march, using their freedom to demand, in effect, that Iraqis be denied theirs. Puke, puke, & puke again. Then, when I got home, I found a Saddamite on this site claiming that accidental deletion of a post because of a software glitch is the same as deliberate suppression!!?? Verily, my view of Saddamites became even dimmer.

Anyway, time for me to retire from this thread. It has outlived its usefulness for me. Thanks all for your engagement. Feel free to keep it going if you wish.

Linz




Post 59

Saturday, March 20, 2004 - 2:58pmSanction this postReply
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Logan said "Now perhaps I should apologize for (once) insinuating that Linz was among 'madmen.'"

Oh, I don't know about that.  Everyone knows Lindsay is crazy.  He's just not crazy in that particular way.  But start talking about Opera (I hear that's a talk-show host), and then watch out!

(Edited by Joseph Rowlands on 3/20, 4:11pm)




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