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Post 20

Friday, January 21, 2005 - 7:47amSanction this postReply
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John Wiltbank,

You wrote:  "True libertarians support our raping, torturing, murdering troops."

I hope you were joking about the raping, torturing, and murdering part.  The evil choices of a minority should not be a condemnation of every man and woman serving in uniform.




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Post 21

Friday, January 21, 2005 - 9:08amSanction this postReply
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In response to Mark Humphrey’s diatribe against Mr. Perigo, I must take issue with his one-sided and completely fallacious view of WW II history, a subject I have studied in great detail.  The book he cites, Robert Stinnett’s Day Of Deceit, is an example of fabrication and conspiracy theory that has been thoroughly debunked by more serious and objective Historians.  For instance, to say that FDR “caused the war” by withholding the means by which Japan could continue its aggressive subjugation of Asia is absurd and self-contradictory on its face. 

 

In fact, considering the miniscule size of the US Army at the start of WW II, the leaders of the Axis had a completely dismissive viewpoint regarding any possible US intervention, particularly Hitler, who in 1939 to 1940 did not even consider the US a factor in his policy decisions.  In addition, Britain had every reason to believe that combined with the French Army and the British Navy, it would not be difficult to prevent the Germans from making any progress against the Allies (i.e. like in WW I), and at best they saw the US as a strong economic partner, at least until their beliefs were proved woefully wrong in the Spring and Summer of 1940. 

 

Rand’s comment related to the fact that using 80% (or all, even) of your resources to fight tyranny was better than submitting to it, because she recognized that you would have NOTHING once you became a slave to tyranny as in Russia, where she saw this happen first hand.  Oh, and Hitler did not “set his sights on Russia” until the Battle of Britain had failed.  One of Hitler’s (as well as his Generals) greatest failings was any degree of rational, long-term strategic thinking.

 
I have also seen some of the absurd arguments by this Lew Rockwell being touted here by other Libertarians, and read a few of his articles.  They are just as ridiculous as Mark’s are.  Perhaps I can deconstruct them in the future when they are presented – I recall one where he was asked to comment on a book called “The Pentagon’s New Map” – something I saw the author do a lecture on one day on a C-span station, though I have not read it yet – and dismiss it out of hand without even having read it or even having understood it’s positions.  Instead he just went on an anti-war rant.  I respect the opposing view of Objectivists like Chris Sciabarra, who discuss the rationality of the war, but the Libertarian principals are far too narrowly defined.  If such a government were in fact constituted, it would find itself overrun in days like the “neutral” countries of Denmark and the Netherlands did in WW II at any time that some aggressive Nation armed itself and decided to strike.  Absent Nations such as the US and Britain and their “belligerence” they would even now be provinces of the Greater German Reich.
 
P.S. - I think we can ignore Mr John "Troll" Wiltbank, the Saddamite, who describes our soldiers with words that should be used to instead describe the Terrorists there.




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Post 22

Friday, January 21, 2005 - 3:23pmSanction this postReply
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I am hugely obliged to the three Saddamites who've posted here over the last day or so. I trust that veteran SOLOists who were sceptical, or even hostile, concerning my depiction of the nature of Saddamism will now realise how accurate it was. It's all here, from horses' mouths!

In a sense we've been spoiled here at SOLO in that *our* anti-war people like Chris Sciabarra put forward the best possible anti-war arguments based on premises we empathise with. But *our* anti-war people are, as I have argued, inadvertent Saddamites. They proceed innocently & in good faith. The true face of authentic Saddamism can be clearly seen in the preceeding posts. It ain't pretty. Unfortunately, it has become dominant within libertarianism, to the point where Objectivists such as Robert Bidinotto are so sickened they want O/ists to drop the use of the term "libertarian" to describe their politics. I disagree. I maintain we should not surrender the term to Saddamites. I believe the latter should set up an all-encompassing new website called AmericaIsEvil.com—a haven for anarcho-pacifist-Islamo-fascist-Saddamite appeasers & conspiracy freaks. There's no shortage of accurate labels from which to pick a generic one, & they ought not to soil a noble term like "libertarianism" by so much as uttering it, let alone laying claim to it.

Linz



Post 23

Friday, January 21, 2005 - 5:03pmSanction this postReply
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Michael Dickey writes:

"...far more people have been killed by domestic acts of murder by their own government than have been killed in all the wars in recorded history."

Most of those genocides would not have happened without war. Do you think there would have been a Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia had there not been a World War I, or even had the US stayed out and not crushed Germany with brutal sanctions after the war?

"If a war is undertaken to remove a genocidal maniac, it may certainly result in far fewer deaths.  I am not saying this is to be used in all cases, but your comment is clearly disengenious.  Consider the Cambodian genocide and its 3 million victims, are you really suggesting that had the US continued to support Lon Nol against the North Vietnamese backed Khmere Rouge that MORE than 3 million people would have been killed?"

I don't understand this last question, exactly. I don't know. But I will say that had the US not bombed Cambodia illegally and secretly, killing hundreds of thousands of innocents during that stupid war, then the Khmer Rouge wouldn't have come to power. It's easy to denounce capitalism and incite horror when "capitalism" is being represented by a government that's dropping bombs on your country non-stop.

Also, the US actually assisted the Khmer Rouge, once the Viet Cong invaded Cambodia. The Khmer Rouge was considered the lesser of two evils, since Vietnam Communism was considered worse than Cambodian Communism (it wasn't). And then the US helped the Khmer Rouge take refuge in Thailand to escape the Vietnamese, whom at the time more personified the Red threat than did the Cambodian Reds.

"More people were killed by democide of by the North Vietnamese then were killed in the entire Vietnam War.  More people were murdered by governments in Indo China from 1974 - 1980 then all of the American war dead.  Stopping oppresive murderous dictatorial regimes is what ends wars, not the other way around."

Ridiculous. The democide continued until 1980, you say? How, then, did the US war in Vietnam, which left millions dead by bombing and poisoning, help any? Vietnam didn't improve until after the US left. Though, some are still sick and dying thanks to the US chemical warfare. And let's remember that around this time Nixon met and was friendly with Mao. Sure. Cozy up to the worst mass-murderer in world history, all while bombing innocent peasants by the hundreds of thousands in the name of combating communism. Hah!

And to the 60,000, maybe more, Americans who died in that war, and the hundreds of thousands wounded, what do you say? It was worth it? It was worth enslaving millions via the draft to fight in a war that had absolutely no benefit to America? This is not individualism. This is saying the state has a right to sacrifice x number of lives, so long as it saves x + y number of lives, and so long as one of those lives isn't you. To believe the state can be trusted to make these kinds of decisions is the height of dangerous collectivism.





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Post 24

Friday, January 21, 2005 - 5:54pmSanction this postReply
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"our raping, torturing, murdering troops."

 

John, I'm going to take the high road here, and say only this: I piss on you. You little repellant maggot, you dipshit of a human being. I piss all over you and hope you end up on a leash some day. Too fucking stupid to even hide your own squalid hatred when trying to make an intellectual point about a serious issue.  

 

Sincerely,

 

Alec 




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Post 25

Friday, January 21, 2005 - 6:31pmSanction this postReply
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Anthony Gregory,
It appears that you refuse to pull your buried head out of sand.
Most of those genocides would not have happened without war.
My father's family had survived China's Warlords period in the 1930s, eight years of anti-Japanese War that was WWII for China, and three years of Civil War between CCP and KMT, but they did not survive China's Communist regime - a total of six people in my father's family including my own grandfather and my three uncles had perished in China's man-made famine in 1959, along with tens of millions of others, most of them common peasants. It had nothing to do with any war except the evil of Mao.

If Saddam is one hundredth as bad as Mao, then it has to be a good thing to get rid of him.

 

(Edited by Hong Zhang on 1/21, 7:31pm)




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Post 26

Friday, January 21, 2005 - 9:58pmSanction this postReply
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Anthony Gregory said:
Lew [LewRockwell.com blog], it is indeed a huge disappointment to see Rummel on the dark side. I would never pretend to have anything on his excellent accomplishments in scholarship, however I have for a while had an intuitive skepticism of the ‘democide’ school of thought, especially as it relates to foreign policy.”
How is it you can say "I would never pretend to have anything on his excellent accomplishments in scholarship,"  and in the very next sentance say "however I have for a while had an intuitive skepticism of the ‘democide’"  What is this 'intuitive skepticism' any way?  We intuit only what we know, and we rarely intuit something that contradicts what we all ready wanted anyway.  Our intuition is based on our values and our information set.  I doubt you and Mr. Rummel's values vary much, so the differentiation most likely lies in your information set.  While you pay lip service to Rummel's "excellent accomplishments in scholarship" you you patently reject them based on some vague feeling you get that it just isnt right.  Do you realize you are now arguing on an objectivists web site?  Clearly Mr. Rummels information set, especially concerning that on governments murdering their own people, is far more extensive then yours, unless you want to show us that list of 24 books and 100 peer reviewed published articles youve made on the subject that qualify you to so easily reject Rummel's comments on a 'feeling'.

Michael




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Post 27

Friday, January 21, 2005 - 10:36pmSanction this postReply
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Anthony Gregory said:
How, then, did the US war in Vietnam, which left millions dead by bombing and poisoning, help any? Vietnam didn't improve until after the US left. Though, some are still sick and dying thanks to the US chemical warfare. 
First of all no one is dying from the 'poisoning', thats more rhetorhic of the anti-war and anti-science revisionists.  Agent orange is not carcinogenic and does not cause diabetes, despite the VA's claims to the contrary.  Vietnam veterans experience no higher incidence of any disease over the rest of the population, nor do the people of vietnam suffer from it, they suffer from the murderous oppressive communist hell whole of which they currently live under.  Of which, I note, you know nothing about apparently, and is completely anti-thetical to everything that libertarians allegedly value.  Just like every state incarnation of communism. 

See Michael Fumento's site for more information about the psuedoscience you are relaying.  http://www.fumento.com/suagent.html

The most egregious statement of your entire post.  VIETNAM DIDNT IMPROVE ANY UNTIL AFTER THE US LEFT!!  Oh you mean when the South Vietnamese fought off the Soviet backed communist north for TWO MORE YEARS?  Or was that when the Soviet tanks rolled into saigon that the lives of the average vietnamese person started to rise?  That must have been why 250,000 thousand of them fled in rafts, most to drown, fleeing the communist north, because they could stand the good life that awaited them! 

From Rummel's site
The shame of the Vietnam War was that American and South Vietnamese forces won it. But, it was lost by our major media, Democrats, and so called “antiwar” demonstrators (leading activists of which were pinkos and communists), and President Nixon who cut and run. And this directly resulted in the death of millions of civilians in Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam, and in deadly attempts to escape the new Vietnam hellhole on unseaworthy boats. The toll 1975-1987 for Cambodia was about 2,850,000 murdered after our withdrawal, Laos was 130,000, and Vietnam 528,000 plus 250,000 Boat People. In total about 3,758,000 people were murdered after our withdrawal, and the resulting defeat of South Vietnam (see my Statistics of Democide chapter on Vietnam—link here).
Note that 528,000 occured AFTER the US LEFT.  When was it, exactly, that vietnam became a better place?

I dont know what information set you are basing your assessment of life in vietnam on, but it disagrees with Freedom house
Perhaps you have an intuitive skepticism of this whole "freedom thing" in other countries anyway, or perhaps you can point toward your information source asserting that "Vietnam did not get better until after the US Left"

Freedom House ratings

South Vietnam   North Vietnam
1973  4,5,PF     1973  7,7,NF
1974  4,5,PF     1974  7,7,NF
1975  4,5,PF     1975  7,7,NF
1976  7,7,NF    1976  7,7,NF
Vietnam
 1977  7,7,NF
 1978  7,7,NF
 1979  7,7,NF
 1980  7,7,NF
 1981  7,7,NF
 1982  7,6,NF
 1983  7,6,NF
 1984  7,6,NF
 1985  7,7,NF
 1986  7,7,NF
 1987  7,7,NF
 1988  6,7,NF
 1989  6,7,NF
 1990  7,7,NF
 1991  7,7,NF
 1992  7,7,NF
 1993  7,7,NF
 1994  7,7,NF
 1995  7,7,NF
 1996  7,7,NF
 1997  7,7,NF
 1998  7,7,NF
 1999  7,7,NF
 2000  7,6,NF
 2001  7,6,NF
 2002  7,6,NF
 2003  7,6,NF

Notice that South Vietnam scored a consistent 4,5, PF until overrun by the communists, where it was demoted to 7,7NF, and has never recovered.  At this rate, the people of Vietnam may have the freedoms that the people of South Vietnam had by, oh, 2050.

I dont know what rediculous feeling you might intuit about the state of Vietnam but it clearly does not coincide with the facts.  That you seem to have a prevelant voice in the libertarian community and are so patently ignorant of the lives that the people of Vietnam lived under communism is highly disturbing, though sadly not surprising. 

Put down the Chomsky and Zinn and check your premises

Michael Dickey




Post 28

Saturday, January 22, 2005 - 1:59amSanction this postReply
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Michael Dickey writes:

The most egregious statement of your entire post.  VIETNAM DIDNT IMPROVE ANY UNTIL AFTER THE US LEFT!! Oh you mean when the South Vietnamese fought off the Soviet backed communist north for TWO MORE YEARS?  Or was that when the Soviet tanks rolled into saigon that the lives of the average vietnamese person started to rise?  That must have been why 250,000 thousand of them fled in rafts, most to drown, fleeing the communist north, because they could stand the good life that awaited them! 


Well, let's see. I was responding to your earlier post when you said:

More people were murdered by governments in Indo China from 1974 - 1980 then all of the American war dead.  Stopping oppresive murderous dictatorial regimes is what ends wars, not the other way around.


So are you saying the US won that war? Are you saying the Vietnamese are worse off now than they were in 1978? And seeing as how the US had left by then, how is it not true that "Vietnam didn't improve until after the US left"?

Did the US liberate Vietnam?

And when you say:

Notice that South Vietnam scored a consistent 4,5, PF until overrun by the communists, where it was demoted to 7,7NF, and has never recovered.  At this rate, the people of Vietnam may have the freedoms that the people of South Vietnam had by, oh, 2050.


Do you really mean to say that freedom can be so easily measured and predicted? Do you really believe using central planning and force to bring about freedom? Has it worked more times, or failed? Were you one who assumed the USSR would last forever without more aggressive measures against it? Or, like the antiwar libertarians, did you assume that, since socialism didn't work, the system would fail? China has undergone one of the greatest improvements in liberty, as horrible as a state it is in now, considering its Maoist history. What is the best way to foster freedom? Missiles? Or free trade, peace, and example?

And how come no one has answered my questions about US support for Saddam and the Khmer Rouge?



Post 29

Saturday, January 22, 2005 - 1:33amSanction this postReply
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Anthony Gregory,
It appears that you refuse to pull your buried head out of sand.

Most of those genocides would not have happened without war.


My father's family had survived China's Warlords period in the 1930s, eight years of anti-Japanese War that was WWII for China, and three years of Civil War between CCP and KMT, but they did not survive China's Communist regime - a total of six people in my father's family including my own grandfather and my three uncles had perished in China's man-made famine in 1959, along with tens of millions of others, most of them common peasants. It had nothing to do with any war except the evil of Mao.

Do you really think Mao would have come to power if it hadn't been for the war, including US support for the Nationalists and then for the Communists?


The Communist and fascist takeovers of Europe and Asia in the 1930s and 1940s was a direct result of World War I, that little skirmish in which twenty million people died because governments were mass-murdering each other's subjects. War is the health of the state, and democide as well.

My family also suffered under Communism, in North Korea. The Japanese war on Korea sure made it more ripe for a takeover by the murderous thugs who tried to slaughter my grandfather and steal his property. They left and went to South Korea, then left again to come here.

If Saddam is one hundredth as bad as Mao, then it has to be a good thing to get rid of him.


If the US is going to go to war with every country as unfree as Iraq, the most liberal Arab state before the US interventions in the 1980s (in which the US funded and aided Saddam against the Iranians, while secretly helping the latter as well), the early 1990s (in which the Bush I administration lied America into war), the Clinton years (during which the US imposed some of the most devastating sanctions in world history -- sanctions that killed hundreds of thousands, a price Madeline Albright publically said was "worth it") – if, indeed, the US is going to engage in Trotskyite permanent revolution against all these regimes in the world, America will never be at peace, much less free or secure from terrorism.

My head's not in the sand. I reject the initiation of force. This War on Terrorism is the greatest initiation of force conducted by the US in years. And if you don't like socialism in America, you should look at our history and found out how we lost the freedoms we have. The Progressive Era, the New Deal and Great Society were not nearly as destructive of American liberty as WWI, WWII and the Cold War – and that's saying a lot.





Post 30

Saturday, January 22, 2005 - 1:48amSanction this postReply
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Michael F Dickey writes:
Anthony Gregory said:
Lew [LewRockwell.com blog], it is indeed a huge disappointment to see Rummel on the dark side. I would never pretend to have anything on his excellent accomplishments in scholarship, however I have for a while had an intuitive skepticism of the ‘democide’ school of thought, especially as it relates to foreign policy.”

How is it you can say "I would never pretend to have anything on his excellent accomplishments in scholarship,"  and in the very next sentance say "however I have for a while had an intuitive skepticism of the ‘democide’"  What is this 'intuitive skepticism' any way?  We intuit only what we know, and we rarely intuit something that contradicts what we all ready wanted anyway.  Our intuition is based on our values and our information set.  I doubt you and Mr. Rummel's values vary much, so the differentiation most likely lies in your information set.  While you pay lip service to Rummel's "excellent accomplishments in scholarship" you you patently reject them based on some vague feeling you get that it just isnt right.  Do you realize you are now arguing on an objectivists web site?  Clearly Mr. Rummels information set, especially concerning that on governments murdering their own people, is far more extensive then yours, unless you want to show us that list of 24 books and 100 peer reviewed published articles youve made on the subject that qualify you to so easily reject Rummel's comments on a 'feeling'.

Michael


Unfortunately, Dr. Rummel did not post my entire blog entry on his blog. This is what I said:
Democide is death by government – excluding war, usually. This presents problems. First of all, many governments that have done the most in the realm of outright murdering "their" own people, have also been less warmongering, as Rothbard has shown. On the other hand, relatively "civil" societies, such as Britain and the United States, frequently have much less in the way of extermination programs and forced starvations, and yet can be remarkably violent in war. Millions of foreigners and hundreds of thousands of Americans have died because of US warfare, but to focus on democide as wholly separate from war-caused deaths can, though does not necessarily, serve to implictly advance the notion that being murdered by your own state is qualitatively much worse than being killed as "collateral damage" in a bombing raid, or as a conscript for empire. Liberventionists, of course, believe this, and imply that when a small dictatorship kills its subjects it's on a whole different level of moral repugnancy than when a superstate such as the US carpetbombs villages and cities.

Secondly, war itself is often a direct, or at least indirect, cause of democide. Democide occurs frequently in wartime situations, and thus democide done by foreign regimes historically is often less a case for foreign intervention than it is one against it. The liberventionists have often dubiously used the facts of democide to make their case: instead of realizing the evils of US government warfare, they point out that "democide" has been a bigger problem than war (even though the two cannot be totally separated historically) and therefore "we" should tolerate x amount of US-caused "collateral damage" in order to preempt x+y amount of foreign democide. I know a liberventionist who even argues that if state A commits less aggression against its own subjects than does state B against its subjects, state A therefore is allowed to commit more aggression, presumably up to the differential, against state B's subjects than B is against A's. This is exactly the kind of rationalization of mass slaughter that Rothbard warned against. It basically means that people who live under governments that severely abuse their rights don't have any rights against foreign aggression done by the "good states," since it's not like they'd be free and safe anyway.

Also, the "democratic-peace theory" relies on numerous theoretical problems. Whereas Hoppe has done much to point out the problems with democracy, the democratic liberventionists would argue that democracies never wage war on each other. And if you come up with a counterexample? They simply say "that's not a democracy! Look how brutal it is!" So they qualify and define "democracy" in a circular manner: to show democracy guarantees peace, they essentially end up defining democracy as the type of regime that is peaceful. The idea that Iraq will be one of these Jeffersonian democracies that respects the individual rights of its minorities and does not, categorically, aggress against other democracies is almost certainly a total fantasy. Also, if a "democracy" aggresses against a non-democracy, I still think that's wrong, though the liberventionists don't.


I've read some of Rummel's work, and have a couple of his books. But I don't think that the history of war in the 20th century bears out the conclusion that war is an answer for democide. It is usually a major root cause. What are some good counterexamples?




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Post 31

Saturday, January 22, 2005 - 5:38amSanction this postReply
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Perhaps some are unfamiliar with Mr. Gregory’s nihilo-libertarian line of thinking that blames communism and Nazism on America. Here’s how the nihilos see it:

 

Nazism is a “direct” result of our entry into WWI. By prolonging the war, we helped the allies achieve a greater victory and impose a harsh settlement on the Germans. This drove the Germans to Hitler. It was our prolonging the war that caused the Germans, out of desperation, to help Lenin setup up in Russia. And the prolonged war helped Lenin appeal to the war weary Russian who wanted out of the conflict.

 

Our entry into WWI was caused by the government intervention in our economy and a result of the corrupt nature of the pull peddlers on our government. The interventionism resulted from Lincoln’s Civil War, which increased the role of the Federal government in the economy and promoted a collectivist mindset. What is the cause of the Civil War? The Civil War was a direct result of the American Revolution. Had we stayed apart of the British Empire, slavery would have been eliminated by the British (as it was everywhere in the British Empire) and we still would have eventually achieved our independence without a revolutionary war(like Canada, Australia, etc.)

 

Thus, according to this line of reasoning, the Gulag and Nazi concentration camps were the fault of Jefferson, Madison, Franklin, Washington and their ilk.

 

Need I comment?




Post 32

Saturday, January 22, 2005 - 7:16amSanction this postReply
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Jason Pappas was doing fine with his explanation until the end when he wrote
What is the cause of the Civil War? The Civil War was a direct result of the American Revolution.
No, the War of Northern Aggression was a result of the denial of the American Revolution. It was the continuation of the mercantalist policies that some of the founders advocated. One does well to remember that Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations was published the same year as the Declaration of Independence. It takes time for ideas to be understood and to propagate that understanding.

And rather than saying
The interventionism resulted from Lincoln’s Civil War, which increased the role of the Federal government in the economy and promoted a collectivist mindset.
it would be more accurate to say that the war institutionalized the collectivist mindset, making a truly free market politically more difficult to achieve.



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Post 33

Saturday, January 22, 2005 - 10:57amSanction this postReply
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Anthony Gregory said:

Well, let's see. I was responding to your earlier post when you said:

More people were murdered by governments in Indo China from 1974 - 1980 then all of the American war dead.  Stopping oppresive murderous dictatorial regimes is what ends wars, not the other way around.

So are you saying the US won that war? Are you saying the Vietnamese are worse off now than they were in 1978? And seeing as how the US had left by then, how is it not true that "Vietnam didn't improve until after the US left"?

Did the US liberate Vietnam?
Yes, the United States and South Vietnam won that war, the US communist led anti-war protestors and communist sympathizing media lost it.  Militarily it was won.  How else can you explain the fact that even after we completely abandoned South Vietnam the Vietnamezation process enabled them to successfully fend off the advances of North Vietnam, which was still backed by the Soviet Union, for another two years?  With only a modicum of support South Vietname would still be a country today, and would likely have eclipsed South Korea in freedom and standard of living 15 years ago.   The vietnamese are better off today then they were in the height of the murder quoatas and purges of the North Vietnamese between 75 - 78, but the they are not as good as they were in 1973 and 1972, when vietnam was one of the worlds largest rice exporters when US was fighting side by side with South Vietnamese and the Hmong.  Today it still imports rice.  Its GDP per capita is still below that of what is was in 1973.  Perhaps we are having some miscommunication, I would like to know when, exactly, it was the life for the Vietnamese got better "after we left"  Clearly it went down hill as they continued to fight off communist north agression until finally losing, and then having half a million people murdered and a quarter million lost at sea.  And then lived for the next twenty years under a brutal communist hell hole which surpressed every civil liberty libertarians have pretended to value. 

And when you say:

Notice that South Vietnam scored a consistent 4,5, PF until overrun by the communists, where it was demoted to 7,7NF, and has never recovered.  At this rate, the people of Vietnam may have the freedoms that the people of South Vietnam had by, oh, 2050.
Do you really mean to say that freedom can be so easily measured and predicted?
Would you assert that all attempts to measure and monitor freedoms in a country are useless?  Do you disagree with Freedom House's methods of data gathering or assessement?  Perhaps you could enlighten them as to either more accurate methods or to the absolute futility of their endeavour.

http://www.freedomhouse.org/research/freeworld/2003/methodology.htm

Otherwise acknowledge that it is in the realm of the physical possible to rate a country (freedom house has been doing it for 50 years) and come to a reasonable assessement of its current politicl and civil liberty status.  Something I would think libertarians would care about. 

Michael Dickey




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Post 34

Saturday, January 22, 2005 - 11:35amSanction this postReply
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Anthony Gregory said:

(during which the US imposed some of the most devastating sanctions in world history -- sanctions that killed hundreds of thousands, a price Madeline Albright publically said was "worth it"     
Rediculous, 1st of all I am against sanctions anyway, they tend to do little and cause more harm then an outright war to depose a murderous dictator would.  And the infiltration of western products, culture, and ideas does much.  But more importantly, the claim you are repeating is complete hogwash, if any children DID die 'from the sanctions' it is the moral culpability of the murderous dictator that brutally opprsess them.  The West has no moral obligation to sell its products to anyone, anywhere, it only need do it if it wants to.  Additionaly, the kurds in the north, subject to the same sanctions, but not under the rule of Saddam, did not have have a singificantly higher childhood mortalitly rate than any similiarly conditioned country without sanctions. 

consider, for example

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2003/05/25/wirq25.xml

Saddam's parades of dead babies are exposed as a cynical charade
(Filed: 25/05/2003)

UN sanctions did not kill the hundreds of infants displayed over the years - it was neglect by the former regime, Iraqi doctors in Baghdad tell Charlotte Edwardes

The "baby parades" were a staple of Saddam Hussein's propaganda machine for a decade. Convoys of taxis, with the tiny coffins of dead infants strapped to their roofs - allegedly killed by United Nations sanctions - were driven through the streets of Baghdad, past crowds of women screaming anti-Western 

I dont know why the anti-war and pro-isolationist libertarians are so ready to believe whatever propaganda comes spilling from the mouths of the slaves of brutal dictators. 

Asked what would have happened if he had disobeyed the orders, Dr al-Douri replied: "They would have killed our families. This was an important event for the propaganda campaign."

 

Dr al-Douri, who has worked for 10 years as a paediatrician, said the parades were orchestrated by officials from the ministries of health, information and intelligence.

 

He said: "All 10 hospitals in Baghdad were involved in this and the quota for the parade was between 25 and 30 babies a month, which they would say had died in one day.

 

"We had to tell the babies' families that it was a government order and that they would be paid to keep quiet. The reward was sometimes in money, the equivalent of $10 per baby, or in food: rice, sugar and oil."

Since you dont support sanctions, nor intervention, what moral ground are you standing on?  Your are asserting that we should leave well enough alone and let murderous dictators remain murderous dictators, as long as they dont kill anyone WE care about, right?  Saddam was only killing his own people, after all, so its none of our business.  And Iraq will go back to being that beutiful eden full of shiny happy people after the US leaves, just like Vietnam.  And Korea, we should have kept our heads out of that as well, so Kim Jong Ill could be rulling over 70 million Koreans instead of just the 20 in the north, and killing 10's of thousands more each year from faminie.  We lost some 50,000 people in the Korean war, after all, and it really wasnt any of our business anyway, right?  Never mind that South Korea is a progressive western democracy and one of the largest economies in the world with a GDP per capita rivaling any western nation today, while North Korea is arguably THE WORST country on earth.

 

http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/ks.html

Since the early 1960s, South Korea has achieved an incredible record of growth and integration into the high-tech modern world economy. Four decades ago GDP per capita was comparable with levels in the poorer countries of Africa and Asia. Today its GDP per capita is 18 times North Korea's and equal to the lesser economies of the European Union.

 

Michael Dickey




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Post 35

Saturday, January 22, 2005 - 12:50pmSanction this postReply
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Anthony Gregory said:
My family also suffered under Communism, in North Korea. The Japanese war on Korea sure made it more ripe for a takeover by the murderous thugs who tried to slaughter my grandfather and steal his property. They left and went to South Korea, then left again to come here.

*Sigh* Mr.Gregory, do you realize that without the US intervention in Korea in the 1950s, there would have been no South Korea?  And who would have imagined fifty years ago that South Korea would make cars runinng on US streets everywhere today?! Now tell us was it worth it?



(Edited by Hong Zhang on 1/22, 1:06pm)




Post 36

Saturday, January 22, 2005 - 1:50pmSanction this postReply
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Rick Pasotto:
Jason Pappas was doing fine with his explanation until the end when he wrote
What is the cause of the Civil War? The Civil War was a direct result of the American Revolution.

No, the War of Northern Aggression was a result of the denial of the American Revolution. It was the continuation of the mercantalist policies that some of the founders advocated. One does well to remember that Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations was published the same year as the Declaration of Independence. It takes time for ideas to be understood and to propagate that understanding.


Lincoln's war was one of the worst times for American liberty. I don't understand how anyone who pretends to believe in liberty can glorify the very reasons we lost so much. We wouldn't have income tax, central banking, tax withholding, central management of the economy -- we would never have suffered conscription (war slavery), censorship, gun control, or the other great assaults on our freedom -- if it weren't for war. The state historically grew out of war, expanded with war, became oppressive with war. The glorification of this institutionalized mass murder is quite odd to hear among people who claim to believe in life, liberty and property.

Michael Dickey:
Yes, the United States and South Vietnam won that war, the US communist led anti-war protestors and communist sympathizing media lost it.  Militarily it was won.


The US government lost it.

ith only a modicum of support South Vietname would still be a country today, and would likely have eclipsed South Korea in freedom and standard of living 15 years ago.


This counterfactual is utterly worthless.

I would like to know when, exactly, it was the life for the Vietnamese got better "after we left"  Clearly it went down hill as they continued to fight off communist north agression until finally losing, and then having half a million people murdered and a quarter million lost at sea.  And then lived for the next twenty years under a brutal communist hell hole which surpressed every civil liberty libertarians have pretended to value.


You yourself have admitted it's better now than it was during the war.

Rediculous, 1st of all I am against sanctions anyway, they tend to do little and cause more harm then an outright war to depose a murderous dictator would.  And the infiltration of western products, culture, and ideas does much.  But more importantly, the claim you are repeating is complete hogwash, if any children DID die 'from the sanctions' it is the moral culpability of the murderous dictator that brutally opprsess them. 


Denying that these children died as a result of the UN sanctions? I don't understand you liberventionists. First you decry the UN, then you whitewash its sanctions. The UN admitted its sanctions killed hundreds of thousands of people. And if you don't trust the UN's estimates, and think the UN is making their sanctions sound worse than they are, why would you trust it with the sanctions in the first place?

The West has no moral obligation to sell its products to anyone, anywhere, it only need do it if it wants to.


You can't personify "The West" that way. The question is whether Western governments -- monopolizers of violence – have a right to forcibly interfere with the right of people around the world to trade with Iraqis. This isn't a matter of the West's rights. It's a matter of human rights.

If a foreign superpower forbade anyone in the world from trading with Californians, by penalty of being shot at, this would be considered a war crime against California. This is not the same as a boycott. Rather, it is one of the most fundamental violations of rights that can occur.

And they said they'd still go to war even if Saddam stepped down. Maybe when the US puts a dictator in power of a country, gives him weapons, intelligence and funding, and encourages him to invade a neighbor, some of the blame does fall on the US for that dictator. The US knew the sanctions wouldn't hurt Saddam, only his people, and Albright said it was "worth it." She accepted responsibility. The blame lies largely on the US, and its puppet institution, the UN.

Since you dont support sanctions, nor intervention, what moral ground are you standing on?  Your are asserting that we should leave well enough alone and let murderous dictators remain murderous dictators, as long as they dont kill anyone WE care about, right?  Saddam was only killing his own people, after all, so its none of our business.


You're saying that the US government has a right to murder hundreds of thousands of foreigners all because it turned against a regime it considered an ally during its worst atrocities. And you ask me what moral ground I'm standing on? Please.

Hong Zhang:
Anthony Gregory said:
My family also suffered under Communism, in North Korea. The Japanese war on Korea sure made it more ripe for a takeover by the murderous thugs who tried to slaughter my grandfather and steal his property. They left and went to South Korea, then left again to come here.


*Sigh* Mr.Gregory, do you realize that without the US intervention in Korea in the 1950s, there would have been no South Korea?  And who would have imagined fifty years ago that South Korea would make cars runinng on US streets everywhere today?! Now tell us was it worth it?


I don't like to answer if it was "worth it." Was it worth 50,000 American deaths and one million Korean deaths? Since I'm an individualist, I can't say. Nor would I say whether it's worth it to kill you, or any other individual on this list, in order to achieve a "higher" end.

But I will say that the Japanese war against Korea was bad for Korea. I will say the Korean war in Korea didn't leave it much better than it was before (only better than we can imagine it would have been). I will say that WWII, and the true victors of that war, the Communists, made Asia much worse off. When I think of Korea, or any other country, it's really hard for me to imagine that they would be worse off if they never saw war.

You can say World War I stopped the Kaiser. But it did lead to WWII, Hitler, Lenin and Stalin. Any realistic understanding of the history will bring you to that conclusion. You can say WWII stopped Hitler and Imperial Japan, but it did lead to Mao and the Communist takeover of Eastern Europe and Asia. You can say that the Cold War brought the USSR to its knees (it didn't, however) but it lead to 9/11 and the War on Terror. I wonder what future Hitlers the US is supporting right now? Look at the list of our allies in the world. Some of them put Saddam to shame in the evil department.

War is the health of tyranny. And, by the way, South Korea was not a free country in the 1950s, either. The list of tyrannts supported by the US is staggering. It includes the Khmer Rouge. In the Cold War the US liked dictators and thugs, however murderous, so long as they were "anti-Communist." This included, of course, the Muhajadeen, Saddam Hussein, the Shah, Qadaffi, Nasser, and Osama bin Laden.

So I ask you, was it worth it?



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Post 37

Saturday, January 22, 2005 - 2:38pmSanction this postReply
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You can say WWII stopped Hitler and Imperial Japan, but it did lead to Mao and the Communist takeover of Eastern Europe and Asia.
This is nonsense. Karl Marx's Communist ideology and persons like Lenin and Mao were the direct reasons of Communism coming into practice. Everything else at best were indirect cause. 




Post 38

Saturday, January 22, 2005 - 3:36pmSanction this postReply
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Of course, Hong Zhang is exactly right. It is philosophy that is the key. The dominant philosophy in continental Europe was collectivism in its national or international varieties. The communism of Asia was the cause of people acting like Communists (apparently this is hard for some of our nihilo-libertarian friends to follow).

 

The intension of my previous post was to show the reductio absurdum of the explanations purporting to show all evil as the result of the unintended consequences of American policy. I only had to remove the role of ideas to re-create this silly narrative.

(Edited by Jason Pappas on 1/22, 3:39pm)




Post 39

Saturday, January 22, 2005 - 3:14pmSanction this postReply
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You can say WWII stopped Hitler and Imperial Japan, but it did lead to Mao and the Communist takeover of Eastern Europe and Asia.

This is nonsense. Karl Marx's Communist ideology and persons like Lenin and Mao were the direct reasons of Communism coming into practice. Everything else at best were indirect cause.


Communist ideology, like fascist ideology, depended on associating free markets and liberalism with war. Lenin would have never had a chance without war. Marxist theory would have never caught on without its analysis tying state capitalism to war. Unfortunately, pro-war liberarians who also associate capitalism with war are only helping to further the socialist cause.

But World War I was a direct cause of the rise of Lenin, then Stalin and Hitler. Look at what happened with the Versailles Treaty, the blockades that killed hundreds of thousands of Germans after the war ended, the crippling debt. Thugs like Hitler and Lenin will always exist. Bad ideologies will always exist. The only way they can catch on, the only way that people can be inspired and tricked into supporting such maniacs, is when conditions are bad enough. This almost always happens as a result of war.

The Taliban and bin Laden both grew out of the US warfare state. This cannot be denied. The US assisted bin Laden. And the US funds murderous regimes throughout the Middle East right as we speak, helping them to oppress their people. Look at the US support of Indonesia's military, which waged war on the people in East Timor. You think this is a liberating intervention? Would you be happy at a superpower that helped a government kill your family?

Al Qaeda hates all that America stands for, it's true. But how do they get their funding and their widespread support? Why do so many people in the Middle East give support to bin Laden? It's not Britney Spears records. It's not Coca Cola. It's not our Bill of Rights. Muslims overwhelmingly admire our culture and freedoms, according to every poll on the subject. What they all hate is US foreign policy, and if you were over there you'd probably hate it too. This is what causes them to take bin Laden the least bit seriously. The whole world, including the Muslim world, was appalled by the mass murder of 9/11. Bombing and killing thousands of innocent people has only made them sympathize for the murderers among them, just as 9/11 made Americans cling to the US government in a way they hadn't since World War II. Being attacked makes people give up their rationality, and become much more willing to swallow and tolerate diseased ideologies of collectism, socialism, fascism, jihadism, and atrocious crimes done in their name.

If the goal is to reduce the threat posed to us by small, decentralized groups like al Qaeda, we must eliminate the reason they get widespread support. Bombing and invading and occupying and crushing a country that had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11 -- killing thousands of innocent people in a nation that posed no threat whatsoever to America -- is not the way to reduce the threat. It is simply group-punishment and murderous collectivism, and it fuels the problem, just as government does when it coercively intervenes in any other way at home.

And if you don't think America, so civilized at home, could possibly be responsible for great crimes overseas, you need to look at history. This country was born out of a revolution against Britain, simultaneously the most free civilization within and yet the most brutal empire abroad. Relatively free countries can indeed be the most murderous in their foreign policies.



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