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Post 0

Friday, March 4, 2005 - 9:50pmSanction this postReply
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Good for you, Alec. I suppose we'll have another Invasion of the Saddamites now, similar to what occurred after I posted that ISIL was evil. Oh, well ... bring it on! :-)

Linz



Post 1

Friday, March 4, 2005 - 10:31pmSanction this postReply
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God forbid we have to endure another one of those invasions. I have a slight hunch that we won't, only because I cannot conceive of how anyone can possibly rationalize the depravity described in this expose. (Except for that freak Fulwiler, who is banned, and that moron I pissed on a while back.)

It's funny how Palmer's piece reads with the logic of a math equation, especially as it reaches the immutable conclusion: evil.

Alec




Post 2

Saturday, March 5, 2005 - 2:56amSanction this postReply
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Alec, the article you posted is horrifying, appalling -- and not surprising at all. Lewrockwell.com and antiwar.com have been so fanatical in their naked hatred not just of the Bush administration but of everything American, that they clearly are only interested in destruction. It is impossible to learn what, if anything, they support, but only what they oppose. I'll say that I've long had the same opinion of Murray Rothbard, who led the anarchist movement in the Libertarian Party.

Libertarian anarchists, who have essentially taken over the Party, are quite different than those who started and maintained it for many years. The history of the last twenty-or-so years has been a tragedy. The Party has lost -- has abandoned -- the idealism and benevolence that once characterized it; it has become nasty, and hysterical, and as hateful as it is full of hate.

Ayn Rand once said something about libertarians that was true of the more anarchistic among them at the time, and is even more relevant today. She said that they base their self-esteem on being outside of society, against it, on their passion to destroy whatever exists. She said that if their policies were accepted by society, if laissez-faire capitalism were accepted -- they would have to denounce it and turn to another political philosophy. They would have to find a way to remain outsiders; that is more important to them than the content of any political philosophy.

You'll be interested in something else Rand said in the same vein about religion.. She said that if science were to prove that the God of the Bible does exist and is knowable and understandable -- many religious people would immediately invent a meta-God, a God who was supernatural, beyond man's power to grasp and whose existence could not be scientifically verified.

I'm very glad that Tom Palmer published his article. I hope it will be spread far and wide, and I'll do my part in that regard. The only hope for the Libertarian Party is if its saner members fight to return it to its original principles. I don't understand why they have failed to do so.

Barbara



Post 3

Saturday, March 5, 2005 - 4:06amSanction this postReply
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Barbara,

What Ayn Rand said describes exactly how I feel about a certain type of intellectual rebel, epitomized by so many libertarians of the Rothbard variety. Their own status as rebels is more important to them than the success of the ideas they claim to uphold. Of course, those two goals directly oppose each other. Which means that they are always in a position of not wanting their ideas to actually succeed.

A product of that is the idea that a 99% friend is somehow worse than a 0% friend. (Yes, Rand sort of believed the same thing, but with her it was a sincere mistake.) Talk about total detachment from reality. This is why nobody incited more outrage from the anarcho-libs than the one man who most successfully advanced their ideas in Washington: Ronald Reagan.

The connection between that and blind religiosity, as you point out, is a very ominous and conspicuous one. Among the many reasons to find such unrealism abhorrent, is how much it discredits ideas as a worthy occupation.

I do not think that Rothbard in particular would have ever denounced laissez-faire capitalism. He would have simply denied its success, even if it were total. He would have perenially refused to acknowledge it not matter what. There are, however, omni-annoying nihilo-libertarians who are almost purely hipsters, and who probably would denounce it if it succeeds. (How have they reacted to the general acceptance of the concept of free-will? They have resorted to supporting a half-baked, pathetically-argued determinism!!!)

And now the loudest outlets of the anarcho-libertariati are directly supporting murderers. Yes, Barbara, spread the word! (You'll be glad to know that when Palmer originally published this, Andrew Sullivan linked to it on his very popular blog.) And I hope every single SOLOite reads this, and also spreads the word. It leaves no room for doubt whatsoever.  

Alec




Post 4

Saturday, March 5, 2005 - 5:10amSanction this postReply
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I see a perfectionist fetish in addition to an outcast complex. No matter what, America was never perfect, they point out. True enough. But the perfectionist (in the way the word is commonly used) takes all-or-nothing approach: if it’s not perfect it is deplorable. Naturally, they focus on the country’s faults until one is saturated with negativity and emotionally repulsed. Getting a sense of proportion is alien to this mentality.




Post 5

Saturday, March 5, 2005 - 8:05amSanction this postReply
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Barbara wrote: "Ayn Rand once said something about libertarians that was true of the more anarchistic among them at the time, and is even more relevant today. She said that they base their self-esteem on being outside of society, against it, on their passion to destroy whatever exists. She said that if their policies were accepted by society, if laissez-faire capitalism were accepted -- they would have to denounce it and turn to another political philosophy. They would have to find a way to remain outsiders; that is more important to them than the content of any political philosophy."

To play devil's advocate for a moment, part of Objectivism's appeal is it's portayal of those with outsider status. Stephen Cox explores this at length in his ess ay OUTSIDERS AND INSIDERS: REIMAGINING AMERICAN CAPITALISM from JARS Fall 1999:

"Rand's central, favorable presented characters are all outsiders who travel, in roughly this way, to the real inside of things...These characters retain an intellectually distanced point of view. But distance gives them the capacity to see organizing principles and patterns that lifelong social insiders cannot discern...At a still more distant vantage point stands the author who sees and moves these characters. Her goal is to make them self conscious insiders...".

Jason Pappas wrote: "I see a perfectionist fetish in addition to an outcast complex. No matter what, America was never perfect, they point out. True enough. But the perfectionist (in the way the word is commonly used) takes all-or-nothing approach: if it’s not perfect it is deplorable. Naturally, they focus on the country’s faults until one is saturated with negativity and emotionally repulsed. Getting a sense of proportion is alien to this mentality."

True enough. Rand made use of the Trickster archetype (see the TRICKSTER ARCHETYPE and OBJECTIVISM at http://jungianobjectivism.tripod.com/id15.html). The trickster was the ultimate outsider, constantly challenging the status quo of society. Loki, Hermes, Coyote...Prometheus
, Roark, Galt...they all bring about a downfall of the current system. The difference in Rand's stories is that the characters eventually find or create a society that they can accept.
Rand, however, was not so lucky, and never quite accepted the imperfections of her adopted county, even though it was light years better that the one she left. How does one decide when enough's enough? Without a sense of proportion, an outsider will never settle down, and will continue a sad, lonely life of alienation from those deemed not up to par with standards of perfection. And yet, if we settle for good enough, will we ever be good enough? I wonder if that is why, after 40 years in the desert, Moses was not allowed to enter the promised land. Would have complained that the milk was too warm and the honey not sweet enough.

I think, eventually, most outsiders usually have to settle down, for the own health, and let the next generation continue the battle. Another reason why Rand's heroes appeal to youth, older people can't reasonable continue with outsider status without damage to their souls.



Post 6

Saturday, March 5, 2005 - 11:36amSanction this postReply
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Palmer makes much of my description of the U.S.-appointed “Prime Minister” Iyad Allawi as a “quisling,” and claims that I am comparing America to the Nazis, since Vidkun Quisling was a Nazi sympathizer, etc. etc. But the dictionary definition of a quisling is: “Someone who collaborates with an enemy occupying force.” It doesn’t mean “Nazi,” or even “Nazi-like,” nor does the context of my usage even imply that is my meaning:


“The process of spreading a "global democratic revolution" – in the president's words – not only subverts democracy at home, but also discredits and defeats it throughout the Middle East. If ‘democracy’ and even ‘free markets’ are represented by foreign invaders and their local quislings, then sheer pride and instinctual nationalism will give rise to a rebellion of illiberalism.”


This is taken from my November 19, 2004 column, “Why We Fight,” and immediately following this paragraph is a direct refutation of Palmer’s deranged accusation that I, or Antiwar.com, give any kind of political support to the various forces fighting American troops in Iraq::


“The outright barbarism of the defenders of Fallujah – the beheadings, the kidnappings, the suicide bombings – is the work of a ‘resistance’ that is in no way admirable. The various groups that have arisen in opposition to the American occupation – the Islamists, the neo-Ba'athists, the radical Shi'ites, etc. – are all of them totalitarians of either a religious or secular cast, with the former rapidly gaining the upper hand. No American peace movement worthy of the name can give them any kind of support: they are not the "minutemen" of Michael Moore's imagination, unless one views Patrick Henry as some sort of improbable early American ayatollah – which he was most certainly not.”


In spite of the above, Palmer rants that I support the “beheaders.” That is an outright lie. He also avers, in answer to a baffled reader who objects to his characterizations, that one “should not hope, as Mr. Raimondo do[es], that more Americans be killed or that more Iraqi ‘traitors’ be killed.” One searches through my writings for any such sentiment in vain, and for a good reason: I never said or wrote any such thing. I’ll leave expressions of murderous hate to Palmer, the laptop bombardier, who sits in the safety of his cushy office in Washington, D.C., and calls for any Iraqi who dares oppose the occupation to be ”hunted down” and “destroyed.”


Hey, Tom, why don’t you go do it yourself?


In characterizing Antiwar.com’s opposition to this administration’s war-crazed foreign policy, Palmer writes: “They aren’t for peace, they’re for the other side.” That’s another lie, as anyone who cares to read what I actually wrote (in “Why We Fight”) can easily discover:


“We opposed the invasion of Iraq – without giving any support to Saddam Hussein – just as we opposed the war against the former Yugoslavia, while refusing to defend either the politics or the actions of Slobodan Milosevic and his followers. Today, we oppose the occupation of Iraq, without granting the Islamist-Ba'athist resistance a single iota of moral or political legitimacy.


“Yes, it is understandable that an occupied people will fight back: but totalitarians feed on legitimate grievances, and often come to power because they seem to address them. The tragedy and irony of our war of "liberation" in Iraq is that it is empowering the very forces – and, make no mistake about it, they are dark forces – we seek to defeat.”


What could be clearer? Palmer conflates support for the “resistance” with opposition to the occupation. Since Antiwar.com supports immediate and total withdrawal from Iraq, one could argue that this “objectively” gives support to the “enemies of America,” but Palmer isn’t honest enough to make it. Instead, he simply smears me (and, by implication, anyone who supports withdrawal). According to him, “everyone” realizes that we “can’t withdraw.” What he really means is “everyone in Washington.” Elsewhere he reports hobnobbing with high government officials, and fantasizes that someday he may even convince Dick Cheny – over cocktails – to reconsider our foreign policy of bombing the world’s peoples into submission. Yeah, we’re all reeeeeeeeeeal impressed, now aren’t we?


More untruths: Palmer claims Antiwar.com supports “dictators like Milosevic and Lukashenko” and attacks democrats like Vojislav Kostunica. Yet I wrote several long articles praising then-President Kostunica to the skies – and even planned on going to the former Yugoslavia where I was slated to meet with Kostunica, until 9/11 intervened. While attacking Zoran Djindic, I explicitly attacked Slobodan Milosevic, and went out of my way to explain why support for the Serbian strongman was impermissible:


“Far be it from me to tell the Serbian or any other people what kind of government they ought to adopt, but there is a very bright line that must be drawn between defending the Serbian people against NATO's attacks and defending the Serbian government against its own people. The people are not their government, although this is a mistake non-libertarians often make. It is one thing to call for nonintervention in Serbia's domestic affairs, and quite another to justify each and every action of the Serbian government, even the most indefensible. …


“But so what if Milosevic rigged the election to prevent a first-round victory by Kostunica – after all, who are we to tell the Serbs, the Russians, or anyone, how to organize their electoral procedures? Here is where the bright line must be drawn. It is one thing to deny that the violation of democracy is a valid pretext for intervention, and quite another to whitewash and endorse tyranny.”


That is taken from a column written four years ago, entitled “Sympathy for the Devil,” in which I excoriate, at length, what I called “the American contingent of the Slobodan Milosevic Fan Club.”


Again, what could be clearer?


Palmer, from what I remember about him, used to be a pretty smart guy, and one can only wonder at the cause of his recent mental degeneration. Instead of making some semi-coherent case that Antiwar.com – and, specifically, Justin Raimondo – represents everything that is wrong with the antiwar movement, if not the world, he resorts to making it all up. And it gets weirder …


His increasingly bizarre fixation on me is permeated with an obvious personal animus, and I have no idea what the source of that may be -- but his accusation that “Justin Raimondo and some of the lewrockwellites find my sexual orientation much more interesting than I do” is truly bizarre. Try as I might, I cannot find a single reference to his sex life anywhere on Antiwar.com. Indeed, I can find only a single reference to him at all in my columns, and that is here, where I (briefly) took him to task for not mentioning foreign policy in his radio “debate” with Jonah Goldberg:


“Congratulations to Cato Institute senior fellow Tom Palmer for managing to spend an entire hour or so debating ‘libertarianism’ with Jonah Goldberg on PBS Chicago's WBEZ radio without once mentioning the words ‘peace’ or ‘nonintervention.’ (Although he did manage to get in a plug for gay marriage). That didn't appease Jonah, however, who got in a complaint toward the end about how Tom and the other guest (Richard A. Epstein) are ‘wonderful’ people, but unfortunately they haven't done as well as the folks over at National Review in ‘policing their own movement.’”


Palmer’s sexual orientation is nowhere mentioned, although clearly he means to say that one might infer it from the reference to gay marriage. But that isn’t obvious to anyone who doesn’t already know him, and I was just reporting what he said on the air. My point was not to “out” Palmer, but to say that gay marriage is not a settled issue as far as libertarians are concerned – far less settled than a noninterventionist foreign policy. In any case, I am openly gay. So what’s the big deal? Some people need to stop whining about how victimized they are, and chill


I have to add that the whole tone of Palmer’s screeching jeremiads – “axis of domestic evil” etc. etc. – is a good indication that something else is going on here, apart from just a difference of opinion over what attitude to take toward Viktor Yushchenko, the Iraq war – which Palmer claims to have once opposed, and now fanatically supports – and foreign policy in general. It is one thing to disagree, and quite another to twist and openly lie about your opponents’ views. What is strange is that, in this age of the internet, anyone can easily fact-check Palmer’s distortions and discover the truth of the matter with relative ease.


Palmer’s views are at the outer periphery of the libertarian movement, and well on their way to going beyond the pale. No one outside of a few neocons in “libertarian” clothing supports either the Iraq war, or U.S. government-funded “liberation” movements. Aside from that, however, it is nothing short of shocking to read Palmer’s speculation that Russia will suddenly become a “danger” to U.S. national security if it manages to retain any influence in Belarus and Ukraine: this puts him way out on that periphery, closer to the neocons than to anyone recognizably libertarian -- including the foreign policy analysts at Cato, who, thankfully, reflect none of Palmer’s foreign policy views.


What’s really odd is that Palmer’s ranting is interpolated with little asides, like this one:


“I had linked to a much less detailed account from CNN some time ago, which led the crackpots at antiwar.com and lewrockwell.com to jump immediately into action, sending me hate filled emails denouncing Viktor Yushchenko (whom they term the “(losing) candidate, a neocon/CIA stooge”) and me for raising the questions of electoral fraud and of poisoning. Justin Raimondo of antiwar.com immediately posted a number of comments on my site under several different names (as he has done in the past, suggesting that I had had sexual relations with Albanian Kosovar terrorists, and the like) railing against me for raising the issue.”


That outburst comes from a real crackpot. It appears out of nowhere, in the middle of a post entitled “Was Viktor Yuschenko Poisoned?” Elsewhere Palmer accuses various people who leave comments on his Tom Palmer assuming all of them are …. me! It’s hilarious, a little scary (“Play ‘Misty’ for Me!”) – and kind of sad. I mean, just because he doesn’t have anything else to do …

Justin Raimondo




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Post 7

Saturday, March 5, 2005 - 1:39pmSanction this postReply
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Justin,

In a cleaner, healthier, and more honest era, you would be shot for treason.

Have a good day.

 : )

xxooxxoo

Yours, George




Post 8

Saturday, March 5, 2005 - 2:00pmSanction this postReply
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Thank you for this interesting information. I spent too much time reading  numerous links contained in Tom Palmer's article, trying to get a more accurate picture of Lew Rockwell, Justin Raimondo, and Tom Palmer.

I can identify aspects in the writing of each with which I agree, and aspects with which I disagree. The key to sorting through the conflicting claims, interpretations, and exaggerations that make up this huge dispute is to be found in establishing the principle by which wars are to be judged as just or unjust. I think that principle argues against most American wars--excluding the Revolution and a few other minor engagements within North America.

If war can be waged legitimately by a government only in the defense of the rights of its citizens from foreign assault or invasion, then the U.S. "wars of liberation" that result in the deaths of many thousands of innocent people, and that cause the enormous destruction of property that imposes great suffering on the remainder, can be viewed as atrocities. From this point of view, one may experience conflicting feelings about the kids who volunteer for such "service". One the one hand, they are young, inexperienced, and vulnerable to the call of false ideology in a culture that glorifies sacrifice and statism. On the other hand, they are the agents of mass killing, and mass suffering that bear no resemblence to liberation. One can hope for their safe return even as one deplores their cause.

One can certainly hold these thoughts without sympathizing with dictators, and also without believing simply on the basis of faith whatever facts about these wars our government feeds to us. I am not defending everything that Rockwell or Raimondo write or promote; I find much that is important in their thinking with which I disagree. However, as concerns the war, to what extent they might be guilty of careless thinking, or distorting facts, or slander clearly relates (partly) to two issues.  First what constitutes just war? Second, what is fact and what is falsehood as concerns the people and events that comprise political rivalries in these hot spots?




Post 9

Saturday, March 5, 2005 - 5:04pmSanction this postReply
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I wrote my previous post before reading Justin Raimondo's post to this site, comments with which I mostly agree. I disagree with his position that it is inappropriate for an American to critcize or offer advice concerning the choices of government confronting people of another country. Clearly, principles of politics--like all of ethics--are universal.  Also, I was disappointed in Mr.Raimondo's personal attacks on Mr. Palmer, although he did seem to respond to Mr. Palmer's prior personal attacks on Mr. Raimondo.

I also had not read Barbara Brandon's post. Ayn Rand may have been correct in her portrayal of some (I assume not all?) anarcho-libertarians, including Murray Rothbard, as oriented primarily by an intense dislike and hatred of (I assume some aspects?) of America. From my distant perspective (but also based on a single personal encounter) I have often wondered if Murray Rothbard was partly driven by hatreds and disappointments he did not choose to acknowledge, perhaps even to himself. Perhaps this criticism might even be fairly directed at some of today's anti-war or anarcho-capitalist commentators.
 
One ought to tread lightly when characterising the motives of those with whom one disagrees on values, however. That a libertarian opposes his government's instigating foreign wars; or questions, ponders, and criticizes the coercive institution of the state as inconsistent with the principle of voluntary association obviously does not prove that he is motivated by malice. Yet many posts to this site psychologize such ideological rivals.

I have read only a little of Mr. Raimondo's writing, and only about the war in Iraq. He strikes me as passionate, not malicious. But, of course, I agree with most of his comments about the War.

And it is beyond dispute that impunging his motives does not refute his ideas.




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Post 10

Saturday, March 5, 2005 - 7:34pmSanction this postReply
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I have to admit to being baffled by Barbara Branden’s remarks regarding Antiwar.com. She refers to our "naked hatred not just of the Bush administration but of everything American," and further states "they clearly are only interested in destruction."

While I don’t agree with the policies of the Bush administration, I think "naked hatred" is a bit of an overstatement. But what I don’t get is where or how she gets the impression that the editorial staff of Antiwar.com hates "everything American" – unless she means opposition to American foreign policy equals hatred of America per se. But this would be absurd.

Alas, I very much doubt Ms. Branden has bothered to actually read anything I or the other members of the Antiwar.com staff have written about foreign policy, and is simply taking her opinions second-hand. Let’s have some quotes, Ms. Branden: you’ve made some serious charges. Now back them up.

As I have proven in my posting above, if anything is "nasty, and hysterical, and as hateful as it is full of hate" it is Tom Palmer’s weird Ellsworth Toohey-like screed – and Ms. Branden’s promise to "spread it far and wide." If I recall a quote from Ayn Rand, I believe it’s from The Fountainhead:

"They won't say, of course, that they hate you. They will say that you hate them. It's near enough, I suppose. They know the emotion involved."

Ms. Branden spends much of her post attacking "libertarian anarchists," but since I am not an anarchist, and have never claimed to be one, I guess this doesn’t apply to me. I am, however, an admirer of Murray N. Rothbard, so I may qualify after all.

As for the psychological "analysis" of anarchist libertarians, by which I take it she means admirers of Rothbard, this raises the argument ad hominem almost to the level of an art form. But I have to say it is utter bollocks. Let’s apply this psycho-smear to Antiwar.com: if the war ended tomorrow, and the U.S. did the sensible thing by withdrawing its troops from the Middle East, I, for one, would be thrilled, grateful, and ecstatic. It would mean the end of the idea the U.S. as an empire, and a return to the old Republic and the principles of the Founders  So the "outsider" thesis is complete nonsense: another psycho-smear from people who have forgotten how to argue about ideas.




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Post 11

Saturday, March 5, 2005 - 9:32pmSanction this postReply
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I will not discuss these issues or any others with Justin Raimondo, but I will urge Soloists to read the material at antiwar,com. Note which important issues of the day are discussed and which are not, and what is said about those that are discussed. Note who and what is praised and who and what is denounced. Note especially the articles posted on the web site, such as "Who will read to the president?" -- read a few of the articles to get the flavor of anti.war.com. And go to the blog, where you can read the Comments section to get an idea of the quality and convictions of its fans, including the one who writes about "the sadists at the Pentagon.".

Nothing I might say could possibly be as damning to antiwar.com as is antiwar.com


Barbara



Post 12

Saturday, March 5, 2005 - 10:38pmSanction this postReply
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>>  Nothing I might say could possibly be as damning to antiwar.com as is antiwar.com

Barbara

-------------------------------------------
From antiwar.com:-

Additional Contributors
 
... John Pilger...
 
Enough said!




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Post 13

Sunday, March 6, 2005 - 1:18amSanction this postReply
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I have not read much of Lew Rockwell and the above article by Tom Palmer stimulated my interest. So I started looking at his site and at other places.

From the Wikipedia description of Lew Rockwell:

"Rockwell is the editor and namesake of LewRockwell.com  (http://www.lewrockwell.com), a widely read libertarian web magazine. The site is known for espousing free market economics and for its regular articles criticizing the presidency of Abraham Lincoln."

Abraham Lincoln? Regular articles?

I think I'll take a peak at that just for being so quirky. I am recently returned after having been in Brazil for over 30 years. I have been somewhat out of touch with current USA affairs. Maybe I shouldn't feel so bad...

Michael

(Edited by Michael Stuart Kelly on 3/06, 1:22am)




Post 14

Sunday, March 6, 2005 - 2:54amSanction this postReply
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I just have to correct one blatant lie in Raimondo's post. For the record: Tom Palmer is not at all a supporter of the Iraq war. I've debated the matter at length with him on a few occasions, and unless he has radically changed his position since the summer (highly doubtful), he was as much opposed to the war retrospectively as prospectively. He thinks that it was an unwise decision; his position is similar to Sciabarra's and most of Cato's.

He is, however, a supporter of America (a stance about which he has been admirably vocal). I guess in the eyes of Antiwar, that automatically makes one a fanatical hawk.

Alec




Post 15

Sunday, March 6, 2005 - 9:23amSanction this postReply
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I am pleased to note that Ms. Branden has raised the white flag of surrender: her unwillingness "to discuss this or any other issue with Justin Raimondo" suggests an inability to discuss issues about which she knows nada. And, yes, I quite agree with her on her advice to readers: go and read what's on antiwar.com. You might learn something. After all, the vast majority of the "material" she refers to are news stories -- reporting of facts, not opinion.

Alec: As for Tom Palmer's pro-war stance: the entire basis of his crazed attacks on us -- aside from personal animus directed at me -- is that we are for complete and immediate withdrawal. He opposes withdrawal, supports the present "government," and denounces us as "anti-American" because we don't support imposing "democracy" at gunpoint worldwide. I suppose, in order to hold his job at Cato, he has to somehow rationalize this on "noninterventionist" grounds, and barely manages to do so by saying that the "crushing" of the Iraqi insurgency will facilitate American withdrawal -- in effect ,postponing it to the far distant future.

It's disappointing to see that the heirs of the Objectivist legacy are so unwilling to face facts when it comes to American foreign policy: especially when the "orthodox" group, led by Leonard Peikoff, advocates the nuclear destruction of the Middle East (see my article on "The Objectivist Death Cult." Peikoff and his group attack the idea of a "just war," and call for the killing of innocent civilians. It's a disgusting display, yet we have a total and complete silence from the supposedly more rational Objectivists, including David Kelley -- and Ms. Branden.
 
What is really odd is that Ayn Rand opposed U.S. entry into World War II -- like most anti-Communists and conservatives of the time -- and her writings on the subject of U.S. foreign policy do not have much to encourage the ultra-interventionists, as Chris Matthew Sciabarra has often pointed out. Yet her latter day followers are marching in lockstep with the War Party.
 
 




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Post 16

Sunday, March 6, 2005 - 12:12pmSanction this postReply
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Barbara stated that Ayn Rand expressed this:

"They [the anarchistic libertarians] would have to find a way to remain outsiders; that is more important to them than the content of any political philosophy."

That is speculation but pretty damn good speculation from what I have seen over the years.

In Brazil, there is a plethora of these kind of anti-establishment militants who are seduced by the siren's call of a romantic sounding dragon-slaying. The alternative has not been too attractive, either - old military thugs. As with all false dichotomies, the proper answer to Brazil's problems is neither one nor the other. It is reason.

The dragon-slayers finally got their president - Lula. He leans left but he has also adopted too much reason in his policies for the comfort of the "outsider" types. Where he uses reason, the results are resoundingly successful and even breath-taking. The dragon-slayers are now screaming their heads off down there - but this time against him, not for him. They feel that he has betrayed them, especially as far as his reason-based policies are concerned. Just one example is the way he has conducted affairs with a staggering IMF debt (pushing Brazil toward self-sufficiency without defaulting). (The IMF itself is a whole other can of worms.)

BTW - There is a wonderfully kooky "outsider" libertarian that I have been reading on the Internet for a few years now - J. Orlin Grabbe. If you can get around the dragon-slaying and some very peculiar news article links, his own articles are full of solid technical information, despite some rather uneven writing. He even founded an international trust called the Digital Monetary Trust. It issued its own gold-based currency - the DMT rand (named in honor of Ayn Rand) and even opened anonymous accounts both in DMT rands and in the world's major currencies. He hasn't posted exchange quotes for a while now, so I don't know what happened to this Don Quixote assault on the windmill of the world's monetary systems.

Michael




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Post 17

Sunday, March 6, 2005 - 12:27pmSanction this postReply
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Mr Raimondo,

I am pleased to note that Ms. Branden has raised the white flag of surrender: her unwillingness "to discuss this or any other issue with Justin Raimondo" suggests an inability to discuss issues about which she knows nada.
Barbara's comments may mean that she simply doesn't wish to do, so rather than her being unable to do so. In fact I suspect that the former is actually the case.

As for Iraq, now that western troops are there, Iraqis should be given the best chance possible at establishing a liberal state (in the old fashioned meaning of the term liberal), which means our troops staying at least until Iraq's government is stable. Pulling out at this point is a recipe for disaster. The great irony here is that I pretty much agreed with Chris Sciabarra's position regarding the initial invasion.

As for Antiwar.com and LewRockwell.com generally, I've in the past found value in much (but not all) of the Rothbardian stuff; but the clamouring for immediate withdrawal from Iraq regardless of the consequences and willingness to publish authoritarian leftists who happen to oppose the war for their own irrational purposes is enough to put me off. 

Yes Rand opposed entry into World War II, yes people like Chris and indeed myself who point this out get no end of flak from the majority of Objectivists, but once the US were in WWII do you honestly think Rand would have supported withdrawal on any terms other than US victory?

MH




Post 18

Sunday, March 6, 2005 - 1:29pmSanction this postReply
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I don't know why I'm wasting my time, but in case there's anyone left who doesn't see the character-assassination being attempted at Palmer:

Every sane person pro- or anti-war -- or anyone with one iota of knowledge in war and foreign policy history -- knows that "complete and immediate withdrawal" will result in absolute disaster for America and for innocent Muslims in Iraq.

To support "complete and immediate withdrawal" is to explicitly support an American loss in this war. Palmer supports an American victory. That does not make him pro-war, only pro-American. As Raimondo has just demonstrated before your eyes, the two are equally criminal in the judgment of Antiwar.com.

Alec

(Edited by Alec Mouhibian on 3/06, 1:32pm)




Post 19

Sunday, March 6, 2005 - 2:38pmSanction this postReply
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When a war is wrong, supporting its continuation is nuts.



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