Eric Dondero, at his very interesting Libertarian Republican blog, is relieved to see the emergence of debate in the libertarian movement about the proper libertarian position on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and foreign policy in general.
Describing himself as a libertarian who “believe[s] in protecting the homeland first and foremost,” he is a proud supporter America’s current wars in the Middle East, of a strong national defense, and brags about the countries we’ve incinerated liberated throughout our short history.
But is this the true libertarian position?
Libertarianism is the philosophy of limited government, free markets, and personal liberty and responsibility free from government influence. I am sure Dondero would agree with me and other libertarians when we argue for the abolition of the IRS and almost every federal agency, the repeal of federal drug laws, much lower taxes, free trade, decentralized government, and state and local rights.
Where we differ, however, is on the issue of foreign policy and the role of the U.S. military.
Libertarians believe in national defense, which means only going to war for defensive purposes and for America’s vital interests. As far as I can tell, Dondero supports the U.S. military being used as an offensive weapon against third world countries, and supports “stopping genocide.” These are not libertarian positions, no matter what kind of “libertarian” he calls himself.
Libertarians are correctly against war because “war is the health of the state.” War, after all, is just another government program, and the most destructive and evil one at that. War is a revolving door; the more the U.S. intervenes militarily abroad, the more excuses it has next time to start more wars.
Besides the indiscriminate violence and mass-murder inherent in war that is to be condemned, it is the domestic consequences that hit Americans the hardest: deliberate lies and misinformation from our intelligence agencies, a vast expansion of presidential power, violations of habeas corpus, hawks screeching for war in both parties, the smearing of war critics, invasions of privacy, sick and neglected veterans, and trillions of dollars.
Is empire worth this price?
Looking at our current situation how does bombing Iraq, Afghanistan, and western Pakistan to pieces make us safer? It doesn’t, and every bomb that is dropped in the sands of Mesopotamia is one more recruiting tool for Al Qeada, paid for by the American taxpayer.
You can’t fight terrorism with cruise missiles, bombs, and white phosphorous; it’s like attacking Sicily to hunt down the Mob. Muslim terrorists didn’t just wake up one day, take a look at the Bill of Rights, and get so angry at our liberties that they started bombing embassies and flying planes into buildings. They do it because of our blind support for Israel, our stationing of troops and bases in Mecca and Medina, and our incessant intervention, usually with merciless bombing, into their affairs.
When America stops threatening the world, the world will stop threatening America.
And no, Eric, I am not a “Lefty,” “America-hating,” or a “Nazi/Communist.” I am a libertarian, which means I stand in 100% opposition to our modern warfare state, cheered on by both parties, and all of its un-libertarian consequences.
Anti-war is an adjective, and it is the correct adjective, that falls in front of “libertarian.”