Sunday, June 11, 2006

Questions from a libertarian war cheerleader

From the wonderful site Burden of Proof, I got a link to a pro-war advocate asking ten questions to libertarians who oppose the war. Here are my answers. And before I start, I must preface, for those who come directly to this entry, that I am a market anarchist, or more generally, an anarchist of the libertarian kind.

1) When, if ever, is preemptive war (...) justified?

Never. War is organized murder, and therefore there cannot be such a thing as a "just war". The only reason we use the singular term "war", which legitimizes it in the eyes of the population, is because it is violence waged by a state (or against a state) instead of private individuals. In a neutral context we would call it a "gang war" or "organized murder".

Now, just to be clear, I am not completely against the idea that a group of individuals freely decide to foot the bill for an offensive action- because they are threatened by a group of individuals from a different piece of land, say, because of terrorism- and embark in such a campaign. I don't think it can be justified, but I don't want to remove people's freedom to embark in statist stupidities if they so desire, as long as they don't involve me. But there can be no allowance whatsoever for states doing the same thing.

2) When, if ever, is the United States justified in removing a foreign dictator from power?

First of all, the "United States" cannot act or be justified in anything, as it is an arbitrarily delimited piece of land. So the strictest answer to this is that the question is meaningless. But from now on I will assume that by "United States" he means "the people who compose the ruling class of the state that monopolizes the arbitrary territory called United States".

In that case, the answer is "never". The state is never justified in using people's stolen resources in order to interfere in the affairs of other states. All that states do is reinforce the status of their fellow states. And besides, we can already see how well this "helping other countries" justification works with the United States state- everything they touch turns to shit.

3) Do you agree with the position—recently quoted approvingly on this blog by Dr. Kuznicki—that Islamic terrorism is not a serious threat, but a hobgoblin used by the Bush Administration to increase its authority?

Islamic terrorism is a serious threat, but it's no threat compared to the power of my own government. And much of Islamic terrorism is due to American Imperialism. Of course it is used by the Bush Administration as a hobgoblin... what hyped-up threat have you ever heard from a politican that wasn't a hobgoblin to grab more power?

4) Precisely what (if anything) do you propose the United States do about the Iranian nuclear weapons program?

Strongly encourage it. Nuclear proliferation is the best antidote for war, and (with one small exception) no war has ever taken place involving two nuclear powers. Politicians are too scared to risk their own lives for a cause they don't really believe in ("liberating" other countries).

5) Do you believe that the United States should defend Israel, either militarily, by the sale of arms, or in other ways (please specify)?

No. I don't believe that any state should help defend any other. But that is what they do- for their legitimacy depends on it.

6) Can you name a specific case in which an American dissenter, not actually affiliated with a terrorist organization, has been jailed or otherwise deprived of civil rights under the PATRIOT Act?

Faruk Abdel-Muhti (Palestinian peace activist) and Ani Sonam (Tibetan nun) are two.

7) Do you believe that we ought to remove American troops from Iraq immediately, regardless of the consequences to Iraqis?

Yes, yes, yes. Never ask for more state intervention to solve a problem that it created in the first place. That is the very definition of insanity. The use of military force will never help anyone, not Iraqis, not Americans. Only freedom can help a society repair and grow, and it doesn't look like the Iraqis are gonna get that any time soon either way.

8) With regard to interrogation or incarceration: do you believe that infringements of religious sensitivities (e.g., mistreating the Koran) or personal sensibilities (e.g., making men wear women’s underwear on their heads) ought to be regarded as comparable with physical torture?

I do not believe that the state should engage in interrogation or incarceration, so I suppose the question does not in fact apply to my position. But if I had to answer hypothetically, my answer would be "yes", to the extent that religious believers are as much set in their aberrant beliefs as our pain receptors are about transmitting pain.

9) What, if any, legal consequences do you believe flow from a declaration of war?

Whoever issues such a declaration, and actually possesses the power to implement it, should be considered legally fair game for murder. They have issued a credible threat against people's lives, and are a clear danger to the rights of their entire population. As individuals who desire to live in peace, we should not allow such threats to remain unpunished in any sane society based on trust.

I certainly wouldn't be the one who would try to kill him, but I wouldn't demand any penalty against anyone who did.

10) Do you believe that the Bush Administration purposely manipulated intelligence information in order to persuade the Congress to authorize military intervention in Iraq?

If it was a manipulation, it was very flimzy.


Mark said...

I should point out that any war cheerleader (like that awful snot nosed young attorney you quote) is not a libertarian.

Aaron Kinney said...

Great responses!