Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Robert Taft and the Case Against NATO
As McCain and Obama call for admitting Georgia and Ukraine to NATO, it is worth remembering that another candidate who opposed creation of that alliance in the first place, once came within a hair of winning the Republican presidential nomination. His critique still makes sense today.
In 1950, Senator Robert A. Taft of Ohio firmly explained to dumbfounded interviewers on “Meet the Press” why he opposed sending more U.S. troops to Europe. He condemned the deployment as encirclement and warned that it needlessly provoked the Soviet Union. To hear the entire audio of the interview, go here.
Be patient, the audio might be slow in loading and you'll have to listen a couple of vintage 1950 commercials but it is well worth the wait.
Kudos to Scott Horton at Stress for putting up the audio link.
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Have No Illusions about Obama
As the campaign progressed, however, it soon became all too obvious that a candidate raised up by the "antiwar" wing of the Democratic Party was and is a committed interventionist – and, not only that, but one who is still maintaining some of the hoariest old clichés of interventionist dogma, such as the apparently intrinsic aggressiveness that animates the Russian elite, the supposed centrality of Israel's security to our policy in the Middle East, and the moral imperative of "humanitarian" interventionism, starting in Darfur and ending God knows where.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Richard Milhous McCain Debates John Fitzgerald Obama
Like McCain, Obama endorsed the General Jack Ripperesque move of admitting Ukraine and Georgia to NATO (thus potentially obligating the U.S. to escalate to World War III in case of a border dispute with Russia) and a "surge" of more U.S. troops into Afghanistan. Obama's statements on U.S. military incursions into Pakistan made McCain look almost cool-headed by comparison (no small accomplishment).
Friday, September 05, 2008
Sarah Palin as the Xena of the War Party
Palin's role is the traditional one assigned to the vice president, as candidate and office-holder: she is the attack dog, in what will be a campaign very much concerned with foreign policy issues. Expect her to be the point-woman on the alleged threat represented by Russia: after all, it wasn't so long ago that the Alaskans suffered under the Czars' yoke, and, to add insult to injury, were sold to the Americans for a truly paltry sum. If I were an Alaskan, I'd resent that, and there's evidence Palin did, too: at least that's one explanation for her flirtation with the Alaska Independence Party, which advocates secession from the US. But her secessionist days are over, I believe: in the future she'll be attacking the secessionist Ossetians as Russian agents-of-influence and defending US intervention there, as in Iraq, as a mission divinely ordained.
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
McCain's Role in Creating the Anti-Iraq Anthrax Hysteria
In making these statements, of course, McCain played a key role in creating the climate of fear that led many Americans to support the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
The McCain/Obama Echo Chamber (Part 2)
Friday, July 04, 2008
Robert Higgs on the McCain/Obama Call for a Bigger Military
We hear much talk of “the burden on our troops.”
First, what’s the meaning of “our” in this construction? They’re not my soldiers. Are they yours? It seems to me that these soldiers are the hired hands of George Bush, Dick Cheney, and the other leaders of the gang that styles itself the government of the United States of America. None of this has anything to do with me, except that I am compelled by threats of government violence to pay a portion of the expense of maintaining and deploying these troops.
Second, what’s the sense of the “burden” they are supposedly bearing? They hired themselves out to work as soldiers; they are now working as soldiers. What could be more natural? People who hire themselves out as prostitutes expect to provide sexual services, and they do. People who hire themselves out as bakers expect to make cakes, cookies, and bread, and they do. People who hire themselves out as soldiers expect to kill people and destroy property as instructed by their officers, and they do. None of these classes of workers is any more burdened than the others: each type of worker makes a voluntary contract to supply services, and each fulfills the contract. There’s nothing especially burdomsome about the fulfillment of a voluntary contract.
Of course, we are constantly told how beholden we all are to the soldiers’ selfless services. Nonsense. I am not beholden in the least. Indeed, I devoutly wish that they had confined themselves to earning a living honestly, peacefully, and productively, rather than in a fashion so manifestly fruitful of senseless mayhem, death, and destruction.
And now, to top the evils that already exist, both major presidential candidates propose to employ even more people in this evil fashion. According to St. Matthew (26:52), Jesus declared that “all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.” On the strength of this declaration, one would seem well advised to decline the sword or, if one has already taken up a sword, to put it down before somebody gets hurt.
Thursday, July 03, 2008
The McCain/Obama Echo Chamber
(here) have called for a bigger military. Here is what Obama said:
But we need to ease the burden on our troops, while meeting the challenges of the 21st century. That’s why I will call on a new generation of Americans to join our military, and complete the effort to increase our ground forces by 65,000 soldiers and 27,000 Marines.