Hornberger's Blog

Hornberger's Blog is a daily libertarian blog written by Jacob G. Hornberger, founder and president of FFF.
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Hornberger’s Blog, January 2004

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Saturday, January 31, 2004

Given the fact that thousands of innocent people, including more than 500 American soldiers, have been killed in the effort to “disarm Saddam” of weapons of mass destruction that he didn’t possess, in retrospect wouldn’t it have been a lot better if President Bush had accepted Saddam Hussein’s offer to settle their personal differences with a duel?

Friday, January 30, 2004

Amidst increasing calls for an independent investigation by the mainstream press into the Bush administration’s use of Saddam Hussein’s nonexistent weapons of mass destruction to terrify the American people into supporting the invasion of Iraq, which we now know was being planned soon after Bush took office, the White House is now saying that the invasion was justified because Saddam had a history of attempting to acquire such weapons.

Well, if anyone should know about that, it should be President Bush himself, given that it was his father’s regime that authorized the delivery of such weapons to Saddam during the 1980s to assist Saddam in killing the Iranian people with weapons of mass destruction! That’s undoubtedly why the president was so certain that he’d find those weapons once U.S. forces had smothered the country — Saddam had still not accounted for all the weapons of mass destruction that had been delivered to him during the Reagan-Bush years. What the current President Bush obviously failed to consider was the possibility that Saddam Hussein had in fact complied with UN demands to destroy the weapons that that the U.S. had previously delivered to him during the 80s.

Here’s a sampling of articles detailing how Saddam Hussein acquired his weapons of mass destruction from the United States, a subject that unfortunately editorial boards in much of the mainstream press still feel uncomfortable addressing:

Where Did Iraq Acquire Its Weapons of Mass Destruction” (The Future of Freedom Foundation)

Saddam’s Capture Means Trouble for U.S. Officials” (The Future of Freedom Foundation)

Here is a sampling of the editorials and op-eds from the mainstream press on the current Bush administration’s use of Saddam’s nonexistent WMD to justify the invasion:

Americans Deserve to Know” (Des Moines Register)

No Mystery to Untangling WMD Puzzler” (Atlanta Journal Constitution)

A Hollow Claim” (Toledo Blade)

The WMD Debacle” (Louisville Courier Journal)

Where’s the Apology?” (New York Times)

George Bush, In Denial” (New York Times)

Thursday, January 29, 2004

The U.S. commanding general of charge of the occupation of Iraq has announced that occupation forces might be in Iraq until 2006. Meanwhile, his boss, President Bush, says that sovereignty is going to be turned over to the Iraqis this June. Well then, shouldn’t the general have added, “…. if the new Iraqi regime lets us stay”? Whoops.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

In two recent blogs, I’ve commented on Vice President Cheney’s obsessive insistence that someone was still going to find Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction, which the Reagan-Bush administration delivered to him in the 1980s, in some secret “cubby hole” or “ammo dump” in Iraq. As everyone knows, these were the weapons whose supposed existence Cheney used to terrify the American people into supporting the invasion of Iraq.

Yesterday, the New York Times’ lead editorial weighed into the subject by referring to Cheney’s mindset as a “myopia,” especially given that David Kay, the chief U.S. weapons inspector, has effectively concluded that Cheney’s unequivocal prewar claim of the existence of the weapons was false:

“Vice President Dick Cheney continued to insist last week that Iraq had been trying to make weapons of mass destruction, apparently oblivious to the findings of the administration’s own chief weapons inspector that Iraq had possessed only rudimentary capabilities and unrealized intentions. The vice president’s myopia suggests a breathtaking unwillingness to accept a reality that conflicts with the administration’s preconceived notions.”

The editorial pointedly observed that like Cheney, Saddam Hussein himself might also have thought he had weapons of mass destruction, leading the Times to conclude that “both sides of this conflict were divorced from reality.”

I wonder if the vice president has started dealing with the reality of the thousands of innocent people whose lives have been snuffed out as a result of his divorce from reality regarding those infamous weapons of mass destruction.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

An important Sunni group in Iraq has just announced that no Iraqi elections will be valid as long as U.S. occupation troops are in Iraq. Sabah al-Qaisi, who was jailed by Saddam Hussein for his religious beliefs, put it pointedly: “We want real, free and decent elections. Elections under occupation are not the correct way to do it. We want the Americans to leave and then we will hold elections.”

And have you noticed the timing of Muslim Shiite leader Ayatollah’s Sistani’s rejection of the Pentagon’s complex caucus plan and Sistani’s demand that the Iraqi people not be denied the right to vote in direct elections? Sistani’s demand is being made during the U.S. presidential election season, because he undoubtedly recognizes that given President Bush’s overarching desire to be reelected president, this is the most opportune time to make Bush bend in response to Sistani’s demand for democracy. Sistani knows that if Bush is reelected, the day after the election Bush will be back to dictating, not bending, and implementing his goal to install a puppet regime in Iraq whose strings would be pulled by U.S. officials.

President Bush and his Pentagon minions might just be discovering that the Iraqis are not as dumb as they think they are.

Mr. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. Send him email.

Monday, January 26, 2004

An article in the Houston Chronicle about my hometown of Laredo, Texas, is just one more confirmation of the futility of one of the federal government’s longest and most destructive wars — the war on drugs. The article details the horrible violence that the drug war has spawned both in Laredo and its Mexican counterpart, Nuevo Laredo. The sad part of all this is that this is the exact same type of thing that was happening in Laredo when my father served as U.S. federal magistrate in Laredo some 40 years ago and when I was a young attorney in Laredo some 30 years ago.

Meanwhile, in Colombia U.S. officials are lamenting the fact that their crushing of big drug gangs has spawned a multitude of small drug gangs. The head of the U.S. drug war in Colombia, David Gaddis, put it this way: “The head of the mother snake was chopped off…but now we have to chase the baby poisonous snakes, which can be … just as venomous.”

When will the American people finally come to realize all the damage and harm that this federal program has brought to our nation? When will they finally come to recognize the fundamental immorality of the war on drugs? When will the finally begin to judge federal programs not by the good intentions of federal officials but rather by the results of the programs themselves? When will they finally come to realize that there is one and only one solution to the violence that the drug war has spawned — the libertarian solution, the solution that calls for an end to this immoral and failed federal program along with a complete dismantling of the DEA?

Saturday, January 24, 2004

In yesterday’s blog, I commented that in light of Vice-President Dick Cheney’s obsessive insistence that Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction are still going to be found in such places as “ammo dumps,” his mindset could best be described as “This is my story and I’m sticking with it.”

Well, according to today’s New York Times, after Cheney restated his conviction, David Kay, the U.S. official in charge of finding Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction and who is now resigning his position, announced “that Iraq had no stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons at the start of the war last year.”

So, the double question is:

(1) What caused Cheney to be so convinced that Saddam Hussein had those weapons that Cheney used to knowingly and deliberately terrify the American people into supporting the president’s invasion? Recall, for example, Cheney’s unequivocal statement to the VFW national convention in August 2002, which was one of the many statements that terrified the American people into supporting the invasion:

“Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us. And there is no doubt that his aggressive regional ambitions will lead him into future confrontations with his neighbors — confrontations that will involve both the weapons he has today, and the ones he will continue to develop with his oil wealth.”

(2) Indeed, given Kay’s conclusion that Saddam did not have weapons of mass destruction during the time that Cheney was terrifying the American people as a way to garner public support for the invasion of Iraq, what causes Cheney to still be so obsessively convinced in his own mind today that those weapons are hidden in some secret Iraqi ammo dump?

Imagine the last thoughts of a dying U.S. servicemen in Iraq: “My life has been sacrificed because Vice President Cheney was convinced and continues to be convinced that we’re going to find Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction that U.S. officials delivered to him during the 1980s.”

Friday, January 23, 2004

Vice President Dick Cheney said yesterday that he has not given up on finding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, saying that it takes time to “look in all the cubby holes and the ammo dumps and all the places in Iraq where you might expect to find something like that.”

What Cheney failed to explain, however — and certainly feels no need to explain — is how he could be so certain before the invasion, when he was terrifying the American people into supporting the war, that Saddam Hussein still had weapons of mass destruction when, as the events have disclosed, Cheney obviously had no idea where such weapons were located.

Cheney also repeated his prewar assertion yesterday that there was a relationship between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda. Unfortunately, he failed to explain why his boss, President Bush, has openly admitted that there is no evidence of such a relationship.

I suppose Cheney’s mindset could be described as: “This is my story and I’m sticking with it.”

Thursday, January 22, 2004

More federal wrongdoing. Do you recall the Detroit terrorism case in which the feds accused four people of terrorism and a federal jury composed of ordinary Americans found two of the accused not guilty? Well, now we learn that the feds may have engaged in deliberate wrongdoing in trying to secure the conviction of all four defendants. Among other things, the federal prosecutor in the case is accused of knowingly and deliberately withholding favorable evidence from the accused, and the federal judge who presided over the case is now determining whether the wrongdoing necessitates a new trial for those who were convicted. Meanwhile, the Pentagon, which has hijacked our nation’s judicial system in the Jose Padilla case, continues to say to the American people, “Trust us. We’ll deny due process of law and jury trials only to those who are really guilty.”

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Media pundits, especially those on cable news stations that serve as the government’s informal propaganda mouthpieces, are saying that Saddam’s capture sent a message to other dictators that their wrongful conduct would not be countenanced by U.S. government officials. But the issue over invading and waging an illegal war of aggression was not over “getting Saddam” but rather over the killing of thousands of innocent people in the process of “getting Saddam.”

Where is the morality of killing innocent people as a means of “sending a message” to foreign dictators? Isn’t that why the Pope made it clear, before the invasion, that such killings could not be reconciled with God’s commandment “Thou Shalt Not Kill”?

It is critically important that we libertarians continue emphasizing the thousands of deaths, both American and Iraq, that resulted – and continue to result – from both the invasion and the occupation of Iraq, just as we continuously emphasized the deaths resulting from the U.S. government’s actions at Ruby Ridge and Waco. In that way, the consciousness and conscience of the American people will be more easily able to pierce through the lies, deception, and false propaganda and to begin processing the deadly and destructive consequences of an illegal, deceptive, and unconstitutional invasion and war of aggression against a sovereign and independent nation that neither attacked nor threatened to attack the United States

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

The pressure on the military regime in Iraq to grant democracy to the Iraqi people grew yesterday with a public demonstration by 100,000 Shia Muslim Iraqis, who make up about 60 percent of the population, demanding that the military regime permit them to vote in national elections. The protestors were shouting, “Yes to elections” and “No to occupation.” The implicit threat is that if the military regime denies the Iraqis the right to vote, they will resort to violence against occupation forces, which obviously would be a nightmare for U.S. troops, given the large number of Shia Muslims in the country. .

Meanwhile, U.S. officials instead continue to insist that their benevolent tutelage is necessary to guide the Iraqis toward some type of electoral caucus system, with the obvious hope of blocking majority rule in the country and with the goal of producing a puppet regime in Iraq that will do the bidding of U.S. officials.

Wouldn’t that be another ironic and perverse consequence of U.S. foreign policy: U.S. soldiers dying in Iraq in a fight against democracy and with a goal of installing a puppet regime in the country? What a cause for which to die. What a cause for which to kill. What a cause for which to sacrifice a soldier. What a cause for which to invade a country.

Monday, January 19, 2004

On the eve of the Iowa caucuses, Howard Dean has lost his lead and the pundits are saying that one reason for this is that he “went negative” by reminding voters that he is the only anti-Iraq War candidate in the bunch. But we have to keep in mind something important here: While Dean might have opposed President Bush’s war of aggression against Iraq, he certainly does not oppose the paradigm of empire and intervention that holds our nation in its grip, the paradigm that has generated the anger and hatred that is behind the terrorism against Americans. In other words, all the presidential candidates, including the Bush and the Democrats, all embrace the same paradigm and the argument is simply over how it is to be managed.

Moreover, ask yourself: If President Clinton had terrified Americans into falsely believing that Saddam was about to attack the United States with weapons of mass destruction, don’t you think that every single Democratic presidential candidate, including Dean, would have “patriotically” supported him? And the truth is that Bush would have supported Clinton as well, especially given that his response to the Paul O’Neill’s charges are that his policy of “regime change” is the same as Clinton’s (just as his Big Spending polices are, of course.)

Thus the only hope for restoring a sense of liberty, peace, harmony, and prosperity to our lives lies with the American people-and their embrace of an entirely new paradigm-the paradigm of non-interventionism that guided the Founders of our nation. As Americans continue to see more clearly the enormous costs of empire, intervention, wars of aggression, and foreign occupations of sovereign and independent countries, and as they rediscover why our Founders and ancestors rejected that paradigm in favor of the paradigm of liberty, republic, and nonintervention, there is a good chance that the American people will demand the adoption of the new paradigm and lead the world out of the socialist and interventionist morass in which we find ourselves.

Saturday, January 17, 2004

Iran’s hardliners have disqualified 3,000 pro-reform candidates from running for Parliament next month. They’ve undoubtedly been studying the tactics of U.S. hardliners who often use ballot-barrier laws to disqualify pro-reform candidates from running for office here in the United States. Of course, American government officials call such actions antidemocratic in Iran and pro-democracy here, another reason that they continue to serve as perfect models for the term “hypocrisy.”

Friday, January 16, 2004

Well, so the Big-Spending Republicans, who have had the mantra “free enterprise, private property, limited government” printed on their stationery since the 1950s, are now proposing another gigantic public-works project, this time a big and expensive moon-Mars project. But hey, what’s to worry about? As the Big-Spending Republicans said to former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill, Big Spending and Big Deficits are all okay. Maybe that’s why the Big Spending Republicans no longer talk about how they brought down the Soviet Union—by making the Soviet government spend itself into national bankruptcy.

But you have to give these people credit—just like the old Roman Empire, government officials starting wars against barbarians on the farthest reaches of the Empire, then keeping the people in a permanent state of heightened alert with regular announcements that the barbarians are “at the gates,” spending the nation into financial ruin with uncontrolled spending, and then using such “bread and circuses” as moon-Mars projects to distract the people from the rot at the center of the Empire.

Moreover, have you noticed that hardly anyone, including the Big Spending Republicans, is asking the critical question: Why is flying to the moon or to Mars a legitimate function of government? If the quest is to discover whether there is alien life in the universe, we received proof of that long ago. Just walk down the halls of Congress, and all doubts will be eliminated.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

American Airlines pilot Dale Robin Hersh got into hot water with Brazilian officials for presenting them with an obscene gesture as they required him to be photographed as part of Brazil’s cooperation (read: retaliation) with the U.S. government’s war on terror. Hersh was fined $13,000 for lifting the wrong finger while undergoing the new security process at the Sao Paolo airport. He ought to be counting his lucky stars that it was at a Brazilian airport when he expressed his exasperation over the new procedures. If he had done that to U.S. Homeland Security officials and federal troops at a U.S. airport, he’d undoubtedly be facing a much more severe penalty than a fine—and perhaps even prohibited from hiring an attorney and mounting a defense under the First Amendment.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Uh, oh! The Bush administration’s occupying force in Iraq is running into problems with respect to the “freedom and democracy” that they’re supposed to be bringing to the Iraqi people. First, they’re refusing to let each Iraqi vote in direct elections, obviously fearful that such an election won’t produce a puppet regime whose strings can be pulled from Washington. But more ominously, the Washington Post reported yesterday that “administration officials also expressed concern about a separate part of Ayatollah Sistani’s statement on Sunday that demanded that any agreement for American-led forces to remain in Iraq be approved by directly elected representatives.” Heaven forbid that the Iraqi people themselves decide whether to end the foreign military occupation of their country!

With the latest revelations about Bush’s plans to invade Iraq immediately after his election, it is becoming increasingly clear that the war of aggression against Iraq had nothing to do with the WMD that the Bush people used to scare the American people into supporting his war and his military occupation of a sovereign and independent country, but instead with simply getting rid of Saddam Hussein in order to install a puppet regime in Iraq. In other words, it’s nothing more than the standard U.S. foreign policy that has generated so much anger and hatred toward Americans, both before and after 9/11.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Not surprisingly, the U.S. Treasury Department is quickly going after former Secretary of the Treasury Paul O’Neill, who has disclosed that President Bush and his minions began planning for their invasion and war of aggression against Iraq long before they began frightening Americans to death with the prospects of Saddam Hussein attacking the United States with the WMD that the Reagan-Bush administrations furnished Saddam during the 1980s. The administration, which ultimately billed its invasion as an Operation Iraqi Liberation (OIL), is upset because apparently included among the thousands of documents that O’Neill has disclosed are classified ones, apparently including a Defense Department document entitled, “Foreign suitors for Iraqi Oil Fields,” which the Pentagon would undoubtedly want kept secret for reasons of U.S. “national security.” Oh well, perhaps O’Neill should be counting his blessings—at least his wife doesn’t work for the CIA.

Monday, January 12, 2004

I happened to catch a part of the Democratic presidential debate last night—a very short part since it’s so painful to watch and listen to these people, especially on economic issues. Richard Gephardt was asked how he would increase jobs (increasing jobs is one of the essential prerequisites of being president, you know). His response was enough to give any economist heartburn. He said that he’d increase the minimum wage, and he even proposed a worldwide minimum wage. The perversity is not only Gephardt’s propensity to look to government to solve problems but also that he fails to recognize that it is government intervention, especially the minimum wage, that is the root cause of unemployment in the first place. Interestingly, Gephardt suggested that while there should be a worldwide minimum wage, each nation’s minimum wage should be different. You would think that if he wanted to eliminate unemployment (and poverty), he’d want to make the minimum wage equal to, well, what U.S. congressmen earn and apply it across the board for the entire world.

Saturday, January 10, 2004

In another move that exemplifies the hypocrisy that has long characterized U.S. foreign policy, especially in Latin America, State Department officials are complaining bitterly about being fingerprinted when entering Brazil as part of Brazil’s “cooperation” (read: “retaliation”) with the U.S. government’s “war on terror.” Brazil, which has long had a visa policy for Americans to match the U.S. policy requiring visas for Brazilians, is now matching the U.S. government’s new fingerprint policy in which the U.S. government is now fingerprinting visitors from Brazil and other selected countries.

What’s comical (but typical) is that the big complaint from the State Department is that U.S. government officials are being subjected to the same treatment that regular American citizens are subjected to. In other words, U.S. officials want to be exempted from being fingerprinted when they enter Brazil, which is the reason that U.S. officials have decided to exempt Brazilian government officials from the fingerprinting requirement. Heaven forbid that government officials have to put up with the same rigors arising from their war on terror that ordinary citizens have to put up with! The idea is that officials of the U.S. Empire should be exempt and privileged from the consequences of their hypocritical and destructive foreign policy, just as officials were in the old British, Spanish, and Portuguese Empires, which once ruled Brazil, Latin America, and the American colonies.

Friday, January 9, 2004

More federal wrongdoing in the war on terror. Do you remember that terrorism case that the Justice Department brought in Detroit? The government was convinced that the people it was prosecuting were genuine, died-in-the wool “terrorists.” Well, despite the government’s accusation, a jury found two of the defendants not guilty of the terrorism charges.

Well, it now turns out that federal prosecutors illegally withheld favorable evidence from the accused, which means that now the federal judge in the case has to decide whether a new trial is warranted for those who were convicted.

It’s just another example of how the government will stop at nothing to punish those it thinks are “terrorists.” (Don’t forget also the perjury and obstruction of justice in which the Justice Department engaged against Randy Weaver.) And it’s just one more reason why we cannot trust the government to wield its newly claimed omnipotent power to arrest and punish people as “illegal combatants” in its “war on terror” without due process of law and jury trials.

And this is another reason we should be grateful for the Second Circuit Court of Appeals decision in the Padilla case, which unfortunately the Pentagon and Justice Department are contesting and appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court in their misguided attempt to wield such power against the American people.

Thursday, January 8, 2004

Well, it seems that some of the mommas of U.S. soldiers in Iraq didn’t raise fools. According to an Associated Press article entitled “GIs in Iraq Scoff at Reenlistment Bonus,” GIs in Iraq, upon learning of the $10,000 Pentagon offer to reinlist, burst out laughing.

One infantryman said, “Man, they can’t pay me enough to stay here.”

Another soldier in an armored division, who has been shot at a few times, said, “I don’t want to die here.”

Referring to the Pentagon’s policy of “perpetual war for perpetual peace,” another soldier remarked, “I don’t want to be in the Army forever and just keep fighting wars.”

Another soldier, whose response was interrupted by gunfire, said, “You see what I have to put up with? There’s not enough money in the world to make me stay a month longer.”

Well, it seems that one big advantage of the volunteer army is that it seems to have raised the intelligence quota of the American soldier—perhaps even higher than that of the people back home who are “supporting the troops” by forcing them to remain in Iraq to continue looking for those infamous “weapons of mass destruction” and bringing “freedom and democracy” in an alien land that most Americans have never visited and whose citizens they’ve never met.

Wednesday, January 7, 2004

A December 31 Fox News article entitled “Libertarian Heroes of 2003” states in part:

Rep. Paul not only makes this list, he is this list. He’s the most consistent defender of freedom elected to federal office in about 200 years. For Rep. Paul, such devotion to principle is easy. When a bill comes up for a vote, he merely asks himself whether or not the U.S. Constitution authorizes Congress to do what the bill asks. If the answer is “no” — and it almost always is — he votes no. He is reliably the “1” when the House passes a bill 434-1. The Washington Post once dubbed him “Congressman ‘No.’”

Sad — isn’t it? — that the simple act of upholding the Constitution occurs so rarely in Washington that when it does, it merits a nickname for the politician who does it?

If only Congress were composed of 535 people who shared Ron Paul’s libertarian philosophy and an American populace who elected them for that reason, our nation could quickly pull out of the morass, both domestic and foreign, into which the socialists and interventionists have plunged us.

Tuesday, January 6, 2004

For the last several weeks, including today, we have been posting articles in the Economy News section of our FFF Email Update, keeping readers apprised of the rapidly plunging value of the dollar.

Well, have you all noticed the responses of federal officials to the downward spiral of the dollar? “Oh, it’s because of the trade deficit” or “Oh, a debased currency is actually beneficial to American consumers in the long run.”

What destructive nonsense. Notice that hardly any of them are giving the real reason: uncontrolled and unrestrained government spending, revolving around not only the Pentagon and the military-industrial complex and their overseas military adventures but also the massive amount of domestic welfare-state candy that is being distributed in an election year.

Why, notice that Republicans are not even mentioning these days how they brought down the Soviet Union—by making Soviet federal officials spend their nation into financial bankruptcy. Ask yourself: Why would uncontrolled federal spending bring down the Soviet Union but be beneficial to the American people?

And let’s not forget what people are not generally taught in their U.S. history classes in public (i.e., government) schools — that the reason that King George (the one in 1776) was imposing all those taxes on the colonists against which they rebelled was to finance the king’s extravagant spending habits, including those to finance his foreign military adventures.

And as the value of the currency continues to plunge, you can bet your bottom dollar that government officials will resort to the same old standby accusation that are employed by their counterparts in Brazil, Argentina, and other nations whose governments are known for their profligate spending habits and depreciating currency: “It’s those big, bad speculators who are really causing the problem.”

Let’s not mince words, and let’s not fear speaking the truth about our federal daddy: The unrestrained spending of the U.S. government, including the Pentagon, the president, the Federal Reserve, the Congress, and the bureaucrats, is the root cause of the rapidly depreciating value of the currency—as well as any economic crises that might well result from such a policy.

Monday, January 5, 2004

After supporting Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Iran during the 1980s, President Bush (the current president’s father) was supposedly outraged that Saddam Hussein would invade and wage a war of aggression against Kuwait, especially given that Kuwait had not attacked Iraq. Thus, isn’t it ironic that a decade or so later, President Bush’s son would consider it no big deal to invade and wage a war of aggression against Iraq, especially given that Iraq had not attacked the United States?

Saturday, January 3, 2004

Oh, man, talk about a back-handed “compliment.” In an op-ed in today’s New York Times entitled “Running on Reform,” David Brooks commends Republicans for embracing the big-government philosophy of the Democrats.

Observing that Republicans, who used to favor a philosophy of “reducing the size of government,” have accepted the notion that “most Americans people do not actually want their government sharply cut,” Brooks points out that the Republican Party now “lacks a governing philosophy” because their “old governing philosophy [is] obsolete,” leaving the Republican Party “adrift domestically.”

In other words, what Brooks is saying is that they’re all socialists and interventionists now—Democrats and Republicans alike, although Brook is reluctant to use the S and I words probably because of their negative connotation in some circles.

Brooks suggests that the new Republican philosophy should revolve around the word “reform.” In other words, Republicans should continue embracing the socialistic welfare state and the regulated society and simply embrace “reform” as their new philosophy. (Of course, some might say they did that decades ago.)

Thus, for those who continue favoring economic liberty, free markets, and limited government and opposing socialism and interventionism, there is one—and only one—hope, and it lies with libertarianism and us libertarians. Herein lies the hope for restoring our nation to its rightful role in the world. Not surprisingly, Brooks left that part out.

Friday, January 2, 2004

In my blog of last Saturday (Dec. 27), I suggested that Americans had better prepare themselves for increased military casualties in Iraq following the spring season, given that a large number of “green” (that is, not battle-tested) troops will be replacing the troops in Iraq who will have completed their required one-year tour of duty.

Yesterday, the Associated Press reported that “soldiers with the Army National Guard and Army Reserve already are experiencing a bigger share of U.S. military deaths there.” And an article in Reuters yesterday pointed out the enormous dangers to U.S. troops arising out of the Pentagon’s decision to rotate such a large number of soldiers at the same time.

In another interesting development, the Washington Post reports that the Army is now prohibiting soldiers, including reservists and guard members, from leaving the military even though their service contracts have expired.

I think that the casualty situation is likely to be aggravated by the fact that insurgency forces know that President Bush is politically unable to withdraw U.S. forces from Iraq before the November election, leaving U.S. soldiers (especially the “green” ones) perfectly situated to be trapped and ambushed in a land with which they are quite unfamiliar by indigenous people who hate foreign occupiers, especially one that imposed one of the most brutal and deadly embargoes in history against them for some 12 years.

Almost 500 deaths (and counting) of U.S. soldiers (not to mention thousands of GIs injured), and all in order to install a puppet regime in a nation thousands of miles from America — a nation that had neither attacked nor threatened to attack the United States — a nation that did not have all those weapons of mass destruction that the feds used to frighten the American people into “supporting the troops” by supporting a fraudulent and illegal war of aggression and occupation of a sovereign and independent country. I wonder how many of those dead soldiers had the chance to reflect upon their lives before they died — and on how they had been sacrificed by their rulers in a worthless cause.

Thursday, January 1, 2004

In the wake of the tragic earthquake in Iran, we get another example of U.S. federal freedom for Americans. Bush bureaucrats are permitting more (but certainly not all) Americans to donate money to the Iranian people. “Permitting?” you ask? Yes—“permitting.” Right now it is illegal for Americans to do what they want with what they’ve been taught is their own money without federal permission—i.e., donate it to Iranians. After all, who knows best on how to spend people’s money than a federal dictocrat? How is the new permission to donate to Iranians being handled? Well, contrary to what you might think, the duly enacted members of Congress did not enact a law to that effect. Instead, following a well-established federal custom in America, the Bush administration is ruling by decree—delivering licenses to people that give them the permission to donate to the Iranians. What happens if someone donates without permission (that is, without a federal license)? You got it—time in a federal penitentiary for failing to ask, “Mother, may I?” The earthquake is a horrible tragedy for the Iranian people. The false belief engrained in people’s minds that federal bureaucratic rule in America constitutes “freedom” is a horrible tragedy for Americans.

This post was written by:

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.