Hornberger's Blog

Hornberger's Blog is a daily libertarian blog written by Jacob G. Hornberger, founder and president of FFF.
Here's the RSS feed or subscribe to our FFF Email Update to receive Hornberger’s Blog daily.

The Master Provocateurs

by

Americans from across the political spectrum are finally waking up with deep concern over the president’s power to assassinate people, especially Americans. People are also increasingly concerned about out-of-control federal spending and debt. For the first time in recent memory, people didn’t fall for the fear-mongering and extortion that federal officials use to diffuse opposition to more federal spending and debt–i.e., that scary sequester that didn’t turn out to be so scary after all.

It seems that after ever-increasing federal infringements on freedom, the massive failure of socialist and interventionist programs, and the growing possibility of federal bankruptcy, the populace might finally be stirring and possibly even breaking through to a higher level of conscience, consciousness, and enlightenment.

So, how do U.S. officials react to this phenomenon?

James Madison provides the answer:

The means of defence agst. foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home. Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended. Throughout all Europe, the armies kept up under the pretext of defending, have enslaved the people.

What a coincidence that just when Americans are stirring, we have a brand new crisis, this one in Korea.  Hey, when people might be losing interest in the 12-year-old perpetual “war on terrorism,” and even possibly realizing that it’s rooted in the U.S. government’s foreign policy in the Middle East, Afghanistan,  and nearby regions, what better tool than to stir up the old bugaboo of communism to frighten people and have them rally to the Cold War-era national-security state?

When U.S officials secured a new set of severe UN sanctions against North Korea, while at the same time initiating a new round of joint military exercises with South Korean forces, make no mistake about it: they knew precisely what the result would be.  They knew that those two things were a sure-fire way to incite the erratic dictator of North Korea, Kim Jong Un, and the reason they knew that is because that’s how the ruler of North Korea has always responded to such provocations.

And sure enough, as thunder follows lightening, the latest round of sanctions and military exercises achieved the predictable result, albeit somewhat more intense than usual. In addition to threatening to push U.S.  forces into the sea, the North Korean ruler is threatening to unleash a nuclear barrage onto South Korea.  If North Korea were to attack South Korea, with or without nuclear weapons, needless to say many of the 28,500 U.S. troops in Korea, whose job is to serve as a tripwire sacrifice to guarantee U.S. entry into the war without a congressional declaration of war or even a national debate, would immediately have their lives snuffed out.

I don’t remember where I read it, but someone came up with a brilliant analogy between scuba diving and U. S. foreign policy. A scuba diver knows that there are countless dangerous creatures in the ocean. But he also knows that if he leaves them alone, they’ll usually leave him alone. But if he provokes them, prods them, or antagonizes them, they’ll come after him.

It’s no different with respect to the world, which is filled with crazy, erratic, brutal, vicious, dangerous people. But if you leave them alone, they’ll usually leave you alone. On the other hand, if you provoke them, prod them, or antagonize them, they’ll come after you, as we have seen with the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center, the attack on the USS Cole, the attacks on the U.S. embassies in east Africa, the 9/11 attacks, and explosive reactions from the ruler of North Korea.

It’s all so predictable. I can already hear them now telling American taxpayers how necessary it is to restore those budget “cuts” for the Pentagon and the CIA so that they can keep us “safe”–from the crises and wars that U.S. officials themselves incite, just as Roman officials did, as Madison observed.

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.