Foreign Policy & War

The U.S. Empire Provokes Terrorism

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Perhaps we’ll never know if intercepted chatter between al-Qaeda leaders — which prompted the U.S. government to close dozens of diplomatic missions in the Muslim world and to issue a worldwide travel alert — was serious or not. But mischief shouldn’t be ruled out. Without cost or risk, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden’s successor, and Nasser al-Wuhayshi, head of ... [click for more]

Book Review: Opponent of Empire

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Rome’s Last Citizen:  The Life and Legacy of Cato, Mortal Enemy of Caesar by Rob Goodman and Jimmy Soni (Thomas Dunne/St. Martin’s Press, 2012),  311 pages. A day, an hour, of virtuous liberty / is worth a whole eternity in bondage. — Joseph Addison, Cato Some of us know that the Cato Institute is named for Cato’s Letters, a series of essays ... [click for more]

El Mal del Estado de la Seguridad Nacional

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Las dos palabras más importantes en la vida de los americanos durante los últimos 60 años han sido “seguridad nacional”. El término ha transformado la sociedad americana a peor. Ha pervertido sus principios y valores. Ha atrofiado las conciencias. Ha alterado el orden constitucional. Y ha producido un gobierno, democráticamente elegido, que ejerce poderes totalitarios. Ahora vivimos en un país ... [click for more]

Stupidity or Plan?

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Are America’s disasters abroad a result of stupidity or some elaborate plan? An observer of modern U.S. foreign policy can be torn on that one. It makes sense that generals, contractors, and other national-security state types will invent and follow a deliberate policy of divide and rule, as well as to create crises to move on to the next big job. ... [click for more]

The U.S. Base on Diego Garcia: An Overlooked Atrocity

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The largest criminal organizations in the world are governments. The bigger they are, the more capable of perpetrating atrocities. Not only do they obtain great wealth through compulsion (taxation), they also have an ideological mystique that permits them uniquely to get away with murder, torture, and theft. The U.S. government is no exception. This is demonstrated by, among many other ... [click for more]

TGIF: So What If Freedom Isn’t Free?

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“Freedom isn’t free.” We’ve all heard this glib line. It usually is uttered as an admonition to those who criticize some government imposition that is defended in the name of national security. The last time I heard it I had just condemned military conscription — the draft — as slavery. It’s also brought out to rebut those who refuse to ... [click for more]

Obama’s Willful Foreign-Policy Blindness

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Republicans are upset about President Obama’s May 23 foreign-policy address, yet politics aside, it’s hard to say why. “We show this lack of resolve, talking about the war being over,” Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told Fox News Sunday. But four days later in his Memorial Day remarks, Obama said, “Our nation is still at war.” Why did the ... [click for more]

TGIF: The Greatness of Peace Activist John Bright

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As we approach Memorial Day — or what I like to call Revisionist History Day — it’s fitting to contemplate the words of one of the world’s great peace activists, John Bright (1811–1889). Bright, a Quaker and Nonconformist, is best known for leading (with Richard Cobden) Britain’s Anti-Corn Law League, the organization that fought successfully to abolish ... [click for more]

TGIF: No Intervention in Syria

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If after the debacles in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya (dare I say Vietnam?) some people still want the U.S. government to intervene — further — in the war inside Syria (but fueled by outsiders), we must conclude, not that they can’t learn the lessons of recent history, but that they won’t because doing so would be contrary ... [click for more]

National Defense, Foreign Policy, and Gun Control

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One of the most popular mantras in the post–9/11 era involves praising the troops for “defending our nation” and “protecting our rights and freedoms.” But how many people ever really think about what those mantras really mean? Indeed, how many people ever give serious thought to what would happen to our nation and to our rights and freedoms if ... [click for more]

Venturing into Mali

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Murray Rothbard once observed that it was getting harder and harder to use the reductio ad absurdum device to ridicule U.S. government policy. Things haven’t changed. Thanks to recent events, we may no longer use “Timbuktu,” a name associated with a far-off middle-of-nowhere location, in a reductio about U.S. interventionist foreign policy. The U.S. government has helped the French ... [click for more]
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