Foreign Policy & War

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]

Saber Rattling in Korea: Cui Bono?

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North Korea has announced plans to restart a nuclear reactor that will enable production of weapons-grade plutonium. The announcement coincides with Pyongyang ratcheting up its rhetoric, issuing threats to wage atomic war against South Korea and Japan, and even to target American cities with long-range nuclear missiles it does not yet possess. For decades, North Korea has used its ramshackle ... [click for more]

The Disasters that U.S. Intervention Created

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Americans have forgotten about the Iraq war, which began 10 years ago this week, and the Afghan war, the longest in American history, but the U.S. government is still throwing its weight around in both countries. The Iraq war, the pretext for which was nonexistent weapons of mass destruction, officially ended in 2011 with the withdrawal of virtually all of ... [click for more]
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