The Militant Libertarian

I'm pissed off and I'm a libertarian. What else you wanna know?

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Ignore It

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Friday, July 15, 2005

Why Are They Killing Us?

Why Are They Killing Us?
by Patrick J. Buchanan

Who carried out the London massacre, we do not know. But, as to why they did it, we are already quarreling.

President Bush says that the terrorists are attacking our civilization. At Fort Bragg, N.C., he explained again why we are fighting in Iraq, two years after we overthrew Saddam Hussein. "Iraq is the latest battlefield in this war," he said, in "a global war on terror."

"Many terrorists who kill ... on the streets of Baghdad are followers of the same murderous ideology that took the lives of citizens in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. There is only one course of action against them: to defeat them abroad before they attack us at home."

Bush was echoed by Sen. John McCain. Those terrorists in Iraq, McCain told Larry King, "are the same guys who would be in New York if we don't win." We fight the terrorists over there so we do not have to fight them over here.

But is this true?

Few Americans have given more thought to the motivation of suicide-bombers than Robert Pape, author of Dying to Win: The Logic of Suicide Terrorism. His book is drawn from an immense database on every suicide-bomb attack from 1980 to early 2004. Conclusion: The claim that 9-11 and the suicide-bombings in Iraq are done to advance some jihad by "Islamofascists" against the West is not only unsubstantiated, it is hollow.

"Islamic fundamentalism is not as closely associated with suicide terrorism as many people think," Pape tells The American Conservative in its July 18 issue. Indeed, the world's leader in suicide terror was the Tamil Tigers of Sri Lanka. This secular Marxist group "invented the famous suicide vest for their suicide assassination of Rajiv Ghandi in May 1991. The Palestinians got the idea of the vest from the Tamil Tigers."

But if the aim of suicide bombers is not to advance Islamism in a war of civilizations, what is its purpose? Pape's conclusion:

"(S)uicide-terrorist attacks are not so much driven by religion as by a clear strategic objective: to compel modern democracies to withdraw military forces from the territory that the terrorists view as their homeland. From Lebanon to Sri Lanka to Chechnya to Kashmir to the West Bank, every major suicide terrorist campaign – over 95 percent of all incidents – has had as its central objective to compel a democratic state to withdraw."

The 9-11 terrorists were over here because we were over there. They are not trying to convert us. They are killing us to drive us out of their countries.

Before the U.S. invasion, says Pape, "Iraq never had a suicide attack in its history. Since our invasion, suicide terrorism has been escalating rapidly, with 20 attacks in 2003, 48 in 2004 and over 50 in just the first five months of 2005. Every year since the U.S. invasion, suicide terrorism has doubled. ... Far from making us safer against terrorism, the operation in Iraq has stimulated suicide terrorists and has given suicide terrorism a new lease on life."

Pape is saying that President Bush has got it backward: The Iraq war is not eradicating terrorism, it is creating terrorists.

The good news? "The history of the last 20 years" shows that once the troops of the occupying democracies "withdraw from the homeland of the terrorists, they often stop – and stop on a dime."

Between 1982 and 1986, there were 41 suicide-bomb attacks on U.S., French, and Israeli targets in Lebanon. When U.S. and French troops withdrew and Israel pulled back to a six-mile buffer zone, suicide-bombings virtually ceased. When the Israelis left Lebanon, the Lebanese suicide-bombers did not follow them to Tel Aviv.

"Since suicide terrorism is mainly a response to foreign occupation and not
Islamic fundamentalism," says Pape, "the use of heavy military force to transform Muslim societies ... is only likely to increase the number of suicide terrorists coming at us."

What Pape is saying is that the neocons' "World War IV" – our invading Islamic countries to overthrow regimes and convert them into democracies – is suicidal, like stomping on an anthill so as not to be bitten by ants. It is the presence of U.S. troops in Islamic lands that is the progenitor of suicide terrorism.

Bush's cure for terrorism is a cause of the epidemic. The doctor is spreading the disease. The longer we stay in Iraq, the greater the number of suicide attacks we can expect. The sooner we get our troops out, the sooner terrorism over there and over here will end. So Pape says the data proves. This is the precise opposite of what George Bush argues and believes.

July 13, 2005
Patrick J. Buchanan is co-founder and editor of The American Conservative. He is also the author of seven books, including Where the Right Went Wrong, and A Republic Not An Empire.

Copyright © 2005 Creators Syndicate

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Thursday, July 14, 2005

Lefty War Mongers

The war in Iraq is a neo-conservative project, right? Yes, in the sense that in the aftermath of 9/11, President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice have come to believe that "the defense of freedom requires the advance of freedom."

But little noticed is the fact that some of the strongest supporters of this revolutionary idea are on the left.

Prime Minister Tony Blair, leader of Britain's Labor Party, is the most obvious example. "A democratic Iraq," he insisted earlier this year, "is not just a giant step forward for Iraq itself; it is a blow right at the heart of the global terrorism that seeks destruction not just in Iraq, but in Britain and every major country in the world."

Blair may be a rare figure on the left _ but he is hardly alone, as has now been demonstrated by Thomas Cushman, Professor of Sociology at Wellesley and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Human Rights. Cushman has edited "A Matter of Principle: Humanitarian Arguments for War in Iraq," a collection of essays by two dozen liberal/left thinkers, all of whom, Cushman writes, represent "what might be called a third view. The basic elements of this perspective are a strong liberal commitment to human rights, solidarity with the oppressed, and a firm stand against fascism, totalitarianism and tyranny."

Among the best-known of the contributors is Christopher Hitchens, a self-described socialist, who two years ago chided the mainstream media for "not doing their job" regarding the "innumerable links" between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda.

That media failure has only become more egregious since Stephen Hayes published, "The Connection," as well as a new and highly detailed article in The Weekly Standard based on internal Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS) documents recently recovered in Iraq. Among them: an internal Iraqi intelligence memo dated March 28, 1992 specifically listing Osama bin Laden as an asset of the IIS, one who has a "good relationship with our section in Syria.'"

Hitchens' support for the liberation of Iraqis has not prevented him from criticizing Bush. Indeed, he writes, he could "not easily name a mistake the Bush administration has failed to make."

The same may be said of Paul Berman, author of "Terror and Liberalism," and another of the contributors to Cushman's anthology. Berman has called Bush "an unusually repulsive politician." But he does not indulge in the "Bush-lied-people-died" brand of polemics.

On the contrary, he observes that while stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction were not found in Iraq after Saddam was toppled (as the major intelligence services expected), "astonishing progress was made in tracking down weapons programs and trafficking in Libya, Iran, Dubai and Pakistan. Some people will go on insisting that sudden progress on these matters has nothing to do with Iraq, and the dominoes tumbled simultaneously by sheer coincidence _ but some people will believe anything."

In a similar vein, Adam Michnik, a leading force in Poland's Solidarity trade union movement, says that "in the conflict between totalitarian regimes and democracy, you must not hesitate to declare which side you are on."

Ann Clwyd, a British Labor MP, writes: "We should have dealt with Saddam sooner. But now that he has been removed, we need to commit ourselves to working with the Iraqi people, to build a new society, based on the ideals of democracy and human rights. And we need to stay the course to enable them to succeed."

And Ian Buruma, Luce Professor at Bard College, writes of the "moral paralysis of the left when it comes to non-Western tyrants," adding: "When Indians kill Muslims, or Africans kill Africans, or Arabs kill Arabs, Western pundits pretend not to notice or find historical explanations, or blame the scars of colonialism...But if white men, whether they are Americans, Europeans, South Africans, or Israelis, harm people of color hell is raised ...One could claim this is only right, since we can only take responsibility for our own kind. But this would be a rather racist view of world affairs."

Among those Cushman does not include in this volume are Senator Joseph Lieberman, leader of the shrunken "Scoop Jackson Wing" of the Democratic Party, R. James Woolsey, who served as President Clinton's first Director of Central Intelligence, former Czechoslovak president Vacav Havel, as well as Martin Peretz and Peter Beinart of the New Republic.

These individuals are not apostates _ they are dissidents. Unlike so many on the left, they have not been swept away from their core beliefs in a post-humanitarian tsunami. They refuse to condone _ or even minimize _ the crimes and menace of Baathism, Radical Jihadism and other varieties of contemporary fascism.

Agree with them or not, they are serious people raising serious questions, in particular, as Paul Berman put it: "The question of how a free society can endure for more than a little while."

(Clifford D. May is president of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a policy institute focusing on terrorism.)

© Copyright 2005 by Capitol Hill Blue

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Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Please Spay & Neuter Your Politicians

Get Your Shirt Now!
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Sunday, July 10, 2005

Independence Day Cartoon

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