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Libertarian has it wrong.

Discussion in 'Legal' started by CMichael, May 14, 2003.

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  1. CMichael

    CMichael Member

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    from the WSJ

    riven to Distraction
    Libertarians have some interesting ideas when it comes to social and economic policy, but when it comes to foreign policy, they're often just plain goofy. Here's a quote from Charles Peña, the Cato Institute's director of defense policy studies, on last night's bombings in Saudi Arabia:

    "If this latest attack is the work of al Qaeda, it should serve as notice that the United States needs to clear the decks and focus the war on terrorism against al Qaeda. It is absolutely imperative that the United States jettison obsolete or unnecessary commitments, such as 100,000 troops stationed in Western Europe to defend NATO against a non-existent threat, and missions, such as nation-building in the Balkans. Even the U.S. presence in Iraq is a distraction. It is also likely to become, if it has not already, a source for motivating terrorism against the United States and U.S. targets in the region."

    Seems to us there were some terrorist attacks against America before we liberated Iraq. The most risible thing about the Cato statement is the complaint about the troops stationed in Western Europe. Now, there is a case to be made for moving some, or even most, of those troops. But they have to be stationed somewhere, and if America followed Cato's advice to "jettison" that commitment immediately, it would face the massive undertaking of moving 100,000 troops all at once. Talk about distractions.
     
  2. themic

    themic Member

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    i have to say that i'm libertarian in almost every way... with a BIG exception of foreign policy.
     
  3. Ian

    Ian Member

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    So...are we defending Germany because they can't defend themselves, or because we can't handle the immense task of moving our troops? Didn't we just move two or three times that many troops into the middle east...?

    And who are we defending Germany aginst, anyway?
     
  4. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    Well, I'm of the Independent Terlingua party, of which I'm the only member. :)

    I'm all for getting out of Yurrop and the Balkans. Let those folks take care of their own affairs.

    Where I differ with Catoman is making a connection with the WOT and Al Quaida. We should have gotten out of Germany by 1991 or at any rate after Desert Storm, and should never have gone into the Bakans at all.

    CMichael, you said, "But they have to be stationed somewhere..." Okay. How about in the U.S.? What's the big deal about the time frame, given that we moved some quarter-million in a few weeks for this recent adventure in Iraq?

    Where is it written that we gotta be GloboRoboCop, making the world safe for International Trade?

    :), Art
     
  5. jmbg29

    jmbg29 member

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    C'mon Art, being disingenuous doesn't become you. Are you trying to say that we can move troops, at the speed that we do, without bases set at strategic points around the globe?

    Please don't blow smoke up my :cuss:. :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
     
  6. Waitone

    Waitone Member

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    Once again libertarians (both capital L and small L) demonstrate they are not ready for the major leagues.
     
  7. mons meg

    mons meg Member

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    Just curious, Art, did you agree with our invasion of Iraq? I would think the Balkan action a few years ago was a better example of waging war for the sake of "good" than Iraq was.
     
  8. TallPine

    TallPine Member

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    France, maybe ....?

    :D
     
  9. BerettaNut92

    BerettaNut92 Member

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    LOL...yeah the tactical team in Godzilla (with Jean Reno) might raid the HK factory and smuggle them to California! I'm all for it!
     
  10. CMichael

    CMichael Member

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    I think there are benefits to having US forces positioned strategically around the world. Let's say a problem occurs in Iran, I think it would be beneficial to have troops based in Iraq.
     
  11. David Roberson

    David Roberson Member

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    CMichael, the article you quote did not advocate moving these troops "immediately" or "all at once." Those are things you added yourself. Pena says nothing to indicate that he would object to a carefully considered repositioning of troops over a period of many months -- he just wants us to move our troops out of Western Europe, where they a) serve little or no strategic purpose to the U.S. now that the Cold War is over; and b) aren't appreciated or wanted by the host countries. Yes, the troops have to be stationed somewhere. It's just that there's no reason for them to be in Western Europe.

    There are Democrats are Republicans also saying we should move our troops out of Western Europe, so how come the idea is "goofy" when Libertarians say it?
     
  12. Intune

    Intune Member

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    I know a couple of borders that could really use 100,000 troops on 'em close to home. Help stop the flow of Oreos. Do it for the children (that always works!)
     
  13. WonderNine

    WonderNine member

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    That's like saying your pro-gun in every way with a BIG exception of "non-sporting" guns. :rolleyes: :barf:
     
  14. Russ

    Russ Member

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    I think they should station them in Syria, Iran and Saudi and do some serious house cleaning.
     
  15. Croyance

    Croyance Member

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    Sure, why not guarentee future terrorism? Then, when more Americans are killed, you can justify any actions you take then.
     
  16. MPFreeman

    MPFreeman Member

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    Bring HK, Anschutz, Sako, Glock to America from Yurrop.
     
  17. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    I'm not necessarily against having bases in such strategic locations that they could be used in cases of specific national interest. Since the USSR came apart, our primary interest areas seem to be the Mideast and the Asian rim.

    (And if ya wanna get into that can of worms, we really need another thread. :) )

    Comparing the Balkans and Iraq as to "justified attacks", it has always been my opinion we have no national interest in the Balkans; we do in Iraq and the mideast.

    The primary strategic importance (again, IMO) of the Balkans is for an oil pipeline route from the Caspian Sea area into western Yurrop. So, let the French and Germans worry about who kills whom in the ongoing three--er--four--er--five (?) way struggle there.

    It has been my belief that S. Hussein was allied with Al Quaida as well as Hamas and Islamic Jihad. I believe he maintained control over the WMD he had at the end of Desert Storm and did not destroy them; and that he continued efforts at WMD manufacture. Last, he knowingly killed thousands of his own citizens for the crime of not liking him--Kurds and non-Baathists. He was (depending on one's time frame) either an active or a potential source of great harm to the U.S. and its interests.

    I guess my primary gripe is that too many countries (IMO :) ) have been getting a free ride, budgetwise, on the backs of our military structure. When the USSR was in existence, it was not unreasonable. That was then; this is now. If I can live my life with the attitude that I am the one responsible for the results of my decisions and actions, why can I not ask this of governments?

    :), Art
     
  18. Tamara

    Tamara Senior Member

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    Didn't some famous dead guy warn us about foreign entanglements? He must have been one of those goofy "not-ready-for-the-big-leagues" small-"L" libertarians or something... ;)
     
  19. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    Tam, in principle First Jawrge wuz right. Howsomever, he didn't foresee such things as the USSR--which really got us bigtime into the foreign entanglement bidness. It has long seemed to me that we have been less than wise as to the choices for some of our dancing partners.

    I often wonder just what would be the world situation, now, if we had done nothing when Iraq captured Kuwait. Talk about a "what if"! But what if, then, had Iraq quit expanding and just went on selling oil? Time for Harry Turtledove, I guess...

    Art
     
  20. stevelyn

    stevelyn Member

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    Our pre-20th Century isolationist foreign policy was not a bad thing. We engaged in commerce like the Founders intended, but stayed out of everybody's internal politics. May not have won us many friends, but it sure as :fire: didn't win us any enemies either. Our "World Tour" started with Spain in Cuba (evidence points to coalbunker KaB not enemy action) and proliferated after that. Our interventionist policies brought us WW I, WW II, Korea (which still isn't resolved), 10 years of Vietnam with nothing but a black wall to show for it, Grenada, Panama (a criminal we created), Persian Gulf I (ball dropped at the moment of victory), Somolia (fumbled again), Haiti (put wrong regime back in power), Bosnia (unresolved, indefinite commitment), Kosovo, PG II.
    I think I'll deliberate a little longer on the benefit of PG II. Afghanistan was justified.
    Uhmmm............What exactly has been the benefit to the USA??? :rolleyes:
    I wasn't for the war in Iraq either, but I also believed that once we committed ourselves we better finish the job and end any further committment of occupying troops.
     
  21. mons meg

    mons meg Member

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    Art: No interest in the Balkans? What about stopping possible genocide?
     
  22. Tamara

    Tamara Senior Member

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    mons meg,

    If American citizens want to go stop genocides, they are more than welcome to do so, but the document from which this government derives its powers grants the government no right to spend public monies or lives on such projects.

    It is a noble cause, but that don't make it a proper project for the fed.gov. Which genocides do we stop? All of them? Some? How do we decide?
     
  23. Ian

    Ian Member

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    We sure did a grand job stopping the Rwandan genocide. "Hi, we're friendly troops, and we're going to be here just long enough for you to concentrate yourselves around our outposts. Then we're going to leave and you'll all get slaughtered."
     
  24. faustulus

    faustulus Member

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    you know a lot of people throw that word around and use it for justification of our latest greatest war. Except when it happens in Africa. Why is that?
     
  25. Sergeant Bob

    Sergeant Bob Member

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    Exactly what genocide was that?
     
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