Apr
05

John Stossel and David Boaz at the SFL International Conference

By

I just watched two video clips from the Stossel Show recorded at the Students for Liberty International Conference. Stossel’s guest is David Boaz from the Cato Institute. During the first segment, Stossel and Boaz describe their personal journeys discovering the value of liberty and free markets, and they have pretty interesting stories.

The second segment is on war and society. Boaz’s first statement isn’t terrible; he says war is bad for a variety of reasons. It is costly and does not accomplish anything, and he even blames American occupations as the cause of terrorism. Then Boaz completely refutes Stossel’s suggestion that surge was a good idea. Good for him, that’s correct. But then the Q&A session starts (starts at 3:40) and I just about hit the ceiling.

A students asks, “True or false: slaughtering innocent people is never justified.” Stossel, without missing a beat, says that we “had to kill innocent people to end World War 2.” Really? Regulating aspirin? Oh no! That’s an attack on liberty! Incinerating a city full of civilians whose government is trying to surrender? Fully defensible. Fire-bombing Dresden just because it’s a German city? Fully defensible. But gee whiz, if nuking a city into oblivion isn’t wrong, is there any killing in war that is not justified?

Boaz counters the original question by saying that “slaughter” is a charged term and we need to rephrase the question. Even granting that Boaz’s first counter is true, that the question is loaded, his answer that follows is horrifying. Essentially, he argues that killing innocent people probably is justified if it leads to creating freer countries. “Self-defense and national independence are basically the only reasons” that killing innocents is justified. So he is implicitly affirming exactly what Stossel said. I don’t care that he said it “should not be undertaken lightly,” trying to justify deaths of innocent people is always taking an issue too lightly.

I’m kind of a fan of a certain principle of morality, one stating that you do not get special privileges to do certain immoral things if the “circumstances” are right. Killing innocent people is one thing only: murder. You don’t get a free pass to kill innocents so long as “freedom” is in sight. So, an innocent British traveler dies in the American Revolution because an American soldier became angry? Murder. No special rights because you’re a “freedom fighter.”

And if you concede that innocents die in every war, then you have only one conclusion to draw: War is mass murder. Get it?

I’ll give Stossel some grace considering he has not been very exposed to our philosophy except in limited amounts. He is not being thoughtful toward the issue. Perhaps he would come around just as he did on free markets given a substantive and fair presentation of the information. I met him in Austin about a year ago and I think he is a good fellow, and I truly hope he can figure out this critical principle of libertarianism.

How Boaz can hold such contradictory thoughts in his head, though, is downright baffling. I would plead with him to reconsider such positions. Liberty means liberty for all.

Dear Christian reader, I hope we will not make the same mistakes in our own thinking, lest we fall prey to the next justification for mass murder.

UPDATE: This post is getting a lot of traction right now due to it being highlighted in places like LewRockwell.com and others, so I just want to make absolutely clear that I still think Students for Liberty is a fantastic organization and I am not implicating them at all in this particular breach of libertarian principle. I also hold a lot of respect for the work that Stossel and Boaz have done and I am urging them to become better by talking openly about this.

Norman Horn

Norman is the founder and editor of LibertarianChristians.com. He holds a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Arts in Theological Studies from the Austin Graduate School of Theology.

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  • http://www.remnantculture.com/ Remnant Culture

    So do you believe (1) we should have never fought World War II, or (2) we should’ve fought it, but we should’ve somehow found holy discernment to kill ONLY the soldiers whose consciences opposed the war to begin with? (because plenty of soldiers are certainly just as “innocent” as civilians)

    At this point, many libertarians seem to try to persuade me that Hitler wasn’t such a bad dude and he wasn’t really intent on world domination or mass murder (he just loved those precious Czech and Polish folk!). Regardless of Churchill’s (et al) flaws, I think such claims are historically dubious, to say the least.

    War is a horrific thing and should be avoided at all costs. But I think World War II (no, not Vietname, Korea, Afghanistan, or Iraq) is a pretty stinkin good case study for why it is sometimes necessary. I appreciate the consistency of the libertarian framework on this, but in execution it (potentially) ends in a world run by Hitler. I simply don’t get how sitting around while your neighbor gets butchered is a “moral act” if successfully countering the vast bulk of the opposing force requires (unfortunately) the killing of innocents.

    We certainly can always be more *careful* about not killing innocents (i.e. not nuking an entire city), but I think you (as I) are speaking to principle anyway.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lorraine.denardis Lorraine DeNardis

    I don’t like the term, “Justified”. When is killing ever Justified? Maybe it is sometimes legal, but never justified. To state that killing is sometimes justified is messed up. Killing was not “OK” in WWII either. It was more like a necessary evil, and not OK at all. I think to say killing is OK when someone is attacking you, even if it is just one on one, it eliminates everything else one could do in such situations. Why not just kill them? They are attacking you. Usually, when someone attacks an individual the defender doesn’t try to kill the attacker. They just try to get them to stop. They try everything but killing. They only if kill the attacker if is the only action that will stop them from killing innocents. Usually a civilian defender or a cop just points their gun and that is enough to get the attacker to drop their weapons. They don’t outright start shooting because killing is OK now. That’s how innocent people get shot. The truth is, when one enters such a situation, one really doesn’t know. The number one goal is to end the threat, not kill the people. Why should international policies be any different? To say that killing is sometimes OK is saying we should just blow up any nation who poses a threat to us, without asking questions, or having talks, or finding peaceful resolutions. If our leaders have it in the back in their minds that killing is never OK, only a necessary evil, perhaps they will find more peaceful alternatives than war. There are really only a few circumstances where killing really was the only thing we could do to prevent the killing of innocents, and it still wasn’t OK. We just really had no other choice. Those men had to live with that on their conscience and from the vets I have talked to including family members of mine, I don’t think any of them thought killing was OK. It was their duty, but they don’t think killing was OK at all.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lorraine.denardis Lorraine DeNardis

    My great uncle for example was a navigator for the airforce during WWII. He was more or less the engineer behind one of the nuclear attacks against Japan. He used his engineering skills to draw all the flight plans for the attack, and he navigated the planes through radio. My dad said that even though he was so instrumental in ending the war, he is incredibly ashamed and he refuses to talk about it. Perhaps Stossel should talk to some WWII vets before taking such stances. If the vets themselves do not think killing was justified, then it probably isn’t. They are proud of their duty for their country, but they are not at all proud of killing at all. I have also watched several interviews from other vets that felt really guilty about having to be in that situation on the ground, and to kill someone that looks like they could have been their brother. They had no other choice, it was to kill or be killed, but they really didn’t feel good about it at all. My grandfather was a WWII vet as well, and he was just a cook and a barber. Even he didn’t like to talk about it. I tried to get him to talk about it as a girl, and he really didn’t want to.

  • http://libertarianchristians.com Norman Horn

    Joseph, I do believe we never should have fought World War II. See Pat
    Buchanan’s “The Unnecessary War.” Also, see Anthony Gregory’s latest article
    at LRC: “Why the Left Won’t Stop the Wars.”

    Link: http://www.lewrockwell.com/gregory/gregory209.html

    Critical quote:

    “But World War II was the
    worst war ever . Fifty
    million people died. America lost over 400,000 and its government
    participated in the murder of a million or more, easily. Over sixty Japanese
    cities and more than 100 German ones were razed to the ground. The war made
    virtually everyone involved in it worse, except the politicians and
    connected businesses. The most common retrospective humanitarian defense of
    that war – stopping the Holocaust – was surely not the motivation of FDR,
    who turned a boatload of Jews away from American shores. Indeed, people act
    as though the Allied saved six million Jews, rather than doing nothing about
    the slaughter for years, except perhaps to exacerbate the genocide.

    FDR and Truman, conspiring with Stalin, worked to ship a million refugees
    back to slavery and death in Soviet Russia and did nothing as Russian troops
    exacted revenge on the Germans through ethnic cleansing and mass rape. Far
    from saving the world from totalitarianism, World War II ended in a
    stalemate between an expanded Soviet Union and an imperialistic United
    States that held the world hostage for decades under the threat of nuclear
    annihilation. No war conceived by Rumsfeld or Cheney comes close in its mass
    destruction.

    World War II, the greatest international central plan, also transfigured the
    whole of American society, politically and culturally. The economy came to
    be commanded by the center, more so than any time before or since. The
    military-industrial-complex, welfare state, educational establishment and
    scores of new federal programs have lingered since the 1940s. Just as
    important, the American mindset finally made its last transformation from an
    essentially Jeffersonian outlook to Rooseveltian – the embrace of a
    permanent state-corporatist economy, social democracy and activism abroad.
    The nationalization of America that began with the Constitution and was
    consummated by Lincoln became permanent and universally accepted thanks to
    World War II. Maybe this partly explains why the left see it is a Good War.”
    War is the health of the State.

  • Jaired Hall

    Remnant Culture and Norman Horn–this debate, as with so many, is made far more complex because of a disagreement as to historical “facts.” You two could be pretty close philosophically on the justifications for war and still bitterly disagree simply based on the facts you plug into your philosophical formula. But while facts are objective in the sense that what really happened really happened, history is always muddled and we can never fully “know” what happened.

    This is why good historians, good education, clear, rational, critical thinking, open debate, etc., are so vitally important to freedom. It is also why bad history, state controlled education, limited, narrowly focused information, and censorship are such powerful tools of tyranny.

    Remnant Culture states: “At this point, many libertarians seem to try to persuade me that Hitler wasn’t such a bad dude and he wasn’t really intent on world domination or mass murder (he just loved those precious Czech and Polish folk!). Regardless of Churchill’s (et al) flaws, I think such claims are historically dubious, to say the least.”

    On a similar note, I’ve also seen somewhat of a trend on the anti-war folks to ignore or justify the evil perpetrated by Muslim extremists and Middle-eastern and African dictators.

    To focus on one side of evil without adequately dealing with the evil on the other side that the pro-war folks use as their war-justification, opens one up to the sometimes merited attack of “historical dubiousness.” And this can shut the ears of the listener with little hope of reopening those ears. We need to grapple not only with our own biases (Norman, when you do historical research, there is no question in my mind that you have a bias towards trusting anti-state “facts” and distrusting pro-state “facts), but with the biases of those we’re trying to reach (I can’t speak for Remnant Culture, but the vast majority of Americans will read with a bias that automatically trusts official action and distrusts libertarian-type anti-state “facts”). (NOTE: I’m not using “bias” in a negative sense at all, btw.)

    Above all, we need to be honest with the available data/research. I’ve seen this more with far right conservative arguments that with Libertarian arguments (but I’ve seen it there too), but I really despise the anti-intellectual propaganda you often see which you pretty much will only agree with if you’re already firmly in that camp. You can really rev up the choir by preaching to it, but you’re not going to get a lot of converts.

  • http://libertarianchristians.com Norman Horn

    Jaired, I would never try to defend Hitler or a Muslim dictator. Absolutely
    NEVER never NEVER never.

    I guess I take it for granted that those tyrants are terrible. There is no
    question to be asked and nothing new to be revealed. However, it is
    incredibly common to take the OPPOSING side and make them all out to be
    saints, to sanctify THEIR actions as good, right, just, etc. And the fact
    remains that they weren’t good, right, just or what-have-you.

    So yeah, I am biased toward non-statist explanations of history and
    anti-statist interpretations, but I don’t think this is coloring my view of
    the typical list of dictators/tyrants/despots. I just make it bigger?

    Honesty with the data is important, absolutely. Am I not being honest with
    the data, though? Or do you think Anthony is depicting things dishonestly?
    Email me if you think this is better discussed privately. :-)

  • Jaired Hall

    No, I was making some pretty general comments. If I wanted to accuse you of being dishonest, it would have come in a private email.

    In full agreement with your second paragraph: as a child, I always wanted to know “who’s the good guy.” As my knowledge of history increased, I increasingly realized with horror. “Rats. There are no good guys.”

  • http://libertarianchristians.com Norman Horn

    Alright, indeed it is always a good reminder to take a step back and
    scrutinize your thought processes, looking out for your inevitable errors.
    :-D

  • Pingback: Can Killing Innocents Be Justified? « LewRockwell.com Blog()

  • Breaux

    War is ALWAYS a direct reaction to government refusal to accept libertarian principle. At their most basic, they are acts of naked aggression in violation of property and liberty. It matters not if war is fought to, as in WWII, to depose Hitler, or in Libya to depose Ghadafi, if/when war is initiated against a non-agressor, it is immoral, the killing of innocents notwithstanding.

  • Kyzug

    Consistant with the philosophy of liberty, I believe the only time use of force is justified is in defense against an immediate threat. However, devil’s advocate question:

    If a crazed person was having a Joe Stack moment and came into posession of a suitcase nuke AND somehow ended up on a bus downtown filled with innocent women and children, AND you had certain knowledge he was seconds away from detonating the bomb and killing millions AND the only way you could stop him in time was an immediate attack on the bus that would certainly kill all those on board, would you personally order the attack?

  • Tony Pivetta

    It’s all about humanitarian homicide, benevolent butchery and the Greater Good. The Good War mythology surrounding World War II has done much to propagate this crock of hooey.

    I wrote a column about it, if you’re interested: http://www.thornwalker.com/ditch/pivetta_abattoir.htm

  • http://www.givejonadollar.com/ Give Jon a Dollar

    Stossel is becoming great in a lot of ways but he still has a long way to go on war.

  • ND52′, Oklahoma City

    John Stossel–just another neo-con masquerading as a libertarian.

  • guest

    No way, man. So-called “suitcase nukes” only exist in the febrile fantasies of neocons and their stenographer press corp.
    And even if we take your scenario at face value, the answer is still a big, fat, hairy NO. I wouldn’t order a damned thing.
    Besides, what about snipers who could shoot the offender and (hopefully) miss the childrens?

  • guest

    No way, man. So-called “suitcase nukes” only exist in the febrile fantasies of neocons and their stenographer press corp.
    And even if we take your scenario at face value, the answer is still a big, fat, hairy NO. I wouldn’t order a damned thing.
    Besides, what about snipers who could shoot the offender and (hopefully) miss the childrens?

  • guest

    No way, man. So-called “suitcase nukes” only exist in the febrile fantasies of neocons and their stenographer press corp.
    And even if we take your scenario at face value, the answer is still a big, fat, hairy NO. I wouldn’t order a damned thing.
    Besides, what about snipers who could shoot the offender and (hopefully) miss the childrens?

  • Montana

    I pray the Holy Spirit would be strong enough in me that I would hear God’s will for me in such a moment, and that He would grant me the courage to trust and believe Him. The One who made ALL things, Who entered His own creation to rescue man from sin – He will direct our paths when we start turning to Him FIRST.

  • dkmeller

    I believe that it was the brilliant French libertarian Federic Bastiat who said, “the worst thing that can happen to a noble cause is not to be effectively attacked, but to be badly defended”. These so-called “libertarians” today who–to their abject disgrace–find all sorts of ways to defend(?) the profits of munitions manufacturers, bankers being bailed out of unsound loans (by the hundreds of billion$), and, worst of all, naked imperialism of “their” government, the mass-murder on a scale bordering upon genocide, and the shameless might-makes-right militarism victimizing countless innocent people around the world, are perfect examples of MM. Bastiat’s wisdom!

    What better gauge of the morality of alleged supporters of so-called free market capitalism than to have them support mass slaughter in the name of profit? It’s almost enough to get out your Che Guavera T-shirt or Mao’s little Red Book!

    Not really, but I hope that my point has been made!

    PEACE AND FREEDOM!!
    David K. Meller

  • Guest

    The big problem with being in Washington, is that no matter how hard you try, you eventually start to think like a Washingtonian. That’s sort of part of that thing we call culture. Through indoctrination, peer pressure or simple influence it sucks you in. The worst thing that ever happened to Cato was for it to move to DC. We’d know a very different Cato if they were still on Montgomery Street in San Francisco.

    This problem applies equally to the Libertarian Party (which has become largely irrelevant) and more crucially to the Campaign for Liberty. Pressure should be put on Ron Paul to move the C4L to Boston or Philadelphia or San Francisco, anywhere really, other than within a days driving distance of the Beltway.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1676832039 -Richard Simpson-

    What if his nuke is attached to a dead-man’s switch he is holding, so that killing him would detonate the device?

    Perhaps in such a situation, it would be permissible to negotiate?

  • dkmeller

    The argument that WWII was necessary to prevent the (likely) consequences of Hitler’s–and Hirohito’s- military victory would have to be looked at in its totality to be convincing. Unfortunately, I am not sure that you have reliably done so.

    The victorious axis would have murdered millions of people whose lives may have been spared by the Allied victory, but that is not certain! How many completely innocent people were imprisoned, tortured, and murdered by the Allied governments since 1945? How many victims of Stalin (for only the most obvious example) were maimed or killed, often in conditions just as brutal as any to be found in Auschwitz or Dachau, who would have been spared by a Hitler victory in Europe? How many millions of people were impoverished, burned, or killed in the quest for victory by e.g. the Air raids over Europe and Japan, who were dispossessed by the Soviet advance against the Germans under inhumanly harsh conditions, and (unlike Hitler’s victims) are totally forgotten today?

    The savagery of the Imperial Japanese occupation was indeed unspeakable, but was it any more lethal, in either scope or sadism, than what happened to China after 1949, or Indochina after 1954? Could the dissolution of the British, French and Dutch empires have been mishandled WORSE, in terms of life, liberty and property, than what actually happened at the hands of the actual victors? My crystal ball is as cracked as yours, but it is hard to imagine that the Axis would have done worse…the genocidal wars following independence in Africa, the wars of Palestine (Israel) vs. Moslems, the wars between Pakistan and India, and so on…

    Additionally, it is fairly certain that a world after an Axis victory would NOT be saddled with an appallingly expensive, ignorantly meddlesome, and just plain dreadful nuisance of an unelected, unaccountable, and uncontrollable bureaucracy like the UN and similar organizations, instigating and prolonging conflicts of all sorts everywhere, disrupting vulnerable economies and societies, and playing their part in all manner of lies, nuisances, and foolishness–such as the global warming fraud–throughout the world!

    World War II NECESSARY?? Europe–and Asia–were no better off when it was over (and the “good guys” won) then they were when it started! That it was necessary is not as self-evident as you seem to indicate. Food for thought!

    PEACE AND FREEDOM!

  • Anonymous

    Killing innocents in order to secure ‘national independence’ – Isn’t that exactly what the ‘terrists’ are doing?

  • Frank

    I wouldn’t go that far. He is a small-government Republican with libertarian leanings (Beck, Boortz, Root, etc. those are neo-cons masquerading as libertarians). I’m hoping Norman is correct and it’s just that Stossel “is not being thoughtful toward the issue”.

  • J Cortez

    I can’t stand Stossel, but calling him a neo-con is a push. I think he hasn’t thought this through. Bottom line, he needs to read some history. If he doesn’t come around after doing some research, then you can call him a neo-con. But I’d give him the benefit of the doubt first.

  • Mark

    “He is a small-government Republican with libertarian leanings”

    ?? he is not afraid to go on fox(not even just fox business) of all places to defend legalizing ALL drugs and abolishing ALL licensing and regulations(except for environmental protections), including the endangered species act. you gotta cut him a little slack before calling him republican. i really do find his views being criticized here indefensible, and am not really sure where he stands on issues of privacy and other civil liberties, besides free speech(which he is also excellent on). he seems to be one of the more hardliners among reason and cato libertarians, which surely have similar blindspots.

    im just sayin its not fair to call him republican, even small government republican. certainly neocon is out of the question, at least until i see bill kristol advocate complete legalization of crack and heroin, much less medicinal marijuana..

  • Anonymous

    See Fr. Sirico on this: you cannot have certain knowledge, you cannot know what the subject will actually do, you cannot know the consequences of your actions. Not to mention you are in no position to judge whether the women and children are innocent. All that Jack Bauer-imperative-drama 24 Hours was just titillation. Aside from that you cannot do evil to accomplish good. You cannot play God.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BC6FHDWT24Q2SALIFLKMZJBO3M Zee Zee

    what if the suitcase was blue, and the ice cream he was eating was chocolate with fudge bits in it. Would you then steal his ice cream to distract him from detonating his suitcase nuke?

  • Frank

    I stand by that statement. IMO, “a small-government Republican with libertarian leanings” is a “Libertarian” (much of the LP falls into this category). However, I try not to use the term “Libertarian” in this context because many people conflate it with small-L libertarianism which is an ethical view (based on the non-aggression principle). I’m not trying to insult Stossel since I was also “a small-government Republican with libertarian leanings” (aka a Libertarian) as recently as 1996. But, because I spent so much time “being thoughtful toward the issue”, I eventually became a libertarian (aka anarchist aka abolitionist aka [insert favorite label here] — http://www.lewrockwell.com/kinsella/kinsella15.html ) and hopefully, Stossel will as well.

  • Jim Profit

    John Stossel ruined Dr Death’s career as a wrestler, and we know wrestling is all about the action and the drama. Stossel said to his face that wrestling was fake, and the WWF told him to slap Stossel in the face as part of the act, and Stossel took it seriously and said he was going to sue.

    Dr. Death then came out and apalogized, and Stossel STILL sued. And the best his faggot fanbase can give is “he was a liberal back then”. I don’t care, you don’t stop being a douche just cause you change your position on some issues. Also, he’s a pretencious dingbat even WITHOUT this skeleton in his closet. But after all this, he’s neither a neo-con, a libertarian, a republican… he’s just a scumbag.

  • Hosedwardpitaled

    Well do you feel the same way about the Iraqi war?

  • Jess muns

    I don’t understand how a christian libertarian is able to cut the world into two different slices…the world of government (where rationalty is the key to truth) and religion (where rationality isn’t the key to truth)

    It’s one or the other.

    Either something is true because it’s rational, or it’s not….but you can’t cherry-pick where rationality gets to be the standard.

    You can’t claim other people (socialists) should be pursuaded by rationality when you don’t hold yourself to that standard.

    If faith is a valid “argument”, then no one ever has to concede their position.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Z3YYEYKNEMJFP3TNBS2SGUQB2I Brain Fan

    He was not instrumental in ending the war. He was instrumental in mass murder. After reflection he appears to have realized it and that is why he never talked about it. Do a little searching and you’ll find that there was just as much a problem with GIs raping and abusing civilians in WWII just as there are in any other war.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Z3YYEYKNEMJFP3TNBS2SGUQB2I Brain Fan

    There is nothing inherently irrational about faith. Your lack of understanding does not make it so.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Z3YYEYKNEMJFP3TNBS2SGUQB2I Brain Fan

    We’re here to prove that WE can act based on what we’ve learned from God’s word. We act with the free will that God gave us. We don’t pray that God is going to subvert that will and take us off the hook.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Z3YYEYKNEMJFP3TNBS2SGUQB2I Brain Fan

    There are libertarians and there are corporate fascists who use libertarianism as a means to excuse the worst of corporate excess. Stossel is in the latter camp.

  • Wesker1982
  • dkmeller

    Do I feel the same way about the Iraq war?

    AND HOW!!

    I hope that it isn’t too late to Prosecute the Americans–and British–inflicting such suffering upon the people of Iraq Nuremburg style, for “crimes against humanity”!
    This includes BOTH Democrats and Republicans in the USA, and Laborites and Tories in the UK!

    I hope that this reply answered your question and cleared any ambiguities in my post!

    Wishing you…

    PEACE AND FREEDOM!!
    David K. Meller

  • dkmeller

    I hate to spoil your fun, but you left out a few important points in your nightmare scenario above?

    Is there a way to secretly and reliably disarm the nuke from a distance in a way that would injure nobody?

    Is there a way to kill, or even disable the crazed killer in time that would prevent him from triggering the nuke?

    Are you CERTAIN about the “crazed killer’s” intentions, and could he be talked down–as per hostage situations such as armed robbery, kidnapping, terrorism, etc–from detonating the nuke, or taken out by sharpshooter SWATs before he has a chance to trigger the nuke?

    Do you have an option of gassing the bus–with all aboard, driver and passangers as well as crazed killer, and then send in rescuers to seize the bomb from unconscious terrorist?

    Even here, the imperative to employ the MINIMUM use of force is valid, and ought to be respected! I will grant that my counters to your scenario are also quite unrealistic in practice, but you drew up the initial outline for the crisis, and my proposals are no more unrealistic than your scenario!

    All of the above questions, and many others, should be answered before killing the terrorist, much less a busload of innocents, is undertaken. Holster them shootin’ Irons, pardner! Times like those are when it is MOST important to keep one’s reason!

    PEACE AND FREEDOM!!
    David K.Meller

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DRMHYFP5XTZWO4NTHPMJUF7TUA Mike Lorrey aka IntLibber

    The German people were not innocent, they voted Hitler into power, and even when they disagreed with him, they tolerated him remaining in power, when they knew the evil he was perpetrating. The depraved negligence in failing to do their duty as citizens to remove a tyrant from power is their crime.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Z3YYEYKNEMJFP3TNBS2SGUQB2I Brain Fan

    No kidding? You mean EVERY SINGLE German citizen voted for Hitler?! And every one of them knew about the holocaust when and kept that information from the rest of the world? Damn, we ought to bomb them again!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KMTFEMLFLKP6YEN35IRYWDRPKY Anarkisti Frjálshyggjufélagið

    The fact that so many ‘libertarians’ will pander to the military, especially in the Great Crusades, is really obnoxious. The government always lies and everything it does is horribly wasteful and criminal. It’s like Thomas Sowell: how can he not know that of all the impositions of force and inept bureaucracies the military is the classic model?

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  • Anonymous

    Ms DeNardis makes a very interesting but problematic generalization from persons to nations when she writes,
    ” The number one goal is to end the threat, not kill the people. Why should international policies be any different?”
    Nations are not persons, therefore such extrapolations do not work. A person has a will, a mind, and emotions. Neither nations (nor mobs) have wills, minds, or emotions. Therefore, what a person may decide is moral, ethical, and justified in some particular circumstance is not equivalent to the collective’s approximation of some ethical average..

    More: She writes that killing is “never justified”. What is her ruler, the measure, the level, the plumb bob which is the root meaning of “justified”?

    Thank you for an interesting and stimulating piece which has advanced my own thinking.

  • Axionicus

    These men, and I will be specific, Boaz in particular, are phony libertarians. Do some checking about the funding and backing of the “Cato Institute.” This front group, and their leadership, are the managed opposition, and ideologically pose no threat at all to the messianic state. That’s why they get plenty of air time with the controlled media.

  • http://libertarianchristians.com Norman Horn

    I don’t think this is true, Axionicus. I don’t think these people are evil, just misguided in this point. I want us to spur each other on toward furthering the cause of liberty, not cause fights between people who ought to be natural allies.

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  • R. Bentson

    I admit that I did not read every post following this article, so may have missed an answer to this question. Here it is though: how do you define innocent? In other words, who is an innocent and who is not when involved in a war? Is it a simple delineation between servicemember and civilian? I ask this wondering if the servicemen and women who died in WWII (for example) somehow did not have the same right to life as a civilian resident of Dresden or Nagasaki.

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