He identified the neocon agitation to replace the old perpetual war with a new one as soon as it started.


In 1990, Murray Rothbard clearly identified the earliest signs of the ultimately successful decade-long push by the neocons to replace their dearly missed Cold War with a global, imperialist, and permanent War on Islamic fundamentalism and for “Democracy.” He wrote in his April 1990 column “The Post-Cold War World: Whither U.S. Foreign Policy” (which can be found in the collection The Irrepressible Rothbard):

“But if the Cold War died in the Communist collapse of 1989, what can the ruling conservative-liberal Establishment come up with to justify the policy of massive intervention by the U.S. everywhere on the globe? In short, what cloak can the Establishment now find to mask and vindicate the continuance of U.S. imperialism? With their perks and their power at stake, the Court apologists for imperialism have been quick to offer excuses and alternatives, even if they don’t always hang together. Perhaps the feeling is that one of them may stick.

The argument for imperialism has always been two-edged, what the great Old Rightist Garet Garrett called (in his classic The People’s Pottage) “a complex of fear and vaunting.” Fear means alleged threats to American interests and the American people. To replace the Soviet-international Communist threat, three candidates have been offered by various Establishment pundits. (…) [Rothbard here offers international narco-terrorism and reunified Germany as the first two potential bogeymen.]

A third threat has been raised in the Wall Street Journal by that old fox, the godfather of the neocons, Irving Kristol. Kristol, in a rambling account of the post-Cold War world, leaps on the “Islamic fundamentalist” threat, and even suggests that the U.S. and the Soviet Union should discreetly cooperate in putting down this looming world period. Here we see a hint of a new conservative-liberal concept: a benign rule of the world by the United States, joined by the Soviet Union as a sort of condominium-junior partner, along with Western Europe and Japan. In short, an expanded Trilateral concept. Of course, pinpointing Islamic fundamentalism comes as no surprise from the neocons, to whom defense of the State of Israel is always the overriding goal.
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Earlier this week, the federal government’s National Science Foundation, an entity created to encourage the study of science – encouragement that it achieves by awarding grants to scholars and universities – announced that it had awarded a grant to study what people say about themselves and others in social media. The NSF dubbed the project Truthy, a reference to comedian Stephen Colbert’s invention and hilarious use of the word “truthiness.”

The reference to Colbert is cute, and he is a very funny guy, but when the feds get into the business of monitoring speech, it is surely no joke; it is a nightmare. It is part of the Obama administration’s persistent efforts to monitor communication and scrutinize the expressions of opinions it hates and fears.

We already know the National Security Agency has the digital versions of all telephone conversations and emails sent to, from or within the U.S. since 2005. Edward Snowden’s revelations of all this are credible and substantiated, and the government’s denials are weak and unavailing – so weak and unavailing that many NSA agents disbelieve them.

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Imal, a 7-year-old Afghan student in the 2nd grade, came to visit us in Kabul.

Imal1

As Imal grew up, he kept asking his mother where his father was. His mother finally told Imal that his father had been killed by a drone when he was still a baby.

If you could see Imal in this video you would want to hug Imal immediately.

If Imal were a white American kid, this tragedy would not have befallen his father. Which American would allow any U.S. citizen to be killed by a foreign drone?

Suppose the UK wanted to hunt "terrorists" in the US, with their drones, and every Tuesday, David Cameron signed a "secret kill list" like Obama does. Drones operated from Waddington Base in the UK fly over US skies to drop bombs on their targets, and the bombs leave a 7-year-old American kid, say, John, fatherless.

John’s father is killed, shattered to charred pieces by a bomb, dropped by a drone, operated by a human, under orders from the Prime Minister /Commander-in-Chief.

"John, we’re sorry that your father happened to be near our ‘terrorist’ target.’ He was collateral damage. It was ‘worth it’ for the sake of UK national security."

Unfortunately, no US official or military personnel had met with Imal’s widowed mother to apologize.

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On August 9, 1983, three people dressed as U.S. soldiers saluted their way onto a US military base and climbed a pine tree. The base contained a school training elite Salvadoran and other foreign troops to serve dictatorships back home, with a record of nightmarish brutality following graduation. That night, once the base’s lights went out, the students of this school heard, coming down from on high, the voice of Archbishop Oscar Romero.

 “I want to make a special appeal to soldiers, national guardsmen, and policemen: each of you is one of us. The peasants you kill are your own brothers and sisters. When you hear a man telling you to kill, remember God’s words, ‘thou shalt not kill.’ No soldier is obliged to obey a law contrary to the law of God. In the name of God, in the name of our tormented people, I beseech you, I implore you; in the name of God I command you to stop the repression.”

The three in the tree with the loudspeaker weren’t soldiers – two of them were priests. The recording they played was of Archbishop Romero’s final homily, delivered a day before his assassination, just three years previous, at the hands of paramilitary soldiers, two of whom had been trained at this school.

Fr. Larry Rosebaugh, (who was killed in Guatemala on May 18, 2009), Linda Ventimiglia, and Fr. Roy Bourgeois, (a former missioner expelled from Bolivia who was later excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church because of his support for women’s ordination) were sentenced to 15-18 months in prison for the stirring drama they created on the base that night. Romero’s words were heard loud and clear, and even after military police arrived at the base of the tree and stopped the broadcast, Roy Bourgeois, who would later found a movement to close the school, continued shouting Romero’s appeal as loudly as he could until he was shoved to the ground, stripped, and arrested.

As we approach the nightmare of renewed, expanded US war in Iraq, I think of Archbishop Romero’s words and example. Romero aligned himself, steadily, with the most impoverished people in El Salvador, learning about their plight by listening to them every weekend in the program he hosted on Salvadoran radio. With ringing clarity, he spoke out on their behalf, and he jeopardized his life challenging the elites, the military and the paramilitaries in El Salvador.

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I lost one of my favorite teachers this week, as did so many other libertarians, not to mention the freedom movement as a whole. Leonard P. Liggio, 81, died after a period of declining health. Leonard was a major influence on my worldview during the nearly 40 years I knew him. While I had not seen him much in recent years, I have a hard time picturing the world – and the noble struggle for liberty – without him. He was one of my constants.

Leonard was not my teacher in the formal sense. I never got to take any of his classes. But like many libertarians of my generation and beyond, I learned so much from him through occasional lectures and especially conversations.

Since the early 1950s, before he had reached the age of 20, Leonard was a scholar and activist for individual liberty, the free-market order, and the voluntary network of social cooperation we call civil society. (He was in Youth for Taft in 1952, when the noninterventionist Sen. Robert Taft unsuccessfully sought the Republican presidential nomination. See Leonard’s autobiographical essay in I Chose Liberty: Autobiographies of Contemporary Libertarians, edited by Walter Block.)

In his long career, Leonard was associated with the Volker Fund (a pioneering classical-liberal organization), the Institute for Humane Studies, Liberty Fund, the Cato Institute, and finally, the Atlas Network. He was also on the faculty of several universities, including George Mason Law School, after doing graduate work in law and history at various institutions.

Leonard studied with Ludwig von Mises and a long list of eminent historians. He knew the founders of the modern libertarian movement: F.A. Harper, Leonard Read, Pierre Goodrich, Ayn Rand, and more. He was an early member of the Mont Pelerin Society, founded by F.A. Hayek, and eventually president of the organization. As a young man he became close friends with Murray Rothbard, Ralph Raico, George Reisman, Ronald Hamowy, Robert Hessen, and others who comprised their Circle Bastiat. He literally was present at the creation of the movement and helped to make it what it would become.

I believe I originally met Leonard in 1978, at the first Cato Institute summer seminar at Wake Forest University. (I was a newspaper reporter in those days.) However, I may have been introduced to him the year before in San Francisco. That was the year Cato was founded. Leonard was an original staff member and editor of its unfortunately short-lived journal, Literature of Liberty.

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The tiny village of Oakley, Michigan looks fairly unremarkable as you drive through it. Located along the M-52 highway, it consists of little more than a single traffic light, with a bar on one side and a gas station on the other. It’s a village of secrets, however, or so it would seem.

Oakley has 290 residents. They also have over 100 police, for some reason. Those police are also, more or less entirely anonymous.

Who those police are or what they are doing is a mystery, even to the village trustees, who say they don’t even have a proper list of their own of who all these people are, though they have been assured by the police chief that many of them have never even been to Oakley, and likely never will.

So what’s the game underpinning all this? There’ve been a series of lawsuits in recent years aiming to find out exactly that, leading the village to shut the police force down last month.

Here’s where it gets crazy. The village council shut the police down for not having any insurance, because they’re constantly getting sued. Days later, the police showed up again, announcing they’d bought their own insurance and didn’t need the village’s permission to continue to operate. They fund themselves through secret donations from secret benefactors. Weird, right?

Last week, after village council members filed a lawsuit, a judge finally ordered the police to shut down again. Days later, the council voted to finally respond to years of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and release the names of all those secret police. The list has yet to be released, and the council itself is waiting on the police chief to do that, since they don’t have any complete lists.

Today, letters showed up at the doors of the council members’ houses
, on the letterhead of a high profile Detroit lawyer. The letters demanded that they recind the decision and stop the release of the FOIA documents, insisting that the police had been promised anonymity, and claiming that ISIS, yes that ISIS, was a potential threat to the police if their names were made public.

The letter went on to warn that because everyone knows ISIS is a thing, and knows ISIS would want to get ahold of Oakley police, releasing their names would be a malicious act, one for which punitive damages could be awards.