For more than fifteen years – a sizable chunk of my adult life – I have been criticizing the just war paradigm which has undergirded calls for war by the leaders of states for centuries. My first essay on the topic was published in 2000: “The Injustice of Just Wars,” but that was only the beginning. I also published essays on “legitimate authority”, the dehumanization of soldiers in the just war framework, the “metaethical paradox” of just war theory, the incompatibility of universal human rights with just war theory, and so-called “humanitarian intervention”, which is even more hawkish than the traditional framework, insisting as it does on the necessity–rather than the permissibility–of going to war (see publications list).

I have also published explicit critiques of the number one just war theory guru since the Vietnam era, Michael Walzer, whose 1977 book,Just and Unjust Wars, has been held up in academic circles as a veritable Holy Book for decades. In an early 2001 issue of Dissent magazine (before 9/11), Walzer and I even sparred over our differences, as he wrote a text in response (without, I hasten to add, answering my critiques!) to my essay “Violence & Hypocrisy”.

Continue

Hey everyone, Happy bin Laden Day! It was five years ago May 2 that “we” got bin Laden. How did you celebrate?

For the CIA, marking the anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden was as simple as fake live tweeting the raid by SEAL Team Six on the Al-Qaeda founder’s compound in Pakistan. Using the hashtag #UBLRaid, the CIA blasted out updates of the May 2011 strike as if it was unfolding in real time, all so we could savor the sweet, sweet taste of revenge which brought back to life everyone killed on 9/11.

Continue

Over the weekend a militia supporting Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr breached the “Green Zone” protecting the Iraqi government and foreign embassies in Baghdad. They are protesting ongoing corruption among Iraq’s US-backed leaders. Lawmakers fled and a state of emergency was declared. Is this the beginning of the end for post-“liberation” Iraq? Join the Ron Paul Liberty Report in its 300th episode to look at Iraq’s slow-motion collapse:

Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.

On April 30th, Father Daniel Berrigan, an antiwar activist, Jesuit priest, author, and poet, passed away at the age of 94. Since the Vietnam War, Father Berrigan spoke bravely against American imperialism. But his opposition to US military interventions abroad went beyond speech. Father Berrigan bravely and repeatedly engaged in direct action to resist America’s war machine.

In 1968, Father Berrigan joined eight other antiwar activists to break into a draft office. They took 378 draft files from the office and used napalm to set them aflame in protest. They disrupted an unjust process by which young men were forced to fight a war of aggression in Vietnam. In lighting these records on fire with napalm, they used the empire’s own weapons to destroy its bureaucratic paperwork. Together, they were known as the Catonsville Nine.

The Catonsville Nine were arrested and eventually found guilty of destruction of government property, destruction of Selective Service files, and interference with the Selective Service Act. But these are not legitimate crimes. The Selective Service Act is an unjust law which mandates that people be forced to work, enslaved, in order to advance unjust and aggressive war. Interfering with the Selective Service Act is therefore not justly a crime, but instead a moral act.

Continue

Of course he can. Have a look at the latest trailer for the upcoming Oliver Stone movie, SNOWDEN, due out in September.

The Edward Snowden story is many things, but at some level, well apart from politics, it is a helluva thriller. Think of it: a young programmer, at great personal risk, figures out a way to gain access to a vast trove of very highly classified documents from one of America’s most secret agencies. He then discovers a way to beat all of NSA’s security to smuggle that information out of secure facilities. With the Feds no doubt on his heals, he finds his way to a foreign country, meets up with journalists, and reveals to Americans (and the world) that their own government has been illegally spying on them — reading their emails, listening to their calls, looking in their very bedrooms via hijacked webcams — for years. He then successfully eludes the full resources of the U.S. government and settles into a new life in Russia.

Continue

It should hardly be surprising to anyone paying attention that the federal government lied about every aspect of its “need” to break into the iPhone of the San Bernardino mass-shooter. There was another way to access it than compelling Apple to write code to defeat its own encryption. Breaking in to the phone was indeed intended to set a legal precedent despite what the FBI director promised. And the legislation coming out of Congress to “fix” the problem of encryption will result in the total destruction of any digital privacy for almost literally anyone across the globe. The San Bernardino shootings were another “new Pearl Harbor” event for the US police state to grab more of our liberties and incinerate what is left of the Constitution. Today’s Liberty Report is joined by Ron Paul Institute Senior Fellow Adam Dick to look at the latest developments in the case and what to expect from the upcoming legislation:

Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.