Best laid plans and all that, and we arrive at an issue that is making the rounds in Liberty-land.
We begin our tale with Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris, the act of terror in France that left 12 people dead last week. It has spurned a discussion about Muslim immigration into Europe, Multiculturalism, Terrorism, Intervention in Syria, Freedom of Speech, and even the reasons for the attack itself.
A popular conspiracy theory is that the attacks were not carried out by Muslims at all, but in fact by agents of Mossad(Israel’s primary intelligence arm), MI6(British intelligence),the CIA, or some combination thereof. This conspiracy is gaining support from former Reagan Assistant Treasury Secretary Paul Craig Roberts, who asserts that the attack was a False Flag.
Meanwhile over at Targetliberty.com, Robert Wenzel has declared that he is Spartacus in an act of solidarity with the maligned Roberts. While he does not entirely agree with PCR’s argument, he does admit that it is convincing and merits debate.The debate led to a blistering attacked by Neocon Supreme Commandante Bill Kristol, who you may know from Project for a New American Century, Emergency Committe for Israel, and the Foreign Policy Initiative. PNAC and ECI may be familiar who are part of the growing “Truther” movement who study 9/11, the Iraq War, and the recent Syrian and Libyian interventions.
FPI made headlines when Russia Today anchor Liz Wahl resigned on air over Russia’s policy regarding Ukraine and the Crimea. Wahl stated that her own resignation was in response to Abby Martin, host of RT’s “Breaking the Set”, speaking out against Russia’s intervention in Crimea. Her resignation was during FPI member Jamie Kirchick appearing to denounce Russia’s “anti-gay” legislation.However it all turned out to be a deception, all “stage managed“, according to Max Blumenthal and Rania Khalek in truthdig. FPI is PNAC with the serial numbers scratched off, as we can see that Bill Kristol and pals are still calling the shots at this Think Tank behemoth.
Justin Raimondo has no patience for conspiracies, much less PCR’s accusation that “All of history is a history of False Flags”. Justin should know from criticism that he and his staff have received before that you NEVER oversimplifying your opponent’s arguments is a sign that you cannot beat the argument on its face. Sun Tzu in The Art of War wrote:
All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when we are able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must appear inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.
So if one Country wishes to attack another, it must engage in deception. Warfare is “the health of the State” as Randolph Borne said or in Sun Tzu’s words:
The art of war is of vital importance to the State. It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin.
How about questioning Pearl Harbor?
Sure does make us look crazy.
How about a Professor making the claim that EVERY War fought by the United States going back to the WAR OF 1812 was a false flag?
Or that Lincoln was the Worst President in American history?
I consider Justin one of the most Prominent Foreign Policy voices in the liberty movement, along with Daniel McAdams and Scott Horton. It never makes me happy when I see leading figures in the liberty movement arguing unkindly. Friendly disagreements are okay, but vitriolic comments cause our fringe(yes, I agree with Julie Borowski and others who identify the liberty movement as fringe). In this case, Justin risks falling into the trap of becoming a Sweetie Pie Libertarian by emphasizing credibility.
Credibility? From who?
The people who called Ron Paul racist because of something someone else had written without his knowledge?
The people who sneer “NEOCONFEDERATE” when the issue of Nullification or Secession is raised?
The People who will call you a “Putin Apologist” for not taking the State Department line on Ukraine?
The People who say stuff like this ?
The Old Left and the New Right both seek credibility, and there quest for public recognition has resulted in over a century of a Warfare-Welfare state. Libertarians do not(and should not in my opinion) seek the approval of a public that has been brought up on government propaganda. Outreach should continue to groups and individuals, but with the understanding that we will still only be a tiny minority.
Groups like the Free State Project are doing great grassroots work for the liberty movement, but have been maligned by the public and the politicians.FSP and Free Keene were openly mocked as harassers on Comedy Central’s “Colbert Report” in their interview with city officials and local cops(no bias there citizen). This is the same Free State Project that was identified as the reason Keene, New Hampshire needs an armored vehicle and why officials are actively seeking to make things more difficult for Free Staters?
Journalist Ben Swann has stated that the liberty movement should welcome Conspiracy Theorists, because they share the fringes with us and we need their numbers to grow the movement. There is no reason why we cannot have ideological consistency and alliances at the same time. I do not need to believe that Hillary Clinton is an alien lizard to know that every statement she makes about foreign policy or the economy is either wrong or a blatant lie.
Conspiracies are an important part of the liberty tradition in this country. Nothing is more patriotic than suspicion of Government, and no one is more suspicious than Conspiracy Theorists. They will be the LAST people to be deceived by a policy announcement or even a push for war(a trap even so-called “respectable libertarians” will fall for). The debate within conspiracy circles over everything from 9/11, JFK, and Vaccines has led to a growing “Alternative” Alternative Media, which goes where even major Alternative Outlets dare to tread. Two of these I personally follow are the Corbett Report and Ryan Dawson’s Anti-NeoCon Report . I do not always agree with the information presented, but it does get me thinking about the issue in new ways, which is ultimately important.
Where should libertarians stand on the issue of Conspiracies?
We should clearly welcome conspiracy theorists as allies in our skepticism about government. We should also not immediately dismiss there ideas, because we understand more than most what it is like to have our ideas mocked and ignored(“But what about the ROADS?”).
But how can we maintain ideological consistency if we are working with those from the left, right, who knows where else?
We ask them the simple questions:
Do you oppose the initiation of violence by a person or group?(Notice the emphasis here is on the imitation of force, not self defense.)
Do you believe that the Government has the right to assault people and take their stuff?
How they answer those questions will determine where you stand with them. No need to go into further concepts of self-ownership, because self-ownership is derived from the Non Aggression principle, that Golden Rule we learned about as children(“Don’t hit someone unless they hit you first”).
The search for Truth is an important element of Western philosophy, whereas Eastern Philosophy posits a more pluralistic view of Truth. “Truther” is a label, even more derisive than conspiracy theorist, because it implies a certain zeal in seeking out information to counter a specific narrative that has been pushed onto the public. Show like Ancient Aliens demonstrate that there is a thirst for such things, but that the establishment seeks to fill that void with nonsense(“Aliens built the Pyramids? sure. The Ukraine crisis is all about expanding NATO controlling the Central Asia? Shut up conspiracy theorist.”).
How twisted has our society become when the word “Truth” has become a bad thing? When being a seeker of “Truth” makes you an enemy of the government, then maybe something is wrong with the Government?
The general public is already told that libertarians are anti-american, anti-semitic,mysognistic, racist, homophobic, hate the poor, and want to kill cops(along with other government officials).Why should the opinion of the DC Cocktail Party crowd factor into any debates we have within our community?
Libertarians should find common ground where possible and work to build coalitions, which is what The Tenth Amendment Center is doing with Offnow.org , and we can learn from their example as we move forward.Rather than engage in attack with cries of “They will use this against us” , we should focus on the validity of Roberts’ arguments and ignoring the Media Agencies who have long ignored us. A healthy debate about this and any other issues are needed, and not simplistic dismissal.
I have followed Justin’s work since a humble email to Lew Rockwell about where I could find an article that dismantled the impression that Andrew Sullivan of the Dailydish was a Libertarian. This inquiry was in reply to the claim that Obama was a “moderate” and even “libertarians” supported him. While I know libertarians who supported Obama out of spite for the GOP in 2008 (and later in 2012), I was confused by how any libertarian could support him in principle. Justin’s writing kept me hooked, and I even checked out his older articles which chronicled the Bosnian crisis ,Tienanmen Square, and more from a revisionist perspective.
Justin has always been a good attack dog for the movement, but he has sometimes bitten fellow libertarians, which is what he is doing here in attacking McAdams. Both Raimondo and McAdams are persona non grata in Ambassador Samantha Powers’ mind, so why bother with an argument over trifles. PressTV, always eager to criticize the West, claimed that the quote came from Ron himself instead of guest blog(according to McAdams, he contacted PressTV and they made a correction).
Also notice that the Supreme Commandante is trying to use this article to get Rand to distance himself from his father. This all comes close to Rand’s recent trip to Texas to strengthen his base with Ron Paul supporters( and to soothe feathers ruffled over a recent appointment Rand made to his staff) . Whether it is part of a Presidential bid is anyone’s guess, and many keyboards have been battered on the topic.
Revisionism has an important place in the historical liberty tradition, and should not be neglected because it will make us look bad to people who cheer at mass murder and describe the deaths of nearly a million children as “worth it”. Liberty lovers do not seek the praise of the Psycopaths who claim to be the shapers of public opinion.
Being a libertarian means you are An Enemy of State.
Tomorrow:“That boy is our last hope“