In this short passage, a friend of mine–the same friend who showed me the video self-hating white men and with whom I spoke about Iraq–shared some thoughts on a goofy article written by a Libertarian. The string of posts in response to the goofy article vexed my friend enough to declaim on how most Libertarians rely too much on principles without data. (Unlike Daniel J. Mitchell, whose articles I love re-blogging here.) This approach is only good for preaching to the choir. My friend’s a very creative, successful, and astute individual with a great sense of humor–as you’ll see below.
In the past two weeks, I saw a troll post about 20 most attractive Libertarian women, which then provoked a feminist-libertarian round table, which then provoked a meta-movement analysis, which is now provoking my response: Why is this important? To be fair, I am not a Libertarian, at least as defined by the libertarians I know, but maybe I can provide some outside advice and criticism. First, realize that most libertarians are not taken seriously because of 1) See above and 2) they are not preparing solutions grounded in empirical best practices that leaders can use. Leaders need to be able to identify and measure the problem, and prepare a strategy to remedy said problem with measurable outcomes.
The worst part? There is plenty of evidence to reject the hypothesis that many government interventions into the market place are effective, and there are plenty of great thinkers (Friedman, Murray, etc…) who were taken seriously because they did exactly what was stated above. Finally, please stop with the masturbatory “meta-libertarian movement analysis” and focus on building practical solutions.
You may know that there exists a bill before Governor Christie of New Jersey concerning limiting magazines to ten rounds. I was thinking about writing an article about how useless this infringement on gun rights is, but I discovered a speech by Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll describing how this bill would turn hundreds of thousands of NJ residents into felons without providing any benefit. Here’s the speech (I apologize in advance for the poor picture quality):
I had a good discussion with a friend of mine on the issue of whether America should aid Iraq in its present crisis. He claimed that we had nothing to gain in aiding Iraq. Many anti-West factions exist in Iraqi politics, they do not really wish to be a free and democratic society, and have no gratitude toward the U.S. for ousting Saddam Hussein. Why should we send in more U. S. soldiers to a region which has a high probability of reverting to a Muslim state even with our continued aid? He might also have added that thousands of Iraqi soldiers fled from a few hundred insurgents. They may have been prompted by the fact that their top brass fled beforehand, but that evinces even more that many Iraqis do not believe in supporting their own government and country.
But, it would still be more to our benefit to intervene on Iraq’s behalf. The failure of their army might be blamed on the fact that they were not properly trained by the time the U. S. pulled out. American generals still wished to leave a force of 20,000 troops behind in Iraq when Obama completely withdrew them from the country. Who doubts that with American advisers the terrorists would have been beaten back? Who doubts that the very weakness of our government emboldened the terrorists to invade Iraq?
It behooves the United States to aid in the expulsion of the terrorists from Iraq. Iraqis as such are not our enemies–as a matter of fact they are our allies. Even if one says that their heart is not presently behind cultivating a positive relationship with the United States, are they going to be more willing when terrorist groups seize control of the government? Will we have any sort of influence on a government which looks to terrorists for leadership? Iran says that they are willing to aid Iraq in its present crisis. Do we want Iraq seeing Iran as their principle benefactors? A nation dedicated to the extermination of Israel? Four thousand and five hundred American soldiers were lost in taking Iraq and helping to build up the nation. While the deaths of Saddam Hussein and the destruction of his government mean that these soldiers can never be said to have died in vain, we do not honor their memory by permitting terrorists to gain a foothold in that country while the comrades of these heroes have barely returned to America.
However, my main reason why we should aid Iraq military (at least through air and sea power) lies in that they are our allies. They are not as good a Muslim ally as Turkey, but what does it say for America to desert them while their government is yet young? The world already knows that our policies tend toward fickleness–especially with the suddenness with which political power can change in Washington. Obama’s advent into the White House has made the U.S. look weak and foolish. If we leave Iraq at this critical time, can we blame foreign nations for looking at us as spineless? Perhaps we cannot afford the conflict, but can we afford further loss of reputation? We need to act as necessary to prevent the destruction of Iraq’s new government or its forming alliances which will destroy their rapport with us. Otherwise, terrorists will be more emboldened to pursue their plans, and Russia and China will see no hindrances to their expansionist agendas either.