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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Iraq Can Distract Libertarians From Any Subject

LG, I was hoping PA wasn't Jim Davidson, because the more mentally unhinged radicals there are, the better it is for us non-radicals.  Oh well.

Paulie, I'm still waiting for you to identify your premier showcase poster-child pre-invasion Bush lie about why America should despose Saddam.  Choose carefully. :-)

I'm also waiting for a named bystander to step up and seriously claim that they’re not sure whether the Taliban record on due process was better than America's.  If you've seen one do so, don't be shy about naming him.

If the only prediction you have for me of a bloody post-invasion civil war is buried in Yahoo Groups where we can't see it, that pretty much proves my point that the invasion was unpredicted for all practical purposes of policy-making.  Feel free to try do do better, but I invested several days on it and failed.  Hence my confidence in my challenge.

Your point about Blair misfired because I eagerly embraced the idea of extraditing him to any nation with America's legal standards.

I leave it to our readers to decide whether the fact that some people have been slow to figure out who committed 9/11 is a serious argument that we shouldn’t have deposed the Taliban.  Again, name me a member of our jury who seriously disagrees with me on this point.  (I'm not sure if I've clearly seen even YOU say you seriously disagree on this point.)  You may not be able to find predictions of the Iraqi civil war, but I can easily find predictions that al Qaeda would turn out to be the guilty party.

The torture complaint doesn't pass the laugh test -- the level of American-on-Iraqi torture in post-Saddam Iraq has surely been orders of magnitude less than the level of Saddam-on-Iraqi torture was.  This complaint perfectly illustrates the fundamental difference between us: you care more about having clean hands, whereas I care more about net human lives and liberty.  (If I knew that the Sunnis and Shias would hold such a bloody civil war and had reason to believe it wasn't inevitable after the Hussein regime, then I wouldn't have favored the invasion.  If I knew the Abu Ghraib abuses would be a side-effect of the invasion, I wouldn't have hesitated.  While I care deeply about what the abuses did to America's image, I care far more deeply about the hundreds or thousands of innocent deaths that we knew would be a side-effect of deposing a regime that had butchered millions.)

Depleted uranium is a non-issue; most people who raise it know only that "uranium bullet" sounds like a WMD.  Check out the science.  Really.  For example, a 747 typically contains about a ton of depleted uranium as trim weights.  DU is even used in commercial industrial applications as a radiation shield.  Shouting "uranium!" doesn't win this argument, sorry.

UNSC Resolution 706 of 1991 offered to allow Saddam to sell oil to buy food and medicine for his people while he was under UN Security Council disarmament sanctions for his blatant war of aggression. He refused for five years. Reason magazine says that the estimate of 1 million deaths is inflated, but whatever the number, Saddam was responsible for every single one.  The ghosts of Saddam's myriad victims should haunt you for your efforts to diminish his guilt.

By genocide I mean Saddam's ethnically-targeted mass killings of Kurds, often using WMDs.  You have no evidence that America encouraged or assisted in those mass killings.  I've examined the relevant primary sources in detail. See my findings at  You're the victim of an urban legend here. Sorry.

You need to check your primary sources on Glaspie. All that she is quoted as saying is that the US has no position on the border dispute and that the the dispute should be resolved by Arab diplomacy. Glaspie not having a position on a technical border adjustment and on a slant-drilling complaint is just NOT a "green light" for invasion and annexation of a sovereign state.  To say otherwise is inane.  Please stop regurgitating propaganda, and check the primary sources.  I have.

I don't see how you can claim that the non-aggression principle can tell minarchists that statist lines on maps are sacrosanct.  You must instead mean that the NAP implies anarcholibertarianism and contradicts minarchism.  If so, then you've completely abandoned any pretense of having a dispositive ecumenical libertarian argument against the invasion, and you're backing to preaching anarchism at me.  Been there, done that.

I'll give you one more round on empirical Iraq questions, and then I'll consider it demonstrated once again that I can defend my libertarian case for Iraq liberation against any libertarian critique that gets offered against it.  Again, I'm not saying a reasonable libertarian couldn't have opposed the invasion.  I'm just waiting to hear an argument that a reasonable libertarian couldn't have supported it.  I've never heard such an argument that I couldn't systematically answer -- usually by cutting and pasting from times that I've answered the argument before.

My usual policy when people want to debate fringe empirical claims (like your characterization of Waco) is to ask them to first get their claims past the Wikipedia community.  So I'll debate the topic only if we provisionally stipulate (as I do, sight unseen) to the claims in  If you disagree with what you read there, then I won't debate you on Waco until after you've gotten your version of events accepted for inclusion in the article. Sorry, but that's a luxury I claim by virtue of sharing the mainstream view on the matter.  I say the same thing to creationists, flat-earthers, and most flavors of conspiracy theorists.  (That's not dictating the terms of debate.  That's just distinguishing what I'm willing to defend against from what I consider not worth responding to.  Take that distinction however you please.)

Meanwhile, the "war!" topic has of course thoroughly hijacked this thread, like a banana tossed into the monkey cage.  Note that our headliner, Thomas Sipos, has not attempted to defend his California Freedom editorial from my charge that he systematically swept under the rug the eight most serious charges against Angela.  He instead devoted scarce CF space to a cartoon that puts a Hitler moustache on the 2000-2006 LPCA Chair, and to a recklessly false charge against the 2008 LP nominee.  He proudly editorializes that he didn't vote for the LP's nominee, he doesn't cover the story when 18 LPCA candidates issue a press release, and now he tells us that he's deliberately let his LP dues lapse.  Can somebody explain why the LPCA should be paying this guy $4000 a year to inflict his act on the LPCA membership?