Monthly Archives: December 2006

Another Bush Surrender (See Updates At Bottom of Page)

This time, in Somalia. The weak Somali interim government is under attack by Islamofascist militias with ties to Al-Qaeda. The Ethiopian government has deployed troops to support the Somali government. Yesterday, the Ethiopians upped the stakes by launching air strikes against Islamofascist militia positions in and around Mogadishu. Now, the Bush State Department doesn’t like that very much.

The Bush administration is urging a halt to conflict in Somalia that has intensified since neighboring Ethiopia launched air strikes on the country’s two main airports and sent ground troops into Somali territory. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, Ethiopia’s military intervention is aimed at propping up the weak Somali government, which is challenged by a powerful Islamic militia.

The State Department says the United States is concerned by the deteriorating security situation in Somalia, and by the humanitarian impact of the fighting. A State Department spokesperson told VOA that Somali civilians should be protected, and that the United States is urging all Somali parties to cease hostile actions.

There was no mention of Ethiopia’s role in the conflict. However, the spokesperson said the United States encourages all sides to return to the negotiating table to find a solution that will bring peace and security to Somalia and the region, mirroring earlier statements from the European Union as well as the Arab League.

So, instead of cheering Ethiopia on as they proceed to destroy an Al-Qaeda aligned Islamofascist militia, the State Department wants them and the Somali government to sit down and talk to them. That’s nice, in fact, that makes about as much sense as the US sitting down with the Taliban and Al-Qaeda after 9/11. The Ethiopians should tell Bush to fark off and mind his own damn business and get back to them when he does something about Iraq.

Unfortunately, this is just another incident among many including the double standard that Israel is subjected to when fighting terrorists, the blind eye to the Iranian takeover of Iraq, the increasing debacle in Afghanistan, and the unwillingness to confront Saudi Arabia that demonstrates the lack of seriousness of the Bush Administration in fighting the War on Islamic Terror. Bush has two years to draw up a serious strategy to combat Islamofascist terrorism or he will be remembered as a failure along the lines of Jimmy Carter and LBJ.

UPDATE: I may have blown this call. The BushRice State Department actually is supporting the good guys here.

The State Department signaled support Tuesday for Ethiopian military operations against Somalia, noting that Ethiopia has had “genuine security concerns” stemming from the rise of Islamist forces in its eastern neighbor.

Department spokesman Gonzalo Gallegos also said that the Ethiopian military acted at the request of Somalia’s internationally backed secular government, which has been resisting with little success the spreading influence of the more powerful Islamist forces.

Gallegos noted that Ethiopia has said that its action is intended to prevent further aggression by the Islamic Courts militias.

So today at least, the State Department opposes Al-Qaeda. What about tomorrow?

UPDATE II: A Kossack proves why they can’t be trusted with national security.

Basically it comes down to this:

Ethiopia is not acting in the interests of the Somalian people.

Ethiopia is bombing civilian area of Somalia and invading a country that had not attacked them.

The Somalia Transitional Government is a joke to the average Somalian citizen. So why should we back them?

The al-Qaeda claims against the ICU in Somalia comes from dubious sources.

1)It’s not Ethiopia’s job to act in the interests of the Somalian people. It’s Ethiopia’s job to act in the interests of the Ethiopian people.

2) The “civilian areas” being bombed are transit points for jihadis. As for the “not attacking them”, see this:

The Islamists have caused unease in Washington by expressing interest in establishing a “Greater Somalia” that would include ethnic Somali regions of Ethiopia, Kenya and Djibouti.

Obviously if they nip this potential threat in the bud, so be it.

3) The Somali “government” is far more preferable to an Al-Qaeda proxy army running the show, any day of the week.

4) The “dubious sources” are various jihadis coming in from Pakistan, Chechnya, and the Arab states who are coming to fight and martyr themselves for Allah. Obviously if they get the martyrdom they seek now, it will be better for everyone involved, especially the infidels who won’t have to die as a result of the delayed martyrdom.

I’m one of the original co-founders of The Liberty Papers all the way back in 2005. Since then, I wound up doing this blogging thing professionally. Now I’m running the site now. You can find my other work at The and Rare. You can also find me over at the R Street Institute.

Christmas Day Post

The contributors would like to wish all of our readers a Happy Holidays and a Merry Christmas.

I’m one of the original co-founders of The Liberty Papers all the way back in 2005. Since then, I wound up doing this blogging thing professionally. Now I’m running the site now. You can find my other work at The and Rare. You can also find me over at the R Street Institute.

More on “Liberaltarians”

“Big Tent Democrat” had an interesting diary at Daily Kos about how to neogotiate an alliance with libertarians.

The continuing faux-negotiations of our Lefty wonks with Libertarians is an interesting exercise but it does suffer from a fatal flaw in my view – our Lefty wonks are attributing ideological rigidity to liberal policy prescriptions that simply does not and has never existed. To be a liberal DOES NOT mean being for big government programs, state intervention and single payer healthcare as a matter of ideology. Rather to be a liberal is to to have a set of values and objectives for which good policies to achieve those values and objectives are sought. The policies need not involve state intervention – they need only work.

Okay, so as long as libertarian means are used to achieve leftist ends; we can work together. That’s all fine and good, but what are leftist ends? To answer that, “Big Tent Democrat” links to a piece he/she/it wrote at Talkleft.

We lliberal love our goals – equality, egalitarianism, economic and racial justice and where our goals our mouthed by an ideology, we are more tolerant. We should not be.

To me liberalism can and does embrace economic libertararianism where it meets the goals of liberalism. We are pragmatic. If social justice and economic equality could be reached be cuts in the estate tax, we liberals would support it. We oppose it because it does exactly the opposite.

And here lies the fatal flaw of any leftist-libertarian alliance. The leftist goals are simply incompatable with the main goal of libertarianism, individual freedom. To a libertarian or a classical liberal, the individual is most important. To a leftist or a socialist, the collective is more important.

Social justice and economic equality start from the premise that all people should not only equal opportunity, but an equal result where possible. However, under a capitalist system that promotes individual liberty, there is possible way that an equal result will come about. In addition, to promote “economic equality” usually requires the theft of personal property via taxation in order to be redistributed to the government decided losers in life.

So any leftist-libertarian alliance would do very little, if anything, to protect and expand liberty.

I’m one of the original co-founders of The Liberty Papers all the way back in 2005. Since then, I wound up doing this blogging thing professionally. Now I’m running the site now. You can find my other work at The and Rare. You can also find me over at the R Street Institute.

Latest Police Harassment

Radley Balko has the skinny on a series of recurring harassing actions undertaken by the police force against the proprietor of a local bar (including a 90 person SWAT-team raid under the auspices of an “alcohol inspection”) in Manassas Park, VA. The story seems almost too absurd to be true, as the harassment has gone on for over 2 years, and it begs the question why. Of course, money and local big shots are involved, along with an interesting gambling twist, and the possibility of a personal vendetta. The courts have denied said proprietor legal recourse, at least for now. Make sure to read the other posts that he links to, especially the video of the SWAT raid.

More here.

Update: Be sure to check out the comments as Neil Ruttenberg, the father of David Ruttenberg (the proprietor), has left one with quite a bit more information about the court case.

The Congruence of Rights and Utility

At this point in history, the purpose or goal of politics—and, theoretically, politicians—is ostensibly a balancing act: on one hand is the moral obligation to respect the inalienable rights of every individual, with the maintenance of a civilized, peaceful society on the other. Unfortunately, individual liberty is rapidly becoming a nuisance that stands in the way of “progress” and “social justice”, which are clever code words for democratic socialism: coercive redistribution of wealth with the blessing of the majority.

There are, no doubt, well-intentioned individuals who have a utilitarian bent; they simply prioritize differently (incorrectly, in my view), with regard to positive vs. negative freedoms. For instance, take Joe Miller’s argument:

When I say, “Of course redistribution is consistent with autonomy”, I mean that it’s consistent with a notion of positive freedom. Forcing you to give your money to someone else is no different from forcing you to stop hitting the person. Failure to provide certain of his basic needs is exactly as wrong as clubbing him online pharmacy over the head. Both violate his While organizations see the potential for leveraging big to solve many previously unsolvable problems, the process comes at a cost. autonomy.

I borrowed the title from an interesting Will Wilkinson post that begins with a lengthy quote of Herbert Spencer who—according to Wilkinson—was a pluralist utilitarian.

Assuming it to be in other respects satisfactory, a rule, principle, or axiom, is valuable only in so far as the words in which it is expressed have a definite meaning. The terms used must be universally accepted in the same

sense, otherwise the proposition will be liable to such various constructions, as to lose all claim to the title—a rule. We must therefore take it for granted that when he announced

“the greatest happiness to the greatest number” as the canon of social morality, its originator supposed mankind to be unanimous in their definition of “greatest happiness.”

This was a most unfortunate assumption, for no fact is more palpable than that the standard of happiness is infinitely variable. In all ages—amongst every people—by each class—do we find different notions of it entertained.

Giving leftists the benefit of the doubt (excluding those who, out of pure jealously and spite, want to punish the rich), it seems that their ultimate goal really is “the greatest happiness to the greatest number”; but the means that they prefer not only have failed—and are failing—miserably, those means (coercion, confiscatory taxation, etc.) are intrinsically immoral. So, how can society, via government and politics, achieve “the congruence of rights and utility” without violating the concepts of individual liberty or political and economic freedoms?

The best bet politically is a general, neutral framework of rights that enable harmonious social cooperation in pursuit of one’s good, however one conceives it.

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