Essay by The Libertarian’s newest contributor, Ethan Glover
It has become fairly well-known that, despite their personal voting history, most Americans oppose going to war with Syria. President Obama is now making his rounds in the media, doing everything in his power to win the public to his side. Congress, upon emerging from their “classified” briefings, that is, secret meetings that the American people are not privy to, is beginning to support military action. Never mind the thoughts and opinions of their constituents; the government does not represent the people. It represents the occasional ballot box and the whims of political knee jerk reactions. That, at least among the broad world of libertarians, is fairly undisputed. Where the controversy lies, and where I want to hear more opinions, is in the following two questions. Were chemical weapons actually used, and if they were, where should the line be drawn on humanitarian missions?
While I consider both questions legitimate, some may not be thinking that about the first. For now, let’s stick to the second. Are humanitarian missions ever OK, and how should they be defined? The most common argument that exists is the case of Hitler and Nazi Germany. Surely the U.S. and the allies could not have allowed that regime to continue, how does the anarcho-capitalist solve such a huge issue? As an anarcho-capitalist, I face these kinds of questions on a weekly basis. It is arguable that the U.S. had the biggest influence of power which allowed for the Treaty of Versailles to take place after World War I. It was this treaty that destroyed and held back the recovery of Germany and is what led to the eventual rising to power of Adolf Hitler. He did after all get a 90% majority vote and promised economic recovery.
However, what if it happened anyways? What if Hitler rose to power despite that fact? Was the U.S. right in entering the war? Let’s even ignore the fact that trade embargoes on Japan is the primary reason for Pearl Harbor. As an anarcho-capitalist, I would argue,that the customer should may the choice. The customer of the security companies that are asking for the increase in funding to go to war. I am of course against any army acting in the name of a nation collectively. While national support for going into World War II was surely popular enough to build a truly voluntary army at the time, it would not be the case for Syria. If it were not for the fact that government builds and uses armies as it wishes, we would not be in such a sensitive situation with the Middle East at all. The constant policing of countries and overthrowing of dictators who simply want to remove themselves from the petrodollar is no help to anyone and is a significant cause of blowback. When you mess around in other countries, put your military in their streets and kill those who do not welcome your intrusions, you cannot expect that will result in hugs and kisses for you. So does the U.S. need to go into Syria assuming that the chemical attacks happened? Absolutely not, the people do not support it, it does not benefit the U.S. in any way and, in fact, can only harm it. I would like to see for once, the military subjecting itself to the free market. We’ll see how much “support” they can gain for needless wars then.
Where do you draw the line? Do you intervene in humanitarian situations? For me it is only when the people support it and when they are not only willing to pay for it but when soldiers are willing to fight against it. I believe that in the extreme example of Hitler and Nazi Germany that could have been accomplished, especially after Pearl Harbor. I believe that with a free market army there would have been support for Iraq, but it would not have lasted nearly as long as it has and would not have been such a mess. Then again, I believe none of these wars or situations would have ever come about without government in the first place.
Finally, we must ask ourselves the question, were there ever really any chemical weapons attacks by Assad in the first place? The United States government is especially no stranger to false flag attacks. Things like the Gulf of Tonkin are hard to argue as legitimate. One could even make a reasonable argument for 9/11 being a false flag, but that is another conversation. The official story from John Kerry says that the reason they believe sarin gas (a very nasty weapon) was used is as follows, “…we have learned through samples that were provided to the United States that have now been tested from first responders in east Damascus and hair samples and blood samples have tested positive for signatures of sarin.” Signatures of sarin are not the same thing as sarin. Some admittedly far out stretches have made the connection between sarin and fluoride. The argument being that to test hair follicles it is common for an ICP-MS machine to be used, a machine that would essentially find fluorine which is found in both sarin and sodium fluoride. In order to test for sarin very extensive tests would have to be used, in the time it took for the U.S. to respond, this is essentially impossible. All of that of course is only skepticism, and questioning, no real proof or evidence of such a thing can be given, so lets concentrate on the more provable issues.
Rep. Alan Grayson, a congressman pushing heavily against any military strike in Syria noted that even though he cannot discuss the classified meetings held by Obama he can say that no evidence of Assad having used chemical weapons has been brought up. Now here we sit, waiting for Congress to vote on a military attack based on no evidence. The U.S. Supposedly has a representative government, but with very little support it seems the congress would vote for war. The “evidence” and reasoning is not being presented to the people who is supposedly making the decisions through their representatives. At least the British Parliament had the decency to hold a fairly quick vote, but in the end do you think they would stay out if the U.S. went in? Most likely no. If President Obama pushes the United States into a “limited attack”, it will lead to a larger scale invasion. In fact, such legislation is already moving its way through Washington. While President Obama graces us with his image on the television, and talks about disciplining other nations he is pushing for a full scale war. Make no mistake about it, Obama needs to keep the pressure up on the Middle East. The key here, the thing to take away from the article if anything else is that the United States economy depends and leans on the international trade of oil. When people like Assad, Hussein and Gadhafi make the move towards trading oil in local currencies, they must be removed. That is the way it has always been.
Never mind that the U.S. would be supporting “Al-Qaeda”, those two groups are one in the same. Every super-power must have its secret proxy army. It is the collapsing economy that needs the oil trade and it is the struggling oil trade that needs war. And what is the solution? Shut it down. Shut the thing down. Anarcho-capitalism provides the answer. Without government, but instead competing and accountable private security firms that depend on voluntary payments rather than the theft known as taxation we would not be discussing this. That much I know.
What do you think? For the minarchists, where do you draw the line with humanitarianism and when does intervention become necessary? Do you believe Assad used chemical weapons? Why or why not? And for the anarchists, would you support such an intervention and do you think there would be enough support for this that a private army would have any effect?