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Rethinking

Charles Hueter has a piece up where he questions his own thinking in regard to the U.S. actions taken in response to 9/11. Part of his piece is a substantial list of articles written in the wake of 9/11 that warned against taking the international action that the U.S. eventually did take.

I sit now in sober understanding that their warnings, accusations, and
predictions deserved the serious attention they were denied by those
who would accuse such concern as anti-American, treasonous,
counter-productive, and childish.

The essential lesson I should have learned from September
11th is that the state causes more problems than it solves and that is
a direct result of the moral bankruptcy of the arguments in support of
it and its actions.

Indeed, in that my own rejection of such things as Harry Browne’s 4-part series at the time was motivated by what I saw as a blame-America-first, anti-American sentiment that seemed so misplaced in those surreal days following 9/11. Had I been paying more attention, or thought it through better, I might have concluded that it was a blame-the-state-first, anti-state message that was the essence of that series and other articles. In fact, in the past couple of years I have stressed a differentiation between the U.S. Government and America that I believe is of essential importance, and I wonder if had I developed that thinking more clearly in those days, my eventual take on the U.S. Government’s actions would have been different.

I’m going to have to go back and read those articles he cites in order to see how my thinking may have changed.

One thing that has not changed, or will change, is the moral imperative to preemptively kill anyone who threatens to kill someone else, has reasonable means of doing so, and really means it. That is the moral basis for killing thousands and thousands of Muslim terrorists before 9/11, after 9/11, yesterday, today, and tomorrow. The limit to how many ought to be killed is determined only by how many still affirm their oath.

It is for this reason, and this reason alone, that I supported the U.S. Government’s expeditions. Yes, they are funded with stolen money; but to draw an analogy, if the thief who just stole your purse is standing between you and someone else who wants to kill you, it’s probably not the time to concern yourself with the theft. Values don’t exist in a vacuum; their relative hierarchical worth is often dependent upon current circumstances.

I cannot help but think at this point that I see almost no personal or social benefit to the expeditions in either Afghanistan or Iran, and I would only think in terms of "benefit" when it is about defending against or removing real threats. At the same time, I see signs that we are accelerating into an age of totalitarianism under the guise of "safety." Most of you just don’t know how real and oppressive is the regime to small and medium size businesses, and by small, I mean generally in excess of 10 employees. For most mom & pops, the state hasn’t yet worked its way down that far and it’s still quite possible to operate in relative freedom under the radar.

But once you begin making any sort of impact, you get noticed, and there is no end to the bureaubots who want and "need" to justify their "jobs" at your expense. It’s generally taken for granted that federalism is a good thing. Yea? Well it’s a nightmare for a national business that must address the same issues over and over and over, times 50. You can’t even imagine.

I know I’m going off track with this, but I really didn’t know where this would go when I began writing it. I suppose my overall point is that America is, to me, magnitudes worse than it was in 2001 in some profound way, and I think that the actions of 19 lunatics on September 11 of that year have very, very little to do with it directly — which is to say that the response has far outstripped the risk.

On the other hand, I could be wrong about that, and I’m just second-guessing without much basis for how things might have been with a less expeditionary response to 9/11.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More

7 Comments

  1. mandrill on September 23, 2006 at 13:32

    The whole world is different since 9/11 which was exactly what those 19 young men and those that sent them wanted. Our governments have changed, without our permission, the foundation of our democracies. No longer can we say that they are built on liberty and freedom. They have been traded for safety and security from an enemy which may have never struck again after 9/11. We gave the terrorists what they wanted by not voicing our opposition to the trade more forcefully. If the Mullahs succeed in bringing down the west then we will only have ourselves to blame.

  2. John T. Kennedy on September 23, 2006 at 13:50

    Rich,

    "Yes, they are funded with stolen money; but to draw an analogy, if the thief who just stole your purse is standing between you and someone else who wants to kill you, it's probably not the time to concern yourself with the theft."

    But these terrorists were never likely to kill you. The local thief was always a far greater threat to your person and property.

    The former threat is far more easy to manage.

  3. Richard Nikoley on September 24, 2006 at 08:25

    "The Bush administration has…"

    You can save it, Daedalus. If anyone thinks that things would be materially different under any other administration, they just aren't dealing with reality.

    It's the logic within the democratic political process that delivers these sorts of results and the differences you're going to find between administrations are superficial, at best.

    This goes to your points about large corporations as well. They are, in a real sense, just an arm of the state. They're structured under laws that shield liability, and they are able to influence the political process to their advantage, just as do special-interest groups made up of thousands or millions of individuals.

    They are all paying taxes, and the logic of the system dictates that he who is best at inflence gets more things his way than others. The state promotes this process. You could get rid of the big corps, or severely restrict their ability to influence through all sorts of laws, and the gap would just be filled by something else.

    So, here's the question. Are you dismayed because some people, groups, or corporations are effective at getting their values supported, embraced, and/or enforced at gunpoint of the state, if necessary, or are you just dismayed that you can't seem to get your values enforced against everyone else?

  4. Kyle Bennett on September 24, 2006 at 08:41

    You moonbats are critical of large corporations because you don't like capitalism, then add on whatever arguments you can find that you think will help convince people – and exaggerate them at will. You'd hate WalMart every bit as much no matter what, simply because they won't unionize and because you think it's "not fair" that they out-compete less efficient retailers.

    It's true that large corporations have legal advantages that they aren't morally entitled to. It's also true that small and medium businesses have onerous taxation and regulation that has no moral basis – imposed almost entirely by you moonbats – that can be overcome by becoming a large corporation.

    It's you guys who skewed the playing field to favor giant corporations at the expense of small businesses. Your complaints – even if valid – are nothing more than wishing you didn't have to reap what you've sown. When is the last time you argued for tax breaks and deregulation of small businesses rather than (or even in addition to) arguing for even more meddling in things that are none of your business?

  5. Daedalus on September 23, 2006 at 19:12

    Most of you just don't know how real and oppressive is the regime to small and medium size businesses…

    The Bush administration has blurred the line between government and corporate America. Us "moonbats" who are critical of large corporations saw that long ago. That "stolen money" that is defending you and this country is not driven by government but by the energy and defense industries who hunger for war so they can make their profits, industries that are controlled by whom? Those who run this administration.

    SMEs have been hurting for awhile now, thanks to gov policies that benefit big business rather than the backbone of American and Western civilization – SMEs. The anti-corporate "nonsense" so many who call themselves libertarians complain about is not nonsense at all. Look at the annual reports from the last few years of energy and defense companies.

    I for one am sick to death of my favorite businesses shutting down here in DC because they can no longer afford the rent, rent that is high because large corporations like Starbucks can and are willing to pay that much.

    It's funny how people are finally coming to realize what some of us "moonbats" have been saying all along.

    ~Another crazy moonbat

  6. T. J. Madison on September 24, 2006 at 22:43

    >>It is for this reason, and this reason alone, that I supported the U.S. Government's expeditions. Yes, they are funded with stolen money; but to draw an analogy, if the thief who just stole your purse is standing between you and someone else who wants to kill you, it's probably not the time to concern yourself with the theft.

    Here's the problem: The thieves took our money and then claimed they were going to use it to protect us from murderers. Given that these thieves are by definition dishonorable, and given their repeated lying to themselves and others about almost everything else, why would we ever believe they are telling the truth about their willingness/ability to "protect" us?

  7. jomama on September 27, 2006 at 07:36

    "Yes, they are funded with stolen money;

    Indeed. And now they've run out of people to steal from.

    Better learn how to defend yourself, without help from the thieves since the blank check with everybody's name on it has bounced.

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