Sunday, September 1, 2013

Libertarianism and The Congressional Vote on Attacking Syria

Wow, the President has sent a resolution to Congress, which will provide both the Senate and the House the opportunity to vote on whether an attack on Syria should be launched. Rest assured, this was not the plan when the White House initially ordered that targets be drawn for an attack on Syria.

Two things happened to the USG which prevented  Obama from acting like it was "just another day of the Empire acting like an empire."  First, the British Prime Minister David Cameron was rejected by the British Parliament, when he proposed military action against Syria. Secondly, Americans are deeply against an attack on Syria.

An August 25th, Reuters/Ipsos poll found:
Americans strongly oppose U.S. intervention in Syria’s civil war and believe Washington should stay out of the conflict even if reports that Syria’s government used deadly chemicals to attack civilians are confirmed….
About 60 percent of Americans surveyed said the United States should not intervene in Syria’s civil war, while just 9 percent thought President Barack Obama should act.
[Only] 25 percent of Americans would support U.S. intervention if Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces used chemicals to attack civilians, while 46 percent would oppose it.

Obama might have been willing to pull off an attack with just one of these two impediments surfacing, but with both of them in the news headlines, the USG would look too much like the bully it is. Thus, the Congressional vote, to add a bit of diluted democratic approval nonsense to any attack.

But there is an important lesson here for libertarians. When the public is deeply against something, it makes it very difficult for the government to act against such public leanings. And thus we see the value of getting the general public to hold libertarian-type positions, even on an ad hoc basis.

Indeed, it is instructive to understand how the people likely adopted their negative view about a U.S. attack on Syria. MSM tends to offer up the explanation of "war weariness," but it is much deeper than this. After, Iraq, Afghanistan and Bengazi, the U.S. people see the USG and its military as bunglers with likely hidden agendas. And, this is all true. It still remains unclear why some of these military efforts, and the mysterious operations at Benghazi, were really launched (Or the real reason the USG desires to launch an attack against Syria.)

As for the military bungling, well the military is a bureaucracy with all the inherent inefficiencies of a bureaucracy. MSM acts as a pretty good propaganda machine for the military that promotes the idea of a spit and polish operation, more powerful than any other on earth, but when it comes to real world confrontations, as we see, the US military has problems against even a rag tag bunch of mountain men. And in Iraq, I doubt any Americans are wandering outside the green zone and it remains unclear why support wasn't immediately provided to Ambassador Chris Stevens and his entourage when they came under attack in Benghazi.

Americans get the US war picture: bungling and hidden agendas. But this is what all government is about and the more that this is thrown into the face of the people so they see it, the better. The more they see it, the more they are likely to oppose government expansion. The message, however, must always be that tinkering can't solve the problem, only the ending of a program is the correct solution. The message should not be tinkering with Social Security to "save" it, but that SS should be ended. The message should not be the introduction of a flat tax (or sales tax) to replace the current tax system, but to cut taxes to zero. Cut, cut, cut, and end, end, end should always be the direction advanced by libertarians, never tinkering.

As for the debate and vote in Congress on Syria, for the libertarian, the high mark likely in this episode was  the fact that Obama feared the people and thus has had to seek out cover via a Congressional vote. But, for the libertarian this high mark is very high. It shows just how vulnerable the Empire is to the will of the people. When they understand the true nature of government, they can put halt and hesitancy into much of it.

The actual Congressional debate is likely to be, for the libertarian, a sideshow, with the debate being shifted to whether chemical weapons were used and if so, who used them. It will move away from hidden agendas, bungling and the problems with the US attempting to be the world's policeman. The public sense, in this case, of the bungling, hidden agendas and downright evil are not deep enough to hold up against a major government pr campaign.

The best statements in Congress during the debate will probably be made by Alan Grayson and perhaps Justin Amash. However, though Amash may be an ally of libertarians during the debate, he is likely to take an "I back my military and President in time of war" stance, if Congress approves a Syrian attack.
A great blow to the Empire will occur if Congress votes down an attack, but that is unlikely. The war propaganda will be flying will be intense. It will subtly move the focus of the people away from the bumbling adventures of the Empire to the alleged horrors which must be stopped by these bunglers with hidden agendas. And the pressure on congressmen to vote for an attack will be enormous.

But the lesson for libertarians, at this time, is nevertheless great: It is important to always and everywhere point out that government, by its very nature, is a bungling machine run by men with hidden agendas, mostly doing evil. On any issue, where the people understand this, the government can very likely be stopped.



    Jim Willie breaks it down for ya.

  2. Excellent analysis Robert. I laugh when people think "just spreading ideas" is pointless. No, just tinkering around the edges and putting faith in politicians is pointless.

    I hold Ron Paul and the libertarians completely responsible for the fact that Syria is currently not being bombed. It may still happen, but the very visible roadblocks that the Administration is trying get through is significant.

  3. Never have so many know in such great detail how they are getting defrauded and robbed.

  4. It is important to always and everywhere point out that libertarian politicians, by their very nature, are men and women with hidden agendas, mostly doing evil.

    1. That obviously being your opinion, not fact. If that statement is made excusing the fraudulence that we visibly see from Democrats and Republicans instead of hypothetical Libetarian fraudulence, your point is taken with a grain of salt

  5. Robert - you are desperately searching for a silver lining in Obama's decision to ask for congressional approval. But no such silver lining exists. Obama continues to operate by the same decision process that grows government and its intrusive violation of human rights foreign and domestic. That decision process is called democracy. A process whereby whoever has the largest gang as revealed by voting or polling is the gang that rules. And that gang clearly believes that human interaction is based on might makes right. Until this changes. Until people reject might makes right which is the rationale for using democracy as a decision-making tool and embrace the one and only human right we are all born with - the right to only our own life, nothing will change. If we did embrace the right to our life there would be just one rule for everyone. That rule is don't steal. Don't steal another persons things don't steal another persons life.

    1. My point was simply that popular opinion can influence government officials, nothing more. How could you possibly get the sense that I was holding out Obama's action as a silver lining, when I wrote:

      "Thus, the Congressional vote, to add a bit of diluted democratic approval nonsense to any attack."

  6. As an Orthodox Christian, I'll be watching how Amash handles Syria very closely. Amash has Syrian ancestry and is also an Orthodox Christian (like the members of the ancient Christian communities in Syria), so this is a very important issue for him. If he backs the president and military in the event of US intervention on behalf of the rebels, that will be a heartbreaking thing to see, as he will be complicit in handing over his fellow Orthodox to red martyrdom.

  7. An NBC poll shows 50 to 42 against bombing. They must have polled Max Boot's family