The narrow horizon of Libertarians 45

We consider ourselves libertarians with a small “l”: atheist libertarian conservatives.

We are not, however, to be counted among Libertarians because we part company with them on a number of issues that have arisen in our experience.

Some libertarian organizations are historical revisionists – in particular, Holocaust revisionists. One group told us they do not believe the Holocaust ever happened, or if it did, “the numbers of those killed could not have been anywhere near as large as is alleged”. This is not just ignorant, it must be maliciously intended too.

Libertarians have maintained that it’s okay to use children for pornography “if you pay them”. This is so vile, we can only hope most Libertarians do not agree with it.

Libertarians keep themselves under-informed about foreign affairs, and are absurdly pacifist. In America many are isolationist. We believe the US needs to be very strongly defended, and that defense sometimes requires a pre-emptive strike. We also believe in the Pax Americana, which means at present that this single super-power has a duty to protect the non-Islamic world from the forces of savage Islam – with arms if necessary.

Now a well-known Libertarian, a candidate for the presidency, is making a case for isolationism by falsely accusing the Republican Party – of which he is a member – of creating the Islamic State (IS/ISIS/ISIL).

We quote from an AP report. (Find it all at the New York Post here.)

Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul is blaming his own party for the rise of the Islamic State group.

The freshman senator from Kentucky said Wednesday that the GOP’s foreign policy hawks “created these people”. …

“ISIS exists and grew stronger because of the hawks in our party who gave arms indiscriminately,” Paul said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

He continued:

“They created these people. ISIS is all over Libya because these same hawks in my party loved – they loved Hillary Clinton’s war in Libya. They just wanted more of it.”

Paul favors less military intervention abroad, wants a dramatic reduction in U.S. money to foreign governments and stands in opposition to the Patriot Act and the US policy behind drone strikes. It all makes him something of an outlier on foreign policy and national security in the GOP field. …

We agree with him that there should be a reduction in money to foreign governments: a reduction to zero. But that is an issue on which he has changed his mind (or says he has):  

Sensitive to being branded an isolationist in the race, he has scaled back some of his positions, no longer calling for deep cuts in the Pentagon budget, for example, and no longer proposing the elimination of foreign aid, including to Israel. …

Bobby Jindal, Governor of Illinois and a possible rival of Rand Paul as a presidential candidate, “described Paul’s comments as ‘a perfect example of why Senator Paul is unsuited to be commander in chief'”:

“We have men and women in the military who are in the field trying to fight ISIS right now, and Senator Paul is taking the weakest, most liberal Democrat position,” Jindal said. “We should all be clear that evil and radical Islam are at fault for the rise of ISIS, and people like President Obama and Hillary Clinton exacerbate it.”

We don’t think of “evil” as a force separate from human will, but we do agree of course that Islam is the cause of the rise of ISIS, and that Obama and Hillary Clinton have helped it rise.

In his interview earlier, Paul described Iraq as “a failed state”

Which it is …

 … and criticized Republicans who condemn his foreign policy as weak.

Which it is.

The scandal of foreign aid 8

Sen. Rand Paul introduces a Resolution in the Senate to attach conditions to the aid given by the US to Pakistan, Egypt and Libya. He makes a good case against  giving foreign aid in general, and states plainly that he would like to stop it, but stresses that he is only asking for it to be restricted. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, he reminds the Senate, is asking for aid to be increased to Egypt where the US embassy has been attacked and the US flag burnt. Libyans killed the US ambassador, but their country continues to get US aid. In Pakistan the doctor who helped the US intelligence services discover the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden has been imprisoned for life, and Sen. Paul wants aid to be withheld until this innocent man is released. He points out that China, to which America is heavily  in debt, continues to receive development aid from American taxpayers. China gets $27 million a year in “economic development assistance”, and $71 million goes to Russia. But  for all the aid Americans give, they get nothing back; not even the protection of their embassies. He describes how Arab and African dictators spend vast sums of US taxpayers’ aid money on luxuries and grand living for themselves and their wives while their peoples remain in abject poverty.

The video is an hour long, and Sen. Paul is not a very good speaker, but he is worth listening to because he makes a compelling case. We don’t agree with him on every point he raises, but we too are against giving foreign aid. And we certainly agree that if it is to be given to badly governed states, it should buy something for the donor –  at the very least, protection for US embassies and diplomats.

Sen. Paul says he knows that all but ten or perhaps twenty Senators will vote against his Resolution. (In fact they voted 81-10 against it.) But the people they represent, he tells them, voters in every state in the Union, are overwhelmingly on his side.


(Video via Creeping Sahria)

Aiding our enemies 3

To which countries does the US, even when enduring economic hardship, give aid?

These are some of the recipients:

Russia, still inimical enough to the US to make disarmament treaties seem necessary.

China, to which the US is vastly in debt.

Zimbabwe, under the bloody rule of a mass-murderer.

Somalia, a savage anarchy.

Cuba, a communist prison.

Venezuela, in league with America’s most threatening enemy, Iran.

North Korea, a communist and would-be nuclear-armed hell.

Libya, where Colonel Gaddafi is still dictator.

The amounts are not important. To give any amount to any of them is indefensible. But the figures can be found here, along with more infuriating information about who gets foreign aid.

Aid for torturers 27

While politicians in Western democracies, or at least in Britain and the US, interrogate their consciences over how much physical and mental pressure they may allow their agents to use on captured terrorists to elicit vital security information, they choose to overlook the practice of torture in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Gaza, the West Bank …

The West Bank? There Britain has suddenly to take heed of  what the following report calls ‘a wave of torture’  because Britain is the paymaster of the torturers.  The Mail on Sunday is to be commended for exposing the facts, but calling it a ‘wave’ that has been going on for ‘the past two years’ implies that the practice is unusual, when in truth, as the British Foreign Office knows perfectly well, it is prevalent and customary.

From the MailOnline:

The Government is sending British police and intelligence officers to the West Bank to try to stop a wave of brutal torture by Palestinian security forces funded by UK taxpayers.

Their mission is to set up and train a new ‘internal affairs’ department with sweeping powers to investigate abuse and bring torturers to justice.

The department is being paid for by Britain, with an initial planning budget of £100,000 – a sum set to soar as it becomes established.

Yesterday a senior official from the semi-autonomous Palestinian Authority (PA), which runs the West Bank and its security agencies, admitted for the first time that torture, beatings and extra-judicial killings have been rife for the past two years, with hundreds of torture allegations and at least four murders in custody, the most recent in August. …

Support for the new department follows the disclosure by The Mail on Sunday in January that Britain spends £20million a year funding the forces responsible for the abuse.

Most of their victims are accused of involvement with Hamas, the radical Islamist party that seized power through violence in the Gaza Strip in 2007. The Palestinian Authority in the West Bank is controlled by the rival Fatah party.

Fatah and Hamas are both terrorist organizations. Britain gives millions to Hamas too – though strictly, of course, for ‘humanitarian aid’.

As if money were not fungible!

Posted under Arab States, Britain, Commentary, Diplomacy, Islam, middle east, News, Terrorism, United Kingdom, United States by Jillian Becker on Friday, October 30, 2009

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How to spread poverty 25

Foreign aid has kept Africa poor. Global redistribution is likely to keep the whole world poor. 

 Let’s consider this (from an article in the Wall Street Journal) –  

Dambisa Moyo, a native of Zambia and a former World Bank consultant, believes that it is time to stop proceeding as if foreign aid does the good that it is supposed to do. The problem, she says in "Dead Aid," is not that foreign money is poorly spent (though much of it is) or that development programs are badly managed (though many of them are). No, the problem is more fundamental: Aid, she writes, is "no longer part of the potential solution, it’s part of the problem – in fact, aid is the problem."

In a tightly argued brief, Ms. Moyo spells out how attempts to help Africa actually hurt it. The aid money pouring into Africa, she says, underwrites brutal and corrupt regimes; it stifles investment; and it leads to higher rates of poverty – all of which, in turn, creates a demand for yet more aid. Africa, Ms. Moyo notes, seems hopelessly trapped in this spiral, and she wants to see it break free. Over the past 30 years, she says, the most aid-dependent countries in Africa have experienced economic contraction averaging 0.2% a year.

And bear it in mind as we read these extracts from an account (by Joseph Klein, find it here) of  a proposed global redistribution of wealth by the United Nations, which will help to transform that nefarious institution into a world governing body.  

The UN Commission of Experts issued a preliminary report on March 20 outlining its views on the causes of the current global economic crisis, the impacts on all countries and recommendations to avoid its recurrence and restore global economic stability. The report contemplates a massive reordering of the world economy involving trillions of dollars of wealth transfers, global regulation, and global taxes, all under the supervision of the United Nations. 

The report blends the socialist and Islamic economic perspectives as an alternative to our present capitalistic system.  It has four basic themes.  Western-style free market capitalism is the villain.  Redistributive justice is mandatory.  New global governance authorities are required. Global taxes are also needed. 

The only institution that the UN experts believe has broad enough political legitimacy to serve as the global decision making forum and eliminate the abuses of free market capitalism is, unsurprisingly, the body that gave them the platform to air their views on a global stage in the first place – the United Nations.  Standing UN bureaucracies such as the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development Secretariat have been pressing this same message in order to justify their own permanent existence.  They want major re-regulation of the market by governments working in unison through the global decision-making arms of the UN…   

Every polemic text has to have its target to attack.  In this case, the Commission of Experts preliminary report goes after “the previously fashionable economic doctrines” of free market economies in the “rich countries” as the cause of the global crisis. 

The rich developed countries foisted their rotten system on the poor developing countries, which are suffering much of the fall-out through no fault of their own, according to the UN experts.  Without citing a single example, the report claimed that “developing countries that have developed good regulatory frameworks, created effective monetary institutions, and succeeded in implementing sound fiscal policies” have been brought to their knees by “defects in one economic system” – i.e., Western-style capitalism…     

Of course, it goes without saying that the villain must pay.  This means even more redistribution of wealth to the developing countries than the hundreds of billions of dollars already set to be transferred from the United States and other developed countries under the UN’s Millennium Development Goals assistance program. 

The commission report calls for the rich industrialized countries to dig deeper into their pockets and take at least one percent of the stimulus packages meant to get their own economies moving again and send that money to the developing countries instead.  In effect, the UN experts want to take nearly $8 billion dollars off the top from the $787 billion stimulus package passed by Congress and send it directly to the developing countries with no questions asked.  Also, any banks that receive bailout money from American taxpayers should not focus so much on making domestic loans that would help American businesses to stay alive and help Americans to stay in their homes and jobs.  Instead, the UN experts want some of that bailout money to go toward making shaky loans that are unlikely to be paid back in order to “finance additional support to developing countries.”

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is already starting to put these ideas into motion.  He sent a letter to the leaders attending the Group of 20 economic summit in London suggesting that they establish a $1 trillion global stimulus package for the poorest countries over the nexttwo years.  That would be $50 billion per donor if divided equally among the Group of 20 countries.  Since the United States is usually asked by the UN to put up at least 20% of whatever money it is raising, that would mean U.S. taxpayers would be expected to fork over $200 billion extra over the next two years. 

Would we at least be able to impose some reasonable conditions on the massive grants and loans for development and other support (or ““conditionalities” as the Commission of Experts calls them)?  The UN experts say absolutely not! 

After all, it would be politically incorrect to expect each recipient of our taxpayers’ money to actually have to demonstrate that the money won’t end up in a corrupt dictator’s Swiss bank account because, according to the UN experts’ circular reasoning, such “conditionalities” would “disadvantage developing countries relative to the developed, and undermine incentives for developing countries to seek support funding…” 

By the way, we are being asked to entrust some of our money for this support funding to the United Nations Development Programme (“UNDP”), the main UN agency in charge of spending for development projects around the world.  The current president of UNDP’s executive board is Iran’s UN representative… 

The UN experts recommend a new global economic order that must “encompass more than the G-7 or G-8 or G-20, but the representatives of the entire planet, from the G-192 (number of member states in the General Assembly).”   

The first step would be to dump the dollar as the standard international reserve currency and instrument for international payments for products traded on the global market, such as oil.  In its place would be a new Global Reserve System controlled by an international financial institution under UN oversight.  The three leading countries singing a similar refrain are Iran, China and Russia…  

The value of the dollar will crash, causing the current recession to move into a depression of the magnitude of the 1930s.  We may well find ourselves giving away dollar devalued hard assets at ridiculously low prices, in order to accumulate the new global reserve currency, to countries in the Middle East that are hostile to our democratic values.  At the same time Uncle Sam will still be expected to pay the lion’s share of global foreign aid, the UN budget and defense of the free world.   

In addition to the idea of a new Global Reserve Currency, the UN Commission of Experts says that international economic institutions, such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, must be significantly altered and supplemented with new global governance bodies to make the whole process more “democratic” and accountable to the developing countries.  This would be accomplished in two ways, say the experts.  First, the internal governance structures of existing international economic institutions would be fundamentally revamped to give more power to the developing countries.  Second, they would be made accountable to a new “globally representative forum” known as the Global Economic Coordination Council, which would be created as part of the UN system at “a level equivalent with the General Assembly and the Security Council”.    

That’s not all.  The UN experts want to create still more global institutional arrangements for governing the global economy, including a new Global Financial Regulatory Authority, a new Global Competition Authority and a new International Bankruptcy Court.  They think it is just too “difficult to rely on national regulatory authorities”.   The focus of this enhanced global regulation, they say, should be on the most systematically important countries – i.e., the United States and other major industrial nations.  In the Commission of Experts’ view, our sovereignty as a self-governing people to regulate our own economy must give way to global government for the sake of “the broad interest of the international community”… 

Islamists and socialists have a common agenda – to bring down Western capitalism.  They are exploiting the perfect storm that has arisen from the current economic crisis, which they blame on the United States.  Their revenge is to position the United Nations as the only global membership institution that can ensure the legitimacy of decisions to govern a global economy and push free market economics aside.

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Saturday, April 4, 2009

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