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The New Libertarian
Posted by: Dale Franks on Friday, March 24, 2006

Check out the new content at The New libertarian:

The Long War Telegram

If the United States is indeed engaged in a long war … then the United States will need a great deal more than a strong military to fight it. We require the kind of moral foundation and long-term adherence to our western values that sustained us through the Cold War.


UPDATE [Jon Henke]

In case it's not clear, I wrote this piece. I hope you'll read it, since it draws together the arguments I've been making about the importance of the moral high ground, with allusions to the importance of those values in our Cold War victory.

Please, read it and pass it on.
 
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We require the kind of moral foundation and long-term adherence to our western values that sustained us through the Cold War.
Oh, as in..

1. Duck and Cover/ M.A.D.?

2. The building of an invincible and omnipotent Military Industrial Complex?

3. Manifest Destiny? Oh wait, wrong century.

4. "If Vietnam falls to the communist we will lose all of Southeast Asia?"

The big problems here are WHO defines what "Western Values"(Pat Robertson, GW Bush, Hillary, Jesus, Budda, Mohamed, Hitler, Billy Graham, The Bible, The Constitution?) are, WHY are ’they’ the ones who define this vague jingoist phrase, and most importantly WHO has the authority to put THEM in Charge of defining just what a "Western Value" is?

When it comes to a War on verbs (drugs, terrorism, etc.), when is victory attained? When every person on the planet is under the manevolent protection of said "Western Values"?

Are we really happy with ’values’ being thrust on us here in the US? How will Indonesia/China/Russia/Europe react when we insist they too adhere to these so-called "Western Values"?
 
Written By: Rick D.
URL: http://
How will Indonesia/China/Russia/Europe react when we insist they too adhere to these so-called "Western Values"?
They will stop totally loving us?

You are an idiot.
 
Written By: Jso
URL: http://
Rick - When’s the last time that using that kind of confrontational language and bold typesetting actually strengthened your argument? You know you can’t just stuff words into someone else’s mouth like that — setting up those straw men and viciously batting them down.

The term "western values" is necessarily a general term, and is intended as such. It means different things to different people, but when we talk about "western values" people tend to have a general idea of what you’re talking about. In the West, individualism and liberty (respect for rights, etc.) have a pretty strong historical and constitutional backing.

Mutually Assured Destruction was what it was. It wasn’t some sublime expression of our values; it was about a regime of security that in the end worked out pretty damn well for a bipolar system.
The "military-industrial complex" — well, that’s a long debate. Suffice it to say that it’s awfully convenient for global free trade that the US Navy has more combat power than all other navies combined. If you’re cynical about free trade, maybe you think this is a terrible thing; others like me would argue that we’ve seen a dramatic expansion in prosperity and freedom as a result of the global free trade regime.
Manifest Destiny — yes, wrong century. We’re not terribly interested in expanding any further; America lost its taste for empire before most of us were born.
The "domino theory" wasn’t ever refuted, nor was it about our values. The overall idea of containment worked rather well, and Vietnam was the place where international Communism began its swan song. Our war there, disastrous as many say the results were, was also a disaster for the Communists. SE Asia became the wedge that finally made the Sino-Soviet split irreconcilable, and dulled the Soviet empire’s initiative. I’d argue that Vietnam was, all in all, a strategic success in the Long War (as described by Philip Bobbitt, the epochal war from 1914-1990) for us.
When it comes to a War on verbs (drugs, terrorism, etc.), when is victory attained? When every person on the planet is under the manevolent protection of said "Western Values"?
First of all, "drugs" and "terrorism" are nouns, not verbs.
Secondly, you won’t find too many staunch friends of the Drug War on this site.
Third, the War on Drugs or War on Crime are fundamentally different from what has been renamed from the Global War on Terror to the Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism. When you go to war with something like drugs or crime you know they’re still going to be around in some form and strength no matter how hard you fight, but that doesn’t in and of itself make the "war" not worth fighting.
The current war we’re fighting will indeed require us to discredit the ideology that supports those who are fighting us. If you have a problem with this, go ahead and steam. Those of us who recognize the serious threat to our civilization are going to be fighting on behalf of what’s worth fighting for in it. And yes, that means we will kill an awful lot of people who hold values that are anathema to our own, because they do not seem to be willing to coexist peacefully with us. When they lose hope in their destructive ideology, when they decide to stop killing Americans, we’ll be more than happy to leave them be.
Are we really happy with ’values’ being thrust on us here in the US? How will Indonesia/China/Russia/Europe react when we insist they too adhere to these so-called "Western Values"?
Who is "we"/"us"? I, for one, am pretty damn happy with individualism and having rights and liberty. I like being able to trade my time and effort, producing something valuable to someone else, for a huge range of things that I want. I like living in a society that is able to make my life more comfortable, healthier, longer, and more fulfilling... and gets better at those things all the time. I have access to an incredible range of knowledge that people had no access to even a short time ago. In terms of happiness, well, I’m surrounded by tons of things I want and confronted by tons of choices every day. I can’t have everything I want, and making lots of choices can be pretty taxing, but if you asked me if I would trade it away for something else, the answer is No.

If Indonesia has a problem with the goods and services the rest of the world has to offer, they can reject the whole lot of it. If Indonesians start killing Americans or stealing American property, though, you can expect that we’re going to get involved. Same goes for the Chinese, Russians, and their European neighbors. Somehow, though, I think they’re getting to like all this neat stuff that’s now available to them.

We’re really not "thrusting" our values on them. That’s impossible. But if they want American music and films and goods and services, there are certain behaviors to which they have to conform to do business with us. That’s life.
 
Written By: OrneryWP
URL: http://
"what has been renamed from the Global War on Terror to the Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism"

Just so you know, it was renamed back. I’m guessing someone said, "Look, changing the name looks too much like we’re pretending it’s not a war to the moonbats in the media who see a coverup any time you ask for pepper instead of salt."

Other than that, great comment, OrneryWP. Your rebuttal is of superior quality :)
 
Written By: Dave
URL: http://www.thepatriette.com/dangerous

 
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