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In a debate with my Dad...

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SkepticalMetal Posted: Fri, Nov 9 2012 12:04 PM

My Dad is much more of a libertarian-leaning conservative, and I have yet to convince him of anarcho-capitalism. With the recent news about Iran's drone and what not, we got into a debate on military intervention. He thinks that there's a problem with having all of the American troops come back to the U.S. being that a country like China would immediately invade Taiwan, and North Korea would invade the South, and so on. He also believes that Iran has been threatening Israel for years, and has every intention of committing "jihad" or whatever the heck, and blowing the planet up. I tried to tell him about how free trade is the answer to all of this, and if the United States really wanted to be friends with Iran, China, or North Korea, it could do it that way, and through diplomacy. He's main retort though was how that would only be in "a perfect world."

Can anybody tell me a good argument against what we all know is U.S. Imperialism, and how the world won't automatically go to crap without the U.S. having over a hundred bases overseas?

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h.k. replied on Fri, Nov 9 2012 12:08 PM

1. It doesn't matter what your dad thinks, you don't get to point a gun at someone and enslave them in order to conduct interventionist experiments. This is the most important point.

 

2. People can voluntarily donate money if they are so concerned, and if they don't your dad is not their master, he has no say in the matter. This is where Gary Johnson really fucks up as well, imo.

 

3. There is already a market for security and protection. When the state intervenes somewhere and tries to provide these services, you'll run into the Socialist calculation problem, etc.

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Gero replied on Fri, Nov 9 2012 12:16 PM

The U.S. has been funding Taiwan’s military defenses for years, so if the U.S. cut off all aid, Taiwan would still have a decent defense. China could attack Taiwan, but that would be like attacking a porcupine. You might kill it, but it will be painful.

North Korea is a nation perpetually on the verge of starvation. The army could fight and the nukes are threatening, but if it invaded, South Korea could defend itself with horrifying missiles if necessary.

I don’t believe Iran has threatened Israel, but if so, then why worry? Nations sometimes talk tough like North Korea. It will test fire a missile and the U.S. will publicly worry. I don’t care. The U.S. is a military superpower with the ability to annihilate whole nations and yet it acts like it is armed with water pistols.

Former CIA officer Ray McGovern said June 30, 2012, “In CIA jargon, “Aardwolf” is a label for a special genre of intelligence report from field stations abroad to headquarters in Washington. An Aardwolf conveys the Chief of Station’s formal assessment regarding the direction events are taking in his or her country of assignment – and frequently the news is bad. An Aardwolf is relatively rare and is avidly read; it is candid — and often unwelcome. (In the 2006 book, State of War, author James Risen describes two Aardwolfs sent to CIA headquarters in the latter half of 2003 by the station chief in Baghdad describing the deteriorating situation in Iraq — and angering many of his bosses.) So, let’s assume there is an Iranian Chief of Station embedded in, say, Iran’s UN representation in New York. It is quite likely that he or she would be tasked with crafting periodic Aardwolf-type assessments for senior officials of the Islamic Republic. And in this time of heightened tensions with the United States and the West, Tehran presumably would be interested in a think piece assessing, based on the events of recent months, what the second half of 2012 might have in store on front-burner questions like the nuclear issue and the triangular Iran-U.S.-Israel relationship. Putting oneself in others’ shoes is always of value but often avoided by American officials and journalists. It is especially difficult in dealing with not-so-easy-for-westerners-to-understand countries like Iran. Faux history further complicates things, as do unconscious blinders that can affect even “old-paradigm” analysts who try to have no agenda other than the pursuit of objective truth. Don’t laugh. That U.S. intelligence analysts are still capable of honest, old-paradigm work can be seen in their continued resistance, so far with the full support of senior management, to strong political pressure to change their key estimate of late 2007 that the Iranians stopped working on a nuclear weapon during the fall of 2003. Thus, let me try to put my imagination to work and see if any useful insights can be squeezed out of an attempt to “impersonate” an Iranian Chief of Station in the following notional “Aardwolf” to Tehran. Such a message might read something like this:

Nuclear Issue: What Are the U.S. & Israel Up To?

With half of 2012 behind us and the U.S. presidential election looming in just four months, I will try to be candid and blunt about what I see as the dangers facing the Islamic Republic in the coming months. Following are the key points of our mid-year assessment, more fully developed in the text that follows:

  1. The Islamic Republic is viewed by most Americans as Enemy #1. How best to defeat our “nuclear ambitions” has become the main foreign policy issue in the election campaign for president. This is BIG.
     
  2. In dealing with Iran, U.S. corporate media are behaving just as they did before the attack on Iraq. It is as though the disasters of Afghanistan and Iraq never happened. This time the Islamic Republic is in the crosshairs and some influential figures seem eager to pull the trigger. For instance, Jackson Diehl, deputy chief of the Washington Post’s editorial page, asked pointedly if it “would still be feasible to carry out an air attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities” if the U.S. gets involved militarily in Syria.
     
  3. Within the “bubble” of Official Washington, the war in Iraq is often portrayed as a success and the pro-Israel neo-conservatives largely responsible for that catastrophe remain in very influential positions. The macho cry of the neocons — “Real men go to Tehran” — is again very much in vogue.
     
  4. Cowardly politicians, especially in Congress, march “in lockstep” to [the Israeli] Likud Lobby cadences. President Barack Obama privately may not wish to go along but he lacks the courage to break ranks.
     
  5. Unlike the lead-up to Iraq, when Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld were lusting for war, this time neither the White House nor the Pentagon wants hostilities. Yet, prevalent is an awkward, helpless kind of fear that, one way or another, Israel will succeed in provoking hostilities — with little or no prior notice to its superpower “ally.”
     
  6. As we have seen in Iraq and Afghanistan, the top U.S. generals are virtually all careerists, and none have forgotten what happened to Admiral “no-war-on-Iran-on-my-watch” William Fallon. He was soon a retired admiral. So, they will follow orders — legal or not — as reflexively as the Prussians of old, letting the troops and the “indigenous” people of the target countries bear the consequences. In the U.S., it is almost unheard of for a general to resign on principle, no matter how foolish the errand.
     
  7. It is conventional wisdom here that the pro-Israel vote is sine qua non for election to the White House. Thus, Obama is acutely sensitive to the perceived need to appear no less supportive of Israel than Mitt Romney, who told an Israeli newspaper last fall: “The actions that I will take will be actions recommended and supported by Israeli leaders.”
     
  8. Some attention has been given to public warnings by prominent Israeli political, military and intelligence officials not to attack Iran. Their outspokenness betrays how seriously they view the danger that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may embark upon an adventure that could eventually result in the destruction of the state of Israel. But Netanyahu believes he still has the initiative and holds the high cards, which is certainly true with the U.S. political system.
     
  9. As for Israel’s generals, they will obey — like their American counterparts.
     
  10. There is ample evidence that Netanyahu believes Obama has a deficit of spine, and that if hostilities break out with Iran before the November election, Obama will feel obliged to give Israel unconditional support, including active military involvement. In my view, Netanyahu would be correct in that calculation.
     
  11. Israel’s strategic situation has markedly deteriorated over the past year, with former Mossad chief Meir Dagan describing it as “the worst in its history.” Israel can no longer depend on close ties with Egypt or Turkey, and is becoming isolated elsewhere, as well.  Developments in Egypt are a huge worry, with the Egyptians already having cancelled a major deal for the delivery of gas. This might increase Israel’s incentive to have a tangible demonstration that the “sole remaining superpower,” at least, remains firmly in its camp.
     
  12. Military and intelligence ties between the U.S. and Israel are just as tight as those that enabled the successful Israeli air attack on Iraq’s nuclear installation at Osirak in 1981. Just this month, Israel’s friends in Congress beat back an effort by the Director of National Intelligence to strip the phrase “including satellite intelligence” from a list of security improvements in the U.S.-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012.
     
  13. Starting, or provoking, hostilities with Iran would be huge, fateful gamble for Netanyahu, given Israel’s vulnerability to Iranian retaliation and Washington’s private counsels not to precipitate war. But if Israel went ahead anyway, my bet is that the U.S. military will be drawn in, even if Iran were careful to limit retaliation to Israeli targets.
     
  14. On the nuclear issue, after the last three rounds of talks, it seems clear that the West will not even acknowledge our right under the Non-Proliferation Treaty to develop, produce and use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without strict conditions. Rather, the West’s “negotiating position” is almost identical to Netanyahu’s maximal demands that we abandon our project for processing nuclear materials and dismantle key facilities.
     
  15. The larger objective seems to be regime change by threats, sanctions, covert action and cyber attack — with the prospect of worse to come.
     
  16. To conclude, I would draw on some common American expressions: On the nuclear issue, we are damned if we do, and damned if we don’t. Since there is a real chance we will be attacked at some point in the coming months, we need to batten down the hatches and keep our powder dry. It would be extremely foolish to hope for any significant break in U.S. hostility toward the Islamic Republic, at least until the very end of the year.

What Drives Israel?

I do not believe the Israelis see our nuclear program as an imminent threat, despite their having made the issue a cause célèbre, the centerpiece of their foreign policy and a live wire in today’s American politics. The question is why; at least five objectives can be identified:

  1. Overthrow of our Islamic Republic government (shades of 1953). The euphemism now in vogue is “regime change.”
     
  2. Create in Iran the kind of hardship, devastation or, if you prefer, obliteration that has degraded Iraq’s ability, post-invasion, to support the Palestinians. A key part of Israel’s strategy is to deplete the resources of supporters of Hezbollah and HAMAS and shut down their support systems. Accordingly, even if hostilities resulted in something short of “regime change,” Israel’s close-in enemies would be greatly weakened and Israel would be in a strong position to dictate “peace terms” to the Palestinians — and even encourage many of them to “self-deport,” to use Mitt Romney’s euphemism for ethnic cleansing of unwanted “aliens.”
     
  3. Divert attention from the stymied talks with the Palestinians, as Israeli settlers proceed apace to create more and more “facts on the ground” in the West Bank.
     
  4. Set back Iran’s uranium enrichment program a few years; and
     
  5. Take advantage of a near-term “window of opportunity” afforded by an American president worried about his reelection prospects.

Rejecting Post-WWII Agreements

The Americans are fond of saying, “After 9/11 everything changed.” And so Americans took little notice when President George W. Bush, in a June 1, 2002, graduation speech at West Point, boldly asserted the right to launch the kind of preventive war banned at Nuremberg and in the U.N. Charter. The West Point speech laid the groundwork for the attack on Iraq ten months later (and an aggressive war that was ultimately branded illegal by the UN Secretary General). But Bush’s words at West Point indicated Washington’s determination not to be bound by post-World War II treaties and other agreements. Many in the United States and abroad gradually have grown desensitized to the principles of international law when they limit Washington’s desire to attack another sovereign state under the guise of making Americans safer. After 9/11, starting the kind of “aggressive war” that was criminalized at Nuremberg in 1945 gained gradual acceptance. And so, most Americans accept it as a given that it would be certainly okay if Israel and/or the U.S. attacked the Islamic Republic if we were to develop nuclear weapons, even though there is no international law or precedent available to justify attacking us. Moreover, Article 2(4) of the UN Charter expressly prohibits the threat to use force as well as the actual use of force. But that is “old paradigm” thinking. When U.S. officials, from Obama on down, repeat the mantra that “everything is on the table,” including the “military option,” that is a violation of the UN Charter, yet no one here seems bothered by that fact. Recall Obama’s nonchalant response when asked in February if he thought Israel had decided to attack Iran. “I don’t think Israel has made a decision,” he said simply — as though the decision were about something routine — not about whether to launch the kind of “aggressive war” banned at Nuremberg. Bottom line: International law is, as the Americans would say, “not a problem.” The statements of senior U.S. and Israeli officials are all over the map in addressing the nuclear “ambitions” of the Islamic Republic. For example, on Jan. 8, U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta told a television audience: “Are they [the Iranians] trying to develop a nuclear weapon? No, but we know that they’re trying to develop a nuclear capability.” ["Face the Nation", CBS, Jan. 8, 2012] Here are his comments on another Sunday talk show on May 27: “The fundamental premise is that neither the United States or the international community is going to allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon. We will do everything we can to prevent them from developing a weapon.” Israeli leadership statements, including those by Panetta’s counterpart, Ehud Barak, are equally disingenuous, emphasizing that the U.S. and Israel are bound and determined to stop us from doing what both defense leaders have publicly acknowledged Iran is not doing. Small wonder that so many are confused.”

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All those situations have been created because of imperialism/intervention. Let's take the situation of China and Taiwan. China became communist and vehemently hostile to the Chinese nationalist (Taiwan) because of the interventions of Japan. The same applies to Korea. If Japan never invaded these countries there is a high probability that they would not be communist and the tension would not be there. Now if America didn't totally disarm Japan, I believe they would ensure peace in their hemisphere like how we do over there. That would create the balance of power currently in place in the West Pacific leaving the US completely out of it. As for Iran, Israel has terrorized Iran for quite some time now and this isn't even to mention why Iran has the government it has now. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_AHJQiMxIw If Jihad was so prominent than where was it the last centuries? 

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Thanks. Now that Ron Paul's gone, what can happen to prevent something like this from happening?

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WOW my post looks like crap now thanks Gero... thanks

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Autolykos replied on Fri, Nov 9 2012 12:27 PM

h.k.:
1. It doesn't matter what your dad thinks, you don't get to point a gun at someone and enslave them in order to conduct interventionist experiments. This is the most important point.

Agreed. I'll add that this point directly confronts the fraudulent notion that "we're all in this together". To look at the world without the lens of state is a radical viewpoint indeed.

The keyboard is mightier than the gun.

Non parit potestas ipsius auctoritatem.

Voluntaryism Forum

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h.k. replied on Fri, Nov 9 2012 12:28 PM

Yes, Gero certainly made a great argument. :O

 

Nice.

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@ Embrace Liberty

Wow, just watched that video and sent it to my Dad. Really good stuff. The question is, how can all of this tension go away?

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I don't know. In all honesty it might not go away right away. Certainly though as you said earlier that if these countries traded together there will be less incentive to attack, but you can't know for sure. One thing is for sure though. Policing the world to prevent these things from happening is unsustainable and in the long run hurt us.

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Groucho replied on Fri, Nov 9 2012 12:57 PM

Try to remind your dad that the goal of politics (especially international politics) is to influence people's opinions. "Official" information is always - ALWAYS - crafted to persuade people into accepting a pre-fabricated narrative that serves some elite interest.

Always ask: "Cui bono?"

An idealist is one who, on noticing that roses smell better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup. -H.L. Mencken
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Clayton replied on Fri, Nov 9 2012 1:36 PM

a) If we withdraw our troops, our economy will again start booming and we can afford a much more rigorous defense of the mainland. I don't think China has any plans to invade Switzerland.

b) With our own borders secure, the concerns of foreign nations are their own. What difference does it make to us if China invades Taiwan or if N. Korea invades S. Korea. Those are not our colonies (actually, they are, but we say they are not). Those are not our culture. Those are not part of our system of governance. Hence, they should be free to sort out their own arguments in their own way, including reaching strategic equilibrium on their own and constructing political systems as they themselves see fit.

c) The best way to bring freedom to the world is to be the "city, set on a hill" to borrow some biblical language. Everyone knows the Singapore success story, the Hong Kong success story, the Dubai success story. In fact, Honduras - one of the most anti-free market nations on earth - recently tried to create an economic free trade zone just like these (their "Supreme" Court sided with the ignorant masses... as another poster ominously remarked "the people get what they want"... oh yes, they do).

If America were to return to her cultural principles (they're still here even after a century of bashing at the hands of the central bank and welfare/warfare state!), we would again prove to the world how ridiculously pathetic the command & control social order is by comparison to simple freedom built on a moral foundation of self-ownership, strong property rights and non-aggression.

Clayton -

http://voluntaryistreader.wordpress.com
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Anenome replied on Fri, Nov 9 2012 2:09 PM
 
 

Clayton:
c) The best way to bring freedom to the world is to be the "city, set on a hill" to borrow some biblical language. Everyone knows the Singapore success story, the Hong Kong success story, the Dubai success story. In fact, Honduras - one of the most anti-free market nations on earth - recently tried to create an economic free trade zone just like these (their "Supreme" Court sided with the ignorant masses... as another poster ominously remarked "the people get what they want"... oh yes, they do).

Agreed, but I think a seastead is our only chance to pull this off short-term.

Clayton:
If America were to return to her cultural principles (they're still here even after a century of bashing at the hands of the central bank and welfare/warfare state!), we would again prove to the world how ridiculously pathetic the command & control social order is by comparison to simple freedom built on a moral foundation of self-ownership, strong property rights and non-aggression.

It's a big if, unfortunatley.

 
Autarchy: rule of the self by the self; the act of self ruling.
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An argument against international bases could be that technology has increased to such an extent that has negated the requirement for bases. They could just as easily have 5 or 10 around the world and launch invasions from any of those to anywhere on the planet. They don't necessarily need a base in every country in order to prevent conflict in that country.

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cab21 replied on Fri, Nov 9 2012 5:00 PM

if he wants to fund military,he is free to fund private military.

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I think there's a misconseption generated by my original post that my Dad is pro-U.S. neocon imperialism - which isn't the case. It's just that he thinks that if the U.S. were to pull out of all of these countries and these various places were attacked, the U.S. would get the blame and we would also be hated that way.

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Jargon replied on Fri, Nov 9 2012 5:14 PM

Eh, we're already hated because we're constantly intervening around the world (oppressing/extracting wealth from poor foreigners, if you want to put it that way). Wouldn't a declaration of non-intervention be a good thing for American PR, given that that's all we've ever done since  1848? We've already built up the militaries of our allies around the world. Israel has nukes. South Korea is pretty strong. I guess China could retake Taiwan, but why is that our responsibility? And is the oppression which interventionism brings to foreigners and Americans alike worth the pre-emption?

Land & Liberty

The Anarch is to the Anarchist what the Monarch is to the Monarchist. -Ernst Jünger

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I honestly have to wonder if China would re-consider taking on Taiwan, being that there's quite a lot of trade going on with the ROC right now.

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cab21 replied on Fri, Nov 9 2012 5:46 PM

if these countries wanted to launch military attacks on one another, a little american base would not to shit to stop them.

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The thought is not that the base prevents them, but the idea that if they were to use aggression against that place, that that base is designed to say, "you want to attack this place then you'll have to deal with the U.S. too."

It is indeed a load of crap, but it's a serious situation nonetheless.

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cab21 replied on Fri, Nov 9 2012 6:00 PM

it still seems like it's endorsing military imperialism to say that we could not risk ending military imperialism.

these agreements usa has are binding, and the thought of binding contracts seems a bit illegitmate.

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Well, if, say, Ron Paul was to get in the Oval Office, he could declare those contracts invalid due to the fact that they were signed by a representative of the military industrial complex. That might work...right?

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Marko replied on Sun, Nov 18 2012 7:27 AM

It is difficult to see what business the USA has determining the victor in a conflict between the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea, or between the People's Repubic of China and the Republic of China. If the PRC restarts its war with the RoC or vice versa that would seem to be nobody's business but the Chinese'.

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gotlucky replied on Sun, Nov 18 2012 10:28 AM

Marko:

It is difficult to see what business the USA has determining the victor in a conflict between the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea, or between the People's Repubic of China and the Republic of China. If the PRC restarts its war with the RoC or vice versa that would seem to be nobody's business but the Chinese'.

What a collectivist thing to say. I guess it would seem that if your Chinese neighbor is raping your other Chinese neighbor, then it's nobody's business but the Chinese.

If the US government has no business determining the victor between those states, it has nothing to do with not being Chinese or not a neighbor - at least for a libertarian.

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Marko replied on Sun, Nov 18 2012 11:33 AM

What a collectivist thing to say. I guess it would seem that if your Chinese neighbor is raping your other Chinese neighbor, then it's nobody's business but the Chinese.


Are you guessing or insinuating? Actually the point is the PRC and the RoC both claim to be the only legimitate government of both the island of Taiwan and mainland China. That being the case if either of them attacks the other then what follows is not an international conflict as I suspect someone talking about "China invading Taiwan" would probably be under the impression of, but a state of civil war in China. Now I lean to the position any civil wars in China should be left to the Chinese, a position I believe a conservative from the States ignorant of (and therefore probably largely dissinterested in) world affairs could be esspecially prone to come to sympathize with. OP asked for arguments which could help wean a pro-empire figure in his life from interventionist positions did he not?

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gotlucky replied on Sun, Nov 18 2012 11:42 AM

To borrow from you, if you meant to be clear, you should have added in "nobody's business but the Chinese governments'."

Regardless, the OP asked for good arguments against US imperialism for a conservative, and the last thing that's going to convince a conservative of that is "We should just let them kill each other".

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Marko replied on Sun, Nov 18 2012 12:00 PM

Regardless, the OP asked for good arguments against US imperialism for a conservative, and the last thing that's going to convince a conservative of that is "We should just let them kill each other".


Actually I wouldn't be so sure of that, but besides that is not my argument is it? I am talking about standing, legal and moral. It should be clear particularly to a state-sovereignty conservative (as opposed to a liberal internationalist) a foreign power has very little to intervene in a civil war in another state, between a foreign people. It is ultimately the Chinese who are going to be ruled by the PRC or the RoC so ideally it is they who should be making the decision which one shall it be, no?

To borrow from you, if you meant to be clear, you should have added in "nobody's business but the Chinese governments'.


I don't see how would that be clearer, or less objectionable to you. And it's certainly not what I meant. Your whole point was I was too restrictive in who can have a say, was it not? So how is limiting who has a legimitate say further, less unattractive to you?

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gotlucky replied on Sun, Nov 18 2012 12:27 PM

Marko:

I don't see how would that be clearer, or less objectionable to you. And it's certainly not what I meant. Your whole point was I was too restrictive in who can have a say, was it not? So how is limiting who has a legimitate say further, less unattractive to you?

Then my original criticism stands.

Marko:

Actually I wouldn't be so sure of that, but besides that is not my argument is it? I am talking about standing, legal and moral. It should be clear particularly to a state-sovereignty conservative (as opposed to a liberal internationalist) a foreign power has very little to intervene in a civil war in another state, between a foreign people. It is ultimately the Chinese who are going to be ruled by the PRC or the RoC so ideally it is they who should be making the decision which one shall it be, no?

I don't know what "civil war" means to you, but as I understand it, it means that the inhabitants are killing each other, typically for power, but they are killing each other nonetheless. To say that no one ought to intefere to help stop the aggressors is equivalent to stating that they ought to be left alone so that they may kill each other.

I don't think that the US ought to be invading other places in the world and murdering nonaggressors, but I don't see how that belief must lead to me believe that it is wrong per se to interfere. There are only two reasons I consider interference to be wrong:

  1. If there is murder of nonaggressors (or really any aggression at all).
  2. If money is stolen in order to fund the state's interference.

So long as the state does not engage in aggression, then they can interfere and give aid. However, as FlyingAxe pointed out in another thread, they are still guilty of theft in order to fund their interference. But the two crimes are not related. If a group violates neither of those two rules, then I don't see why it must necessarily be left up to the Chinese people alone. If they accept aid, then it's not wrong, just as a rape victim would accept aid in order to end the rape.

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Marko replied on Sun, Nov 18 2012 1:51 PM

In other words your critique consists of a nitpicking objection against my saying 'nobody business but the Chinese' even though it was a playful paraphrase of a line from a novelty song. Even though it was made in the context of a prompt to come up with an argument useful to pass on to a person who in all likelihood can not even concieve of an individualist intervention. I did not know that when aiming to dissuade collectivists (conservatives) from supporting imperialism it was a requirement to also make certain your wordding does not offend doctrinaire individualists?

I don't know what "civil war" means to you, but as I understand it, it means that the inhabitants are killing each other, typically for power, but they are killing each other nonetheless. To say that no one ought to intefere to help stop the aggressors is equivalent to stating that they ought to be left alone so that they may kill each other.

I don't think that the US ought to be invading other places in the world and murdering nonaggressors, but I don't see how that belief must lead to me believe that it is wrong per se to interfere. There are only two reasons I consider interference to be wrong:



I am giving an effective common-sense, down-to-Eart argument about a real world stand off and you are going off about neat little categories like "help stop the aggressors", and "interference per se". Know what, when making an argument to a conservative about the undesirability of American imperialists' involvement in a potential war between the two Chinas I find it a little superflous to also make sure I also emphasise there is nothing wrong with "intervention per se" for example if carried out by Mother Theresa and the Seven Dwarfs. Nor do I believe the record of American imperialists is such they would be well equipped to determine who, in a potential war between the two Chinas, is the greater aggressor. In fact I do not believe any foreigner would be well equipped to make that call, but for a very few individual exceptions so as to make that not worth expending the energy to get into, particularly when tailoring your argument for style, collectivist audience and effectivness.

To say that no one ought to intefere to help stop the aggressors is equivalent to stating that they ought to be left alone so that they may kill each other.


Oh please. Saying foreigners should aim to stay out is the equivalent of saying foreigners don't know crap about China and therefore should be reluctant rather than eager to proclaim for the one side or the other as the relative lesser aggressor or even a generally virtuous actor. It is the equivalent of saying foreigners will not live with the consequences of either being wrong or right in their judgement and should think twice before they in their ignorance cause an outcome of the civil war that proves more tragic and aggression-laden for the Chinese than the alternative might have.

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gotlucky replied on Sun, Nov 18 2012 2:07 PM

In other words your critique consists of a nitpicking objection against my saying 'nobody business but the Chinese' even though it was a playful paraphrase of a line from a novelty song. Even though it was made in the context of a prompt to come up with an argument useful to pass on to a person who in all likelihood can not even concieve of an individualist intervention. I did not know that when aiming to dissuade collectivists (conservatives) from supporting imperialism it was a requirement to also make certain your wordding does not offend doctrinarie individualists?

Hold the phone! You don't like nitpicking objections?

I am giving an effective common-sense, down-to-Eart argument about a real world stand off and you are going off about neat little categories like "help stop the aggressors", and "interference per se". Know what, when making an argument to a conservative about the undesirability of American imperialists' involvement in a potential war between the two China's I find it a little superflous to also make sure I also emphasise there is nothing wrong with "intervention per se" for example if carried out by Mother Theresa and the Seven Dwarfs. Nor do I believe the record of American imperialists is such they would be well equipped to determine who, in a potential war between the two Chinas, is the greater aggressor. In fact I do not believe any foreigner would be well equipped to make that call, but for a very few individual exceptions so as to make that not worth expending the energy to get into, particularly when tailoring your argument for style, collectivist audience and effectivness.

I see no reason why a conservative could not understand that interfering by bombing innocent civilians is a bad thing, seeing as one of their claims for invading and installing democracies is for the "benefit" of the citizens there. Some benefit if you murder them and destroy their homes in the process.

Anyway, it's interesting that you nitpick my choice of words here, considering that I am discussing this with you and not a conservative.

Oh please. Saying foreigners should aim to stay out is the equivalent of saying foreigners don't know crap about China and therefore should be reluctant rather than eager to proclaim for the one side or the other as the relative lesser aggressor or even a generally virtuous actor. It is the equivalent of saying foreigners will not live with the consequences of either being wrong or right in their judgement and should think twice before they in their ignorance cause an outcome of the civil war that proves more tragic and aggression-laden for the Chinese than the alternative might have.

Oh please. Not this "I won't stop my neighbor from murdering his wife" thing again. I don't see why the US should help either governments in the event of a conflict between PROC and ROC. Both will murder innocents and destroy their homes. If anybody were to intervene, it should be on behalf of the people being murdered. To say otherwise is to say "I think it's wrong to stop my neighbor from murdering his wife, as I don't have to live the consequences". If the victims in the (hypothetical) conflict between PROC and ROC don't want foreigners to come to their aid, then so be it. But for you to say that it is wrong, what business do you have saying that?

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Marko replied on Sun, Nov 18 2012 2:35 PM

gotlucky, what do you want from me?

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gotlucky replied on Sun, Nov 18 2012 2:40 PM

Nothing. I've made my points.

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