**Updates to this post at bottom**
I received an e-mail this morning from Eric Dondero, the self-proclaimed Libertarian Republican. He asks the anti-war libertarians for our “moral support” for his group of supposedly pro-Defense libertarians as they wage their wars against the bad guys.
The short answer, from me at least, is no. I will not lend moral support to your bigoted hateful attacks on groups of people based on their race or ethnicity.
Dondero’s message is peppered with examples of rotten things done by the “enemy.” This is commonly known as propaganda. Here’s a good one:
Pakistani men are raping young British girls, because they “dress like sluts.”
This is a critical difference between us and them. No red-blooded white Christian American male has ever raped a girl because she dressed like a slut, right?
Dondero and the so-called pro-defense libertarians currently have Islamists broadly as the enemy of the moment. Anyone who follows history in the slightest will remember such stories used against Injuns (now politely called Native Americans), Huns, Japs (World War II and again in the 70s), Ruskies, to name a few. The Chinese are looming of course, so one wonders when the Donderheads will change the enemy on us.
Here’s another of Dondero’s examples:
In Uganda and Tanzania, Muslim groups are pressuring the governments to declare homosexuality illegal.
Funny. I remember in law school that homosexuality was illegal in many states, and that was affirmed by the US Supreme Court in the case Bowers v. Hardwick, 476 US 186 (1986). Here’s a quote from Chief Justice Burger’s concurrence:
[T]he proscriptions against sodomy have very “ancient roots.” Decisions of individuals relating to homosexual conduct have been subject to state intervention throughout the history of Western civilization. Condemnation of those practices is firmly rooted in Judeo-Christian moral and ethical standards.
It is true that Bowers was overruled in Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003), but there were three dissenters. So it’s nice that our “Christian” (or Judeo-Christian) country is starting to embrace the rights of homosexuals. Using that as a purported difference to justify war against Islam is just a little suspect.
Dondero also references “creeping Sharia” here in the US, with ridiculous examples that just can’t be true (and strangely missing links that might back them up).
A restaurant in Nashville was prevented from opening up a bar in the facility cause the Mosque across the street objected to the city council.
What was the nature of their objection? Did they object because of religion or something else? Hard to say because I can’t find any evidence of this story. Probably didn’t happen at all. I’d say I missed something in law school – something about establishment of religion – but I also missed the part in grammar school where the word “cause” is an appropriate abbreviation for “because.”
In Hamtramck, Michigan the Muslim call to prayer blares from speakers outside of 4 different Mosques in the tiny hamlet 5 times a day
I researched this one too. Appears to be a gross exaggeration and misleading as well. It dates back to 2004 when a mosque asked the city council for permission to do this. Critical quote from the real news story: “Muslims figured it was no different than Christians ringing church bells which incidentally ring just across the street from the mosque five times a day.”
Not to mention that the supposedly “tiny hamlet” of Hamtranck has a population of over 20,000, and is nearly half Muslim. But rather than recognize the rights of Muslims to their religion, Donderheads would probably say this is an example of them taking over. Paranoia and bigotry are hard to overcome.
In North Philadelphia the city has prevented any new liquor stores from opening up because of objections from the Muslim community.
Dondero can’t even read his own blog posts. Back in 2007 he posted about this but it was West Philadelphia, not North. And the actual stories in the Daily Pennsylvanian show a non-Muslim reason for the opposition – the new location was too close to a school and a religious institution (the mosque) under state law.
Yes, Muslims did oppose the liquor store. And we all know Christians have never voiced opposition to alcohol.
But enough of Dondero’s nonsensical examples. Let’s get to the meat of the issue, the supposedly pro-defense libertarians. There are many problems with this.
First of all, what you advocate is not defense. It’s offense. If you want to defend the borders of the United States, then most of us libertarians are with you. But you want to send US troops and our tax dollars overseas in your holy war of the moment. Mr. Dondero, if you want to arm yourself and venture over to Pakistan to kill the bad guys, none of us is going to stop you. But when you want our government to do so with our money and get our sons and daughters killed, then you’ve gone way across the line.
Second, even though there may have been or will in the future be causes worthy of US intervention for some of us, your war on Islam ain’t it. Ideologically pure libertarians may have more philosophical reasons for their opposition. I come from the practical side. I believe in small government because I don’t trust politicians, bureaucrats or generals to make big decisions.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s Reagan or Clinton, Obama or Bush. They all pursue unjust wars. In doing so they promote hatred of our country (even when we’re right) and increase the risk of terrorism here. You say “let’s fight them over there so we don’t have to fight them here.” I say let’s stop messing with them over there so they’re not motivated to attack us here.
Maybe a big enough cause will come along some day, when the overwhelming majority of Americans support intervention overseas, that we’ll be with you. But when you get your wars with the support of 52% of the 42% who vote, that’s not enough to justify spending a trillion dollars on your witch hunt of the decade. You’re bankrupting our country and rendering us unable to fight that future just war.
Chuck Moulton correctly points out that Dondero’s original message did not ask for support for government spending on the wars. He asked for moral support for private efforts against Islam and Sharia. I certainly will not provide moral support for Dondero’s message of hate.
Dondero also responded claiming that the US military is not engaged in “offense” because we are not annexing territory or exploiting the resources of the countries where we have troops. I’d say this is naive, but coming from Dondero it’s just dishonest. For one thing that doesn’t make it defense. But more important, our government consistently justifies our overseas presence as furthering our “strategic interests.” We are meddling and excuses don’t change that.
As for the “facts” in his e-mail, Dondero stands by them but fails to provide links or refute the points I made above.