Thursday, July 20, 2017

Russia, Trump, and the Deep State - By Walter E. Block

Let us go out on a limb and posit that World War III, with nuclear exchanges between the U.S. and Russia, would not be a very good thing.  I know, I know, the accusations will come thick and fast that in saying this I am in the pay of a certain foreign power, that I am not a Patriot, that I hate America. Ordinarily, that prospect would suffice to prevent me from writing about the present threat of war – I do so hate conflict – but I also have children and grandchildren, and many other loved ones, and I really do not welcome a nuclear conflagration. So, let us press on.
I posit that at least most libertarians oppose U.S. neo-con war-mongering. Yes, Reason Magazine is an exception to this general rule, but they have long ago lost most of their claim to be members of the libertarian movement.  See Justin Raimondo on this matter. Ok, ok, maybe this is too harsh. Maybe there is still a vestige of the freedom philosophy embedded somewhere deep in the bowels of this organization. Call the Reasonites, then, the crony libertarians, or the beltway libertarians, or the neo-con libertarians. But the overwhelming majority of members and institutions in our movement must oppose, and bitterly so, any such nuclear confrontation.
Paul Craig Roberts writes a crucially important essay entitled “Trump Cannot Improve Relations With Russia When Trump’s Government and the US Media Oppose Improved Relations.” I don’t much like what he maintains, because, while there is not a false word in it, it is the counsel of despair.

South Park episode asked “What would Brian Boitano do? I inquire, instead, what could a libertarian do if he were president? Or, what could Donald Trump do to ameliorate this situation, and save pretty much the entire globe, if he had a fundamental change of heart in the direction of our freedom philosophy?
That is simple. If Donald channeled Ron Paul, or became a bit more like him, the first thing he would do would be to fire his present secretary of state, Rex Tillerson. No truer words were ever written than these of Roberts about this man: (he is) “working overtime to worsen relations between the two nuclear powers by publicly contradicting the President of the United States, thereby making it clear that Trump is barely even a cipher.” Who should Trump replace him with? Why, Dr. Ron Paul, of course.  Or, if the Donald wanted to keep Congressman Paul as his eminence gris, chief advisor on all issues foreign and domestic, then Senator Paul of Kentucky would be a fine secretary of state. What about the U.S. representative to the U.N., Nikki Haley, whose specialty seems to be undermining any and all of Mr. Trump’s libertarian tendencies in foreign policy? Why, fire her, too, of course. Who might be a good replacement for her? Lew Rockwell would be my recommendation.
Would the Donald be impeached if he undertook these actions? Well, maybe yes, maybe no. Yes, certainly, if the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC and others of their ilk had anything to say about the matter. The libertarian movement would support Mr. Trump if he allowed his foreign policy instincts toward Russia to prevail, but we account for, oh, three percent of the electorate. And, how many congressmen can be counted, even in a big tent kind of way, as libertarian? Less than a half dozen, unhappily.
Who, then, can a peace president Trump count upon to ward off the real powers that be? Why, the traditional anti-war movement of the left. But where oh where is the left wing anti-war movement, now that we really need them? Yes, they only oppose Republican wars, but THAT IS PRECISELY WHAT IS NOW IN THE OFFING! Bernie, what are you doing nowadays? Why are you not now more fervently supporting the only president we have at present, the one man who could avert nuclear catastrophe? You were the only one (along with the junior Senator from Kentucky) to oppose the recent senate call for further sanctions against Russia. Which do you hate more; the destruction of Gaia, or Donald’s weak move in the direction of deregulation of business? Left wing pinko commie peaceniks: get off your rear ends and let’s get going!
Yes, the Bernie-ites are among the only ones who can come to the aid of a beleaguered (imaginary) President Trump, faced with impeachment for attempting to save the world. But there are also our “friends” the left wing environmentalists, who are always whining about the destruction of the planet, due to smoking, or coal, or underarm deodorant, or some other such minor distraction. Hey watermelons (green on the outside, red on the inside): I’ve got news for you: a nuclear based World War III with Russia will not only ruin your entire day, IT WILL ALSO DOOM OUR ENTIRE PLANET. This third rock from the Sun is the only home we have. Do you want to help a libertarian Donald, or see the Earth blasted to smithereens? (I mention the planet, which you revere, not the billions of people who will be incinerated in such a disaster, since you care for the former much more than the latter).
Afterthought: fire Jeff Sessions, too, and replace him with someone like Mark Thornton, who will strenuously move in the direction of drug legalization, not prohibition. Have we learned nothing from alcohol prohibition?
Dr. Block [send him mail] is a professor of economics at Loyola University New Orleans, and a senior fellow of the Ludwig von Mises Institute. He is the author of Defending the UndefendableThe Case for DiscriminationLabor Economics From A Free Market PerspectiveBuilding Blocks for LibertyDiffering Worldviews in Higher Education, and The Privatization of Roads and Highways. His latest book is Yes to Ron Paul and Liberty.

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