Re: Libertarians and War - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Re: Libertarians and War

It seems to me that the intra-libertarian war debate was best captured by the exchange between Milton and Rose Friedman at the end of this Wall Street Journal interview. Libertarians who saw Iraq as a defensive war (like Rose) supported it, those who saw it as an aggressive war (like Milton) opposed it. I think it is fair to say that support for aggressive war is unlibertarian.

McArdle’s point that the decision to wage war sometimes comes down to “sticky pragmatic arguments” is fair enough, but some of her claims about “real noninterventionists” are as tendentious as any Rothbardian’s assertions about real libertarians. If one doesn’t believe Saddam Hussein was a threat to the United States, one cannot believe that Adolf Hitler was a threat? And as a matter of fact, most noninterventionist conservatives who were reluctant to fight Hitler — Herbert Hoover, Robert Taft, even Charles Lindbergh — supported rather than opposed U.S. entry into World War II after the attack by Japan. The America First Committee disbanded after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Even Ron Paul supported (with caveats) the U.S. invasion of Grenada, the Strategic Defense Initiative, and a military response to 9/11 well after it became clear that such a response would take the form of an invasion of Afghanistan. Are Taft and Paul, whatever else you might think of their foreign-policy views, phony noninterventionists?

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