Since When Did Libertarian Publications Start Defending Unjustifiable Wars?

You’d think being anti-war and being libertarian, someone who subscribes to the NAP, would go hand in hand. At the least, one might be less than inclined to admire the U.S. government’s wars of aggression and occupation.

Apparently I was asleep when this policy got altered.

Over the last several days I have come across numerous “libertarian” publications with movie reviews of American Sniper that, while trying to throw a bone to those who find the war to be a horrendous, unnecessary conflict, still cast him in a sympathetic light. They handle his savage behavior with kid gloves.

In Reason magazine’s review, the author writes:

“We’re introduced to Kyle on a rooftop in Fallujah, sighting his rifle on the street below, alert for targets. He sees an Iraqi woman stepping into the street with a boy who could be her son. She hands the boy a weapon she has brought out from beneath her chador as they both watch an American convoy that’s making its way toward them through the rubble of the city. Kyle’s duty is alarmingly clear, but his soul is torn.”

His soul wouldn’t have been torn if he hadn’t participated in an undeclared, unconstitutional war against another country without provocation. He had no “duty” to join, no duty to ship overseas, and no duty to become a sniper. They were all one hundred percent choices he made of his own volition.

The review implies that we should feel sorry for him because he “had” to shoot that woman. Of course, he didn’t, but that is another issue.

Why should we feel sorry for him and not the woman who felt desperate enough to engage in what had to be an act of suicide? The woman did not choose to have the U.S. military invade, or having the U.S. government intentionally starve half a million of her people through sanctions. Kyle, on the other hand, voluntarily chose to invade her country. Kyle always had the opportunity to go back home and leave it behind. The woman did not. She also wasn’t paid to do what she did; Kyle was.

The Libertarian Republic‘s review was also sympathetic and intentionally avoided discussing the fact that Kyle had no business being in Iraq.

It’s difficult to imagine yourself in a situation where you might be required to kill someone for the greater good. Most ethical scenarios where this might occur often have extenuating factors which can change the moral playing field dramatically. Ignore for a moment,whether you are of the opinion that the invasion of Iraq was right or wrong. From a purely morally neutral, non-nationalist  or ideological standpoint, what would you do if a child ran at you or your friends carrying a grenade and you had the power to stop them? The answer to that question may define one’s own personal character, but it doesn’t define our nation, and perhaps it shouldn’t.

How can any intellectually honest publication put the word “libertarian” in its title and then infer or suggest that what Kyle did over there was for the “greater good”? This is the sort of nonsense we’d expect from some mainstream conservative site that glories anyone who puts on a uniform – provided it is an American one.

This is yet another example of where “libertarians” fail to pass the litmus test of even constitutionalists, which is for the federal government to follow the Constitution. Libertarians don’t believe there should be a federal government at all. Has the bar really been lowered this far?

The libertarian stance on the matter is clear. Kyle traveled thousands of miles to a country to fight its people, who posed no threat to him or his family. There was no justifiable reason for him to go other than to engage in a paid profession. Thus any moral dilemmas Kyle faced during the conflict were solely due not only to his willingness to fight over there but his insistence on going back again and again (even, as the film shows, against the wishes of his wife). Unless he killed someone who was attempting to harm innocent civilians, there was nothing honorable about what he did.

If this is what passes for libertarianism nowadays in American media, when even they defend the brutal actions of men like Chris Kyle, then the word “libertarian” has lost any relevant meaning.

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9 Responses to Since When Did Libertarian Publications Start Defending Unjustifiable Wars?

  1. Pingback: Since When Did Libertarian Publications Start Defending Unjustifiable Wars? - Freedom's Floodgates

  2. tiffany267 says:

    Reblogged this on Tiffany's Non-Blog and commented:
    In total agreement! The only position for a libertarian to take about the war in Iraq is to end it immediately.


  3. D says:

    Not only should Libertarian journalists condemn the American sniper story, they should investigate it. Libertarians are known for questioning everything, so why not this? Why don’t they investigate all these books coming out? How well do you think a war novel or a war movie is going to compete with ‘For a New Liberty’? I wish they were more proactive in this regard as opposed to trying to figure out who killed JFK or claiming the twin towers was an inside job (It wasn’t).
    I will say that im not against violence per say, im against initiating violence. Otherwise, who is going to stop the Chris Kyles of the world? Lets say his bullshit story about him killing thirty people in New Orleans is true. How do you stop someone like him? Reason?
    I am also not against going around the world to help people who cannot defend themselves against organizations like Daesh or Saddam Hussein, but I don’t think tax payers (obviously im against the concept of tax payers) should be forced to pay for it and I don’t think soldiers who signed up to ‘protect their country’ should be forced to go over there. Nobody will ever give you freedom; you have to fight for it. If you don’t
    As for these so called libertarians, perhaps its some sort of guilt for never having served? I’ve encountered a lot of people who get star struck with SEAL mania and feel like they aren’t worthy to condemn such mighty warriors. I don’t know. What I do know is that neo con America has their hero now and nothing you do or say is going to change their mind. They don’t want the truth and they don’t want you to believe in the truth.
    Let’s try to dispel the myth that SEALs are virtuous pure hearted warriors protecting our freedom with a few examples. Maybe this will inspire someone to do a real investigation.
    Operation Anaconda-a SEAL wants to see what’s going on and falls out of a helicopter because he takes off his restraint. He falls to his death. A massive operation ensues trying to rescue him. The official story is that he fought valiantly before finally being overwhelmed. He actually died on impact.
    Red Wings/Lone Survivor-an ODA developed the mission but decided the risk wasn’t worth the reward and decided not to go on the mission. The SEALs say we are awesome; we will do it and go out with four men. ISR showed that they picked a horrible hide site and were found by the enemy. There was no Sheppard boy, that scenario is a question they ask you during the selection process. It’s been around for decades, probably where ML got it. He ran away. He jumped down a cliff. There was no explosion blowing him off the cliff. Their commander dies but gets a MOH when in reality he decided to send his men on what was known to be a suicide mission.
    American Sniper- So he is a known liar, Jesse Ventura aside, there were plenty of other stories he told that were BS. But we are to believe everything he did in Iraq? SEALs used a tactic quite often in Iraq where they would set up bait, a vehicle, guns, an American flag, and if an Iraqi tried to take it they got shot. How quick do you think you could kill 150 people? How many of these people do you think were actually insurgents? Having spent two years on the ground in Iraq I find it highly implausible that anyone killed that many ‘bad’ guys. We spent weeks looking for one dude. And even then we usually didn’t find him. He killed someone on average every 3 days if we are to believe his unconfirmed kill number as well. Every 3 days. Iraq wasn’t the trenches of the western front, it wasn’t the wave attacks of the Chinese and Koreans, it wasn’t even a war against unformed Germans and Japanese, this is a war against people who hid within the population. We had huge teams of Intel guys sifting through massive amounts of data to find one guy. But CK in his infinite wisdom somehow picked all these guys out of Iraqis going about their daily lives? Im very very surprised more veterans aren’t speaking out about the implausibility of this.
    The last time I worked with seals we did a joint raid on a suspect. I went in the house and found one seal laying down on the guy’s bed and another going through his refrigerator eating food. They found his porn stash and threatened to show his wife and kids and neighbors unless he confessed to his crimes. They left their vehicles two blocks away unguarded. Weapons, radios, everything. After that we sat down as a team and told our command we were done trying to do anything with them.
    Another platoon put up as a bait a car loaded with guns and ammunition. It was stolen and the SEALs didn’t even realize it. Another SEAL was jamming to his headphones and walked OFF the back of a CH 47. The flag story? Some seals in Ramadi (possibly CK, same time and place) got bored in a hide site so they put out an American flag and shot anyone trying to take it. The soldiers who were sent in to rescue them were chewed up pretty bad, so no, they didn’t save American lives, they cost American lives.
    My point with all of this is that these supposed ‘anti-war’ movies actually reinforce the war effort to neo-cons because they aren’t based in truth. We made a movie glorifying an admitted racist (he thought all Iraqis were savages) who killed a lot of sub humans and then bragged about it in a best selling book. Americans love him. Nothing we say or do will change that. Americans are also dumb and they are the reason we will never be a truly free society. You can’t reason with the masses. You can’t explain things to them. They want explosions and gun fights. It reminds of Wyatt Earp actually, the SEAL of his day. An avowed statist he wrote very admiringly of himself after his so called exploits. Hollywood bought into it and many movies have been made portraying his story. For example, it is a well-known fact that he didn’t stare down the mob; instead it was a guy he knew. But we love the arrogant and the boastful, don’t we? America doesn’t want to hear that story, it was Wyatt who stared them down and if anyone who doesn’t like it they can leave this country damnit! What other time in your life do you just believe everything some stranger tells you about himself? But the minute it goes into a book or in a movie theater its gospel.
    What’s really sad is that after the SEALs had their reign of terror in Ramadi the citizens turned against us, which is no surprise. Who do you think paid the price? The SEALs? No, they went home, wrote books and are loved by everyone. The soldiers who came after them did. How many Americans were killed by an Iraqi who might have stayed out the conflict if an innocent family member hadn’t been gunned down? How many lost legs or arms or their faces? The greatest irony is that these boys, who should be remembered as brave, even if they believed a lying government, they are forgotten and instead we celebrate the very men who got them killed and maimed. The jokes on you America!


  4. greattomato says:

    This battle seems so far gone. Even the atlas society engaged in hero worship on their twitter feed. I was unable to get a straight response as to why they would be upset French President Hollande snubbed Netanyahu in Paris and decided not to make a time of national mourning a time for talking about someone else’s genocidal tendencies (Netanyahu’s) and national/domestic problems


    • Agreed. It seems whenever a libertarian organization starts to gain some decent support or popularity they compromise in order to seem “legitimate” or “respectable” rather than risk losing followers, i.e. money. It only goes to show Americans have not moved an inch when it comes to war. There is a bi-partisan foreign policy in this country that has yet to be broken. Sadly, their attitudes don’t even pass the test for a constitutionalist – the Founding Fathers like Washington specifically warned us against it.


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