I agree with some of what the Libertarian party stands for, like fiscal responsibility and limited government. I also agree with the notion that it is not nice to start a fight - part of what I think they mean when they speak of “non-aggression”. Unfortunately, many Libertarians take that too far, to mean it is never right to initiate aggression until you have first been attacked. They do not believe that the presence of a serious threat is reason enough to take military action.
This does not square with the notion of self-defense, which they profess to believe in. If a man stands in front of you with a gun in his hand - even if not actually pointed at you - and states his intent to kill you, is it wise to wait until he makes an actual attempt to do so? Or do you have the right to combine his stated intent to kill you with his obvious current capability of doing so, and therefore take action? [BTW, it is my understanding that this is part of the ROE - Rules of Engagement - our troops are suffering under in the Middle East, that they may not fire until fired upon.]
I believe you do have the right. I believe this applies not only to individual confrontations, but to confrontations between nation-states, as well as when confronted by terrorist groups, and those who materially support those terrorist groups.
At the blog Ontoliberty, there is a post concerning an interview with a fellow named Doug Casey. No, I don’t know who the hell he is either, but he apparently believes in the Libertarian notion that non-aggression means our country does not have the right to defend itself if doing so could start a war. It sounds from his statements that he sees no difference between Russia or China or Pakistan having nuclear weapons and Iran - which has repeatedly and loudly proclaimed its intention of wiping Israel off of the face of the Earth - having them.
Now, I agree wars are horrible, that they are best avoided if possible to do so without putting the country at further risk of harm from some state actor or terrorist group. But if said nation or terrorist group states the intent to destroy your country and makes an attempt to do so, or even simply attacks it in an attempt to damage it seriously, then a response is called for. It matters not if there were “reasons”, legitimate or otherwise, for a bunch of Saudis working for Al Qaeda to bring about the attack on 9/11. It remains an attack, and not upon our armed forces, but upon helpless citizens, most of whom were innocent of any harm to anyone.
War for unsavory purposes – such as a distraction from the scandal of semen on a blue dress, or to shore up a lame presidency or a re-election campaign – is morally wrong. War that occurs as a natural consequence of our right to defend ourselves, our servicemen and our country is not.
We made no talk of war when Russia developed a nuclear capability (until they placed missiles seventy miles off of our shores), nor when China or Pakistan or India or even North Korea did the same. None of them (well, perhaps North Korea, in a non-specific manner) threatened to destroy another country, nor did they send terrorists and suicide bombers into that country to kill their citizens. There is a world of difference between Iran and the others, due to the tenets of Islam (kill all infidels) and the behavior of Iran’s leader, Ahmadinejad, who has stated on numerous occasions his intention of destroying Israel. [It should be noted that the Cuban Missile Crisis - during which my father flew photographic missions over Cuba to document the presence of those missiles - was indeed a direct and imminent threat, and was appropriately treated as such.]
The current threat itself – as real as it is – is not enough to take us to war with Iran, but it is right for us to bring pressure to bear to see that this threat is not carried out. The situation is far different from merely the possibility of war, it is the possibility that the entire nation of Israel (which is quite small and could be taken out with just two or three nuclear weapons) and all of her men, women, and children, could be destroyed in one massive launch of rockets and aircraft. Were that to happen, Israel could not prevent nuclear weapons from causing a second – and perhaps final – Holocaust. It matters not - and apparently not to Ahmadinejad - that Israel would then destroy Iran in legitimate response.
I’m sorry, but Casey has his head up his ass. The U.S. has indeed initiated military action – as in Kosovo and Libya – that it had no moral reason to start. But the defense of our nation, and of an ally that is the only other true democracy in the world, a country which has striven to defend itself against the constant and unending attempts of the muslims to destroy it – but has even so NOT gone to war with those countries and peoples, in spite of a moral right to do so to end the very real threat, – is a righteous endeavor.
Even the anti-Semites among us cannot claim Israelis have no right to defend themselves, and can present no logical reason for us not to assist them in their attempt to prevent the destruction of their nation, their people. We are not talking about helping them in a war of aggression against another country, but of not refusing to help when they are attacked. That would be equivalent to standing and watching a woman being raped, when you had the means to stop the rape and keep her safe. No man with balls, no man who claims to love his wife and family, no man who believes himself to be a man will stand by when innocents are being injured or killed when he is in a position to stop it. Only a craven and cowardly individual would do that.
Casey sounds like a Libertarian who isn’t intelligent enough to tell when force against a very real threat is justified. Waiting for the hammer to fall and the bullet to pierce your chest is not a bright idea. Especially when the entity making the threat has already shown a willingness to kill.