Flytrap to Breeding Ground

After the abject failure of the Iraq War became undeniable, court intellectuals strained to concoct alternative rationales for the War that would recast it as a success, or at least a work-in-progress. Of these, the favorite of blogger-pundit Andrew Sullivan (who has since vociferously recanted his support for the Iraq War) was “Operation Flytrap,” which … Continue reading “Flytrap to Breeding Ground”

Clean Break to Dirty Wars

To understand today’s crises in Iraq, Syria, and Iran, one must grasp their shared Lebanese connection. This assertion may seem odd. After all, what’s the big deal about Lebanon? That little country hasn’t had top headlines since Israel deigned to bomb and invade it in 2006. Yet, to a large extent, the roots of the bloody … Continue reading “Clean Break to Dirty Wars”

No, War is Not the Health of Peace and Prosperity

Whenever a government steeped in blood faces domestic resistance to its intention to wade in even deeper, it can always count on court intellectuals to weave ingenious “humanitarian” justifications for its wars. In many cases the message will be made even more appealing by wrapping it up in the trappings of “liberty.” For example, last … Continue reading “No, War is Not the Health of Peace and Prosperity”

Where Does ISIS Get Those Wonderful Toys?

In the 1989 film Batman, after the caped crusader rescues a damsel in distress from the Joker using a fancy zipline gun, the clown prince of crime, played by Jack Nicholson, asks in bewilderment: “Where does he get those wonderful toys?” Especially upon seeing Batman’s nicest toys — his armored Batmobile and his military-grade Batwing fighter plane, … Continue reading “Where Does ISIS Get Those Wonderful Toys?”

The US Government’s Not-So-Secret Support for Al Qaeda and ISIS

“9/11: Never forget,” the tee-shirts insisted. “Have you forgotten how it felt that day?” the country crooner warbled. “September 11th… global terrorism!” the candidate for President of 9/11, Rudolph Giuliani, endlessly repeated. To this day we are bombarded with such reminders whenever reductions of the swollen national security state are proposed and need to be fended off with … Continue reading “The US Government’s Not-So-Secret Support for Al Qaeda and ISIS”

Salafists Gaining Ground

The main impact of US intervention in the Middle East has been to destabilize, polarize, and radicalize the region. Especially, it has fomented a vast, multi-country, new sectarian civil war between Sunni and Shiite Muslims. On each side, the most sectarian forces have gained from the conflict. And benefiting the most have been fanatically intolerant … Continue reading “Salafists Gaining Ground”

Shapen in Dispossession

As Franz Oppenheimer and Herbert Spencer taught, the State is, in Spencer’s words “begotten of aggression”: meaning born of war, conquest, and plunder. And as Randolph Bourne taught, war is virtually the very essence of the State, which, in the words of Murray Rothbard, is basically “a bandit gang writ large.” Every state is thus, … Continue reading “Shapen in Dispossession”

Spartan Israel and its Palestinian Helots

Amid the 1948 war that would establish the State of Israel and dispossess the Palestinians (celebrated by Israel as its War of Independence and mourned by Palestinians as al Nakba, or “the catastrophe”), the great German-Jewish political philosopher Hannah Arendt warned that a Jewish state established in this way would “degenerate” into a “Sparta.” She … Continue reading “Spartan Israel and its Palestinian Helots”

Preventive War and Avengers: Age of Ultron

Avengers: Age of Ultron is not susceptible to the full libertarian/anti-war “allegory essay” treatment. Thanks to the fallout from Captain America: Winter Soldier (which I allegorized last year), the State (as represented by the global security agency SHIELD) does not feature as prominently in previous Marvel films. However, there are a few themes and moments worth noting. … Continue reading “Preventive War and Avengers: Age of Ultron

Freddie Gray and the Western District Way

Detective Ellis Carver: What he means to say is that we are effective deterrent in the war on drugs when we are on the street. Detective Thomas Hauk (“Herc”): Fucking motherfuckers up. Carver: Indeed. Herc: Fuck the paperwork. Collect bodies, split heads. Carver: Split ‘em wide. Det. Hauk: The Western District way. Det. Carver: A’ight. … Continue reading “Freddie Gray and the Western District Way”