Happy 20th, Antiwar.com


Antiwar.com is twenty years old this month! After two decades, it holds firm as a principled, wide-reaching voice for peace. None of its haters in the war party have managed to even intimidate Antiwar.com, much less eliminate it: not the post-9/11 war fever witch hunts, not the FBI, not even the Google-gon. This is cause for celebration.

I personally especially have cause to celebrate, because Antiwar.com has been a life-changing influence for me.

I have been a radical libertarian for a while now. And throughout that time, I have always been uncompromisingly anti-war. However, I have not always been well-versed in foreign policy issues, having first come to libertarianism through interest in economic liberty. (Indeed my primary career for the past five years has been in promoting Austrian economics at the wonderful Mises Institute.)

I felt this was a deficiency of mine as a promoter of liberty. I took to heart Murray Rothbard’s remark that “…the war-peace question is the key to the whole libertarian business.” Rothbard’s own foreign policy writings were the beginning of my anti-war education. His articles on the subject, especially in his journals Left and Right and Libertarian Forum, were splendidly written and richly instructive introductions to the historical background of today’s international crises. But I also needed a contemporary source to learn about today’s wars.

That was where Antiwar.com came in. The first phase of my education was reading every single new essay in Justin Raimondo’s “Behind the Headlines” column as it came out. Justin’s prose is always punchy yet artfully eloquent. And each of his essays offers top-notch argumentation, crucial historical context, and impassioned flourishes.

The next phase in my education began in March of last year, when I heard Tom Woods interview Scott Horton. I was floored by Scott’s comprehensive knowledge and understanding of geopolitics. Soon after, I was hooked on his daily show, making it a point to listen to every episode.

It was like taking an accelerated master class in foreign policy. There is something about the way Scott explains things in his Texas skater kid turned taxi driver turned radio host diction that deposits facts and insights directly into my long-term memory.

Another thing I appreciated about Scott’s show was how reading-driven it was. Almost all of his interviews are with journalists and analysts who recently wrote something important that was featured on Antiwar.com. His news segments often center around coverage by Antiwar.com’s outstanding news editor Jason Ditz. And he constantly offers what he calls “footnotes” for his arguments and narratives: search terms for essential background reading for the listener to read. Later I learned that, on top of his daily show, Scott is also the viewpoints editor of Antiwar.com.

Spurred by Scott’s reading recommendations, I began reading Antiwar.com more extensively. And now, thanks to Scott’s show, I had a framework of understanding into which each article fit. Piece by piece, the whole geopolitical puzzle finally came together in my head.

Then in the summer of that year came ISIS’s whirlwind conquest of north-western Iraq. Thanks to Scott, Justin, and Antiwar.com, I knew exactly why such a staggering catastrophe happened. It was no longer enough to simply study events. I had to convey what I learned. I had to speak out: to add my voice to the few who were heroically trying to explain how things got so bad in order to stop them from getting even worse.

Things moved swiftly from there. Scott featured my first forays on Antiwar.com. In less than four weeks, I was overjoyed to hear from Antiwar.com’s founding webmaster Eric Garris, who asked me to start blogging for Antiwar.com.

Scott and Justin were such great teachers, and Antiwar.com was such a great resource, that I went from a foreign affairs novice to a geopolitics junkie to a regular foreign policy writer, all in less than four months.

Now my Antiwar.com columns are regularly reprinted at such high traffic outlets as Zero Hedge, Anti-Media, and the Ron Paul Institute; a recent Anti-Media piece of mine had a quarter of a million shares on Facebook. And my analyses have been cited by such people as renowned economist Robert Higgs and former British diplomat and spymaster Alistair Crooke.

This is not to toot my own horn, but to show how rapidly revolutionary Antiwar.com was to my thought and development, and to thus illustrate what a powerful ideological force for peace it is. And I know several budding young writers for whom Antiwar.com has also been transformative.

Antiwar.com is a project whose twentieth anniversary is eminently worth celebrating. It is also supremely worthy of your support. Antiwar.com has importantly informed and impacted the global online conversation over war and peace, and has created eureka moments for a great many inquiring minds: and all on a shoestring budget. But even shoestrings cost money. Don’t let this indispensable project for peace fray. Please donate today.

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