Hard Choices the Parties are Avoiding

The General Accounting Office, Congress’s auditing and investigative arm, is known in Washington for producing often excellent analyses of government operations and departments that might serve as fodder for a speech or two but are subsequently ignored. It has produced an excellent report on military reform that the Washington Times recently acquired that is likely … Continue reading “Hard Choices the Parties are Avoiding”

Garet Garrett (1878-1954) On Empire

I have foregone writing about Garet Garrett in this space partly because Justin Raimondo has written so often and eloquently about him in his columns. Nonetheless, Garrett was such an interesting and articulate – if, in the end, forlorn and hopeless – critic of the system of US global meddling that it seems a pity … Continue reading “Garet Garrett (1878-1954) On Empire”

Peace in Kashmir?

Within the last week or so hope for peace in Kashmir, a region fiercely contested among India, Pakistan and Kashmiri separatists for decades has been raised by a couple of events few observers had expected. Abdul Majid Dar, commander of the militant Hizbul Muhajideen, generally viewed as being sponsored by the Pakistani government, announced a … Continue reading “Peace in Kashmir?”

Étienne de la Boétie (1530-1563) and Voluntary Servitude

Reading James Bovard’s excellent Freedom in Chains (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1999) forcefully reminded me of the importance of Étienne de la Boétie. Bovard quotes La Boétie here and there and it dawned on me that the latter’s Discourse on Voluntary Servitude, written in 1552 or ’53 and not published until after his death,1 … Continue reading “Étienne de la Boétie (1530-1563) and Voluntary Servitude”

‘Srebrenica’– Code Word to Silence Critics of US Policy in the Balkans

The Bosnian Serb military stands accused of committing some of the worst human rights crimes since World War II during and following the battle for Srebrenica in 1995. HOLOCAUST! GENOCIDE! ETHNIC CLEANSING! Claims of 7,000 (or 8,000, or 10,000, or whatever figure is needed to elicit the desired response) Muslim men and boys slaughtered and … Continue reading “‘Srebrenica’– Code Word to Silence Critics of US Policy in the Balkans”

Gustave de Molinari on States and Defense

Gustave de Molinari (1819-1912) was born in Belgium but spent much of his life in France as a member of the French laissez faire liberal school of economists. This school, which dominated economics in France during the 19th century, built upon the work of Jean-Baptiste Say, a far better economist than Adam Smith and a … Continue reading “Gustave de Molinari on States and Defense”

The Future of States and Wars: On State-Strengthening Wars, Part III

I conclude here my look at Martin Van Creveld’s analysis of the relationships between states and war in The Rise and Decline of the State (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999). ENTER THE AMERICANS Van Creveld’s views on the rise of the American (federal) state are quite interesting. The American Revolution saw the rise of "a … Continue reading “The Future of States and Wars: On State-Strengthening Wars, Part III”

The Twilight of Sovereignty in Azerbaijan

It’s January 2001, and George "Dubya" Bush has just been sworn in as president. The neocons are in charge of foreign policy, and one of the top items on their agenda is in the war-torn, ex-Soviet region of the Caucasus, where the Russians are resurgent. The situation in the Republic of Azerbaijan creates the most … Continue reading “The Twilight of Sovereignty in Azerbaijan”