Liberrants

Welcome to Liberrants, a blog dedicated to editorials, discussions, and studies of all things libertarian. Don't let the title mislead you; it's merely my attempt to be creative in describing myself as a "hopeful curmudgeon" who embraces the goal of the free, peaceful, economically vibrant society envisioned by America's founding fathers. Jump in! Contribute! Enjoy!

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A critically thinking curmudgeon whose goal, in addition to creatively venting about the imperfect world in which we live, is to induce critical thinking in others. The ultimate goal is to help bring about a peaceful world in which we can all live in freedom.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Buchanan Misses the Mark in "Carcasses of Dead Policies"

Pat Buchanan's latest missive bemoaning America's foreign and "defense" policy atavism, specifically its dedication to preserving and expanding NATO, leaves the libertarian reader with the feeling that Buchanan is either a liar or incredibly naive. Since Buchanan is a paleoconservative, the answer is probably "both." Regardless, many informed readers, especially libertarians, will find themselves irritated by this piece.

The upshot of the article is that America is foolish for not only preserving NATO, but actively expanding it twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall and seventeen years after the USSR's breakup and the end of the Cold War. Certainly this is a viewpoint that most, if not all libertarians share. We agree that NATO is irrelevant to today's geopolitical reality. Many of us will go even further and state that it never should have been formed to begin with, given its clearly interventionist intentions, albethey bathed in a veneer of "defense."

What the libertarian reader will take issue with is Buchanan's assertion that the United States' chief motive for maintaining NATO is a refusal to "giv[e] up its role as Defender of the West, [or to]...accept that the curtain had fallen and the play was closing after a 40-year run." Does Buchanan, who has spent most of his adult life wallowing in the filth that is Imperial American politics, really want us to believe that he does not know the real truth behind NATO's continuing existence? Does he really not know, and think that we do not see, that the real reason for NATO's continued existence and expansion is the undisguised goal of America's ruling class to rule the world, even if by partial proxy?

There is no lack of realization by the Powers That Be that the Cold War is over, nor is there a lingering fear of the corpse of the former Soviet Union. What there absolutely is, however, is a very deep resentment of the fact that the collapse of the USSR deprived the military-industrial-political complex of any rational raison d'etre. The arms industry that had been built up over the course of a quarter of a century could no longer be justified, since "the greatest enemy of democracy", the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, was no more and therefore there was no longer any justification for mass productoin of armaments, even for export to "allies." The Establishment further realized that the obscene profits being made by perpetuating this pointless, freedom and economy-destroying arms race would come to an abrupt end unless a new enemy was manufactured from whole cloth. That new enemy, of course, became "Islamo-Fascism", later reduced simply to "terrorism", the Establishment having gone from fighting an ideology to fighting a tactic.

Buchanan's mock outrage at NATO's continued existence and his carefully crafted appeal to political common sense is pure windowdressing and has become a common feature of most of his recent work. As one of Richard Nixon's senior staff members (which by itself tells us volumes), one of Buchanan's functions was to spread disinformation about Nixon's political opponents, a job that enabled him to perfect this journalist art to new heights. He has continued to exist within the Beltway journalism subculture ever since and has gained access to every major political figure in the nation over almost the last forty years. Not to put too fine of a point on it, but Buchanan is for all practical purposes a member of the very Establishment that he would like us to think he opposes. Perhaps his greatest coup has been to

This is, alas, typical of far too many paleocons like Buchanan. While they at least paid lip servce to the idea of liberty and limited government in decades past, they have almost completely surrendered, quite willingly it appears, to the intoxicating lure of State power. Buchanan knows damned good and well that the unstated reason for NATO's continuing existence is to serve as a proxy legion for Amerika's global empire and the military-industrial interests that control it. But because he subscribes to the philosophy best described by the German phrase "Die Staat ueber Alles" {the State above all else), he either cannot bring himself to admit this, or, just as likely, has no qualms with it. Either way, his feigned frustration in print with the status quo simply is not convincing.

Perhaps one day very soon, Buchanan will come to truly appreciate the nation's founding principles as the current political establishment collapses from the rot within. Until then, look for him to simply continue shooting at shadow targets.

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