Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Let's Spread Peace and Freedom through War

Neoconservative AOL Newsblogger Dinesh D'Souza recently posted a blog stating that Presidential Candidate Ron Paul is not a real libertarian because he does not advocate invading countries in order to "free" their people.

D'Souza had the gall to use the example of the American Revolution as evidence that since the libertarian founders fought for their own liberty, they would support a government doing "whatever it could" to spread "liberty", including invading other countries. D'Souza bases this belief on the fact that the founders believed liberty is a universal right.

Of course, comments by Ron Paul supporters debunked D'Souza's ridiculous assertion, citing that the American Revolution was a defensive war against imperialism. They also noted that the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and quotes of the founders reveal that D'Souza has more in common with King George III or Julius Caesar than American Revolutionaries.

But D'Souza was not done. Recognizing that the founders were indeed averse to the freedom crusades that he advocates, he replied with this absurd response:

"So how can the ideological universalism of the founders be reconciled with their practical caution? Easy: the founders realized that America at the time had very big ideals but very little power. America in the late eighteenth century was what we would today call a "developing nation." It was simply not in a position to promote freedom abroad. The founders had their hands full in trying to secure it at home."

Ah, it is that easy! The founders caution against imperialism did not stem from the principle that the bloodshed, taxes and suppression of dissent brought by wars would harm the very liberties that they had just fought for - their objection was only "practical". If they had a bigger army, they would happily violate the rights of their own countrymen along with the rights of the citizens of some other hapless country all for the sake of ... defending rights! Sure, many people will be killed - an obvious violation of their liberty - but others will be "free" when our army takes over their country.

So goes a tortured neo-conservative revisionism of the founding of this country.

Thomas Jefferson didn't really mean it when he said "[c]onquest is not in our principles. It is inconsistent with our government". The quote was out of context - he really said "Sike!" at the end of the quote.

What he really meant to say is that conquest is not in our principles ... until we have laser-guided bombs and nuclear weapons. Once that happens, we can throw that whole idea of governments ruling at the consent of the governed out the window and tell the rest of the world how to live. After all, protecting the lives, liberties and property of its own citizens is not the real sole legitimate purpose of our government. Our rights should be sacrificed in order to defend the rights of the rest of the world. ... Right Dinesh?

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