Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Defense of Liberty: Two Articles On Anti-Terrorist Policy by Peikoff
The Ayn Rand Institute ^ | September 15, 1998 - September 12, 2001 | Dr. Leonard Peikoff, Andrew Lewis

Posted on 10/13/2001 8:34:37 AM PDT by annalex

Released: September 15, 1998

Fanning the Flames of Terrorism
Clinton’s “Anti-Terrorist Policy” Should Target Governments Not Individuals
By Leonard Peikoff and Andrew Lewis

     The recent attacks on American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were a bloody reminder of the threat posed by terrorists. Almost all commentators and politicians hailed America’s swift response as a positive step. In fact, however, Clinton’s assault on Osama bin Laden will only encourage the terrorists.
     In recent years, America’s reaction to terrorist acts has been a mixture of cowardly compromise and empty legalistic threats. In the two months prior to the embassy attacks alone, the Clinton Administration made three outstanding concessions. It capitulated to Libya, promising to drop all UN sanctions if it releases the prime suspects in the Lockerbie bombing for trial in the Netherlands under Scottish law. It closed the investigation into TWA 800, leaving forever unresolved the cause of the disaster. It emasculated the investigation of the Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia, because evidence emerged linking the bombing to Iran, whose regime Clinton is now courting.
     By promising only trials and international courts, Clinton has made a mockery of the atrocities. Terrorists have no respect for the rule of law; that is why they are called “terrorists.” Administration officials repeatedly assert that we are engaged in a “war against terrorism.” True — and wars are not fought or won in a courtroom.
     The attacks on Osama bin Laden’s facilities in Afghanistan and Sudan were lauded by many as a welcome change from years of this legalistic claptrap. However, the attacks were deliberately toothless. Clinton aimed at a few peripheral installations, while proudly proclaiming his commitment that no “innocent” working a night shift in the Sudan would die. There are no innocents in a war — and certainly none in a chemical weapons facility. The clear implication is that saving terrorist agents is more important to the President than protecting Americans who will be killed by their weapons. In essence, Clinton has declared “open season” on Americans.
     Most important, Clinton’s attacks diverted attention from the real agents of terrorism. In blaming and targeting a single individual — in insisting that an isolated maniac was responsible and lying to deny that man’s proven connections with Middle East governments — Clinton exonerated all terrorist-sponsoring regimes, including Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Sudan, and others. It is not merely that Clinton wanted to avoid offending the Afghani Taliban and the Sudanese government. He wanted to avoid offending any governments involved in terrorism, despite their proven function as protector and sanctioner of the killers. The result: he showed each and every one of these governments that they are safe to sponsor as many bin Ladens as they want.
     Terrorism is a form of war. Evil men such as bin Laden cannot wage it alone. Although bin Laden certainly deserves to die, his capacity to kill and maim is made possible only by the governments that shelter his kind. Only governments have the power to protect terrorists, sponsor or wink at their training camps, and provide or applaud their weapons, transport and all the other support necessary to enter and exit their target countries. Targeting the individual killer leaves the real mass murderer — the terrorist-loving government — unpunished, secure in the knowledge that their victim is too cowardly to retaliate in kind.
     The inevitable result of this policy is exactly what bin Laden has promised: a continuing war against Americans. The bombing of an American restaurant in South Africa a few days later was only the beginning. From Teheran to Tripoli, the governmental sponsors of terrorism will continue to protect the bin Ladens of this world until and unless they are shown that they themselves will suffer massively for doing so.
     The only way to end terrorism is through a policy of real military strikes against the aggressors. If, as the Clinton Administration tells us repeatedly, we are engaged in a war, then let us see a war, fought not with words, but with the full, untrammeled power of our military, including, as and when necessary, the use of our most potent and destructive weapons against the seat of the governments involved.
     The only alternative is the continued slaughter of Americans by terrorist bombs ignited by the cowardice of American policy-makers.

Leonard Peikoff, who founded the Ayn Rand Institute, is the foremost authority on Objectivism, the philosophy of Ayn Rand.

Released: September 12, 2001

Fifty Years of Appeasement Led to Black Tuesday
By Leonard Peikoff Download an image of this author for print publication.)-->

       Fifty years of increasing American appeasement in the Mideast have led to fifty years of increasing contempt in the Muslim world for the United States. The inevitable climax was the tens of thousands of deaths on September 11, 2001—the blackest day in our history, so far. The Palestinians, among others, responded by dancing in the streets and handing out candy.
       Fifty years ago, Truman and Eisenhower ceded to the Arabs the West's property rights in oil—although that oil properly belonged to those in the West whose science and technology made its discovery and use possible.
       This capitulation was not practical, but philosophical. The Arab dictators were denouncing the wealthy egoistic West. They were crying that the masses of their poor needed our sacrifice; that oil, like all property, is owned collectively, by virtue of birth; and that they knew all this by means of ineffable or otherworldly emotion. Our Presidents had no answer. Implicitly, they were ashamed of the Declaration of Independence. They did not dare to answer aloud that Americans, rightfully, were motivated by the selfish desire to pursue personal happiness in a rich, secular, individualist society.
       The Arabs embodied in extreme form every idea—selfless duty, anti-materialism, faith or feeling above science, the supremacy of the group—which our universities and churches, and our own political Establishment, had long been preaching as the essence of virtue. When two groups, our leadership and theirs, accept the same basic ideas, the most consistent wins.
       After property came liberty. The Iranian dictator Khomeini threatened with death a British author—and with destruction his American publisher—if they exercised their right to free speech. He explained that the book in question offended the religion of his people. The Bush Administration looked the other way.
       After liberty came American life itself—as in Iran's support of the massacre of our soldiers in Saudi Arabia, and the Afghanistan-based assault on our embassies in East Africa. Again, the American response was unbridled appeasement: a Realpolitikisch desire not to "jeopardize relations" with the aggressor country, covered up by a purely rhetorical vow to punish the guilty, along with an occasional pretend bombing. By now, the world knows that we are indeed a paper tiger.
       We have not only appeased terrorists, we have actively created them. The Reagan Administration—holding that Islamic fundamentalists were our ideological allies in the fight against the atheistic Soviets—poured money and expertise into Afghanistan to create an ever-growing band of terrorists recruited from all over the Mideast. Most of these terrorists knew what to do with their American training; their goal was not to save Afghanistan.
       The final guarantee of American impotence is the bipartisan proclamation that a terrorist is an individual alone responsible for his actions, and that "we must try each before a court of law." This is tantamount, while under a Nazi aerial bombardment, to seeking out and trying the pilots involved while ignoring Hitler and Germany.
       Terrorists exist only through the sanction and support of the governments behind them. Their lethal behavior is that of the regimes that make them possible. Their killings are not crimes, but acts of war. The only proper response to such acts is war in self-defense.
       We do not need more evidence to "pinpoint" the perpetrators of any one of these atrocities, including the latest and most egregious—we already have total certainty with regard to the governments primarily responsible for the repeated slaughter of Americans in recent years. We must now use our unsurpassed military to destroy all branches of the Iranian and Afghani governments, regardless of the suffering and death this will bring to the many innocents caught in the line of fire. We must wipe out the terrorist training camps or sanctuaries, and eliminate any retaliatory military capability—and thereby terrorize and paralyze all the tyrannies watching, who will now know what is in store for them if they choose in any form to attack the United States. That will be the end of the terrorists.
       Our missiles and occupation troops, however, will be effective only if they are preceded by our President's morally righteous statement that we intend hereafter to defend by every means possible each American's right to his property, his liberty, and his secure enjoyment of life here on earth.
       To those who oppose war, I ask: If not now, when? How many more corpses are necessary before this country should take action?
       The choice today is mass death in the United States or mass death in the terrorist nations. President Bush must decide whether it is his duty to save Americans or the governments who seek to kill them.

Leonard Peikoff is the founder of the Ayn Rand Institute in Marina del Rey, California. The Institute promotes the philosophy of Ayn Rand, author of Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead.     Send Feedback

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Editorial
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-6061-80 ... 141-153 next last
Source links:

"Fanning the Flames..."

"Fifty Years of Appeasement..."

It was gratifying to see Dr. Peikoff take a consistent libertarian position on O'Reilly's program (guest-hosted by Kasich) yesterday. These are two of Peikoff's articles on the same subject.

The previous articles in the series were

Defense of Liberty
The Contours of Victory

Let me know if the new single-bump system doesn't work.

1 posted on 10/13/2001 8:34:37 AM PDT by annalex
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Agrarian; A.J.Armitage; AKbear; annalex; arimus; Askel5; Boxsford; Carbon; Carry_Okie...

St George and the Dragon

2 posted on 10/13/2001 8:40:03 AM PDT by annalex
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: *libertarians
Bump. Getting used to the new method. Sadly, bumping departed Freepres such as Okiereddust and Gecko is no longer possible.
3 posted on 10/13/2001 8:44:23 AM PDT by annalex
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: annalex
Was that departed or deported?
4 posted on 10/13/2001 8:47:04 AM PDT by Carry_Okie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: annalex
The bump worked. Good articles, I agree with the high level point but think he gets a bit sloppy with some of the facts.


5 posted on 10/13/2001 8:49:00 AM PDT by patent
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Carry_Okie
6 posted on 10/13/2001 8:49:17 AM PDT by junebug54
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: annalex
Bump system seems to work.
Laissez Faire Books.
Second Renaissance Books.
Reason Foundation.
Ayn Rand and Objectivism.
7 posted on 10/13/2001 9:04:47 AM PDT by PatrickHenry
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: annalex
I'm kinda behind. Is there a place to sign up for the *libertarian bump list?
8 posted on 10/13/2001 9:16:17 AM PDT by Storm Orphan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Storm Orphan
I'm surprised that you have'nt made one... ;-)
9 posted on 10/13/2001 9:21:26 AM PDT by L,TOWM
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: annalex

Bookmarked & BUMPED.

10 posted on 10/13/2001 9:21:39 AM PDT by ppaul
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: annalex
This guy needs to read Baron von Clauswitz. He has no concept for the unintended consequences of pyrrhic victory, but then IMO, neither do you. I have no desire to kill a billion people, nor do I think it necessary, indeed, it is likely to be counterproductive.

I also think he misunderstands the ability of the government of Afghanistan to control bin Laden, because the situation is quite apparently the reverse; i.e., Bin Laden influences the Taleban more than they do him. Breeding hate can produce a fearful master.

11 posted on 10/13/2001 9:27:16 AM PDT by Carry_Okie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Storm Orphan; Carry_Okie; all
libertarian bump list

No, it isn't. My understanding is that you don't "sign up" for the group lists. You just check them via a search "to:libertarians". I maintain a list of my own for these Pursuit of Liberty/Defense of Liberty series, and I bump people individually; among them I bump {libertarians}. I used to put {libertarians} in braces, but that practice is not supported by the new software. When I did the bump (with the icon) the software forced me to exclude {libertarians} and "ll&poh", apparently, becasue of the unusual characters. It also silently discarded all the dearly departed (deported) Freepers. A minute later (#3) it occurred to me to try "libertarians" without the braces and it worked.

If ll&poh still exists under a different name, and wants to stay on the list, let him contact me. "ll&poh" screen name no longer exists.

12 posted on 10/13/2001 9:37:57 AM PDT by annalex
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: annalex; L,TOWM
So many things are changing here I figured I'd missed something again. ;^)
13 posted on 10/13/2001 9:39:51 AM PDT by Storm Orphan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Carry_Okie
I disagree with Peikoff on one thing: I believe that the moderate Muslims are our potential allies and therefore an effort should be made to distinguish between the militants and the passives. For example, I believe that the humanitarian food drops were a good idea.

I also think that after the hostilities stop, we will have to install some occupational force there and oversee a transition toward a peaceful and representative government in every country involved. Although the concrete details will be different, the West will have to re-learn how to be a colonial empire. All this was discussed at some length in the previous article: The Contours of Victory.

14 posted on 10/13/2001 9:46:19 AM PDT by annalex
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: annalex
A particularly bad essay on this topic. Odd from this author.

Unfortunately Piekoff can't seem to make a coherent point here. He doesn't explain how the "West" came to own the oil in Arab countries. He rails against collectivism but had the audacity to talk about the "West's" ownership in oil.

Then he jumps from talking about the bad Arab dictators to talking about the Ayatollah in Iran some undisclosed number of years after the oil rights were ceded.

He's not doing a very good job. He's necessarily having to ignore whole portions of history that doesn't suit his purpose. Lies of omission.

15 posted on 10/13/2001 9:58:01 AM PDT by Demidog
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: annalex
Japan in 1941 had a living GOD named Hirohito. The Japanese people were not allowed to look on the living god that ruled them. Those under him told teh people that if they gave thier life in his service they had an instant ticket to heaven. Thus the kamikazi were pilots that flew a bomb with wings and an engine into the side of our ships. They got instant death and thought they were getting instant heaven.

We defeated Japan and rules the nation under military law fow only a few years. General McArthur ruled Japan with an iron had. He in effect dictated their constitution.

Hirohito was made to plege aliegence to General McArthur. The people were forced to look at him bowing down to McArthur. We took a waring nation and made it a peaceful nation in a few short years. The effects have lasted 50 years.

It took us just 3 years to change Japanese society after the war. We can do it again.

16 posted on 10/13/2001 10:00:19 AM PDT by Common Tator
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Common Tator
Japan is 90 million people in an area the size of Japan.

You are talking about 1-1.5 BILLION people scattered over 1/3 the land mass of the planet with another 2.5 BILLION people, armed with nuclear weapons, who won't be enamoured with the idea.

Fat chance.

17 posted on 10/13/2001 11:59:06 AM PDT by Carry_Okie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Demidog
You are as incoherent as ever.
18 posted on 10/13/2001 12:02:23 PM PDT by Clinton's a rapist
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Carry_Okie
Japan is 90 million people in an area the size of Japan.

Sorry, I meant to say:

Japan is 90 million people in an area the size of California.

19 posted on 10/13/2001 12:22:29 PM PDT by Carry_Okie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: annalex
What happened to OkieRedDust and Gecko?
20 posted on 10/13/2001 12:29:02 PM PDT by The Right Stuff
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-6061-80 ... 141-153 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson