Armed conflict between nations: "The Health of the State"
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  • War is a state of armed conflict between societies. It is generally characterised by extreme aggression, destruction and mortality, using regular or irregular military forces. An absence of war is usually called "peace". Warfare refers to the common activities and characteristics of types of war, or of wars in general. Total war is warfare that is not restricted to purely legitimate military targets and can result in massive civilian or other non-combatant casualties.

    • American Revolutionary War - The war for American independence from Great Britain
    • American War Between the States - Conflict between the U.S. northern and southern states, which seceded to form the Confederacy
    • Cold War - The struggle between the so-called superpowers and their respective allies during the second half of the 20th century
    • Gulf War - 1990-91 conflict between Iraq and forces led by the United States, in response to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait
    • Iraq War (2003) - Invasion of Iraq by the U.S. and other countries, purportedly to find weapons of mass destruction
    • Vietnam War - Conflict during 1954-1975 between South and North Vietnam, with increasing United States involvement
    • World War I - The "Great War", European conflict from 1914 to 1918 that extended to include the United States and some Asian and African nations
    • World War II - Worldwide conflict from 1939 to 1945
    Publisher of Antiwar.com, The Randolph Bourne Institute

    Web Sites

    Antiwar.com
    "Your best source for antiwar news, viewpoints, and activities"; columnists include Justin Raimondo, Ivan Eland, Lucy Steigerwald, Sheldon Richman, Dan Sanchez, Tom Engelhardt, Scott Horton, Ray McGoven, Ron Paul, Gareth Porter and Joseph Stromberg
    Truth About War
    A project of the American Liberty Foundation
    "The site you are about to enter was frozen with the start of the War in Iraq (except for one commentary by Harry Browne added in December, 2003). This site survives as a monument. It is a permanent record showing that not everyone was fooled by the claims made about Saddam Hussein and his supposed Weapons of Mass Destruction. The President, the CIA, the national press, and many foreign governments, all got it wrong."

    Bibliography

    War and Peace - Online Library of Liberty
    More than 70 titles, including works by Erasmus, Hugo Grotius, Thomas Hodgskin, Daniel Webster, James Mill, Richard Cobden, Frédéric Bastiat, Herbert Spencer, William Graham Sumner, Ludwig von Mises and Frank Chodorov

    Articles

    A Bogus Libertarian Defense of War, by Sheldon Richman, Future of Freedom, Oct 2007
    Examines Randy Barnett's Wall Street Journal article "Libertarians and the War" and a follow-up at the Volokh Conspiracy blog
    "... libertarian principles tell us that any response to a truly unprovoked attack must respect the rights of innocents. Actions that can be expected to harm people not involved in the original attack should be avoided. War must not be an occasion for dispensing with normal moral prohibitions. Those who disagree lose their standing to object to the murder of innocents on 9/11."
    A Matter of Conscience, by Sgt. Kevin Benderman, 18 Jan 2005
    A ten-year Army veteran explains why he refused to deploy to Iraq for a second time
    "Having read numerous books on the subject of war and having heard all the arguments for war, I have come to the conclusion that there are no valid arguments for the destructive force of war. People are destroyed, nations are destroyed, and yet we continue on with war. ... I cannot tell anyone else how to live his or her life but I have determined how I want to live mine – by not participating in war any longer, as I feel that it is stupid and that it is against everything that is good about the world."
    Related Topic: Children
    America, meet your leaders, by Harry Browne, WorldNetDaily, 19 Sep 2002
    Discusses the attitudes of George W. Bush and the pundits who agitated for the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the lies that were told to start previous wars
    "In his quest to go to war, the president is supported by writers and commentators who never saw a war they didn't like. That may be because they never have to go to war themselves – they just send others to their deaths. To these people, the object isn't a democratic Iraq or U.S. security. The object is war. The goal isn't peace in the Middle East or removing dangerous weapons. The goal is war. The warmongers demonstrate that war is the purpose of it all by the way they promote it."
    America's Two Just Wars: 1775 and 1861, by Murray Rothbard, The Costs of War, May 1994
    Based on a talk given at the Mises Institute's Costs of War conference, published in The Costs of War: America's Pyrrhic Victories, John V. Denson (editor)
    "My own view of war can be put simply: a just war exists when a people tries to ward off the threat of coercive domination by another people, or to overthrow an already-existing domination. A war is unjust, on the other hand, when a people try to impose domination on another people, or try to retain an already existing coercive rule over them."
    Auberon Herbert, Part 1, by Wendy McElroy, Future of Freedom, Feb 2011
    First part of biographical essay on Auberon Herbert; discusses Spencer's influence on him, his views on anarchism vs. voluntaryism, self-ownership, majority rule, war and imperialism
    "War was the pure expression of 'the way of force and strife.' Herbert's anti-war sentiments had a long history. Like many British aristocrats, he had held commissions in the army and served in India; in letters home, he criticized the British occupation. During the Prusso-Danish war (1864), he spent time observing action near the front line and was subsequently decorated by the Danish government for rendering aid to the wounded. He also directly observed the American Civil War (1861–1865), of which he wrote, 'I am very glad that slavery is done away with, but I think the manner is very bad and wrong.'"
    Beware Income-Tax Casuistry, Part 2, by Sheldon Richman, Future of Freedom, Sep 2006
    Reviews the income tax laws passed between 1861 and 1894 and the U.S. Supreme Court decisions in the Pollock case
    "The United States got its first income tax during the War Between the States, again demonstrating that war harms ordinary people in more ways than militarily. During any war government becomes an especially voracious consumer of the people's resources and dissent is stifled or suppressed."
    Related Topic: Taxation
    Blockading with Trade Restrictions, by Jim Powell, 27 Oct 2010
    Explores the writings of Henry George in his book Protection or Free Trade offering advice to current waves of protectionism
    "George observed that nations try to prevent adversaries from trading, and a blockade is considered an act of war. For instance, the British blockaded Boston Harbor during the American Revolution. ... In 1861, Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the Union Blockade that covered some 3,500 miles of Confederate coastline and 12 major Confederate ports. ... One might add that after Henry George's time, during World War I and World War II, the British established blockades to prevent Germany from obtaining things it needed. ... India blockaded Bangladesh during the 1971 war with Pakistan."
    Related Topics: Free Trade, Henry George, Monopoly
    Brian Williams Helped Pave the Way to War, by Sheldon Richman, 10 Feb 2015
    Comments on the mainstream broadcast and cable TV network "journalists" who unquestioningly support government military actions
    "... tune in to the three major networks' newscasts or consult the American cable news channels: CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News. There you'll find stage actors conveying the Obama administration's neoconservative line about the ISIS threat to the American people and the need for government military action to counteract it — never noting that there was no ISIS or al-Qaeda in Iraq before the Bush war they helped make possible. Reporting 'news' without providing the context is a surefire way to mislead viewers."
    Charles Johnson on his Many Publications, Libertarian Feminism and Anarchic Individualism, by Charles W. Johnson, Anthony Wile, The Daily Bell, 29 Apr 2012
    Topics include the Markets Not Capitalism anthology, some of his essays, his family, his work with Alliance of the Libertarian Left, war, constitutions, feminism, unions, the United States, Murray Rothbard, Austrian economics and the future
    "I am opposed to war – whether by the U.S. or by any other government. I think ... the most powerful, most vicious, and most violent States on earth are those that have gone to war. ... I think that these wars ... are just like all the other wars that the U.S. Government has engaged in – brutal acts of mass murder, perpetuated by a senseless and unjust demand for global political control."
    Conscience on the Battlefield, by Leonard E. Read, 1981
    Pamphlet written in 1951, during the Korean War, updated with prologue in 1981; Read recalls the 1918 incident when the troopship he was on was sunk by a German submarine and wonders about his thoughts if he were dying (in 1951) on a Korean battlefield
    "War 'as a means to peace among nations' was then, and remains, a world-wide fallacy. Today, small wars go on in various parts of the globe, and there is the possibility that a big one is in the offing. ... Nonsense? Congress declares war in which millions may be killed. But every one of those legislators would be revolted by the thought of shooting a single innocent man. The nonsense is millions times one!"
    Divestment Works, by Jim Davidson, The Libertarian Enterprise, 21 Jun 2009
    Recommends not investing in military and defense-related stocks in order to stop the "death merchants"
    "These wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, and elsewhere have brought not only death and destruction, but direct assaults on American civil liberties. Investing in defense stocks is a way of saying, 'I like the fact that the military contractors help the military and the CIA torture prisoners to death. I want less freedom and more authoritarian government.'"
    End Draft Registration!, by Sheldon Richman, 29 Dec 2006
    Comments on the proposal by Rep. Charles Rangel to resume military conscription
    "... a draft ... concentrates the burden [of military service] on those who don't want to bear it, while those who would have volunteered must accept a draftee's wages. ... Rangel says the draft would ensure that unpopular wars would provoke public opposition, as it eventually did in the Vietnam War. ... A far better way to enable people to effectively object to wars is the volunteer army. At the very least, a society with pretensions of freedom should recognize the right of people to abstain from fighting wars they disapprove of."
    Glorious War!, by Joseph Sobran, The Reactionary Utopian, 31 Aug 2006
    Discusses how the Republican Party and conservatism became associated with militarism and war
    "The popularity of war is intense but brief. Americans will support quick and victorious wars, but after a few months the thrill tends to wear off. ... Being the most devastating of human activities, war would seem to be at the opposite pole from conserving anything. It's a grotesque accident of history that it should have acquired even a verbal association with the philosophy of conservatism. ... And, after all, few things are more abnormal than war."
    Graydon Carter Shows How Bush Makes Lies Seem True, and Just What We've Lost on Bush's Watch, by Graydon Carter, BuzzFlash, 29 Sep 2004
    Topics include: Vanity Fair's critiques of the Bush administration, WMDs, What We've Lost, the environment, federal judges appointed by Bush, liberal bias in the mainstream press, 2004 election polls and Internet journalism
    "There's probably nothing more serious that you can do as a leader than to take your country into war. And to take your country into war on a bone pile of false assumptions, without any clear sort of strategy for maintaining the country after you've taken it over, or managing it toward a democratic state, is irresponsible. The administration used the war as a diversion so that the domestic agenda received very little attention during the half-year building up to the war, and the year since."
    Gustave de Molinari on States and Defense, by Joseph R. Stromberg, 25 Jul 2000
    Examines Molinari's conception of the states, including democracies, and their role in defense, as well as his proposal for agencies to provide defense against external aggressors
    "With economic progress, rulers could take higher profits at home, but much of this growing surplus had to be spent on armies and materiel in order to avoid defeat at the hands of other states and to make possible successful seizure of others' lands. ... This spiral of war-making and war readiness destroyed life and capital and, 'worst burden of all, the persistency of war obliges every nation to maintain a vast permanent machinery of destruction' ..."
    Hell-Bent on War, by Justin Raimondo, 14 Feb 2007
    Discusses propaganda and other efforts by the George W. Bush administration and neoconservatives to launch military action against Iran, and relevant commentary from a professor of international relations as well as Russian President Putin
    "As incredibly crazy as it sounds, this administration is intent on starting yet another war in the Middle East – this time against a far larger, more formidable enemy, one that has the power to strike back on an international scale. ... In a sane world, the economic consequences alone would be a sufficient deterrent to even considering war with Iran."
    Related Topics: Imperialism, Iran
    Henry David Thoreau and "Civil Disobedience," Part 2, by Wendy McElroy, Future of Freedom, Apr 2005
    Examines several of the initial themes in "Civil Disobedience", including government injustice, the individual as the source of power and authority, war and the military and the reasons why people obey the state
    "Moreover, the domestic consequences of the [Mexican-American] conflict deeply disturbed him. Taxes soared; the country assumed a military air. Thoreau was horrified to learn that some of his neighbors actively supported the war. He was perplexed by those who did not support the war but who financed it through the taxes they paid. After all, he considered the war to be 'the work of comparatively a few individuals using the standing government as their tool.'"
    Herbert Spencer as an Anthropologist [PDF], by Robert L. Carneiro, The Journal of Libertarian Studies, 1981
    Traces Spencer's contributions to the fields now known as anthropology and sociology and how his concept of cultural evolution was developed
    "Of all the material determinants which Spencer invoked, the one he used most frequently and most effectively was war. To war he attributed nothing less than the rise of the state, and before that, the successive political consolidations that led up to the state. If Spencer was not the first to propose this thesis, he was surely the first to substantiate it."
    Here's How the U.S. Can Help Rid the World of Chemical Weapons, by Sheldon Richman
    Argues that the U.S. government could set a better example by destroying all its chemical weapons, encouraging Israel and other Middle East nations to do the same, and ratifying the ban on cluster bombs
    "If President Obama is serious about ridding the world, and not just Syria, of chemical weapons, he and America's closest allies in the Middle East should lead the way. ... American presidents love to brag about their world leadership. Here are concrete ways to lead that would actually bring constructive results."
    Heroic, by Sheldon Richman, 23 Aug 2013
    Discusses the inspiring yet naïve actions of Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning when she realized she could no longer participate in the atrocities of war
    "As long as the death and mayhem are over there — and never graphically portrayed in the news media — most Americans couldn't care less how the U.S. military is employed. The deaths and oppression of others is unimportant. ... Americans aren't about to be outraged, much less moved to action, by a mere video — 'Collateral Murder' — showing 'our boys' murdering Iraqi civilians and wounding children from the safety of an Apache helicopter."
    H.L. Mencken: The Joyous Libertarian, by Murray Rothbard, New Individualist Review, Jun 1962
    Examines the themes and style in Mencken's writings, mainly from the self-selected pieces in A Mencken Chrestomathy
    "Mencken, in fact, was an arch 'isolationist' who bitterly opposed American entry into both World Wars I and II. ... Mencken's reaction to the dropping of the atom bomb was understandably bitter. ... Mencken was particularly concerned with the well-nigh absolute suppression of civil liberties that seems inevitably to stem from participation in war, and in the conduct of World War I he saw the exemplar of his jaundiced view of democracy, the State, foreign intervention, and the common man."
    How Much Do You Know About Liberty? (a quiz), The Freeman, Jun 1996
    A 20-question quiz (with answers) on various topics related to liberty in the history of the United States
    "Which three twentieth-century presidents promised to keep America out of war—but maneuvered in? ... Woodrow Wilson (1916), Franklin Roosevelt (1940), and Lyndon Johnson (1964) all promised the American people to stay out of war, then maneuvered in."
    How Star Wars Can Lead America Off the Dark Path, by Dan Sanchez, 4 May 2017
    Examines the first two Star Wars trilogies, drawing parallels to 20th and 21st century U.S. and world history, and draws lessons from the films that could help the United States from "giving in to the dark side"
    "All the steps in the Dark Lord’s rise to total power were enabled by the crises of wars that he himself engineered. The overriding theme of the first trilogy is that the star wars engendered galactic tyranny. This is a perfectly realistic narrative motif, because it is merely an interstellar extrapolation of Randolph Bourne's insight that war is the health of the State. ... Indeed, throughout history, rulers, regimes, and power cliques (just like Sidious and the Sith) have dragged their countries into wars in order to acquire, shore up, and enhance their power."
    I Can't Help That I'm a Libertarian, by Sheldon Richman, 1 Aug 2014
    Excellent essay on why libertarians hold their beliefs and why they can't be sitlent about them
    "And then there's war. How does one stand by in silence when one is forced by the tax collector to underwrite aggression around the world against the poorest individuals imaginable? Innocent people — so many children — are killed and maimed, their homes and communities shattered, with the bombs, bullets, mortar shells, tanks, airplanes, helicopter gunships, and drones paid for by you and me through a government that claims to act in our names — while lying as a matter of course."
    Related Topic: Libertarianism
    Immorality, Inc., by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., Mises Daily, 31 Jul 2006
    Argues that the lawlessness and violence in occupied Iraq is due to the immorality of modern day warfare
    "For centuries before the modern age, awareness of war's lawlessness led to a consensus that the conduct of war should be restrained by rules: fighting should be restricted to those in the employ of the states' military sectors, damage should be proportional, violence should not be wanton, negotiated settlements should be sought at all times. But in the modern age, all that changed. Civilians became targets. Cities were not spared. Proportionality is not a consideration."
    Related Topics: Ethics, Government, Iraq, Socialism
    Interview with Karl Hess, by Karl Hess, A. Lin Neumann, Reason, May 1982
    Topics discussed include the Republican Party, National Review, AEI, Goldwater, Rothbard, anarchism, the Vietnam War, Carter and Reagan, fascism, urban enterprise zones, the environment, and authoritarianism vs. freedom
    "The hardest thing was to come to grips with Vietnam. I'd been involved in a lot of work regarding it. I'd done congressional briefings on some special bombing operations, done a lot of work on it. I really felt it was quite a good thing. ... But then the Pentagon Papers, or the precursors to the Pentagon Papers, showed there was no evidence of an invasion. It was just shocking to me ... Well, to be involved in any way with a war, even just emotionally, is powerful. It is very hard to break away from it. War, being lunatic in nature, attracts in a lunatic way. It is very powerful."
    Introducing Revisionism: An interview with James J. Martin, by Steven Springer, Michael Hardesty, Peter Kuetzing, John McCarthy, Reason, Jan 1976
    Topics discussed include: World War II vs. Vietnam War revisionism, genocide, the definition of "aggression" between nations, the Cold War, Lysander Spooner vs. Benjamin Tucker on natural rights, the Columbus complex and individualist anarchism
    "[The main conclusions of World War II revisionism are] much like those of the previous war and every other war ... There's a tendency to disparage the notion of unique evil responsibility, in favor of the notion of divided guilt, so to speak ... Invariably in cases of a conflict such as a war, the winners obviously write the first account. It sometimes takes a long while before the orthodoxy which the outcome of a war establishes can be broken down either by new facts appearing on the record or the tendency of subsequent generations to look at things from a different point of view and think about things in a different way."
    I Resign From the Mont Pelerin Society, by Paul Craig Roberts, 21 Aug 2008
    Explains Roberts' rationale for resigning from the Society
    "The US strategic objective ... will lead to war, the destruction of liberty and perhaps life on earth. This gratuitously insane neoconservative foreign policy is one that will lead to nuclear war. It stands in total contradiction to the alleged values of the Mont Pelerin Society. As every great libertarian and the founding members of the MPS acknowledged, war is the greatest enemy of liberty."
    Is Capitalism Why We Fight?, by Gregory Bresiger, Mises Daily, 6 Apr 2006
    Critical review of the theses presented in the 2005 documentary Why We Fight, also inquirying about topics omitted from the film
    "War, and its concomitant inflation, is bad for those capitalists who are not on the government dole, bad for those who are not court intellectuals, bad for anyone who isn't an enthusiastic part of Leviathan. Indeed, if one goes by the stock market, probably the worst extended recent period was in the mid 1960s to mid 1970s during the height of the Vietnam War. That's when stocks went through a very difficult time."
    John Kerry's Tender Sensibilities, by Kevin Carson, 29 Aug 2013
    Highlights the hypocrisy of State Secretary Kerry's comments on violation of international norms in Syria vis-à-vis the U.S.'s record in previous wars
    "In WWII, for instance, the U.S. holds pride of place not only for the firebombing of Dresden and Tokyo, but for being the first and only military power in history to burn hundreds of thousands of civilians alive with atomic weapons in the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. As for chemical weapons, aren't Agent Orange and napalm — the liquid fire used on that screaming little girl mentioned above — supposed to count?"
    Killing Iraqi Children, by Jacob G. Hornberger, 19 Jun 2006
    Comments on a Detroit News editorial condoning the bombing, rather than the arrest and prosecution, of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and the "collateral" death of a five-year old girl
    "Some would argue that such 'collateral damage' is just an unfortunate byproduct of war. War is brutal. People get killed in war. Compared with the two world wars, not that many people have been killed in Iraq, proponents of the Iraq war and occupation would claim. Such claims, however, miss an important point: U.S. military forces have no right, legal or moral, even to be in Iraq killing anyone. ... Don't forget that aggressive war was punished as a war crime at Nuremberg."
    Les Economistes Libertaires, by Carl Watner, Reason, Jan 1977
    Discusses the French economists of the 19th century and in particular Gustave de Molinari and his thoughts on the provision of security and defense services by private agencies
    "Under free competition the consumers would not tolerate warlike producers, nor would they allow themselves to be conquered. As Molinari brilliantly declared, 'War is a natural consequence of monopoly; peace is the natural consequence of liberty.' It was his expectation that peace would more likely reign under a regime of liberty than under monopoly or communism. ... Another principle that Molinari constantly emphasized was that competition is totally alien to war. Free trade is the most sure guarantee of private and world peace."
    Libertarianism and the War, by Justin Raimondo, 2 Apr 2007
    Criticises a Cato Unbound sympsium titled "Libertarianism: Past and Prospects" with contributed essays from Brian Doherty, Brink Lindsey, Tyler Cowen, Tom G. Palmer and Virginia Postrel
    "In war, the state is acting entirely according to its essential nature as an instrument of coercion. At no time other than war is it more readily apparent that states are agencies of aggression, and that this represents a human evil. On other occasions, governments and their apologists may dress up the consequences of state action as somehow beneficial or just, but making this statement while surveying a battlefield is a difficult task."
    Ludwig von Mises, socialism's greatest enemy: His life and times, by Jim Powell
    Lengthy biographical essay on Mises, including details on Menger and Böhm-Bawerk
    "Similarly, Mises made a case for peace: '... War only destroys; it cannot create. War, carnage, destruction, and devastation we have in common with the predatory beasts of the jungle; constructive labor is our distinctively human characteristic. The liberal abhors war, not, like the humanitarian, in spite of the fact that it has beneficial consequences, but because it has only harmful ones.'"
    Lysander Spooner (1808-1887) and Foreign Policy: Spooner's Real Views About Everything, by Joseph R. Stromberg, 8 May 2000
    Begins wih biographical summary and then delves into Spooner's views on slavery, the U.S. Constitution and the War Between the States
    "Spooner stressed how the government-allied bankers had made a hateful war possible: 'This business of lending blood money is one of the most thoroughly sordid, cold-blooded, and criminal that was ever carried on, to any considerable extent, amongst human beings. It is like lending money to slave traders, or to common robbers and pirates, to be repaid out of their plunder. ...'"
    Machiavelli and U.S. Politics, Part 4: War, by Lawrence M. Ludlow, 22 Aug 2005
    Part of a six-segment series examining The Prince vis-à-vis contemporary U.S. politics; this article covers Machiavelli's simple advice on war and contrasts it with that of James Madison and Robert Higgs in Crisis and Leviathan
    "Unfortunately, this Bush administration ... failed to take into account the resentment generated when invaders embark on wars of aggression in the homelands of other people. The writer Gore Vidal, however, has made up for this oversight. In his book Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace Vidal lists 201 U.S. military operations that took place between the victory over Japan in 1945 and the attacks of September 11. The list was compiled by the Federation of American Scientists. Think of it: 201 conflicts since 1945."
    Memorializing the Horrors of War with 10 Must-See War Films, by John W. Whitehead, 27 May 2016
    Comments on the events of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and on more recent wars, then suggests ten films that focus on "the nasty business of war"; ends by contrasting Obama's and Martin Luther King's Nobel Peace Prize speeches
    "... Americans are fed a steady diet of pro-war propaganda that keeps them content to wave flags with patriotic fervor and less inclined to look too closely at the mounting body counts, the ruined lives, the ravaged countries, the blowback arising from ill-advised targeted-drone killings and bombing campaigns in foreign lands, and the transformation of our own homeland into a warzone."
    Mr. Bush's War, by Murray Rothbard, The Irrepressible Rothbard, Oct 1990
    Starts off as a tongue-in-cheek analysis of the rationale for the Gulf War, but then delves into more serious reasons, including the Saudi, petroleum and Rockefeller connections
    "The eighteenth- and nineteenth-century 'laws of war,' ... brilliantly separate 'government' and 'military' from 'civilian.' Treating war as a conflict between governments or states, the laws of war bade governments not to injure civilians but only to injure each other. ... In the Iraq War, however, Mr. Bush is specifically targeting the shipment of food: in a deliberate, brutal, and truly barbaric effort to inflict starvation on the mass of Iraqi peoples."
    Related Topics: Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Taxation
    NATO's Balkans Disaster and Wilsonian Warmongering, Part 1, by Doug Bandow, Future of Freedom, Jul 1999
    Analyses NATO's actions in the Bosnian War in light of the U.S. constitution, the NATO accord and the UN Charter
    "Far worse, however, was ... inaugurating war against another sovereign state. In doing so, the president acted unilaterally, without the approval of Congress ... Although the administration seems to believe that all of these requirements are outmoded in today's world, the administration's calamitous bungling in Kosovo illustrates why war should require congressional approval, NATO should remain a defensive alliance, and the UN Charter properly outlaws aggressive war, irrespective of the goodness of the expressed intentions."
    NATO's Balkans Disaster and Wilsonian Warmongering, Part 2, by Doug Bandow, Future of Freedom, Aug 1999
    Considers possible justifications for war vis-à-vis NATO's involvement in Bosnia
    "... what justifies the United States's taking the extreme step of unleashing death and destruction on another people? Traditionally it has been a military threat against it. Yet Yugoslavia did nothing against America or any of its allies. ... Indeed, the administration did not threaten war to stop human-rights abuses. Rather, it wanted to force compliance with an international diktat ..."
    No More Great Presidents, by Robert Higgs, The Free Market, Mar 1997
    Discusses the results of a 1996 poll of historians asking them to rank U.S. presidents, focusing on those ranked Great, Near Great and Failure, and offers his own ranking
    "One need not ponder the rankings long, however, to discover a remarkable correlation: all but one of the presidents ranked as Great or Near Great had an intimate association with war, either in office or by reputation before taking office. Of the top-ranking 'nine immortals,' five (Lincoln, FDR, Polk, Wilson, and Truman) were commander in chief when the nation went to war, and three (Washington, Jackson, and Teddy Roosevelt) were best known prior to becoming president for their martial exploits."
    On the English Foreign Policy, by John Bright, 29 Oct 1858
    Speech given to the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce; criticises British militarism and imperialism, pointing out the effects of several 19th century wars on national debt, poverty and families
    "Since the 'Glorious Revolution,' since the enthronization of the great Norman territorial families, they have spent in wars, and we have worked for, about £2,000,000,000. ... Therefore, if war has provided you with a trade, it has been at an enormous cost; but I think it is by no means doubtful that your trade would have been no less in amount and no less profitable, had peace and justice been inscribed on your flag instead of conquest and the love of military renown."
    Peace and Pacifism, by Robert Higgs, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
    Reviews what prominent classical liberals and libertarians had to say on the subject of peace and war, as well as the history of United States wars from the War of 1812 to the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the efforts of those who opposed them
    "If 'war is the health of the state,' as writer Randolph Bourne famously declared, then peace is a necessary condition for individual freedom to flourish. ... In U.S. history, opposition emerged before or during almost every war, although it assumed much greater proportions on some occasions than on others. These historical episodes serve as lessons for contemporary libertarians, nourishing their pacific proclivities and inspiring their resistance to the unnecessary wars that the state continues to launch with distressing frequency."
    Pentagon Whistle-Blower on the Coming War With Iran, by Karen Kwiatkowski, James Harris, Josh Scheer, 27 Feb 2007
    Interviewed by James Harris and Josh Scheer of Truthdig; topics include possible conflict with Iran, the Pentagon situation prior to the March 2003 invasion of Iraq, the Office of Special Plans, Vietnam, terrorism and neoconservatism
    "We don't think that our military will do that. But in fact history is full of examples of bald-faced lies being told to sell particular agendas. Often times those agendas include war making ... So politicians and their politically appointed military leaders will lie, historically do lie when it has to do with making war, particularly making a war that they want. ... That's the war they want. ... they want these places ... So we have war. And they make up stories ..."
    Preventing Opposition to War, by Sheldon Richman, 13 Apr 2007
    Explains why the George W. Bush administration has not gotten more people directly involved in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, such as by conscription, war bonds or demanding "sacrifices"
    "War can be highly useful to this cause because in time the taxpayers may begin to catch on to the scam that drains their wealth. If they can be made to fear that an external enemy threatens their safety, they will happily trust their rulers with more power and money and ignore the occasional overt corruption. Nothing better serves this purpose than a foreign war."
    Related Topic: The State
    Preventing War with Iran Is Top Priority, by Sheldon Richman, 13 Nov 2013
    Examines the 2013 situation between the Obama administration and Israel on one side and Iran on the other
    "In fact, the American people and the Israeli government have entirely different interests with respect to Iran. Americans have no interest whatever in war with Iran. Countless noncombatants, not to mention U.S. military personnel, would be killed or maimed, and economic well-being would be shaken by the disruption of oil production and trade."
    Related Topics: Iran, Israel
    Rambo Was A Chump: John Kerry Should Be Ashamed of Vietnam Service, by Ted Rall, 27 Aug 2004
    Discusses comments made by then Senator and presidential candidate John Kerry about the 2003 Iraq war, including the change in his Senate appropriations voting record, and the Vietnam War
    "Serious people and historians know that Kerry was right the first time around. Like Iraq, Vietnam was an ill-conceived, doomed war that wasted countless lives for no good reason, launched by a president who lied about a Cold War threat (the absurd 'domino theory') that simply didn't exist. As U.S. troops are doing now in Iraq, we committed horrific atrocities in Vietnam. Not only did the guys in black pajamas beat us fair and square, we deserved it. We were wrong. We deserved to lose."
    Related Topics: Iraq War (2003), Vietnam War
    Rings of War, by Charley Reese, 1 Jan 2007
    Reflects on war as concentric rings with soldiers in the center and the general public in the outer circle, criticising George W. Bush and Congress for not ending the 2003 Iraq War and suggesting a general tax for future wars as incentive to end them
    "Think of a war as a violent center of a circle with concentric rings of people surrounding it. At the center are the soldiers who have to fight the war. In the next ring are the people whose loved ones are doing the fighting. ... The fourth ring includes journalists, to whom the war is just another story. They get paid to write and talk about something, and a war is a long-lasting topic. ... The seventh and final ring of people includes the majority of Americans, who have no direct interest in the war."
    Selections from Lao-tzu (Laozi): Tao Te Ching (Daode-jing), by Laozi
    Thirty-seven selections from the Dao De Jing, unidentified as to chapter or translator
    "Victory is never sweet.
    Those for whom victory is sweet
    Are those who enjoy killing.
    If you enjoy killing, you cannot gain the trust of the people.
    On auspicious occasions the place of honor is on the left.
    On inauspicious occasions the place of honor is on the right.
    The lieutenant commander stands on the left.
    The commander-in-chief stands on the right.
    And they speak, using the funerary rites to bury them.
    The common people, from whom all the dead have come
    Weep in lamentation.
    The victors bury them with funerary rites."
    Related Topics: Government, Taxation
    Smedley Butler and the Racket That Is War, by Sheldon Richman, 27 Jun 2014
    Review of United States Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler's War Is A Racket
    "Butler proposed ways to make war less likely. ... he suggested three measures: (1) take the profit out of war by conscripting 'capital and industry and labor' ... before soldiers are conscripted; (2) submit the question of entry into a proposed war to a vote only of 'those who would be called upon to do the fighting and dying'; (3) 'make certain that our military forces are truly forces for defense only.'"
    Stop the Cannon Fodder, by Charley Reese, 27 Jan 2007
    "Individual soldiers who survive combat often come home to realize that all of the horrific and heroic actions they took don't mean anything. Vietnam, for example, is ruled by a communist government. Nobody but a historian even remembers what World War I was all about, much less the 10 million young men who died fighting it. World War II and Korea are likewise fading from public memory. ... American veterans, like the veterans of other modern wars since 1945, will conclude that all they did turned out to be meaningless."
    Related Topics: Children, Iraq
    That Death Toll, by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., 21 Jun 2006
    Comments on White House Press Secretary Tony Snow's remark about the reporting of the death of the 2,500th American soldier in the 2003 Iraq War
    "What is the life of a soldier worth and what are the incentives to preserve it? In modern nation-state warfare, soldiers are fodder. ... Before the 19th century, ... [s]oldiers were direct employees of the sovereign, and there were limits on their numbers. ... Today, mobilization in war is total, and all citizens are expected to pay the price. The sovereign believes there is no price too high because the regime itself does not bear the liability. Death is just a number."
    The 100th Anniversary of the Great State Crime, by Sheldon Richman, 8 Aug 2014
    Reflections on the start of the Great War, 100 years ago, the second act (World War II) and wars in general
    "I think what gets overlooked is that ... war is the clearest possible lesson about the omnipresent danger of government power. Governments — politicians and monarchs — went to war, some perhaps more reluctantly than others. All shared responsibility for the carnage and devastation. ... At every stage, fallible persons operating under perverse incentives (they'd never be on the front lines) made choices — poor choices with respect to most people. War was never inevitable. It was a product of human agency."
    Related Topics: World War I, World War II
    The Abominations of War: From My Lai to Haditha, by Cindy Sheehan, 5 Jun 2006
    Responds to those who demand to "support our troops" and the President by listing various immoral and illegal actions, suggesting instead that George W. Bush be prosecuted as a war criminal and offering support to those who disobey unlawful orders
    "War, under any circumstance, is not a 'core value' of humanity; in fact, it is the ultimate failure of humanity. War turns our mostly normal American youth into wanton murderers who have lost their own humanity and love of others. Haditha in this war and My Lai in another disgusting war were unfortunately not aberrations. War is the abominable aberration."
    The Abstract Concept of Human Liberty, by Robert LeFevre, The Freeman, Dec 1982
    Discusses how people may be interested in other people, events or things but only a few are interested in ideas, and how each group of people tends to view liberty from those perspectives
    "To understand ideas is to cope with abstractions. But those who function at the level of people-interest rarely take the time to comprehend what freedom is all about. They understand the broken body of a war-victim carried from some battlefield. They know that person has had his freedom violated. They can tell. They see the blood."
    The Anatomy of the State, by Murray Rothbard, 1974
    Examines several attributes of the State, including how it maintains and grows itself and how it deals with other States
    "... a war between rulers was converted into a war between peoples, with each people coming to the defense of its rulers in the erroneous belief that the rulers were defending them. ... it was not too long ago that the mass of subjects regarded wars as irrelevant battles between various sets of nobles."
    The Bathtub, Mencken, and War: How Mencken Employed a Hoax to Demonstrate Journalistic Inaccuracies, by Wendy McElroy, The Freeman, Sep 1999
    Relates the story behind a Mencken essay, written during the First World War, to mock and show contempt for contemporary "journalists who blithely reported fiction as fact" and subsequent (eight years later) articles confessing to the hoax
    "Mencken wished to demonstrate the dramatic inaccuracies of many newspaper accounts, which are too often swallowed whole by uncritical readers. This phenomenon is especially prevalent in periods of war, when great efforts are made to stir the public's emotions so that it unquestioningly supports the government's policies. When reading accounts of war, it is valuable to consider Mencken's estimate that 'probably not one per cent' of it is true."
    The Bright Side of War, by Sheldon Richman, 24 May 2004
    Comments on a Washington Post article on the economic benefits of the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
    "... the idea that war creates prosperity is emphatically not true. ... The real cost of the war is the wealth we are compelled to forgo. ... Even truly defensive wars entail destruction, not production."
    The Critical Dilemma Facing Pro-War Libertarians, by Jacob G. Hornberger, 14 Feb 2007
    Discusses the contradictions faced by U.S. libertarians and conservatives who endorsed or encouraged imperial and interventionist foreign policies
    "No one can deny that we now live in a country in which the president, on his own initiative, has the omnipotent power to send the nation into war against any country on earth, especially given that the war on terror extends all over the globe. ... Indeed, the president wields the power to ignore any constitutional or legislative restraints on his power as a wartime commander in chief."
    The Economic Costs of Going to War: Transcript: Bill Moyers Talks with Lew Rockwell, by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., NOW with Bill Moyers, 7 Mar 2003
    Topics discussed include: the economy, the federal budget deficit, the national debt, inflation, Republican vs. Democrat presidents, tax cuts, war spending, World War II and the depression, Sadam Hussein and unemployment
    "So you have all kinds of money taken out of productive private savings and investment to build bombs and missiles that it's economically dangerous. And then it of course like every single war in our history it empowers the government to suppress dissent, to abolish civil liberties, to grow. That's one of the reasons governments love a war. Because it does enable them to grow and to brand anybody who disagrees with them as unpatriotic."
    The Failed Attempt to Leash the Dogs of War, by Bart Frazier, Future of Freedom, Dec 2006
    Discusses provisions of the Constitution that were meant to prevent the United States from having a large, permanent military and becoming involved in warfare at the will of a single person
    "Of the many powers that government is granted, none has more potential for disaster than the power to wage war. Not only does warfare cost a country in terms of lost lives, it also has detrimental effects on the economy and society itself. ... War concentrates power into the hands of the few and saps the will of citizens to resist, as they become stupefied with patriotic fervor."
    The Iraq War Crash: Stock market takes a dive - along with the prospects for peace in the Middle East, by Justin Raimondo, 2 Mar 2007
    Discusses a 9% drop in the Shanghai Stock Exchange on 27 Feb 2007, which also affected other markets, in the context of the Iraq War and potential conflict with Iran
    "The prosperity we lost is not as great as it might have been: this is due entirely to the war. Resources that might otherwise be engaged in the peaceful production of consumer goods are diverted and frozen in the form of fighter jets, aircraft carriers, and cluster bombs, whose only product is death. What characterizes war, aside from the mass death and horror, is sheer waste. We have seen the body-bags come home, and their increasing number has made us sit up and take notice."
    The Justice and Prudence of War: Toward A Libertarian Analysis, by Roderick Long, Mises Daily, 20 Sep 2006
    Examines the ethics of war from a libertarian perspective, considering both deontological and consequentialist claims
    "The morality of warfare is an issue that has long divided libertarians. ... A libertarian analysis of war must take into account not only the actual conduct of warfare but also the means of supplying the war machine. Under libertarian equality, funding a military through taxation is ruled out, as is manning it with slave labor. Conscription is obviously incompatible with libertarian principles; but even ordinary military contracts violate the inalienable right to quit one's job at will."
    The Most Dreaded Enemy of Liberty, by James Madison, Letters and Other Writings of James Madison, 20 Apr 1795
    From a longer essay titled "Political Observations", the selected passage reflects on the nature of war and the provisions in the U. S. Constitution about declaring war, conducting war and raising armies
    "Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people."
    The Myth of War Prosperity, Part 1, by Anthony Gregory, Future of Freedom, Dec 2006
    Review of Depression, War, and Cold War: Studies in Political Economy by Robert Higgs
    "Hawks will sometimes argue that ... a war will give a much-needed boost to production and thus bolster the economic health of the country. Leftist cynics will also sometimes say war benefits the economy ... Such naive reactions to spending due to war ... are perfect examples of what ... Bastiat described as the broken-window fallacy."
    The People Say No to War, by Sheldon Richman, 13 Sep 2013
    Commentary on how the American people stopped, at least momentarily, the Obama administration from attacking the Syrian people
    "The pundits blame 'war-weariness' for the public's opposition. I regard that as an insult. ... Apparently, favoring war is a sign of thinking clearly. I don't believe people are war-weary. Instead, as someone has said ..., they are war-wary. They've been burned too many times by their (mis)leaders and (mis)representatives. ... Americans have had enough, and it's about time. Their 'no' to war is the best news we've had in a long time."
    The Real 'Existential Threat': War with Iran augurs a global conflict, by Justin Raimondo, 30 Mar 2007
    Comments on media coverage of the Iranian seizure of British Royal Navy personnel in the Persian Gulf and subsequent political maneuvering
    "It doesn't seem possible that we are being pushed into a bigger and far more destructive conflict, and yet it is all happening rather quickly. The coming war with Iran will not end until the entire region is aflame – with the fire spreading to three continents, and beyond. Is this the price the world is willing to pay to put an end to the 'existential threat' to Israel? Or will our rulers pause, before plunging into an abyss, to ask: what about the existential threat to the rest of the world?"
    Related Topics: Democratic Party, Iran
    The Rocky Road of American Taxation, by Charles W. Adams, Mises Daily, 15 Apr 2006
    Adapted from the author's For Good and Evil: The Impact of Taxes on the Course of Civilization
    "Did the term 'common Defence' mean that military expenditures could only be made for defense? That is, no funds for aggressive wars? ... In The Federalist, No. 34, Hamilton said they were embarking on a 'novel experiment in politics, of tying up the hands of government from offensive war, founded on reasons of state ...'"
    The War of 1812 Was the Health of the State, Part 1, by Sheldon Richman, 27 Feb 2015
    Examines the sentiments of the founding fathers and other leading figures and some of the events that led to the War of 1812
    "... I’ll focus on how the war eroded liberalism in the United States by concentrating power and interest in the national government. There's a lesson here: even a war that appears justifiable — Britain conscripted Americans into its navy and interfered with commerce — had enduring illiberal domestic consequences beyond the immediate transgressions of taxes, debt, and trade embargoes — dangerous precedents were set."
    The War System and Its Intellectual Myths, by Murray Rothbard, Harry Elmer Barnes: Learned Crusader, 1968
    Originally titled "Harry Elmer Barnes as Revisionist of the Cold War"
    "In the war mythology, the Enemy is never hesitant, never confused, never human, never fearful of us attacking him or of precipitating destructive war, and above all never ready to negotiate honestly to try to lessen tensions or to work out mutually satisfactory means of living in peace."
    Two-dimensional libertarianism, by Anthony Gregory, Rational Review, 30 Sep 2004
    Questions the usefulness of the two-dimensional Nolan Chart and the World's Smallest Political Quiz and advocates instead a one-dimensional liberty vs. power spectrum
    "... including one or more questions on war would severely complicate the two-dimensional graph [Nolan Chart]. It is unclear whether conservatives or liberals believe more in war. It often depends on what kind of war. Hawkish conservatives like slaughtering civilians to demonstrate how much the US kicks butt. Hawkish liberals like slaughtering civilians to show how humanitarian the US is. 'Neo-libertarians' use civilian slaughter as a measurement of how free we are."
    U.S. Has No Moral Standing to Condemn Assad, by Sheldon Richman, 28 Aug 2013
    Questions the propriety of the U.S. government's moral pronouncements (and potential military actions) in response to allegations that Syria's government used chemical weapons
    "Since 1945, the U.S. government has launched aggressive wars in violation of international law. It has tortured prisoners detained without charge. It has dropped atomic bombs on civilian centers, and used napalm, Agent Orange, depleted-uranium shells, and white phosphorus incendiary weapons. It has carpet bombed and firebombed cities. America's unexploded landmines and cluster bombs still threaten the people of Vietnam and Cambodia. (Tens of thousands have been killed or injured since the war ended in 1975.)"
    Related Topic: Syria
    War Loses, Again, by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., 8 Nov 2006
    Reflects on the results of the 2006 U.S. mid-term elections
    "More than three years ago, George Bush unleashed the dogs of war on Iraq, perhaps hoping that he would take his place among the 'great' war presidents. It's strange how these guys imagine themselves written about in history books in the manner of Washington, Lincoln, and FDR, rather than Truman, Johnson, and Nixon. It's been more than 50 years since war immortalized a president, and yet they keep trying. The dogs of war didn't build freedom and democracy in Iraq, or bring justice or peace."
    War, Peace, and Murray Rothbard, by Sheldon Richman, 18 Jul 2014
    Review and commentary on Murray Rothbard's 1963 essay "War, Peace, and the State"
    "Thus, Murray noted, the first acts of aggression that occur in interstate warfare are against each government's respective 'home' population. ... Interstate war of course also involves aggression against foreign populations as well as against home populations. ... Even 'smart' bombs and Hellfire missiles from remotely controlled drones kill people universally recognized as innocent noncombatants."
    Related Topic: Murray N. Rothbard
    Warring as Lying Throughout American History, by James Bovard, Future of Freedom, Feb 2008
    Recounts how U.S. Presidents and their administrations since James Polk have lied about wars, from start to finish
    "Presidential deceits on foreign policy have filled cemeteries across the land. ... Lying and warring appear to be two sides of the same coin. Unfortunately, many Americans continue to be gullible when presidents claim a need to commence killing foreigners. It remains to be seen whether the citizenry is corrigible on this life-and-death issue."
    War, the God That Failed, by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., 15 May 2004
    Contrasts the general reaction to the Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse vs. the mass deaths caused by the 2003 Iraq War, and the rationalizations made about the war with the excuses made by early Bolsheviks
    "The core problem in Iraq ... is the 'idealists' who think nothing of attempting to reconstruct an entire region of the world using bombs and bloodshed. War is idealism in the same way that Communism and Nazism were idealism: the fanatical dream of people who insisted that the world conform to their vicious imaginings, and just so happened to get hold of the power of the state and used it to make their 'ideals' happen. They are the people who give us killing fields. War too is a god that has failed."
    Wartime Attacks on Civil Liberties, by George C. Leef, Future of Freedom, Dec 2005
    Review of Perilous Times: Free Speech in Wartime: From the Sedition Act of 1798 to the War on Terrorism by Geoffrey R. Stone
    "If it is true ... that war is the health of the state, it is equally true ... that war is the sickness of individual liberty. The state always menaces its people with an array of orders, prohibitions, and confiscations, but never so much as in times of war, when it can count on widespread support for all measures said to be necessary to ensure victory."
    Related Topic: Freedom of Speech
    What People Believe, by Charley Reese, 20 May 2006
    Explains how people are influenced by their upbringing and by political leaders to leave their families and jobs and "go to a foreign country and fight in a war"
    "Persuading people to go to war is much more complicated and involves identity, which is constructed of beliefs. ... Millions of men have gone to war because, as Americans or British or French or Germans or Russians or Japanese, they believed it was their duty. The danger lies in the fact that unscrupulous men, through misrepresentation and propaganda, can motivate people to go to war even though it is not in their country's interest, much less their own."
    Why Are We Afraid To Be Free?, by Butler Shaffer, 27 Nov 2001
    Examines the question of how to bring about freedom in individuals' lives, discussing how government influences people to be in conflicted states and how one must look within oneself and act accordingly to begin to be "free"
    "... we should remind ourselves of one of the most important of history's lessons: wars invariably restrict freedom, they do not enhance it! Wars increase the powers of the state ... The American Civil War greatly expanded the powers of the state, both in terms of how the war was conducted and the role played by the federal government thereafter ... World Wars I and II also extended state power and diminished individual liberties, as did the so-called 'Cold War.'"
    Why I Am An Anarchist, by Caleb Johnson, The New Hampshire Free Press, 12 Mar 2008
    Contrasts the general public view of anarchism with the reality of national governments and their actions
    "Every war that has ever been fought was created and nurtured by states. War, that great scourge of mankind, can only exist among states. ... Would hundreds of thousands of young men, merely on their own initiative, have armed themselves to the teeth and journeyed to Iraq to torture, kill, and terrorize? No, to accomplish that great evil they needed a state to tell them that it was alright to do what they would otherwise find repugnant."
    Related Topic: The State
    Will the Democrats Become Part of the Problem?, by Paul Craig Roberts, 10 Nov 2006
    Discusses the outcome of the 2006 U.S. mid-term elections and offers recommendations primarily for congressional Democrats
    "This leaves the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Both are lost. Both invasions were illegal. Those responsible must be held accountable. The American prosecutors of the Nazi war criminals at Nuremberg emphasized, as Robert Jackson put it, that Germany's crime was not in losing the war but in starting it. Under the Nuremberg standard, to launch a war of aggression is a war crime. It is punishable with a death sentence."
    Wilson in the Mirror, by John M. Peters, 23 May 2006
    Compares Woodrow Wilson to George W. Bush, drawing several parallels between the two
    "Also common to the agendas of Presidents Wilson and Bush, is an unending commitment to warfare to achieve their stated goals. As Gamble details, Wilson was adamant that 'There can be no compromise.' ... Both Presidents would realize the opposite of their stated goals. ... Both Presidents staked their political fortunes upon their foreign campaigns, which initially saw their poll numbers soar only to see them plummet once a gullible public finally came out of its war-induced intoxication."
    Winning the Battle for Freedom and Prosperity, by John Mackey, Liberty, Jun 2006
    Updated from speech given at FreedomFest 2004; after a brief background on himself, Mackey criticises the freedom movement from a marketing and branding perspective and suggests a different approach by de-emphasising some issues and prioritising others
    "Global peace is within our reach for the first time in history. Let me quote from Johan Norberg's wonderful book, 'In Defense of Global Capitalism':
    The number of wars has diminished by half during the last decade. Today, less than 1% of the world's population is directly affected by military conflicts. One reason is that democracies simply do not make war on each other. ...
    Despite the war in Iraq, which looms large in our minds, the truth is that wars in the world are actually in decline."
    Without the State, No Troops to Support, by Jeremy Weiland, 6 Mar 2007
    Comments on the critics of the 2003 Iraq invasion who qualify their opposition by saying they still "support the troops"
    "The drive towards war was only a slightly cruder invocation of the same double-talk and domination that governments have always foisted on people. 'Support the troops' is a failsafe mechanism designed not to stop wars but to conserve the power to wage war another day. Oil, terrorism, and dictators are just peripheral issues, after all, compared to the bedrock goal of preserving faith in the power and sanctity of our government. The only thing worse than losing a war is losing the right to wage war."
    Related Topic: The State
    Would a Return to Conscription Substantially Reduce the Probability of War?, by David R. Henderson, 7 Sep 2015
    Analyzes the question of whether reintroducing military conscription would incentivize the rich and powerful to object to "military adventurism" and thus prevent war; also includes a moral argument against the draft
    "Even if influential people would be against the war because their children would be at risk, two factors would cause them to invest little in preventing war. First, any resources they put towards lobbying, writing letters, etc. would only marginally change the probability of war. Second, they would risk wasting their investment because of the likelihood that others would free ride and cause the collective effort to fail. ... A far better investment, from their viewpoint, would be to invest in a private good ... to arrange a special deal—either draft exemption or a safe job in the military—for their children."
    Related Topics: Ethics, Vietnam War
    Would You "Support the Troops" in Bolivia?, by Jacob G. Hornberger, 27 Dec 2006
    Discusses U.S. military contracts and the hypothetical case of a soldier objecting to being deployed for an invasion of Bolivia on orders from the President, contrasting it to the real scenario of the 2003 invasion of Iraq
    "For example, let's say that President Bush orders U.S. troops to invade and occupy Bolivia. ... Thus, by invading Bolivia, the president would argue, the troops would be helping bring freedom and stability to Latin America and also be protecting the United States from the threat of communism. ... The American people would be infected with war fever. ... The FBI would monitor anti-war protests for threats to national security from socialists, communists, and terrorists."
    Related Topics: Ethics, Militarism, Standing Armies

    Cartoons and Comic Strips

    Long War, Inc., by Mark Fiore, 1 Mar 2006
    The Clarity of our War Strategy ..., by Tom Toles, The Washington Post, 23 Jul 2006

    Books

    Defend America First: The Antiwar Editorials of the Saturday Evening Post, 1939-1942
        by Garet Garrett, Bruce Ramsey (Introduction), 2003
    Editorials from Aug 1939-Jan 1942; contents: Introduction - Invitation - The Call - Sacrifices - The State - Consent - Meaning - Reminder - Last Stand - Global Dream - Country - Comrades - Confidence - Maneuvers - Eleventh Hour - Unity - Afterword
    Give War a Chance: Eyewitness Accounts of Mankind's Struggle Against Tyranny, Injustice, and Alcohol-Free Beer
        by P.J. O'Rourke, 1992
    Contents: The Birth, and Some of the Afterbirth, of Freedom - Second Thoughts - A Call for a New McCarthyism - Give War a Chance: Dispatches from the Gulf War
    Omnipotent Government: The Rise of the Total State and Total War [PDF], by Ludwig von Mises, 1944
    Partial contents: German Liberalism - The Triumph of Militarism - Etatism - Etatism and Nationalism - Refutation of Some Fallacious Explanations - The Peculiar Characteristics of German Nationalism - The Social Democrats in Imperial Germany
    Related Topic: Germany
    On The Law Of War And Peace, by Hugo Grotius, 1625
    Partial contents: On War and Right - Inquiry Into the Lawfulness of War - Defense of Person and Property - On the Unjust Causes of War - The Causes of Undertaking War for Others - What is Lawful in War - Respecting Those Who are Neutral in War
    The Failure of America's Foreign Wars
        by Richard M. Ebeling (Editor), Jacob G. Hornberger (Editor), The Future of Freedom Foundation, 1996
    Collection of essays by Ebeling, Hornberger, Doug Bandow, Robert Higgs, Simon Jenkins, James Madison, Ralph Raico, Sheldon Richman, Wesley Allen Riddle, Joseph Sobran, Herbert Spencer, William Graham Sumner and Daniel Webster

    Audio

    War and the Growth of Government, by Robert Higgs, Mises University, 20 Jul 2015
    Includes a six minute introduction where Lew Rockwell presents the 2015 Murray N. Rothbard Medal of Freedom to Higgs; discusses, with many examples, how wars and militarism influenced the growth of government

    Videos


    Follow the Money (A Rap Attack on Petrodollar Wars and The FED), by Dave Berzack, 17 Dec 2013
    Questions the rationales given for the Iraq and Libyan invasions and argues that the Federal Reserve and petrodollar agreements are the real reasons
    Related Topic: Federal Reserve System
    HOWARD ZINN: "Holy Wars", by Howard Zinn, Democracy Now!, 11 Nov 2009
    Talk given at Boston University, discussing the American "Holy Wars": the Revolutionary War, the Civil War and World War II
    How Major U.S. Neo-imperialist Wars End, by Robert Higgs, 6 Jun 2008
    Speech given at the Future of Freedom Foundation's 2008 conference "Restoring the Republic: Foreign Policy and Civil Liberties"

    War as Government Program, by Sheldon Richman, 3 Jun 2007
    Speech the Future of Freedom Foundation's conference "Restoring the Republic: Foreign Policy and Civil Liberties"
    War Sucks, What is it Good For?, by Peter Jaworski, 10 Dec 2015
    Discusses the tendency to think of wars in the abstract, rather than the "death and destruction" they cause, the unintended consequences of war and constrasts the effects of war to the benefits of trade (with Edwin Starr's version of "War" in background)
    "War, what is it good for? Creating peace, spreading democracy, boosting the economy? Here's the answer, nothing. Say it again y'all. ... Wars are traumatic, chaotic events. All they leave is death and destruction in their wake. And they make the citizens of the country going to war ... nervous and ... fearful. ... Now more important, even just wars have unintended consequences. And they may create worse problems than the ones you set out to fix. And the consequences of wars that are difficult, if not impossible, to foresee. Wars may seem noble because of the dangers and the drama involved."

    Podcasts

    The Health of the State, by Ralph Raico, Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., The Lew Rockwell Show, 17 Aug 2008
    Lew talks with Raico about war, U.S. foreign policy, the role of Commander in Chief and related topics

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