Steve G.

Give credit where credit is due: Bob Barr right on Georgian War

In Libertarian Party-US on August 19, 2008 at 1:56 pm

Press release from Bob Barr:

Atlanta, GA – “The Bush administration is talking about pumping aid into the damaged Georgian economy, after that nation’s short war with Russia,” says Bob Barr, the Libertarian Party candidate for president. “The conflict between Georgia and Russia was tragic, but it’s time officials in Washington stopped treating the Treasury Department like an ATM for the world. The deficit rose last month after Uncle Sam had to bail out several failed banks and the total federal deficit this year is going to run about $400 billion. It’s time to say enough!”

“The U.S. spent $21 billion on foreign aid last year, not counting money for Iraq,” explains Barr. “Over the years Washington has shipped hundreds of billions of dollars overseas, with much of it wasted. The Third World remains poor, only with a larger debt. Indeed, U.S. aid programs often subsidized socialist and undemocratic regimes.”

“The Saakashvili government in Georgia made a foolish mistake by initiating hostilities in its breakaway province of South Ossetia,” notes Barr. “American taxpayers should not have to pay for that mistake. After all, they already are paying $10 billion a month for the administration’s mistaken invasion and occupation of Iraq. They cannot afford to pay the price for other people’s wars as well,” says Barr.

“Instead of increasing foreign aid, the U.S. government needs to cut the amount of taxpayer money that it sends overseas,” insists Barr. “Most important, it is time to start saying no more. No more international welfare clients. No more foreign governments treating America as a cash cow. We need to put our own fiscal house in order rather than constantly bail out irresponsible governments around the world.”

Comments: A thoroughly libertarian press release and one libertarians can rightfully be proud of. The problem — they should all be this way and should pass without comment.

  1. I don’t feel that this statement of Barr’s is “thoroughly libertarian”. He assesses blame without proof, laying the fault for this conflict completely on the Georgian doorstep. This is incredibly naive. There is no doubt that Saakashvili miscalculated, but the fault is not entirely his. Russia has been playing provocateur across the Georgian border for a very long time now.

    Here’s a decent analysis, pre-conflict between Georgia/Russia, by an ancient Cato foreign policy wonk:

    Ted Galen Carpenter, “Poking the Bear“, The National Interest, July 29, 2008

    Saints Preserve This Nation, when the Nixon Realist camp starts making more sense than the current administration…

  2. Strange it is for me to be defending Barr, but Georgia is entirely in the wrong. South Ossetia has the right to secede. Russia’s actions are not the issue at hand.

  3. South Ossetia has the right to secede.

    Who is “South Ossetia?”

    The Russian troops who have occupied the territory and installed a puppet “government?”

    Using your logic, “Yucatan” has a right to secede after a US invasion and occupation of that part of Mexico, followed up by a unilateral declaration of independence made by an American who was appointed leader of “Yucatan” by the US Army.

    And if Mexico moves to repulse the US invasion, it has only itself to blame if America is “forced” to destroy most of the rest of the country in order to maintain its foothold in Yucatan and eventually annex that portion of the country.

  4. The people have the right to secede, Brian. I should have known you would object to that obvious natural right.

  5. Each individual is sovereign and has the inalienable right to self-determination.

    Anyone who opposes the secession of South Ossetia on the basis of Russian occupation should conduct a poll of the Russian speaking majority of South Ossetia to find out if the Russian’s are occupiers or liberators. The evidence is that they are viewed by the vast majority as liberators.

    The people of Texas voted in 1861 to secede. Over 76% of those voting chose secession. Why is this idea hard to grasp? Or is it just hard for Yankees?

  6. It’s just hard for libertines, liberals, and cons.

  7. Not for libertines, GE, as I am one.

  8. No. You care about foreigners. That means you’re not a libertine.

  9. @ GE, I’m amused at dimissiveness without any substance of a Ted Galen Carpenter article I previously reference. Carpenter has be a libertarian foreign policy wonk longer than most libertarians gave been libertarian. Also noted is you absurd generalising down to liberal, conservatives, libertines, and those like yourself.

    @ John Amendall -76% of the people? Tell me please, just how many women, Native Americans Mexicans and Blacks were NOT allowed to vote in the referendum, even though they resided in Texas in 1861? Even without that pertinent consideration, was it proper that the will of 26% was simply ignored? Were there geographical subparts of Texas that voted overwhelmingly against session, and if there was, was it proper to force them to secede from the Union? Pure Reconstructionist twaddle; it’s no wonder that Lew Rockwell dot com seems to be a preferred cited authority.

    Here’s analysis from the Independent Institute. Note that none of the articles I proffer here, nor the Carpenter article previously cited denied that Georgia is largely to blame for the recent conflict, only that it takes two to tango. In fact Eland places almost the entirety of blame upon Georgia.
    Alvaro Vargas Llosa, “Putin the Terrible“, The Lighthouse, Volume 10, Issue 33: August 18, 2008Ivan Eland, “Crisis in the Caucuses – The U.S. Should Be Wary of Strongly Backing Georgia“, The Lighthouse, Volume 10, Issue 33: August 18, 2008Anthony Gregory, “The Seeds of Another Cold War?“, The Lighthouse, Volume 10, Issue 33: August 18, 2008
    So what now GE? Are you going to hurl another ad hominem of neoconservative at me? I am not liberal, conservative, libertine, reconstructionist or neoconservative. Haven’t you learned yet?

    I am an anarchist.

  10. pdsa – I’m supposed to be impressed that the guy’s been a policy wonk at anti-Russia, neocon Stato for X years? You’re right, I’m dismissive of anyone who argues a people don’t have the natural right to secede.

  11. GE, what part of the definition of the term libertine has you thinking that a libertine doesn’t care about foreigners? I refer you to

    Perhaps you have a different definition.

    PDSA, dude, read what I wrote, not what you think it means. Then bitch about what I wrote, not what you decided it must have meant.

    I wrote: “Over 76% of those voting chose secession.”

    I didn’t say that the vote was fair, or that all those who should have been able to vote would have agreed.

    Rather a great many people of Mexican and Spanish descent supported the Texas revolution. Many of them felt betrayed by annexation. So, if you were able to get figures on a secret ballot, my guess is you’d find many Hispanic folks in Texas supporting secession, yes.

    Many native American Indians supported secession, too. There were entire armies supplied by Oklahoma based tribes in support of the Confederacy. The last general to surrender was Stand Watie as I recall, you could look it up. Try this page:

    Many freed blacks and Indians owned slaves in the South. It was a path to economic success for some.

    So, you tell me who was refused the vote in Texas in 1861, and how that was any different from Maryland or New York City in 1861.

    There were certainly geographic parts, especially the German immigrant sections around Fredericksburg, that didn’t want secession. And there were 24% who voted against secession, if we are to regard the votes as having been counted. (Not sure where you got 26%, but maybe you have trouble with math?)

    Voting is a stupid way of choosing things. But, so what? Next you are going to say that the 76% of voters who chose secession should not have been allowed to exercise their sovereign self-determination.

    You oppose secession, pdsa, because in your heart, you are a Lincoln enthusiast. You oppose secession because you want to feel good about the armies of Sherman and Grant marching across the South to rape, loot, pillage, and plunder in the name of a nationalist centralized government of unlimited power.

    Texas is an occupied country that was militarily conquered by the United States and which still has US military bases in it. If people voting in an election doesn’t give them the option to secede, and people taking up arms to kill the occupiers doesn’t give them the option to secede, then what does, in your pathetic, twisted, pro-occupation mind?

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