L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 141, October 1, 2001
HOPE? OR GLASS?
A Message from the President
by L. Neil Smith and Aaron Zelman
Special to TLE
Ladies and gentlemen, fellow children of the American Revolution: a little time has passed, now, since the terrible events of September 11. We have arrived at a moment when we must bravely and honestly face an unpleasant fact that the murderous outrage in New York, Washington, and rural Pennsylvania had two causes -- both well within control of the United States government -- which, if either one had been different in character, the enormity of which I speak would never have occurred.
The first is a "Cops of the World" foreign policy this country has pursued for more than a century, under which its government has rigged elections, assassinated foreign leaders and private individuals, and threatened sovereign nations with gunboats and airpower if they failed to do its imperialistic bidding -- whatever that happened to be at the moment. Such a role was never intended for America by its Founders, who generally wished for their country to remain free from foreign entanglements, and it is the reason -- although we Americans dearly love to think of ourselves as a kind-hearted and generous people -- that we are hated, loathed, and despised as bullies all over the world.
It may be a painful truth to hear, but it's a truth nonetheless.
Most Americans don't pay much attention to foreign affairs, so they are mostly unaware of this government's blustering and blundering around the world. They are unaware of the origins of the troubles in the Middle East. I will offer just a single example of why the people there detest us enough to fly a hijacked airliner into the side of a building killing themselves, the passengers, and thousands of other people.
During the time of American restrictions on commerce with Iraq, no fewer than five hundred thousand children died of malnutrition or lack of medicine. The other day I heard someone remark callously, "Well, they should have overthrown Saddam Hussein." My answer to them was, who, the children, while they were dying of malnutrition and lack of medicine? It was an act of absolute insanity to try to change the behavior of an evil man by starving people he doesn't give a damn about.
And that was just a single insanity out of hundreds or thousands. As one of my first official acts, I ended that insane blockade, but by then it was too late. The five hundred thousand children were already dead of malnutrition or lack of medicine -- tell me what you would do if someone killed your child this way? -- and the airliners, carrying their cargo of hatred and revenge, were already effectively on their way.
The second cause of the horrible disaster of September 11 is the shameful -- and I would add, criminal -- failure by the government to do the only thing it was supposed to do: stringently, energetically, and enthusiastically enforce the highest law of the land, the first ten amendments to our Constitution, commonly known as the Bill of Rights.
Had only one individual, pilot, flight attendant, or passenger on each of the hijacked airliners possessed an adequate weapon of some kind -- instead of illegally being scanned, X-rayed, even strip- or cavity-searched to prevent it -- more than six thousand victims in the World Trade Center would be alive today, safe and happy with their families and friends. Instead, their names must be added to the long list of those who have died because of yet another insanity, the concept of "gun control", more properly referred to as victim disarmament.
And now we find ourselves confronted by yet a third insanity. Both bureaucrats and elected representatives of both major parties, cowards and moral cripples unwilling to face the disastrous failure of the policies that caused this tragedy, are urging me to take draconian action, among them: a requirement that all Americans be compelled to obtain and carry some kind of national identification card; new laws that permit government agencies to spy on and interfere with everyday communications and other activities of ordinary Americans; and the establishment of a federal office of "Homeland Security" -- a concept that I believe sounds so much more appropriate in its native language: Heimatsicherheitsdienst.
Ladies and gentlemen, what we are seeing here amounts to nothing less than the Nazification of America. It is a measure of their true intentions, these bureaucrats and elected officials, that they were preparing these alien restrictions they want to force on the American people -- coldly using what happened at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon as a handy excuse -- years before September 11. They are, therefore, the partners of terrorists, accomplices after the fact to the events of September 11, profiteering politically from the deaths of innocent thousands for which they bear significant, if indirect, responsibility.
And now you ask what I intend to do, as President, to make things right. Nobody can bring back six thousand precious, irreplaceable lives; they are a hideous price we've paid for the insanities of past administrations.
We can easily rebuild the material damage, and I pledge here and now to labor day and night, using every resource legitimately at my disposal, to make sure that the World Trade Center towers are rebuilt, taller and far more beautiful -- and more defiant -- than they were before.
Unlike those who urge drastic and indiscriminate military action, I understand that you can only counter a diffuse threat like terrorism with a diffuse defense -- while attempting to deal with the historical errors that provoked it. To those ends, I've asked my closest friend and advisor, John Pondoro, to assemble a team capable of bringing those individuals responsible for this atrocity to justice -- or of taking justice to them. But I will countenance no more killing of children.
Meanwhile, it is time to end a conflict that has been going on for more than nine hundred years. The Crusades pitted Christians against Moslems and are inescapably at the root of current events. To begin with, I plan to withdraw American troops from every place they've ever been sent by previous administrations, leaving the individuals who live in those places to sort it out for themselves, for better or worse.
At the same time, I will do what I can so that not one tax dollar, not one penny, is ever sent to a foreign government -- any foreign government -- ever again. Let those who accuse me of "isolationism" deal with the fact that at exactly the same time, I intend to remove all government restrictions, including punitive taxation, on foreign trade.
Let's try to be neither bully nor benefactor, but good neighbors who keep their own house, raise their own children, and mind their own business.
The most important thing I plan to do is to enforce the Bill of Rights. I will begin today, by sending federal marshals to each and every airport in the country to dismantle and remove metal detectors and X-ray machines that have been used for more than a generation to violate the privacy and rights of Americans, while they did nothing at all to prevent the catastrophe we've just been compelled to witness helplessly.
Similarly, by Executive Order if necessary, I am hereby nullifying the twenty-five thousand victim disarmament law this country has enacted -- none of which are permissible under the Bill of Rights -- and instructing federal marshals to arrest any official, at any level of government, who attempts to enforce such laws. An armed population is exactly the diffuse defense a diffuse threat like terrorism calls for.
My advice to you, fellow children of the American Revolution, is to do three things. First, vote for any politician, from any political party, who states publicly that he's against every aspect of this headlong stampede into fascism. Second, vote against any politician, from any political party, who supports it. Third, don't wait for the next election -- it may be too late by then -- write or call your representatives now. Tell them how you mean to vote next chance you get.
If a politician tells you that you must make sacrifices to deal with some emergency, if he tells you that you must suffer a loss of rights, if he tells you to shut up and obey, have the courage to ask him what makes him different from the terrorists who created the emergency.
For my part, I will make this promise. Politicians and bureaucrats presently conspiring to destroy the Bill of Rights had better be well prepared to give up the freedom they appear so enthusiastic to deprive others of. The poor fools who sell their liberty for the illusion of security are understandable, if pitiable, creatures. Those who sell the liberty of others to enhance their power deserve only the end of a rope.
Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, and goodnight.