L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 277, June 27, 2004
"...the traffic jam at the spaceport..."
Iraq and Global Victim Disarmament: The Ugly Truth
Exclusive to TLE
As the readers of TLE undoubtedly know, there is a raging mob of people who would like nothing better than to disarm every American who lacks a badge or government paycheck, as one of the final nails in the coffin of what was once called "American liberty." Some of the members of this mob are bureaucrats, politicians and police officers. Some of them are common, if dangerously misguided, folks who do not have anything to gain from such a fascist policy, other than a false sense of security.
As the readers of TLE also undoubtedly know, the United Nations has engaged in a highly distressing level of serious contemplation into the idea of disarming every human being on earth who lacks a badge or government paycheck, so as to usher in a new era of global tyranny, making the inevitable and significant dissent and resistance that much easier to crush.
What some readers of TLE might not realize is that the United States government is no more our salvation in protecting us from the United Nations and its international gun controlor world police in generalthan it is in protecting us from our own illiteracy, addictions, or poverty.
Before I explain this further, I want to make it clear where I stand on some issues.
First off, I view it as axiomatic that individuals have the inalienable and fundamental right to defend themselves against aggression, and to keep and bear such tools that are necessary for such defense. Handguns, "assault rifles," knives, nunchucks, grenadesyou name it.
Furthermore, it is wrong, immoral, and downright impracticalfrom a public safety perspectiveto allow government to infringe this inalienable right in any way. Registration, licensing, magazine capacity limits, and other such "reasonable restrictions" on the right to self-defense are no more acceptable than "reasonable restrictions" on the right to free speech that limit how long a book one is allowed to read or write. It's especially hypocritical when the government doing the disarming does so by brandishing its own weapons, which it has a reputation of using on many occasions against innocent people.
However, unlike some libertarians, I do not extend this principle to nuclear weapons. I agree with Murray Rothbard's view that atom bombs are qualitatively different from even the most powerful personal weapons, in that they cannot be conceivably used in any manner that does not initiate force on thousands, if not millions, of individuals. I don't think people should have such ghastly devices, and I would like to see them gone.
That being said, it is wrong, immoral, and downright impractical from an international peace perspectiveto allow governments, either national or global, to go around the world enforcing international arms control, if doing so means initiating force against innocent people. It's especially hypocritical when the government doing the disarming does so by brandishing its own weapons of mass destruction, the most powerful on earth, which it has the unique reputation of having used against hundreds of thousands of innocent people (Hiroshima, Nagasaki).
This brings me to the Iraq War.
What we have been seeing in Iraq for the last fourteen or so months is the quintessential example of international gun control. The torture, the killing, the lies, and the blood of 10,000 innocent Iraqis in the streets are all the result of a campaign waged, or at least originally claimed to be waged, to enforce an international weapons law.
Just as is often the case with domestic gun control, the real reasons for the policy are much different from what is initially claimed. What was claimed was that a bad man threatened us and his neighbors, and so the government needed to go and take away his weapons, before he uses them. Sound familiar? It's the Brady campaign goes to Baghdad.
This brings me back to the United Nations.
Leftists think the U.N. tried to stand in the way of a U.S. war of aggression on Iraq, and when the U.N. oversaw brutal sanctions and corrupt trade agreements in the 1990s regarding Iraq, such brutality and corruption were the results of the influence of American interests. Conservatives think that the U.N. is the largest threat to American sovereignty, and if there's one thing lacking in the U.N., it is any concern whatever for "American interests."
As is often the case, both the Left and the Right are correct, and both are wrong.
The War on Iraq did not discredit the U.N.; it reaffirmed the U.N. The primary justification for war given to us by such officials as Colin Powell was Saddam's violation of international law, of U.N. dictates, and especially of Resolution 1441. Warmongers gloriously insisted they were defending the honor of the U.N., that the U.S. government was the night in shining armor to the U.N.'s helpless maiden, protecting the organization's reputation by slaying the Hussein dragon.
The U.S. government likes the U.N., and it always has, ever since its CEO Franklin Roosevelt created the organization with the help of "Uncle Joe" Stalin. The Left is basically correct that the U.S. manipulates the U.N. to its benefit. The Right is correct that the U.N. is a threat to American sovereignty. These two notions are not mutually exclusive.
Certainly, the U.S. government does what it pleases around the world whether or not the U.N. wants it to. So the Left has a point. And certainly American taxpayers have a lot to lose if we move toward global welfare programs. So the Right has a point.
If World Government comes, it will not only be the U.N. taking over the world, as the Right fears, nor will it be the U.S. doing so, as the Left suspects. It will be a combination of both: the most powerful government on earth working with the other powerful governments to expand and centralize global authority over everyone, using international law to legitimize its activity. And this of course includes taking away our guns, as well as monopolizing the larger weapons, keeping them in the hands of the politicians who can most be trusted.
Want to talk about international victim disarmament? Read the papers and see how U.S. soldiers are being directed to disarm Iraqi civilians. Put blue caps on the soldiers and imagine the project on a grander scale.
International Socialism, global armies complete with conscription, global income taxation and wealth distribution such things are definitely in the plans of many bureaucrats, politicians, and other powermongers. It's good to be concerned about the U.N. infringing on our sovereignty as Americans. But so far, it has only done so with the permission of our own elected leaders. While many think that the U.S. ignoring the U.N.'s impotent attempts to stop the Iraq War has a silver lining as far as American sovereignty goes, they are gravely mistaken. When some U.N. member nations object to U.S. hegemonic violence, it's mostly a shell game, comparable to the superficial bickering in Congress. The politicians of the world will unite in the end.
In recent times, the largest cost to the American taxpayer of which I'm aware, earmarked for the purpose of upholding the U.N. above American sovereignty, has been the hundreds of billions of dollars that George Bush has spent on disarming and killing thousands of Iraqis, all to enforce the international gun control law known as Resolution 1441.
To stop this madness, I suggest those of us whether on the Left or Rightwho oppose aggressive hegemony, work together against the efforts of those who support such hegemony, whether on the Left or Right. We should pay no attention to their internal arguments over whether the total world government should be ultimately called the "United Nations," or the "United States of the World."
Last time I checked, "states" and "nations" meant roughly the same thing, anyway. But that's another story.