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Hunkered Between Santorum and Paul Lies Peace Through Total War

Is our choice in foreign policy really between pointless perpetual war and recklessly naive peace? (Also read Barry Rubin on Santorum's foreign policy.)

by
Walter Hudson

Bio

January 31, 2012 - 12:06 am
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As it has been thus far executed, the War on Terror cannot be won. Its social and political objectives are beyond our control. We cannot bring civility to the uncivilized, dispense freedom as if it were ours to give, or hasten in tribal hearts and mystic minds the principles and values discovered over centuries of Western Enlightenment. It is neither our duty nor our place. Our duty is protect ourselves, and that means eliminating threats.

Elimination is not education. It does not rebuild. It does not tip-toe around civilians or yield to human shields. It is total war. It is utter destruction. It is the kind of war which hasn’t been fought by the West since World War II, and which the United Nations was crafted to prevent.

Nevertheless, it is the only effective way to deal with genuine threats. When we provide our enemies a list of things we will not do, the best we can hope for is perpetual stalemate, an ongoing containment, counter-insurgency, and fruitless negotiation. Yaron Brook and Alex Epstein wrote in The Objective Standard:

The right to self-defense rests on the idea that individuals have a moral prerogative to act on their own judgment for their own sake… that a nation against which force is initiated has a right to kill whomever and to destroy whatever in the aggressor nation [that] is necessary to achieve victory. The neoconservatives… reject all-out war in favor of self-sacrificial means of combat that inhibit, or even render impossible, the defeat of our enemies. They advocate crippling rules of engagement that place the lives of civilians in enemy territory above the lives of American soldiers—and, by rendering victory impossible, above the lives of all Americans.

We all know Hiroshima and Nagasaki would never have been bombed by today’s politicians. The neoconservative foreign policy of Rick Santorum would have fed Americans into a grinder in pursuit of “winning hearts and minds.” The naive non-interventionism of Ron Paul would have blamed America for provoking Pearl Harbor. Only an objective, rational, and muscular foreign policy which proceeds from the individual rights of American citizens would justify destroying “whomever and … whatever… to achieve victory,” eliminating current threats and effectively deterring future ones. If the people of the world are to learn the value of freedom, let their first lesson be the price of threatening ours.

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Walter Hudson advocates for individual rights, serving on the boards of the Republican Liberty Caucus of Minnesota, Minnesota Majority and the Minority Liberty Alliance. He maintains a blog and daily podcast entitled Fightin Words and co-hosts the weekly podcast Liberty Tree Radio. He also contributes to True North, a hub of conservative Minnesotan commentary, and regularly appears on the Twin Cities News Talk Weekend Roundtable on KTCN AM 1130. Follow his work via Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.
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