Ed Driscoll

A Pinch of Agreement Between the Far Left and Far Right

“Would Reason writer prefer Chris Kyle were killed instead of an Iraqi? ‘If that’s the only choice, yes,’” as spotted by Twitchy:

We’ve already read plenty of criticism of “American Sniper,” which this weekend has overtaken “Saving Private Ryan” at the box office as the No. 1 war movie of all time. Some lefty magazines, such as The New Republic, have published “reviews” of the movie written by critics who openly admit they haven’t seen it. Frequent Huffington Post contributor Ferrari Sheppard tweeted that “people like [Chris] Kyle would blow my head off for walking down a dark street,” adding, “Don’t try to include me in the American family when it’s time to kill brown people overseas.”

So, what would the libertarian Reason magazine contribute to the conversation? Well, do you remember the writer whose hot take was to compare Kyle to Adam Lanza, the madman behind the mass shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school?

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Reason thought it would be a great idea to reprint that very essay.

If you thought that was the bottom of the barrel, you’re mistaken. Confronted on Twitter by TheBlaze contributor John Cardillo, Sheldon Richman admitted that if it came down to it, he’d prefer “invader” and “trespasser” Chris Kyle had been killed rather than an Iraqi.


His source was the New York Times, to borrow from the classic line in Dr. Strangelove. Or at the least, Richman’s tweets to Cardillo sound identical to the rants of Times scion Pinch Sulzberger at the height of his 20-something radical chic phase, as spotted by the Times’ fellow Manhattan lefties at the New Yorker:

“He had been something of a political activist in high school — he had been suspended briefly from Browning for trying to organize a shutdown of the school following the National Guard’s shooting of students at Kent State — and at Tufts he eagerly embraced the antiwar movement. His first arrest for civil disobedience took place outside the Raytheon Comapny, a defense and space contractor; there, dressed in an old Marine jacket of Punch’s, he joined other demonstrators who were blocking the entrance to the company’s gates. He was soon arrested again, in an antiwar sit-in at the J.F.K. Federal Building in Boston.

“Punch had shown little reaction after the first arrest, but when he got word of the second one he flew to Boston. Over dinner, he asked his son why he was involved with the protests and what kind of behavior the family might expect of him in the future. Arthur assured his father he was not planning on a career of getting himself arrested. After dinner, as the two men walked in the Boston Common, Punch asked what his son later characterized as ‘the dumbest question I’ve ever heard in my life’: ‘If a young American soldier comes upon a young North Vietnamese soldier, which one do you want to see get shot?’ Arthur answered, ‘I would want to see the American get shot. It’s the other guy’s country; we shouldn’t be there.’ To the elder Sulzberger, this bordered on traitor’s talk. ‘How can you say that?’ he yelled. Years later, Arthur said of the incident, ‘It’s the closest he’s ever come to hitting me.'”

How could Pinch even think of slugging Punch? After all, it’s the other guy’s mansion.

Linking linking to Richman’s piece at Reason, Ace’s co-blogger Maetenloch writes, “ask yourself whether [Richman’s] article could have been comfortably published in say Mother Jones or the Guardian. That will tell where the real home of Libertarian foreign policy lies.” Or the New York Times, come to think of it. As Maetenloch writes, “reason #12 why I’m not a Libertarian.”

Ultimately, I concur, no matter how much I often agree with numerous libertarian writers and many of the articles at Reason.

Related: “Can the US ever win another war? It’s a question that everyone should face up to, and facing up to it isn’t easy.”