Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

HARRY BROWNE: "When will we learn?" ^ | September 12, 2001 | Harry Browne

Posted on 09/12/2001 12:31:51 AM PDT by ouroboros

Wednesday, September 12, 2001

Harry Browne Harry Browne
When will we learn?

By Harry Browne

© 2001

The terrorist attacks against America comprise a horrible tragedy. But they shouldn't be a surprise.

It is well known that in war, the first casualty is truth – that during any war truth is forsaken for propaganda. But sanity was a prior casualty: it was the loss of sanity that led to war in the first place.

Our foreign policy has been insane for decades. It was only a matter of time until Americans would have to suffer personally for it. It is a terrible tragedy of life that the innocent so often have to suffer for the sins of the guilty.

When will we learn that we can't allow our politicians to bully the world without someone bullying back eventually?

President Bush has authorized continued bombing of innocent people in Iraq. President Clinton bombed innocent people in the Sudan, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Serbia. President Bush, senior, invaded Iraq and Panama. President Reagan bombed innocent people in Libya and invaded Grenada. And on and on it goes.

Did we think the people who lost their families and friends and property in all that destruction would love America for what happened?

When will we learn that violence always begets violence?

Teaching lessons

Supposedly, Reagan bombed Libya to teach Muammar al-Qaddafi a lesson about terrorism. But shortly thereafter a TWA plane was destroyed over Scotland, and our government is convinced it was Libyans who did it.

When will we learn that "teaching someone a lesson" never teaches anything but resentment – that it only inspires the recipient to greater acts of defiance.

How many times on Tuesday did we hear someone describe the terrorist attacks as "cowardly acts"? But as misguided and despicable as they were, they were anything but cowardly. The people who committed them knowingly gave their lives for whatever stupid beliefs they held.

But what about the American presidents who order bombings of innocent people – while the presidents remain completely insulated from any danger? What would you call their acts?

When will we learn that forsaking truth and reason in the heat of battle almost always assures that we will lose the battle?

Losing our last freedoms

And now, as sure as night follows day, we will be told we must give up more of our freedoms to avenge what never should have happened in the first place.

When will we learn that it makes no sense to give up our freedoms in the name of freedom?

What to do?

What should be done?

First of all, stop the hysteria. Stand back and ask how this could have happened. Ask how a prosperous country isolated by two oceans could have so embroiled itself in other people's business that someone would want to do us harm. Even sitting in the middle of Europe, Switzerland isn't beset by terrorist attacks, because the Swiss mind their own business.

Second, resolve that we won't let our leaders use this occasion to commit their own terrorist acts upon more innocent people, foreign and domestic, that will inspire more terrorist attacks in the future.

Third, find a way, with enforceable constitutional limits, to prevent our leaders from ever again provoking this kind of anger against America.


There are those who will say this article is unpatriotic and un-American – that this is not a time to question our country or our leaders.

When will we learn that without freedom and sanity, there is no reason to be patriotic?

Harry Browne was the 2000 Libertarian presidential candidate. More of his articles can be read at, and his books are available at

TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-20 ... 281-300301-320321-340 ... 441-456 next last
To: Cultural Jihad
It is FEDERAL money putting that "local" cop on that little side road in the middle of nowhere with nothing to do but break my balls about a seat belt.

You may enjoy your police state, but I don't. Why don't you move somewhere where their constitution allows such nonsense. You won't be missed, that I assure you. We have plenty of idiots to go around already.

301 posted on 09/13/2001 12:48:59 PM PDT by Critter
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 258 | View Replies]

To: ouroboros
This is a good example of why the Libertarian party is limited in its appeal to any signifigant percentage of Americans. It is limited by being Ideologue Ideology. As I have posted R. Kirk's warning before but it has been a few months, let me offer them again and ask all to reflect that isn't Harry's weakness his dependance upon just the sort of "hidden saving truth" that Kirk and Minogue warn against.
Ever since the end of the Second World War, the tendancy of American public opinion has been more or less conservative. But there exists some danger that conservatives themselves might slip into a narrow ideology or quasi-ideology--even though, as H. Stuart Hughes wrote some forty years ago, "Conservatism is negation of ideology."

* * * *

Rejecting religion and metaphysics,...original ideologues believed that they could discover a system of natural laws--which system, if conformed to , could become the foundation of universal harmony and contentment. Doctrines of self-interest, economic productivity, and personal liberty were bound up with these notions. Late-born children ot the dying Enlightenment, the Ideologues assume that systemized knowledge derived from sensation could perfect society through ethical and educational methods and by well organized political direction.

* * * *

Although it has been the most powerful of ideologies, Marxism--very recently diminshed in strength--has competitors: various forms of nationalism, negritude, feminism, fascism (a quasi-ideology never fully fleshed out in Italy), naziism (an ideology in embryo, Hannah Arendt wrote), syndicalism, anarchism, social democaracy, and Lord knows what all, Doubtless yet more forms of ideology will be concocted during the twenty-first century.

Kenneth Minogue, in his recent book Alien Powers: the Pure Theory of Ideology, uses the word "to denote any doctrine which presents the hidden and saving truth about the world in the form of social analysis. It is a feature of all such doctrines to incorporate a general theory of the mistakes of everybody else." That "hidden and saving truth" is a fraud--a complex of contrived falsifying "myths", disguised as history, about the society we have inherited.

* * * *

...this word ideology, since the Second World War , ususally has signified a dogmatic political theory which is an endevor to substitute secular goals and doctrines for religious goals and doctrines; and which promises to overthrow present dominations so the oppressed may be liberated. [Listen fellow members of the VRWC he's speaking to us as well as the Left] Ideology's promises are what Talmon calls "political messianism." The ideologue promises salvation in this world, hotly declaring that there exists no other realm of being, Eric Voegelin, Gerhart Niemeyer, and other writers have emphasized that ideologues "immanentize the symbols of transcendence"--that is, corrupt the vision of salvation through grace in death into false promises of complete happiness in this mundane realm. Ideology, in short is a political formula that promises mankind an earthly paradise; but in cruel fact what ideology has created is a series of terrestrial hells.

302 posted on 09/13/2001 12:49:07 PM PDT by KC Burke
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Comment #303 Removed by Moderator

To: waterstraat
Your contention that this isn't Harry's statement on the WTC, but instead an old general statement of his position on terrorism, is false.

If you followed the link, or went to his site, here you know it was published yesterday. He is truely an ideologue, limited by his rhetoric.

Like anything written by a politician, there is some truth in it. But I'd have to say that it doesn't predominate or shine through and shows his limitations and those of his party.

304 posted on 09/13/2001 1:02:33 PM PDT by KC Burke
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 68 | View Replies]

To: Texaggie79, Demidog
China is not our Ally.

Kuwait was, in 1990-1991, not our "Ally" either.
An "Ally" is a nation-state with whom you have concluded a treaty of Military Alliance.

No such commitment to the autocracy of Kuwait existed in 1990. Nor should there have been -- we do not now, and did not then, have any "need" for Kuwait; nor do we have any compelling National Interest in seeing Kuwait governed by one undemocratic dictatorship, rather than another.

Patriots who value the blood of their fellow citizens, do not endanger them by entangling ourselves in useless Wars where we have no compelling National Interest. Those who stupidly risk the lives of their fellow-citizens by creating hostilities with people whom we simply do not need as enemies, are nearly traitors.

You are on the wrong side of the fence. The fact is, once we have liquidated those terrorist elements (and their national harbors) responsible for this outrage, Foreign Policy should be re-assessed. The Founders never intended an imperial military which engaged in more than 170 multinational military exercises a year, with a military presence in over 100 countries**. They knew for a fact that such imperial overstrech had only one concrete result -- making a whole lot of enemies you don't need to make.

And you know what? The Founders were brilliantly intelligent men. You are not.
The Founders were Right. You are Wrong.

That's the hard Truth. Deal.

305 posted on 09/13/2001 1:05:50 PM PDT by Uriel1975
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 296 | View Replies]

To: AlGone2001
From time-to-time Harry comes out and reminds us of how big a fool he is.

Thanks Harry for using this opporunity to get face time. Now, shut up!

Roger that.

306 posted on 09/13/2001 1:14:47 PM PDT by Mark17
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 300 | View Replies]

To: ouroboros, nopardons, Goetz_von_Berlichingen
Just a bump dear friends to let you guys see as usual how our delusional Libertarian/Objectivist pals have once again proved they are even weaker, dumber and more delusional than suspected. This cataclysm will thankfully further limit whatever insignificant influence they have ever possessed. Idiots is too kind a word.

Thank God they are so few in numbers in reality and can only mass here on our forum.

307 posted on 09/13/2001 1:15:28 PM PDT by wardaddy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Uriel1975
Well-written, Uriel, but you're wasting your breath. The people you're addressing can't process that much text without their eyes glazing over. Whenza last time one of the jackboot crowd picked up a book?
308 posted on 09/13/2001 1:48:28 PM PDT by a merkin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 305 | View Replies]

To: scottiewottie
Wow! lil scottie, you guessed your IQ correctly. To think it only took you one try!
309 posted on 09/13/2001 2:00:33 PM PDT by Skip Ripley
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 256 | View Replies]

To: L.N. Smithee
Are the penis metaphors really necessary? Sheesh!

I was actually thinking somewhat anatomically rearward (as in chair contact point when sitting). I said nothing to suggest the metaphor your specified. Sorry you jumped to the wrong assumption.

310 posted on 09/13/2001 2:07:07 PM PDT by another1
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 290 | View Replies]

To: another1
your specified - you specified
311 posted on 09/13/2001 2:09:57 PM PDT by another1
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 310 | View Replies]

To: FreeReign
! Thousands are dead and you laugh over what you precieve as a lesson not learned.

Anger at the messenger will not change the message.

If you want to truly end this kind of thing for all time, then start convincing your republican interventionist friends to reign in their egos, and start to show respect for the Constitution and the Rule of Law.

What we've been trying to tell you, and still are, is that no amount of emotion is a basis for foriegn policy. Not before the attack, and not after.

312 posted on 09/13/2001 2:12:12 PM PDT by DAnconia55
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 286 | View Replies]

To: wardaddy

In Baghdad, Iraqi state television hailed the attacks as "a natural reaction to American rulers hegemony, deception and foolishness."

In a broadcast monitored by the BBC the television station said: "The American cowboy is reaping the fruits of his crimes against humanity."

Sheikh Yassin, leader of the Islamic militant group Hamas, said: "No doubt this is a result of injustice the U.S practices against the weak in the world."

From Gaza, Islamic Jihad official Nafez Azzam said: "What happened in the United States today is a consequence of American policies in this region."

Source: CNN

Harry Browne's words are echoed by Saddam Hussein, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad.

313 posted on 09/13/2001 2:17:29 PM PDT by Cultural Jihad
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 307 | View Replies]

To: ouroboros
I generally appreciate Objectivist values, some of which the LP has borrowed without really understanding, but I have zero respect for the Libertarian Party. Harry Browne is a total idiot to think that this message would fly at a time like this. (And that's the best the LP's got)
314 posted on 09/13/2001 2:22:58 PM PDT by elfman2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: wardaddy
as usual how our delusional Libertarian/Objectivist pals have once again proved they are even weaker, dumber and more delusional than suspected

Exactly WHAT refutation do you have to anything Uriel, Demidog...or even I have said?

How can you just post lies?

None of us are talking weakness? We're probably more pro-war than your boy Bush is. I still expect a weasel war, and not a full one. They'll attempt 'to bring the terrorists to justice'... look at Powell's words.

I want them hurt so bad that their great grandchildren know better than to even THINK about attacking us again...... And the only way to do that is an overwhelming counter attack. Something that will make Arabs hundreds of miles away who only read about it piss themselves...

It is not delusional to show you that the REASON Arabs hate is not what Bush says it is. That we stand for freedom.

We do not stand for freedom when we blockade Iraq and cause the starvation of innocents. We do not stand for freedom when we carpet bomb Serbia or attack innocent aspirin factories. We do not stand for freedom when we use NATO to remake the map of Europe to the liking of the elite masters...

The reason Arabs hate us, is because they see us as sticking our nose, our economic and military might and our political muscle in their affairs and the affairs of others all over the world.

Just what CONSTITUTIONAL JUSTIFICATION do you have for troops being stationed in 100 nations around the world? That's almost half the planet !

The time for this has ended. Knock off the Imperialism, or we'll end up EXACTLY LIKE ROME. Scattered to the winds.

We're trying to teach you the lesson now. But easy way or hard way, you will eventually learn it. Reality is a stern instructor.

315 posted on 09/13/2001 2:27:03 PM PDT by DAnconia55
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 307 | View Replies]

To: ouroboros
The timeing of this message is very poor, but the fact remains if we want to be free and terrorism free, we must remain neutral in other people's problems. We should engage the world through peacefull trade, not imperialism.

However the fact remains that this happened, so we stand together as Americans against our enemies. I was glad to hear Bush saying that we would not give up any freedom over this, I hope that turns out to be the case.

316 posted on 09/13/2001 2:31:02 PM PDT by NC_Libertarian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Derville
We were effectively waging war against [Japan].Have you not heard of the Oil Embargo?

What about it?

Remember, we're talking about Browne suggesting that the USA should "prevent our leaders from ever again provoking this kind of anger against America." you see no difference between a foreign policy decision and actual death-dealing acts of military intervention, like in Serbia? It's laughable that you would consider an embargo an act of war. How many people did the oil embargo kill?

If we had every right to fight Saddam lest he control the free flow of oil,why were the Japanese not justified in their concerns?

The Japanese struck at the USA when it would not cooperate with their attempt to make Japan the power of Far East Asia and the Pacific (including Australia and New Zealand). Are you suggesting that it was the United States' obligation to sell fuel to the Japanese? Should Roosevelt have endorsed the Japanese version of "manifest destiny?" Would that have fit Browne's definition of "minding our own business?"

Sorry, it doesn't parallel. With Japan, the USA was controlling what it would do with its OWN oil. Saddam Hussein, fresh off a victory over the Iranians, invaded and possessed a sovereign nation for the sole purpose of increasing his influence as an oil broker. Our oil was ours. Saddam's oil was the Kuwaitis'.

The way the Japanese thought of it, they were going to build the third world power after Hitler and Mussolini got through with the UK, the USSR, and Africa. They would leave the USA in the middle between the Nazi-Fascists and themselves.

Now, you are free to suggest that had Hirohito and Hitler succeeded, with the US watching the action from the coasts, they would have been fat and happy with their own empires, and they would be content to watch the USA "mind its own business." I submit that there is no way you could possibly know for sure -- and that goes for all the Go-Pat-Gorillas too.

317 posted on 09/13/2001 2:34:20 PM PDT by L.N. Smithee
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 281 | View Replies]

To: DAnconia55
The time for this has ended. Knock off the Imperialism, or we'll end up EXACTLY LIKE ROME. Scattered to the winds.

Yeah, the Marxist professors have done a fine job of training our future leaders of how evil our society is. They and their ideological cousins of the L.P. have no apparent qualms about decrying our "imperialism." I'll mention that to our taskmasters in Tokyo who are overseeing the slave plantations on Mt. Fuji, or the imperial troops who are guarding the slave labor camps in Berlin. Sheesh.

318 posted on 09/13/2001 2:36:36 PM PDT by Cultural Jihad
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 315 | View Replies]

To: another1
I was actually thinking somewhat anatomically rearward (as in chair contact point when sitting). I said nothing to suggest the metaphor your specified. Sorry you jumped to the wrong assumption.

Sorry. The other day, someone told me to "think with my big head, not the little one," so I may have been a little sensitive.

319 posted on 09/13/2001 2:38:31 PM PDT by L.N. Smithee
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 310 | View Replies]

To: Hannibal Heyes
Switzerland isn't beset by terrorist attacks, because the Swiss mind their own business.

This is the most moronic statement I've heard in a long time. This guy is a limp rag flapping in a moist breeze.

16 Posted on 09/12/2001 00:59:32 PDT by zarf

Ok zarf, could you explain why they havn't been to war for hundreds of years? When did the last terrorist incident take place in, say, Zurich? Or Lucerne? Anywhere in Switzerland?

I found this at the State Department.

On 29 January, Swiss authorities arrested Red Brigades activist Marcello Ghiringhelli and a Swiss accomplice on suspected violations of the war materiels law. Police seized several weapons and rounds of ammunition. The trial started in La Chaux-de-Fonds in December. Italy requested the extradition of Ghiringhelli, who had been sentenced to life imprisonment in Italy.

Switzerland also was caught in the Kurdish backlash in the aftermath of Ocalan's apprehension in Kenya on 16 February. That day about 70 Kurds stormed the Greek Consulate in Zurich, taking hostage a policeman and the building's owner. The same day, 30 to 100 Kurds occupied the Greek Embassy in Bern while another 200 protesters gathered outside. The occupiers carried canisters of gasoline and threatened to immolate themselves but did not follow through. Both incidents ended peacefully.

On 19 February several Kurds took two persons hostage at the Free Democratic Party Headquarters in Bern but released them unharmed a few hours later. The Swiss Government prosecuted the hostage takers in Bern and Zurich but took no further action against the Kurdish protesters in the Greek Embassy because the Greek Embassy did not press charges for trespassing or property damage. On 20 February, PKK sympathizers carried out several arson attacks against Turkish-owned businesses and torched two trucks from Turkey in Basel. At yearend, police investigations were pending. Since February, however, PKK followers were nonviolent, focusing instead on rebuilding strained relations with the Swiss Government and lobbying Ankara to spare Ocalan's life.

Ocalan's arrest, as well as the conflict in Kosovo, gave rise to several demonstrations in front of the US Embassy in Bern. The Swiss Government took no action to ban the events because the protests were organized lawfully, although not always conducted as the organizers had promised. Bern, however, called up approximately 500 Swiss militia from March to November to guard the US and UN missions and other embassies considered to be potential terrorist targets.
320 posted on 09/13/2001 2:53:27 PM PDT by BJClinton
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-20 ... 281-300301-320321-340 ... 441-456 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson