In an article in the newspaper The Independent, Andrej Illarionov claims that sanctions against Russia have only helped Putin rather than hindered him, and that Putin is looking to “reclaim” Finland as part of the Russian empire. In order to stop this from happening, Illarionov believes military action is necessary.
The first bit of delicious nonsense from Illarionov is this:
“The West’s leaders seem, from what they say, entirely to have forgotten that there are some leaders in the world who want to conquer other countries.”
No shit? Really? And here i was thinking that United States foreign policy, with the help of its many lapdogs in Europe and elsewhere, have been showing this belief pretty darn well in just the last 12 years alone.
As a matter of fact, judging by the many invasions and wars, and failed intentions to do more of this in places like Syria, one would wonder exactly which leaders want to conquer which countries. Can you say American nationalistic blindspot by an ‘patriotic’ immigrant? Or should we just call it self-serving neocon hypocrisy?
But hypocrisy is the least of the problems of this senior fellow at the Cato Institute’s Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity.
No, rather than mere economic sanctions, themselves libertarian in no way at all, Illarionov thinks using tanks, troops and fighter planes is appropriate. And who knows, even nukes:
“We must offer resistance by all means available,” he said. “I’m not a bloodthirsty person, but there is sometimes no other way than military power to stop an opponent. The only answer to pure aggression is demonstrating willingness to offer a collective defence.”
Look, it is easy to once again underline that he is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute’s Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity, which is supposed to be libertarian, but is there really a need to keep underlining what a sham that organization is in its libertarian so-called credentials, after past articles trying to make the libertarian case for the military draft, or the libertarian case for expanding gun background checks?
Yes, yes, these “cases” were opposed by other people working for Cato, but the fact that people coming up with this horrible, anti-libertarian crap were employed by Cato to begin with says a lot.
But anyway, the point is that Cato has employed yet another piece of statist trash that has nothing to do with any kind of libertarian thinking. Let’s analyze the above quote.
First of all, Illarionov says that we must offer resistance by all means available. Now, it is certainly possible that he is being hyperbolic, but would this change the fact that the perception he creates is that truly all options, including nuclear missiles, should be on the table?
Second of all: resistance to what? Illarionov asserts as a paranoid that Putin wants to annex Finland at some point, and feels we should take action on the basis of this assertion. Isn’t it interesting that this claim comes only after Putin’s actions regarding Crimea, of which plenty of things have been said already to show that within the realm of real-politics, his actions were at least partially justified? A new cold war has started over Putin’s actions over Crimea, and Illarionov happily piles on with assertions about Putin’s supposed desire to violently annex Finland.
Third of all, why is Russia an “opponent”? An opponent in what? Global hegemony? Is Ukraine or Crimea the United States’ business? Accepting for argument’s sakes that Putin really would like to annex Finland; is Finland any of the United States’ business? How is any of this the U.S.’s business? So even if Illarionov is correct, what the hell is libertarian about Illarionov’s proposals? Illarionov is arguing from a neoconservative and interventionist viewpoint, plain and simple. From the point of view of American empire; of the U.S. as the world police. Not only is he not a libertarian; he is not a constitutionalist either; he is not even a small government conservative. He loves the state and how it can, and should in his view, throw its military weight around in the world.
It would be different if this non-contribution to the U.S.’s population was an open neocon and not employed by Cato, because then, at least, he could easily be ignored by libertarians everywhere as just another in a long line of garden variety war mongers. But he is employed by Cato; and Cato does pretend to be a libertarian think tank.
And therefore, as libertarians, we have a duty to condemn this man, and the ‘libertarian’ employer that hired this war monger, in no uncertain terms.
How many strikes should libertarians give the Cato Institute?
H/T: Daniel McAdams at the Ron Paul Institute For Peace and Prosperity