Charles Hueter has a piece up where he questions his own thinking in regard to the U.S. actions taken in response to 9/11. Part of his piece is a substantial list of articles written in the wake of 9/11 that warned against taking the international action that the U.S. eventually did take.
I sit now in sober understanding that their warnings, accusations, and
predictions deserved the serious attention they were denied by those
who would accuse such concern as anti-American, treasonous,
counter-productive, and childish.
The essential lesson I should have learned from September
11th is that the state causes more problems than it solves and that is
a direct result of the moral bankruptcy of the arguments in support of
it and its actions.
Indeed, in that my own rejection of such things as Harry Browne’s 4-part series at the time was motivated by what I saw as a blame-America-first, anti-American sentiment that seemed so misplaced in those surreal days following 9/11. Had I been paying more attention, or thought it through better, I might have concluded that it was a blame-the-state-first, anti-state message that was the essence of that series and other articles. In fact, in the past couple of years I have stressed a differentiation between the U.S. Government and America that I believe is of essential importance, and I wonder if had I developed that thinking more clearly in those days, my eventual take on the U.S. Government’s actions would have been different.
I’m going to have to go back and read those articles he cites in order to see how my thinking may have changed.
One thing that has not changed, or will change, is the moral imperative to preemptively kill anyone who threatens to kill someone else, has reasonable means of doing so, and really means it. That is the moral basis for killing thousands and thousands of Muslim terrorists before 9/11, after 9/11, yesterday, today, and tomorrow. The limit to how many ought to be killed is determined only by how many still affirm their oath.
It is for this reason, and this reason alone, that I supported the U.S. Government’s expeditions. Yes, they are funded with stolen money; but to draw an analogy, if the thief who just stole your purse is standing between you and someone else who wants to kill you, it’s probably not the time to concern yourself with the theft. Values don’t exist in a vacuum; their relative hierarchical worth is often dependent upon current circumstances.
I cannot help but think at this point that I see almost no personal or social benefit to the expeditions in either Afghanistan or Iran, and I would only think in terms of "benefit" when it is about defending against or removing real threats. At the same time, I see signs that we are accelerating into an age of totalitarianism under the guise of "safety." Most of you just don’t know how real and oppressive is the regime to small and medium size businesses, and by small, I mean generally in excess of 10 employees. For most mom & pops, the state hasn’t yet worked its way down that far and it’s still quite possible to operate in relative freedom under the radar.
But once you begin making any sort of impact, you get noticed, and there is no end to the bureaubots who want and "need" to justify their "jobs" at your expense. It’s generally taken for granted that federalism is a good thing. Yea? Well it’s a nightmare for a national business that must address the same issues over and over and over, times 50. You can’t even imagine.
I know I’m going off track with this, but I really didn’t know where this would go when I began writing it. I suppose my overall point is that America is, to me, magnitudes worse than it was in 2001 in some profound way, and I think that the actions of 19 lunatics on September 11 of that year have very, very little to do with it directly — which is to say that the response has far outstripped the risk.
On the other hand, I could be wrong about that, and I’m just second-guessing without much basis for how things might have been with a less expeditionary response to 9/11.