Less than a week ago, I was saying nice things about Donald Trump. It hurts me to swallow my words.
Trump started so well; moving to approve the Keystone pipeline, and placing some sane people at the top of the EPA. Starting to dismantle Obamacare too, maybe. And setting out a more realistic attitude to the Russians.
But then he bars, suddenly and arbitrarily, entry to the USA for certain nationals. Not immigration – that I could have understood – but entry. Even for those who have homes there.
Here’s the list of the seven barred countries: Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Iran, Somalia and Sudan.
What do these seven have in common? They are all places in which the USA has been interfering. (Where hasn’t it been interfering, you may ask?) But they are also places in which the USA has fomented or even started wars. And in all but one, that has happened inside the last 15 years or so.
Let’s look at the exception first: Iran. In the year I was born, 1953, the USA used its power to replace the then government with an unconstitutional monarch, the Shah. Look how well that turned out.
As to the others, in Sudan and Libya the USA has been violently interfering since 2011 at least. In Somalia it goes back to 1993. We all know about Iraq. And it seems that Obama upped the stakes by threatening further military action in no less than three of the seven (Somalia, Syria and Yemen) in one single month, October 2016. Mmmm… about three weeks before the election.
So, what did Trump get wrong?
He should have said something like, “my predecessor got it wrong, he was an idiot, let’s discuss with everyone involved and see where we are now.” That would have destroyed the Democrat party’s credibility on foreign policy for decades to come.
But what he actually said seems more like, “I totally agree with all the wars my predecessor made, and I’m going to double down and hurt anyone from the ‘enemy’ countries.” Otherwise said: kick innocent people in the butt, then refuse to accept any responsibility for what you did to them.
The people who voted for Trump weren’t all conservatives. The reason many of them voted for him was that he wasn’t part of the establishment. Now, he has betrayed those voters, by not only continuing but intensifying the US establishment’s brutal suppression of innocent people.
I’m no leftist, but I suspect that “POTUS 45” will have the shortest honeymoon ever.
… er… what a ridiculous extreme-left blogpost! Trump’s honeymoon is over because he fails to endorse your globalist agenda! Trump’s executive order on immigration didn’t go anywhere near far enough, but it was a fantastic start. Libertarianism is meaningless with open borders.
I agree, initially I hesitated and thought perhaps there may be some positives. However, even if there are any positives they are hidden under the huge pile of anti-libertarian negatives
Thanks for the link to your blog. Really good article on the Quebec shooting, by the way.
While I agree that the cessation of bombing and invading other countries would go a long way towards ending hostilities, admitting migrants from these bombed-out countries, callous or harsh as it may seem to say so, is a terrible idea. It will lead to more violence and hostility, not less. First, it is almost assured that someone from among their ranks will try for an act of revenge. The act itself will cause more suffering and create more victims. And then, let’s not forget that a response is absolutely guaranteed. And so round and round it will go.
As I’ve brought up before, the admission of refugees from wars of empire never leads to peace. Think of America’s Cuban population. How fond were they of Castro’s Cuba? How conducive were they to easing tensions and normalizing relations? Did asylum seekers from the former Soviet Union preach peace and friendship with Moscow? I wonder how many enterprising, young Ahmed Chalabis are now being admitted to American and European universities, learning to become the next generation of satraps…
But at least in the above-mentioned examples, these people were not hostile to the nation that hosted them. That is not the case now.
Have you somehow missed the bombings, shootings, truck-rammings, rapes, stabbings, and more that have been occurring in Europe? Is that going to lead to peace? It sure doesn’t look like peace to me.
Trump said he would bar entry to Moslems. He has not done that, but he has barred entry to people from certain countries that have an overwhelmingly majority of Moslems. It’s half a loaf, but it’s better than none.
I don’t understand what Neil Lock expected. If anything, Trump has not gone far enough, but in so far as he has acted, he is only fulfilling the electoral promises he made.
Where I do agree with Neil Lock is on his point about foreign policy. I think Neil’s instinct on this is correct and I share it, albeit for different reasons. In my estimation, Trump has no choice but to adopt broadly neo-conservative geopolitics. However, there is some room for discretion and it would have been nice to see Trump adopt a more neutral posture on Israel – but realistically, that won’t happen. Trump is in the pocket of the Israeli lobby, and even if he wasn’t, there would still be legitimate pressures on him to adopt a strategy of attrition in the Central military region, which is regarded by U.S. military planners as the crucible of global power. This is the established view.
Comments on an avowedly libertarian site defend a measure that kept out of the US people with fully valid Green Cards, based on a measure issued on a whim, with no preparation granted and of a completely arbitrary character? And aggressive stances all around to boot! Gone are the days of cool-headed discussion, it would appear.
Well, some breaking news for those who support such a measure: when you agree to run a campaign for high political office in a developed country, you agree to continue working from wherever you predecessors left matters, although you are surely not bound to keep going in the same direction. You do not just revoke legal visas because you did not like Obama’s play. Are such things really in need of being laid out?
Does “Rule of Law” mean anything at all these days, or are libertarians (be they even of the “weaker” Hayekian bent) being crushed between lefties and the right? It does indeed appear to be the ’30 all over again.
Let me clarify that I do not see anything wrong with banning (even entry) for citizen of countries X, Y and Z. I do not see anything wrong with a moratorium on all new visa grants, or with a moratorium on all new citizenship grants for those already legally in the US, if they come from countries X, Y and Z. Further, I wouldn’t see anything wrong with issuing a new laundry list of felonies which would get your green card rescinded. But Trump did none of the above. He just kept some legal green card holders who just happened to be abroad that day from coming back to the US and nobody appears to see anything wrong with it.
I would have voted form Trump had I been an American citizen last November and I share Mr. Gabb’s general feeling towards him. But this latest fiasco has shaken my conviction. We shall see but this way lies Brazil, not ’50 America.
Thank you, Etjon. A much needed dose of reason.
Let me guess…..
The “reasoned” side of this debate is your own?
“Reason” in the sense I use it here, Tom, is the use of valid logic grounded in reality. I didn’t intend to accuse anyone of anything. I was merely congratulating Mr Basha on taking an objective view of the comments he has read on this thread. And on putting forward some facts and making some points, which self-respecting libertarians should either take note of, or refute with rational arguments rather than ad hominems.
Sorry, this is now just dishonest, Neil.
You are openly accusing me and others of not having views grounded in reality. I hardly know here to start. Apart from anything else, who’s to say what is ‘reality’ in the first place?
I’ve just engaged with you and your friend here in an argument which was not ad hominem. See below. I never use ad hominem techniques. Never. If you say otherwise, please link to the comment thread where I have done so. No doubt you might unearth one or two such examples among hundreds of comments posted over the course of years, so in fact it may be a case of ‘almost-never’, but ad hominem is not my style of engagement on here.
What I say is that we are coming at this from differing perspectives. I can’t ‘prove’ that my view is the truth any more than you can. I have my point-of-view, and you have yours. I’m happy to leave it at that without stooping to imperious pretensions of having some monopoly on reason and reality. You may harbour such expectations of yourself – in which case, I’ll leave you to it and best of luck.
Well Tom, I took your question “The ‘reasoned’ side of the debate is your own?” as a suggestion that you think I am immune to reasonable arguments. That, to me, is an ad hominem. Not in character for you, I know. But that’s how it came over to me.
And in your reply to Mr. Basha at 2:24pm, you talked of both us “resorting to this classic left-liberal plot” of branding our opponents as irrational or unreasonable. My comment, which you now seem to find so objectionable, was not made until 3:51pm. (The previous one at 11:30am said nothing beyond congratulating Mr Basha). And Mr Basha didn’t mention either of those words until 2:45pm.
[quote]”Let me clarify that I do not see anything wrong with banning (even entry) for citizen of countries X, Y and Z. I do not see anything wrong with a moratorium on all new visa grants, or with a moratorium on all new citizenship grants for those already legally in the US, if they come from countries X, Y and Z. Further, I wouldn’t see anything wrong with issuing a new laundry list of felonies which would get your green card rescinded. But Trump did none of the above. He just kept some legal green card holders who just happened to be abroad that day from coming back to the US and nobody appears to see anything wrong with it.”[unquote]
A green card (or a “legal green card”, as you dignify it), is confirmation of permission to live and work in the United States on a permanent basis. Everybody who applies for one knows that this status is eminently revocable, especially if the individual leaves the United States for any period. This is well-known in immigrant communities throughout the United States. Obviously we must sympathise with the people caught on the wrong side of this, but they have recourse in law against the federal government.
Your post and Neil Lock’s contributions illustrate what, in my view, is a basic flaw in a lot of libertarian thinking, which is to focus on the rights of one group at the expense of another, and not to recognise that by being tolerant of one indulgence, harm is caused to another innocent group.
White Americans are innocent in this scenario. They took and tamed the American continent using means analogous to the Native Amerindians when they took the American continent. In my opinion, the collective rights of the settled community in the United States, who are white Europeans, must now take precedence – though I must acknowledge, that does depend on the political will of white Americans. But that’s why we have Trump. And that’s why you’re now complaining. We both know the direction of travel here. This is a racial war.
The difficulty here isn’t that either of us are unreasoned or irrational, and I deeply resent both you and Mr Lock for resorting to this classic left-liberal plot of branding your opponents that way. But it shows that deep down, you’re just human like everybody else, and you have that very awkward human characteristic of intolerance towards opinions that differ from your own.
However I don’t call you and Mr Lock irrational. I’m saying that we are coming at this from different perspectives. I recognise the folk rights of white Euro-Americans as a distinct ethno-political community. You don’t. That’s fine, you’re entitled to your opinion. But that’s all we can say. I’m not going to call for you to be psychiatrically committed or criminally detained and imprisoned just because you implicitly advocate for the erasure of Euro-American civilisation (which is the logical outcome of your views, if they are applied).
I will confess that I cannot see what you’re referring to in you magnanimous accusations here. Who spoke of having you silenced? Who did brand you as irrational? Shan’t we now even be allowed to disagree with you? What I did say was that I see no way to of reconciling this measure with any shred of libertarian intent, and we happen to find ourselves on a libertarian site. There was a proper way to keep Trump’s promise, deliver what you want him too and still be within the bounds of the Rule of Law. Further and above all, there was a way to have it all make sense, as this charade will achieve absolutely nothing. But, you ask, Rule of Law? Hah! You eminently care nothing about that now. You fancy yourselves strong and in no further need of such silly concepts that have elevated Englishmen for so many centuries. Well, so be it my friend. Go forth and dispense with it all and you will sooner or later find that the boot will be on that other and much more odious foot. What then?
Finally, by now I’ve had this argument with so many of your confreres that I foresee you accusations. So let me assure you right now: I have no intention of migrating to the US myself and my country is not among those targeted, now or in the future. I am neither a “libtard” nor a “cuck” and I felt great joy at the news of Trumps victory, not out of any personal interest, but simply as a good step in the right direction. I do not think he will persevere is such stupid measures and this will be forgotten as a dangerous decree that inconvenienced some people once upon a time. But this much is certain: if he will manage to steer clear of the temptation to make away with legal certainty it will not be because his supporters made him.
Nobody has spoke of having me silenced, and I never suggested anybody had. But I must observe that people with my views have, until now, been generally silenced in civil society. In most cases, this has taken the form of broadcasting restrictions, and some cases, even legal sanctions and imprisonment. So your question, ‘Who spoke of having you silenced?’, is, as I see it, a plaintive cry for a return of very recent conditions, as much as a rhetorical flash of condescension. You DO want me silenced and it annoys the hell out of you that people like me can, increasingly, speak up and be heard. I must say I am enjoying your and Neil Lock’s discomfort. There will be more of this to come. We want a white Britain, a white America and the restoration of the European Imperium. In short, National Socialism.
You stated: [quote]”And aggressive stances all around to boot! Gone are the days of cool-headed discussion, it would appear.”[unquote].
My point is that yours is the typical liberal mentality, in which the opponent is considered irrational and hateful and hot-headed, etc. No, you didn’t exactly use the word “irrational”, but so what? That’s what you and Neil Lock mean. It’s dishonest and disgusting.
You then state: [quote]”Shan’t we now even be allowed to disagree with you?”[unquote]
How does that cohere with anything I said above? By posting on this blog and debating with you, I accept your right to disagree, and I always will. In fact, if you had bothered to wait and let my comment sink in, you might have reflected that I was arguing for freedom of debate. I am asking you to stop and consider that there are two sides to the argument, both legitimate, just as I am willing to consider that is so. We have a legitimate view too. We stand for human rights too – the human rights of the people you want to walk all over for the sake of abstract principles.
You then state: [quote]”What I did say was that I see no way to of reconciling this measure with any shred of libertarian intent, and we happen to find ourselves on a libertarian site.”[unquote]
And I disagree. And I have a right to disagree without having you and others imply, even obliquely, that I am irrational or hot-headed for doing so – which is a dishonest, disgraceful and disgusting debating tactic that belongs in the sewer, not on a site like this.
The fact is that there are different strands of libertarian and you are representing only one of them – and largely discredited one, at that.
You then state:
[quote]”There was a proper way to keep Trump’s promise, deliver what you want him too and still be within the bounds of the Rule of Law. Further and above all, there was a way to have it all make sense, as this charade will achieve absolutely nothing. But, you ask, Rule of Law? Hah! You eminently care nothing about that now. You fancy yourselves strong and in no further need of such silly concepts that have elevated Englishmen for so many centuries. Well, so be it my friend. Go forth and dispense with it all and you will sooner or later find that the boot will be on that other and much more odious foot. What then?”[unquote]
This is just froth-mouthed rant. Who’s the irreasoned one here, may I ask? I do care about the rule of law and due process. I have already stated that in the United States, anybody disadvantaged by this executive order has recourse in law against the federal government. That’s the way the system works, and if it develops that Trump has acted unconstitutionally, then there will be remedies for that as well, for those affected.
But you have evidently missed, overlooked or not grasped my more fundamental point, which is that Trump has the right to uphold the rule of law and other liberties and benefits for Americans by restricting who can enter the United States. In that sense, liberty has to be upheld and maintained by inflicting repressive measures on those who fall outside what I would regard as America’s founding ethno-political community. That’s why we Englishmen have our traditional liberty. That’s why America, founded as an Anglo-Saxon community, too had its tradition of liberty. Indeed, that’s why there are Englishmen at all. They wouldn’t be Englishmen or English liberty if the English had not asserted folk rights, would there. But right or wrong, that is my perspective on this, and it is from that perspective that I form my opinions about what Trump has done, while also acknowledging the moral force of your humanitarian argument (which I don’t disregard lightly, by the way).
I accept that liberty is not always a zero sum game, but in this case it is and the measure had to be implemented in some manner that would have disadvantaged some group. In my view – and I accept this is just an opinion – firm action was needed and is long overdue.
However, in fairness, I acknowledge that you, too, broadly favour this sort of measure. Your argument is merely with the way Trump has gone about it, in that he has ignored certain legal niceties and considerations. I accept the importance of your point, and I would agree with your observation but I disagree with your conclusion. You must take into account that had Trump posted notice of the barring, this would have been taken advantage of. For this reason, I believe Trump acted reasonably – but I do sympathise with people who will suffer as a result. I really do.
I will ignore the rest of what you say as it does not seem to be relevant.
I’m afraid you see phantasms, Mr. Rogers. Shadows of your former (and perhaps still present) fear to write you mind on such topics lest the leftist though police take everything away from you. You are right to have feared this but why, I insist, you see this in myself? My continuous protestations that was with you, in idea if not in person, at the voting booth seem to make no impression at all and you accuse me yet again of wanting to silence you. Ah, but this time you do me the great honour of acknowledging that I never actually said such a thing, but no mater! I must have thought it, isn’t it so? You imagine me furiously prancing around my room as I read your condemnations and valiant defence of the white race, as I cast aspersions and think aloud how can I destroy you and your race and salt the very earth on which you stand. You surely shan’t believe me but let me yet say this: I am with you, and your fight is the good fight and not a few outside the west feel the same.
But the worst is beyond us, as you seem to have grasped the crux of my argument, although you downplay the importance of e measure that brings you a step closer to Brazil while claiming to make you great again. Still, allow me to very briefly restate my position, simply to annoy our hosts with longer comments.
I do not shrink from inconvenience caused to Muslims or others. You are right that more shall be on its way and that there may be no way to assuage it. You are right to pursue your ideal of a safer demographic future, and right to pursue it with vigour. But pursue it with fairness! Those are not in conflict as was clearly shown by the one measure that shunned the principles of rule of law and achieved absolutely nothing in return.
The simple, fair and stern way to give your countries breathing room would have been: 1) a moratorium on all new entries for certain countries, 2) a moratorium on all new green card or other permanent residency statuses, 3) a moratorium on al new citizenship grants, and 4) the issue of a list of felonies which would rescind one’s legal residence status, if any. Among those, it would be of great importance to include failure to report the intent of carrying out an act of mass violence, as with it you may deport the whole family of a terrorist. A man shall go through a lot if his family will be left in safety. Take the safety of their American or UK home from his wife and children, and you will see how reasonable allegedly irrational terrorist may be. After all these are in place, you shall have time to think of a longer-term plan in peace.
Now please read the above and tell me that such a program would not inconvenience your local muslims. If you are fair, you will not be able to say so. I’m further certain that you will see that, if you drop he psychological armour you have donned in preparation for your many battles with the left, you will also agree how any of the above is much sterner but yet fairer than the flying residents fiasco.
Finally, you speak of my “discredited wing of libertarianism”, or some such. Although I haven’t bene an open border libertarian in many years, your accusation is in general correct. We did oversee many issues which came back to destroy the movement, such as the inverse relationship between division of labour and employment, the proper role of some welfare measures and others. If even a few libertarians will remain after we are done feeding the ranks of the alt-right, we will take the many years of obscurity that the coming polarization will grant us to work on these and other issues. Much good work has been done on this very bog and certainly more is to come. I will allow myself to be confident that, when the time comes, we will make a deserved comeback, armed with a better understating of the world.
Thank you for the elaboration of your concerns. I can see your point, but I must disagree. To be clear, I fully understand that Donald Trump is not a libertarian and as such I don’t expect his policies to ever be anything beyond peripherally conducive to libertarian principles.
That said, I do not oppose the new restriction and I await the more permanent measures that will take its place (the present restriction is effective for 90 days, and is essentially a provisional measure to cover a span of time before a more permanent fix can be implemented). It is therefore too early in my opinion to judge the president’s policy on Islamic immigration, just as it would be premature to judge a doctor’s efficacy of treatment for an injured man on the basis of his temporary field dressings before the patient has had a chance to arrive at hospital.
Secondly, you make a valid point about a new president’s implied acceptance to proceed from where his predecessor left off. It is important for stability’s sake and for rule of law. No doubt. But we have reached a constitutional crisis in our society. Our government has not, for a very long time, cared a wink for the interests of its citizens and has enacted enormous tomes of policy and regulation that blatantly oppose the interests of ordinary citizens. If Trump played by the book, even with 8 years he would accomplish nothing of notable or lasting effect. He is not introducing a new precedent of executive legislation that damages our constitutional foundations. He is exploiting the precedent set by his immediate predecessors in an atmosphere of constitutional chaos.
And yet in using the establishment’s tactics against the establishment we are actually seeing some benefits, as leftists are suddenly flirting with the idea of states’ rights, secession, and limited presidential authority. A few more years of this and maybe we can finally agree to go our own separate ways the way we ought to have long ago (wishful thinking, perhaps. But who knows, we really are in the midst of a two-decades old constitutional crisis).
At any rate, getting back to the matter at hand, you’ve mentioned the valid green card holders who are greatly inconvenienced by this or in some cases even cut off from their own justly obtained property.
This is unfortunate. When the permanent policy is implemented perhaps they’ll be allowed to return. If not, it’s a shame for them and I hope those who do have property here are as justly compensated as can be the case in such an instance. However, we need to make something clear.
Nobody other than American citizens has a right to live in or visit the United States. Just like nobody besides the homeowner has a right to live in, visit, or otherwise enter his home.
If these green card holders are to be permanently barred from entry, but are not found to be guilty of terrorist or criminal activities, then they should be allowed to sell whatever property they legally acquired in the country, hire an agent to manage it in their absence, or else be fairly compensated for the loss and inconvenience.
But let’s be honest, there is a certain amount of risk involved when purchasing immovable property in a foreign country. I certainly don’t think that as an American, buying a house in England ought to entitle me to permanent and unrestricted access to the country.
Concerning the arbitrariness of this particular act, I can only say that the whole point of it is that the green cards that have already been issued are not necessarily representative of the recipient having undergone a rigorous and thorough vetting prior its receipt. Therefore if, as you point out, some of them had the misfortune of being out of the country on the day the order went into effect, their having green cards doesn’t make them any less of a security risk as those who do not. (This, by the way, represents a failure to meet basic responsibilities to the American people by bureaucrats and apparatchiks who were only thinking of their neo-liberal consciences in the matter).
At the same time, actually rounding up and deporting those who are already present in the country without more tangible evidence seems extreme to me, and logistically less straightforward. I expect their situation will be addressed in whatever policy comes into effect after the provisional, 90-day one expires. But to compare this situation to the rise of Nazism (“It does indeed appear to be the ’30 all over again”) is absolutely absurd.
None of these people are in any physical danger. No jackbooted thugs are coming to take them in the night. No paramilitary mobs are going to smash their storefront windows. They’re not being forced into ghettos or made to wear identifying badges or insignia.
They are essentially being told to hold out for 90 days while the government sorts out a big mess and figures out how to handle it going forward.
There have been so many “Hitler moments” in my young lifetime that if even 5% of them turned out to be anything other than alarmist hyperbole Poland would be quite thoroughly partitioned by this point. A map of all the partitions would look like a mosaic.
I see we find ourselves in agreement on most points. Notable differences remain in that I cannot see how we could brush aside such a breach of contract with legal US residents simply with a “eh, it happens”. Now, if this measure actually furthered Trump’s promises and the general safety I could at least understand an argument along the lines of “yes, we acted unjustly but the risk to ourselves and posterity was too great. We will make reparation sin time and may our children understand why we had to”. The issue is that that particular policy achieved nothing, and was issue merely as security theater. Should you disagree, let me ask: of the millions of legally residing mulsims in the US, can we really be persuaded to think that those hundred that happened to be abroad that particular day were the bad guys and the other were the good guys? Come on now, let us put aside these ideas. It was a clear breach of legal certainty to attain no benefit whatsoever. A mistake at best, a dangerous precedent at worst. I suppose we (or rather you, as US citizens) shall see.
Which brings me to my last point: when speaking of a return to the ’30 I did not mean that US muslims shall be summarily shot, or else kicked out with only what they can carry. I only meant (and I trust I have made it clear) that the ideological “middle ground” is disapearing. Libertarians are becoming either leftists or hard-core nationalists. Today they dismiss an uncalled-for inconvenience to a few citizens, tomorrow they shall think nothing of civil war. In this sense we’re back to the ’30 and libertarianism shall be gutted to feed the ranks of two competing ideologies once more. I had better hopes from a Trump presidency but it appears that years of leftist abuse of powers and anti-white policies have finally succeeded in creating a frightening reaction. Shall the Don be able to contain it? Kek is, after all, the God of Chaos.
Etjon, maybe you are a beneficiary of immigration and multiculturalism… and therefore making the undisguised argument that English people and American people have no rights. You are a living demonstration of the reason why we do not feel immigration from culturally distinct nations is a good idea. Had you integrated, you might have provided half an argument to reconsider the matter, but in the event you proved our point.
Yes Mr. Webb, the thought that I have lived my whole life in my native country must have never crossed your mind. I must be a welfare leach and I must be advocating your physical replacement. It would be better to actually read what I have written but I understand that you may prefer writing as foully as you have above to this. So be it then, please do not reply to my comments again, for you evidently have nothing of substance to add.
Well, Albania is the least-accomplished society in Europe. Good luck there! You may need it!