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Ari was misunderstood, White House has clarified, “The war has begun.”

Media Coverage


If you thought the first Gulf war, as it is being called, was a TV war, it was nothing if early coverage of this one is any indication of what this will be like.




Certainly kept to schedule.

Web Briefing: November 22, 2014

It’s Begun


Prayers, crossed fingers and all good thoughts for the good guys and the innocents. The bad guys are on their own.


Ok, Time’s Up


It’s shouldn’t be long now. Time for us to pray and our guys to do their work.

I Spoke Too Soon


9 pm stuff may be another rumor. Forgive me for jumping. It may still be true, but I gotta run.

I Spoke Too Quickly


For a full take on Bailey’s libertarian foreign policy, click here.



Talk about painting with too broad a brush. Mark, I hate being the Great Defender of the ‘Toids, but I think it’s really unfair to say that “utopian libertarians” — which I read as “pretty much all libertarians” — are unpatriotic or disloyal let alone dismissive of the constitution. Some of the most passionate defenders of the constitution I know are hardcore libertarians. Some of them talk about “Mr. Jefferson this” and “Mr. Jefferson that” to the point where you have to remind them that Mr. Jefferson is dead. My friend Ron Bailey preaches “libertarianism in one state” precisely because he considers America a shining city on a hill.

My Two Cents


Frum’s piece was a powerful, and long overdue, response to all the
“Goldberg Review” nonsense that the paleos have been shoveling for so long
(though I thought that lumping Bob Novak with Sam Francis might have been
painting with too broad a brush).

I appreciate John Miller’s vouching for my bona fides even though we
disagree on immigration. But there’s a broader point here, going beyond
immigration. Frum’s piece is called “Unpatriotic Conservatives,” but the
paleos (or at least the more bitter among them) are only one part of the
non-patriotic right; the libertarians (or at least the more doctrinaire and
fanatic among them) are the other component. The point is that, even though
they disagree about immigration, the despairing paleos and the utopian
libertarians share a tenuous loyalty (at best) to the actually existing
Constitution, territory, and people of the United States of America. We
should turn our backs on both.

Rich Reminded Me...


To flack my syndicated column too.

Pat’s “Dual Loyalty”


One of the hilarious bits from Frum’s piece is this item about Pat Buchanan that I didn’t know:
“Pat Buchanan, one can say, permitted a dual loyalty to influence him. Although he had denied any vital American interest in either Kuwait’s oilfields or Iraq’s oilfields or its aggression, in l991 he urged that the Sixth Fleet be sent to Dubrovnik to shield the Catholics of Croatia from Serbian attack. “Croatia is not some faraway desert emirate,” he explained. “It is a ‘piece of the continent, a part of the main,’ a Western republic that belonged to the Habsburg empire and was for centuries the first line of defense of Christian Europe. For their ceaseless resistance to the Ottoman Turks, Croatia was proclaimed by Pope Leo X to be the ‘Antemurale Christianitatis,’ the bulwark of Christianity.”"

Geez. Talk about letting your religio-ethnic loyalities dictate your foreign policy–and violate your principles in the process. At least the supposed “Jewish fifth column” in this country is consistently interventionist.

Hmm This Could Be Trouble


EU headquarters bugged.

The Next Jewish Conspiracy


Stanley, on the North Korea point, all the opponents of the war are saying how dangerous the Korean crisis is at the moment. As soon as the Iraq war ends and we turn our attention to North Korea, most of them will flip-flop. I made this point in a column last week. The Democrats will begin to down-play the threat, and a certain fringe will blame a new hard-line U.S. policy toward North Korea on . . . well, you know who.

Fair Point


A reader objects:


You smear LewRockwellians as “Von Mises” worshippers, as if that’s a pejorative. Mises was one of the greatest thinkers of the 20th century (I tend to think arguably the greatest). If you are unfamiliar with Mises, it would be decent of you to refrain from criticizing him. Okay, maybe Lew Rockwell et al. are fair game, but by dismissing Mises himself, you are besmirching the memory and corpus of a great thinker and champion of freedom and western civilization. You are impugning a man who does not deserve it, one you would, I suspect, greatly admire if you knew his work. I assume you are unfamiliar with the main thrust of his writing–especially on economic theory–because as smart and pro-free market as you are, I would be astonished that you would hold him in low esteem and sneeringly dismiss him if you really knew his thought.

I think this is a fair point. I do not mean to “smeer” Mises at all. I am “familiar” with his work, but as I have explained in several columns, I am no expert on his work. From what I can tell, my problem with Mises — and his followers — is that he suffers from “extreme apriorism” as Buckley and others have used the phrase. I do not much like Kantian categories and imperatives and the like. Hence, I am a bigger fan of Hayek. But, that said, I sincerely doubt that Mises would consider Lincoln an American Hitler and there’s no reason why I should lump him in with the defenders of Jim Crow over at Lew Rockwell’s shop. But — again — why it should fall to me, one of the only conservatives eager to pick fights with Libertarians, to save Mises from the Rockwellians is a bit of a mystery. I will defend Edmund Burke to my last breath. I will even, as I have, do my darndest to claim Hayek as a conservative. But Mises is a libertarian and the libertarians should keep his good name intact themselves.

American Conservative Speaks


Here is a message I just received from Scott McConnell, editor of The American Conservative magazine: “To Stanley Kurtz (whose excellent (City Journal?) piece on the Japan analogy for democratizing Iraq was uncharacteristically thoughtful for the jingo conservatives, we have a cover story on North Korea (The Greater Threat) in the issue we are preparing for the printer. It argues, among other things, that NK with its nukes far more dangerous to the US than Saddam. Of course we know the reasons we are paying more attention to Iraq, don’t we?”

National Magazine Award Finalist


NR is up for a National Magazine Award in the “Public Interest” category for Joel Mowbray’s reporting last year. Pretty cool. (Please hold the razzing about one of the other finalists in this category being “Golf for Women.”) As I check out the list of categories, I kick myself that we didn’t submit for “General Excellence Online” too. And that there isn’t a category for “Best Interviews of Foreign Leaders Conducted by a Dog” is just an indication of how close-minded these American Society of Magazine Editors people really are!

As We...


…watch pictures of our guys streaming north on TV, I’m reminded of what a VERY senior administration official told Kate O’Beirne and me when we were in the Oval Office before the State of the Union: “We’re not going in there with pop-guns.”

Here We Go




OLYMPIA — A man spent hours chained to the wrong building Tuesday in an ill-planned effort to protest war with Iraq, police said.

Jody Mason padlocked himself to an entrance of the Washington State Grange building at 924 Capitol Way S., thinking it was a sub-office of the U.S. Department of Energy.

Grange employees found him about 11:45 a.m. Tuesday and asked what he was doing….

Bad Libertarian Anecdote


From a reader:

It took me a while to figure it out, because at one time I was in touch with some fairly principled and knowledgeable local free-marketers and small-l libertarians, even one who ran a credible campaign for senator on the Libertarian ticket.

But a few years later a funny thing happened. The LP of Illinois started propagandizing on behalf of the genocidal Serbs. When I tried to resign (having just rejoined as a result of their getting onto the primary ballot) the party chair refused to take my name off the list and instructed me to get in touch and “work with” one of his henchmen until I saw it their way.

This was to include coming to my home so they could explain things they had already gone on at great length about in the newsletter. (Gist of the
argument: The genocide is a figment of people’s imagination and also the other side is doing the same thing too.) Apparently they saw no conflict between libertarian principles and their refusal to respect my decision about whom I would associate with. It took a rather more pointed e-mail on my part to convince them that I had no intention of ever communicating with them ever again or of rejoining the party until it repudiated and apologized for their stance. I think I complained to the national party but got either no response or “ain’t nothing we can do”. Ugh. And don’t even get me started about the hypocrisy of Ayn Rand.

So I took to calling myself a “P.J. O’Rourke Republican” or a “live-and-let-live conservative”. At present I will answer to either or both, since I consider them far less oxymoronic than “serious libertarian”.


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