Jonathan Steele, the Guardian's Senior Foreign Correspondent, has written an outstanding account of the war on Iraq. He argues that from the start the occupiers were bound to lose and that they have in fact already lost. As the Iraq Study Group said in December 2006, "The situation is deteriorating ... The ability of the United States to shape outcome is diminishing."
Why? Because nobody wants foreign troops in their country. As Steele writes, "Most occupations fail. In the Middle East, they fail absolutely." People there have a deep sense of national dignity, honor and sovereignty.
Opposing Saddam Hussein did not mean supporting the occupation, as Blair and Bush thought, in a mirror-image of their slander that opponents of the war were supporters of Saddam. After the invasion, some Iraqis thought `thank you and goodbye', but most thought just `goodbye'. The majority has consistently wanted foreign troops out immediately and approve of attacks on them. 92% of the unfortunate US troops in Iraq also want to leave within a year.
The occupiers have not achieved the politicians' claimed goals of democracy and a pro-Western regime, nor will they. More people have been killed in the occupation's five years than in Hussein's 32 years. Mass detention of innocent civilians in a brutal counter-insurgency war breeds resistance not support. In 2004, the USA estimated there were 5,000 insurgents, in 2005, 16,000, in 2006, 20,000 and in 2007, 70,000. 2007 was the deadliest year yet for the USA.
In a poll last December, 85% of the people of Basra thought that the British occupation had a negative effect; just 2% thought it positive. The British forces are serving a political, not a military, purpose. They are Downing Street's hostages.
Blair blames the continuing violence in Iraq on `blowback from global terrorism', as if it was a natural but unfortunate effect of his good war. But the war is a defensive war against foreign invasion not a clash of ideologies or of civilizations.
To the US and British ruling classes, victory is the only exit strategy, but their `victory first' means exit never. Staying is a trap, not a strategy. Exit is the only good option and the sooner the better.
NULLIFICATION: HOW TO RESIST FEDERAL TYRANNY IN THE 21ST CENTURY
Author: Thomas E. Woods, Jr.
Tom Woods' latest book is another example of the author doing what he does best--dissecting political and economic failure by striking at the root of the problem and offering common sense and constitution-based solutions, something he always does in an easy to comprehend, everyman style. Ironically, the solutions Woods offers are often considered unconventional or controversial, but only by the same professional talking heads who got us into virtually every mess the author addresses.
As with his bestseller "Meltdown," in which Woods explained how the Federal Reserve and government intervention were primary culprits in the ongoing recession, "Nullification: How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century," is a how-to for Americans fed up with an out-of-control Washington, DC. Question: How can we expect a federal government no longer restrained by the Constitution to be contained by that document any time in the future? Answer: by containing it ourselves.
Woods argues that Americans concerned about federal overreach--on everything from the imposition of national healthcare to medicinal marijuana laws--should revisit the "principles of '98," as in 1798, when James Madison and Thomas Jefferson famously insisted that the federal government, as Woods puts, "cannot be permitted to hold a monopoly on constitutional interpretation" or the "exclusive right to judge the extent of its own powers," or it would continue to grow, "regardless of elections, the separation of powers and other much-touted limits on government power."
Per the 10th amendment and Madison and Jefferson's example, Woods argues that states should render void--or nullify--oppressive federal mandates, as not only a necessary measure, but perhaps the only possible way Americans might ever stuff the beast in Washington back into its constitutional box. Woods points out that nullification is not only an old, all-American concept whose time has come, but is far more practical method of substantively addressing today's problems than the false solutions offered by the Left/Right, two-party paradigm, a truly archaic political model which has kept us distracted from the real dilemma of unchecked government power--something our rulers laughably keep insisting they will keep in check so long as their own party holds all the power in government.
FOX News host Judge Andrew Napolitano is correct when he says "In clear and well-documented arguments, Tom Woods gives hope to those who wish to tame the federal monster as the Framers intended--by using the utterly lawful and historically accepted principle of Nullification." Indeed. And with his latest offering, Tom Woods has given Americans who genuinely want to "take their country back" the blueprint to do just that.
Author: Thomas E. Woods Jr.
Forward By: Ron Paul
A Free Market Look At Why the Stock Market Crashed - The Economy
Tanked and Government Bailouts Will Make Things Worse
If you are fed up with Washington boondoggles, and you like the small-government, politically-incorrect thinking of Ron Paul, then you'll love Tom Woods'sMeltdown. In clear, no-nonsense terms, Woods explains what led up to this economic crisis, who's really to blame, and why government bailouts won't work. Woods will reveal:
* Which brave few economists predicted the economic fallout--and why nobody listened
* What really caused the collapse
* Why the Fed--not taxpayers--should have to answer for the current economic crisis
* Why bailouts are band-aids that will only provide temporary relief and ultimately make things worse
* What we should do instead, to put our economy on a healthy path to recovery
With a foreword from Ron Paul,Meltdownis the free-market answer to the Fed-created economic crisis. As the new Obama administration inevitably calls for more regulations, Woods argues that the only way to rebuild our economy is by returning to the fundamentals of capitalism and letting the free market work.
WHO KILLEDTHE CONSTITUTION
Authors: Thomas E. Woods Jr. and Kevin R. C. Gutzman
The Federal Government vs. American Liberty from World War I to Barack Obama
There's a reason that our federal constitution is short. It was so the average American could be intimately familiar with it. It was also because the federal government was supposed to be small. As James Madison described in the Federalist No. 45:
"The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State."
So what changed? Woods and Gutzman persuasively document a selected array of federal power plays and Supreme Court decisions over the course of the 20th century that radically reshaped the federal government in ways the Framers of the U.S. Constitution never imagined nor, the Constitution's Ratifiers ever intended.
From the unconstitutional persecution against World War I dissenters by the Wilson administration; through Harry Truman's attempted 1952 power grab, the phony case for broad presidential war powers, and the startlingly perverse use of presidential signing statements by the Bush administration to undermine the rule of law; to the tragic consequences of Commerce Clause jurisprudence run amok beginning with the New Deal and continuing to this very day: "Who Killed the Constitution?" serves as an eye-opening guide to how exactly, and how far away, we've managed to stray from the limited-government vision of our forefathers bestowed upon us in the Constitution. Woods and Gutzman cite several Founding Era authorities to prove exactly this.
Hopefully the abuses of the past administration, and the continuation of those abuses by the new one, will awaken Americans to explore their own constitutional heritage and incite them to start demanding their government adhere to the supreme law of the land: the Constitution of the United States.
BACK ON THE ROAD TO SERFDOM: THE RESURGENCE OF STATISM
Edited By: Thomas E. Woods Jr.
The threat of statism has reemerged in force. The federal government has seized on the economic crisis to radically expand its power—through bailouts, “stimulus” packages, a trillion-dollar health care plan, “jobs bills,” massive expansions of the money supply, and much more. But such interventionism did not suddenly materialize with the recent collapse. The dangerous trends of government growth, debt increases, encroachments on individual liberty, and attacks on the free market began years earlier and continued no matter which political party was in power.
This shift toward statism “will not end happily,” declares bestselling author Thomas E. Woods. In Back on the Road to Serfdom, Woods brings together ten top scholars to examine why the size and scope of government has exploded, and to reveal the devastating consequences of succumbing to the statist temptation.
Spanning history, economics, politics, religion, and the arts, Back on the Road to Serfdom shows:
How government interventionism endangers America’s prosperity and the vital culture of entrepreneurship
The roots of statism: from the seminal conflict between Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton to the vast expansion of federal power in the twentieth century
Why the standard explanation for the recent economic crisis is so terribly wrong—and why the government’s frenzied responses to the downturn only exacerbate the problems
Why the European welfare state is not a model to aspire to but a disaster to be avoided
How an intrusive state not only harms the economy but also imperils individual liberty and undermines the role of civil society
The fatal flaws in the now-common arguments against free markets and free trade
How big business is helping government pave the road to serfdom
Why the Judeo-Christian tradition does not demand support for the welfare state, but in fact values the free market
How the arrogance of government power extends even to the cultural realm—and how central planning is just as inefficient and destructive there
It’s been more than sixty-five years since F. A. Hayek published his seminal work The Road to Serfdom. Now this impeccably timed book provides another desperately needed warning about—and corrective to—the dangers of statism.
ROLLBACK: REPEALING BIG GOVERNMENT BEFORE THE COMING FISCAL CALLAPSE
Author: Thomas E. Woods Jr.
America is on the brink of financial collapse. Decades of political overpromising and underfunding have created a wave of debt that could swamp our already feeble economy. And the politicians’ favorite tricks—raising taxes, borrowing from foreign governments, and printing more money—will only make it worse. Only one thing might save us: Roll back the government.
InRollback: Repealing Big Government Before the Coming Fiscal Collapse, Thomas E. Woods, Jr. explains that we may still have a chance to avert total economic disaster—but only by completely changing our understanding of government. With bracing candor, he dissects just how the political class has nearly destroyed America’s economy. InRollback, you’ll learn:
Why practically everything you’ve been taught about government and the economy is wrong—the product of liberal pro–government propaganda How the Federal Reserve helps create crises and slows recovery Why big business is no ally in rolling back government and actually wants and needs big government intervention in the marketplace How current policies, if unchecked, will lead to the collapse of the dollar How government policies have driven the skyrocketing costs of health care Why retirement will be a pipe dream for the next generation How the coming collapse can be turned to your advantage—and the advantage of all who believe in liberty and limited government
Thanks to decades of politicians playing kick the can down the road, we and our children are facing economic Armageddon. But this crisis could help us see government for what it really is—an institution that has seized our wealth and taught our children to honor it as the source of all progress. The good news is it’s not too late to roll back government—and the opportunity to do so is now.
THE REAL LINCOLN
Author: Thomas J. Dilorenzo
Forward By: Walter E. Williams
A New Look At Abraham Lincoln - His Agenda and an Unnecessary War
William Manchester used the phrase 'American Caesar' to describe General Douglas MacArthur, but it applies much more fittingly to Abraham Lincoln, America's first (and God willing only) full-fledged military dictator. The gravedigger of the U.S. Constitution, Lincoln buried the founders' Union as completely as Lenin buried the Romanovs. And like Lenin, Lincoln built an empire on bayonets, brutality, and centralized power. As historian Richard Bensel (quoted by Thomas DiLorenzo in the introduction to this book) wrote, any student of the American state should begin his reading with 1865. Whatever happened before then no longer has any relevance.
DiLorenzo's little book began rocking conservative and libertarian circles even before its publication, proving what someone once said, that the way to tell the difference between the two schools of thought is to ask them what they think about Lincoln. To the outrage of the fans of centralized government, DiLorenzo is not only an excellent writer but a skilled researcher too. Votaries of Saint Abraham's iconic image have an awful lot of 'splainin' to do. In fact, as DiLorenzo notes, much of the writing on Lincoln over the decades has been exactly this: historians rationalizing Lincoln's decidedly un-godlike words and deeds. Whether a reader is willing to see through this fog depends on how open she is to challenging established 'truths.'
Lincoln's defenders often employ the slander that criticizing the Great Emancipator is the moral equivalent of defending slavery.
But history shows that slavery ended around the world during that era, and no place required the bloody war Lincoln waged. DiLorenzo proves that throughout his life, up to and including the War, Lincoln's driving force was his devotion to Henry Clay's 'American System' of internal improvement, nationalized banking, and a powerful central government. As DiLorenzo shows, a confederacy of states exercising their (previously unquestioned) right to secession would have been an intolerable obstacle to Lincoln's driving ambition.
DiLorenzo also catalogues Lincoln's wartime offenses against the Constitution, the people (North and South alike), the Southern states, and the very 'Union' he was allegedly trying to save. If for no other reason than Lincoln's deliberate strategy of waging war against civilians -- DiLorenzo shows that the policy came straight from Lincoln's own hand -- it's hard to deny historian Lee Kennett's conclusion (quoted on page 197-198) that a victorious Confederacy would have been entirely justified in executing Abraham Lincoln for crimes against humanity.
Most damning to the modern myth of Lincoln as a man tormented by America's original sin of slavery, DiLorenzo shows that the Great Emancipator never in his life accepted the fundamental equality of all persons. Until his death, he denied that free African-Americans could be assimilated into the US population. His solution was to 'return' all blacks, even native-born ones, to their 'homeland' of West Africa, or exile them to the Caribbean or Central America.
Like the statue in Nebuchadnezzar's dream, Abraham Lincoln's towering reputation stands on feet of clay, propped up by generations of myth-making, political opportunism, and -- yes -- lies. But nothing so fundamentally flawed can long endure. Toppling the Lincoln of myth is essential not only for recovering the promise of America's founding, but also for healing the social fractures spreading since his death. Thomas DiLorenzo has not only written an excellent book, but has performed a valuable and necessary service.
Author: Thomas J. Dilorenzo
What You Are Not Supposed To Know About Dishonest Abe
Far from being a "laughable screed," as claimed by the curiously anonymous Publishers Weekly editor above, Lincoln Unmasked is a serious, scholarly work. Only a thoroughly biased, ignorant critic would pen such a characterization, and his or her opinion should simply be ignored.
If you look at what Lincoln did -- as opposed to what he said -- it is hard to refute DiLorenzo's portrayal. Just take the single premise that despite the south's attack on Fort Sumter, it was Lincoln who declared war on his countrymen. Think about it for a moment. What kind of leader sends troops to kill his fellow citizens? Even assuming that the south wasn't maneuvered and provoked into the attack (it was), and that there were casualties at Ft. Sumter (there were not), what would a reasonable person -- let alone a leader -- do in response? Would a reasonable person try to understand what had happened, to meet with the "attackers" -- or would he immediately say "kill them"? Would a great President negotiate with states who wanted to leave the Union, to keep them in the fold -- or would he declare "stay or die," and plunge the entire nation into conflict? Would he try to keep chaos and calamity to a minimum -- or condemn 600,000 to death in a ghastly internecine war, which he personally micro-managed?
Just considering that one premise -- and there are many, many more that cast Lincoln in an extremely negative light -- it is difficult to understand how anyone, let alone so-called academics, could consider Lincoln a great President, or even a decent human being. The group of "Lincoln scholars" who idolize him can, indeed, be labeled a cult, because their adulation is based not on Lincoln's deeds, but on an "ends justifies the means" rationale that "he saved the Union," regardless of cost. It is similar to the reverence of dogs for their master -- it is not based on logic and truth, but on a mindless devotion to a higher power or concept. Those who praise "Father Abraham," while ignoring or obfuscating the unpleasant truths about him, deserve nothing but contempt, and DiLorenzo provides plenty.
My only complaints with the book are that it could be longer, and it presents only one side. There is no attempt to analyze possible thought-processes which might have led to Lincoln's specific actions. Of course, this is not the author's purpose, which is to offer a "prosecutor's brief" in response to the Lincoln cultists, and in this DiLorenzo succeeds quite well.
THE CONSTITUTION IN EXILE
Author: Judge Andrew P. Napolitano
How the Federal Government Has Seized Power By
Rewriting the Supreme Law of the Land
Have you ever wondered: How or why it is a "federal issue" how big your toilet bowl is, or how fast you drive your car? Why does the "federal" Congress decide what your own state's drinking age is? Why does Congress purport to regulate whether Major League Baseball allows steroids or not? Why should the "federal" government bail out bankrupt savings and loans when other bankrupt business must just suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune? How are any of these "federal issues"? Moreover, why does the "federal" government monitor what you read at your local library, whether you can grow medicinal marijuana at home, the amount of alcohol you can have before driving, what you send in the mail, and what "precise" test scores your child's school must receive so it won't be "left behind" under federal guidelines for neighborhood school education? Wait a minute -- did I just say "federal" guidelines for neighborhood school education? -- Um, yes, we are there, people. Although neighborhood schools are the ultimate sacred cow, the greatest "local control" voter issue, we are already at the point where the feds regulate and monitor the performance of your neighborhood public school, thanks to the Hall Monitor in Chief's "No School Left Behind Act" (the greatest example to date of a federal mandate/no pay act). How sad is that? We are also "there" at many other horribly excessive instances of federal government overreaching and abuse which Judge Napolitano explores in his powerful new book, "The Constitution in Exile." If you have any inkling of state's rights or local control left in your heart (or mind), you will join me (and Judge Napolitano) in asking, why should the federal government be able to regulate what I grow in my backyard? Well, they sure can, as this book will show you. Why is it a federal concern how products are manufactured at my local furniture shop? You better believe it is! How can the feds seize my bank records, my library reading history, my mail and other personal records -- all without a warrant as I thought was required by the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution? Well, they can, my dear, and you need look no further than the Patriot Act and the Bush Administration's abuses of power to see it in practice. The federal government has no respect for the boundaries on its power that were set by the Constitution - and it hasn't for a very, very, long, long time. The Bush Administration is only the latest extreme example of the contempt that those in power have for the very Source of their power, the Constitution, but it has long been this way, as the feds have gathered, expanded and increased federal power, from the time of Abe Lincoln to FDR to LBJ to the worst offender of all, GWB. If you are fed up with the federal government Leviathan and want to re-affirm the limits placed on the federal government's power by the Constitution, you must read this book. It will educate you and remind you of the proper role of our "federal" government as it explores and reveals the many ways in which that government has betrayed its origins and exceeded its powers. This book is truly must reading for anyone who believes in our federalist system of a limited and enumerated federal government.