Hornberger's Blog

Hornberger's Blog is a daily libertarian blog written by Jacob G. Hornberger, founder and president of FFF.
Here's the RSS feed or subscribe to our FFF Email Update to receive Hornberger’s Blog daily.

The U.S. Middle East Killing Racket


Consider the following two headlines during the past three weeks:

U.S. Strike Kills ‘150 al-Shabaab Terrorists’ in Somalia” (March 7, The Telegraph)

49 Killed in U.S. Airstrike Targeting Terrorists in Libya” (February 20, CNN)

The reason for the Somalia killings? U.S. officials say that the 150 dead people were terrorists who were planning to carry out an attack in Somalia.

The reason for the Libya killings? U.S. officials say that the 49 dead people were ISIS terrorists.

Now, let’s just take U.S. officials at their word. Let’s assume that all the people they killed were terrorists who were planning to carry out attacks in Somalia and Libya.

Questions naturally arises: What business is that of the U.S. government? Under what constitutional authority does the U.S. national-security establishment kill people with impunity overseas? How do we really know that they were guilty? What impact will those killings have on the American people, especially in terms of terrorist retaliation?

After all, there is no allegation that any of those 199 dead people planned to invade and conquer the United States, take over the IRS, and establish a nation-wide Muslim caliphate here in the United States.

Let’s acknowledge that that part of the world is rife with civil war. Groups are battling to take control over regimes in Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Yemen, and elsewhere. Let’s acknowledge that the opposing factions are violent. Let’s acknowledge that if the insurgents were to win the civil wars, they would establish regimes that are even more oppressive than the ones currently in power.

I repeat: What business is that of the U.S. government? And under what constitutional authority does the U.S. national-security establishment embroil our nation in such conflicts by killing people? And what good does embroiling the United States into those conflicts do for the American people?

Let’s not forget another factor about all this chaos: It was the U.S. national-security state’s killing campaign that unleashed most of the chaos in the first place.

Think Iraq. Here was a nation headed by a brutal dictator, Saddam Hussein, who had been a loyal partner of the U.S. government. Then they turned on him, as they do with many of their dictatorial partners, but failed to oust him from power during the Persian Gulf War and during the 11 period of the brutal and deadly sanctions against Iraq. Finally, 9/11 gave them the excuse for invading Iraq and ousting Saddam from power.

But all that accomplished was to convert Iraq into a horrendous hellhole, one that unleashed a violent civil war. That’s what ISIS is all about. Consisting in large part of members of Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship, ISIS has initiated a violent civil war in the attempt to regain the reins of power in Iraq.

Did U.S. interventionists really think that the people they ousted from power were going to go quietly into the night and passively accept a regime change brought about through foreign interventionism?

Think Libya, another “successful” U.S. regime-change operation. The U.S. national-security state succeeded in ousting Qaddafi from power, which then unleashed a violent civil war in that country as well. And guess who is vying for power in that civil war: Yep, ISIS, the group that the U.S. regime change operation in Iraq brought into existence.

It’s the same in Syria.

It’s the same all over the Middle East.

The U.S. government goes into the region, initiates regime-change operations, and produces mass chaos, including civil wars, mass exoduses of immigrants, massive death and destruction, and crooked, corrupt, and tyrannical regimes.

And then all that chaos is used as the excuse for killing more people in the name of waging a “war on terrorism.”

And the more people the kill, the worse the chaos. The worst the chaos, the great number of people they feel they have to target for killing.

It’s really the perfect racket. It’s the greatest terrorist-producing machine in history. And it ensures that Americans don’t question the existence of the Cold War era national-security establishment. “We are here to protect you from the terrorists,” the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA tell us. “We are killing them before they come to get you and cart you away to study the Koran,” they explain. “Without the national-security establishment, American would fall to the terrorists, the Muslims, the radical jihadists, the drug dealers, and maybe even the communists.”

The war on terrorism is actually better than the war on drugs, a war that they’ve been waging for decades. They’ve been killing or capturing drug dealers for years. What good has it done? Those who are killed or captured are quickly replaced by others.

And that’s what’s been going on for the past 25 years in the Middle East. As soon as they get rid of one “bad guy,” he is replaced by another “bad guy.” The death and replacement process is perpetual.

And as everyone knows by now, whenever they kill a “bad guy,” the anger and rage and thirst for retaliation arises among his friends and family and people who share his religious convictions. That then means that they have to “keep us safe” with ever growing totalitarian powers, including secret surveillance schemes as well as the omnipotent, non-reviewable power to kill American citizens the same way they recently killed those 199 “terrorists” — without notice, without trial, without due process.

The whole crooked, corrupt, and deadly racket — one that the president, Congress, and Supreme Court are scared to death to interfere with — only goes to show how the national-security establishment has become the most powerful and dominant section of the federal government.

There is but one solution to all this madness: stop the U.S. killings now. Bring all the troops home and discharge them into the private sector. They’re not needed. Dismantle the U.S. military empire and dismantle the Cold War-era dinosauric national-security establishment. Restore a constitutional republic to our land. Embrace liberty and free markets and unleash the private sector of Americans to freely interact with the people of the world.

That’s the only way that America can lead the world out of this morass. It depends on the will, courage, and wisdom of the American people.

This post was written by:

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.