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Hornberger's Blog is a daily libertarian blog written by Jacob G. Hornberger, founder and president of FFF.
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Blame Statism for the Disasters in Iraq and Afghanistan


As the fiascos in Iraq and Afghanistan continue worsening, expect American statists to do what they always do — avoid responsibility for their disasters and look for scapegoats on which to blame them.

Consider Iraq, which has the one of the best models of a dysfunctional government you could ever find. Daily bombings and killings, arbitrary searches and seizures, military enforcement of law and order, arbitrary searches and seizures, indefinite incarcerations, and torture, not to mention a political deadlock preventing the election of a prime minister. After some 8 years of U.S. military occupation, Iraq is not a place you would want to take your family on vacation. It’s not a coincidence that U.S. congressmen don’t include Iraq on their resort-junket list of places to travel.

As the situation in Iraq continues to disintegrate, expect the statists to rail against those dumb, incompetent Iraqis who were unable to put together a functioning government. It’s all their fault, the statists will say.

Or consider Afghanistan, whose government is quite possibly the most crooked and corrupt in the world. As things continue to disintegrate after 9 years of U.S. military occupation and control, the statists are pointing the finger at the crooks and frauds within the Afghan government as the cause of the disaster.

The American people should not let the statists off the hook with such scapegoating. The responsibility for the disasters in Iraq and Afghanistan lies squarely and completely with American statists and their philosophy and policy of empire and interventionism. The fact that the victims of the U.S. invasions and occupations of those countries have been unable to cobble together functioning governments and societies only shows that the statists’ use of deadly and destructive force to remake societies is fatally flawed.

After all, no one can deny that the U.S. Empire wielded the omnipotent power to shape things in both countries. This is especially true in Afghanistan, where the president of the country is the hand-picked puppet of the U.S. Empire.

Notwithstanding this total power to remake those two societies with the aim of making them fully functioning members of the U.S. Empire, the Empire has nothing but crookedness, fraud, and corruption to show for all the death and destruction it has wrought in both countries.

Accepting responsibility for these disasters is the last thing statists are going to do because they know that Americans might then begin to question and challenge the entire paradigm of statism, including imperialism and interventionism. “We did the right thing,” the official line will be. “We gave them the chance to form free and democratic societies, and it’s all their fault that they couldn’t do it.”

But the responsibility for the debacles in Iraq and Afghanistan lies not with the Iraqi or Afghan people. It lies with American statists, and specifically with the imperialism and interventionism that forms the core of U.S. foreign policy.

Americans who are concerned about our nation’s freedom and economic well-being in the future would be wise not to settle for the withdrawal of all troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. The disasters in those two countries should cause Americans to raise their vision to a higher level, to one that challenges the entire paradigm of statism, especially interventionism and empire.

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.