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03/12/2003 Archived Entry: "The Debates of Liberty -- Laissez Faire Books"
On the Political Front:
It was inevitable, I suppose. There is now talk of the forced nationalization of the airlines in the event of war. It would give the government a virtual carte blanche on who can fly and on what terms.
Movement within the United States used to be a hallmark of its freedom, in sharp contrast with "travel papers" required by totalitarian nations. The constant, repeated demand -- "Your papers!" -- at airports already feels like a bad film about Nazi Germany. Didn't the first person checking I.D.s get it right? Besides, no amount I.D. checking would have prevented the 9-11 disaster.
According to MSNBC today, post-Saddam Iraq would include 2,000,000 Iraqis on the US payroll as part of reconstructing the nation. Meanwhile, the Dow dipped below 7,500 and the Nikkei closed below the 8,000 level for the first time in more than 20 years. No wonder the Bush adminstration refuses to discuss the cost of the coming war. No wonder it keeps saying, "there are too many variables...like it could be over in a day or a month." Okay, then give us the range depending upon the differing circumstances! But, no, the Bush administration wishes to wait until sons and daughters are in the line of fire to talk $$$ because then anyone who balks at throwing mega-billions into that accursed desert of a nation will be seen as arguing to abandon "our troops in peril."
The spread of information/disinformation will be key in this war. According to one report, the Pentagon has threatened to fire on the satellite uplink positions of independent journalists in Iraq, according to veteran BBC war correspondent, Kate Adie. In an interview with Irish radio, Ms. Adie said that questioned about the consequences of such potentially fatal actions, a senior Pentagon officer had said: 'Who cares.. ..They've been warned'." The importance of controlling information comes in almost ad nauseum in news stories and commentaries. One of the best commentaries is by the indefatigable Alex Cockburn, entitled "What Will the US Find If It Invades Iraq?" Answer: anything it wants to. The "news" will be fed to the approved journalists, the news scripts will be edited by cautious dept. heads, the public will hear that the US was right along. Damn those doubting French and their impertinent questions!
Thanks to J.C.who wrote in to the rescue ... Translation: here's the article I was trying to find on the satirical "Constitution Found!" And, in case the link has died, this is the gist of the item: "Lost for nearly two years, the U.S. Constitution was found Tuesday behind a couch in the Governor's Reception Room. "Wow, I forgot all about that thing," said U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT), who found the historic document while vacuuming. 'Nobody knew what happened to it. Guess it must've fallen back there during a meeting.' After making the find, Dodd spent several minutes rereading some of his favorite old amendments."
On the Personal/movement Front:
Consider subscribing to Mary Lou Seymour's excellent Liberty Action of the Week list. This week features Mary Lou's article "We don't want your war of aggression, Mr. Bush." Also check out the "purely libertarian anti-war organizing effort", Libertarians for Peace.
I was pleased to see my latest book "The Debates of Liberty" featured on the cover of the Laissez-Faire Book catalogue. Fans of Benjamin Tucker may be interested to know that I found a copy of his partial autobiography in the New York Public Library archives, obtained a micofilm of same, transcribed it and made the transcript available on my homepage.