Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘war party’

Will the War Party Wield the Speaker’s Gavel? | The Libertarian Institute

Posted by M. C. on January 6, 2023

by Dan McKnight

We’re witnessing a fascinating thing: Congress is actually debating and voting on something.


For the first time in a century—and only the second time since the Civil War—the vote for the next Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives has entered multiple ballots.

To replace Nancy Pelosi, the Democrats have put forward Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York, a walk-the-line party man.

Jeffries has supported curtailing the war on Yemen and has cautiously questioned the the American military occupation of Syria. But he’s a reliable yes-man for every Pentagon budget, and he’s committed to U.S. military intervention in Ukraine (the springboard for World War III).

This vote was intended to be a shoe-in for Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, the Republican House Minority Leader.

McCarthy—who already tried and failed to become Speaker in 2015—is bought and paid for shill of the War Party and military-industrial complex.

When Kevin McCarthy hears about a new country we’re bombing illegally, he gets dollar signs in his eyes. He has no saving grace when it comes to an America First foreign policy.

For pete’s sake, four years ago his nominating speech for Minority Leader was given by the reptile Liz Cheney herself!

So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that a small cadre of Freedom Caucus members are opposing his coronation to the speakership.

On Tuesday, on the first vote, there were an assortment of names put forward. The one with the strongest showing in opposition was Andy Biggs of Arizona.

Rep. Biggs is a patriot, and principled defender of the U.S. Constitution. He’s a signer of my organization’s Congressional War Powers Pledge, where he swore to not support a war that was not first explicitly authorized by a vote of Congress.

He has kept that pledge.

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War Party Rising! Incoming House Speaker McCarthy Touts Super-Neocon Agenda

Posted by M. C. on November 23, 2022

Incoming Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has vowed to put “confronting China” at the top of his agenda as speaker. Washington Neocons cannot survive without an enemy. Also today, Daniel Larison lays out what a President DeSantis foreign policy may look like…and it aint pretty. Are neocons firmly back in the driver’s seat?

The Ron Paul Liberty Report

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Why the War Party is the real winner of the midterms – Responsible Statecraft

Posted by M. C. on November 15, 2022

Why the War Party is the real winner of the midterms.

Arms makers pay big money to make sure that no matter what party is in power, lawmakers like these will be running the show.

Written by
Connor Echols

Despite an underwhelming performance in the midterm elections, Republicans appear poised to take back the House for the first time since 2016. The shift has the potential to impact a wide range of policies and will undoubtedly lead to a series of hearings on everything from the Afghanistan withdrawal to Hunter Biden’s business dealings. 

But when it comes to defense spending, there’s little reason to think that GOP leaders will rock the boat.

To understand why, one just has to take a quick look at two of the most influential defense policy roles in the House: the heads of the committees that oversee spending and the armed services. The Republicans who are expected to take on these roles next year both have strong incentives to keep Pentagon spending high.

Take Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), who will likely succeed Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) as the chair of the House Armed Services Committee. Rogers has been a leading proponent of a push to increase defense spending purportedly because of historically high inflation rates, despite the Pentagon’s insistence that its own budget request had already taken the economic climate into account.

He’s also received over $400,000 from arms makers this cycle, making him the single largest recipient of defense industry campaign donations in the 2022 cycle, according to Open Secrets. And Rogers’ district contains parts of Calhoun and Talladega counties, which together got over $200 million in defense money last year.

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Conservative Candace Owens Crashes Ukraine War Party – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on November 14, 2022

Owens went on to claim, based on her reporting from Europe, that Ukrainian political leaders are benefitting from US handouts to purchase luxury property in Switzerland!

Take that, flag-waving and inflation-suffering middle America.

By Daniel McAdams

Ron Paul Institute

It’s weak to start with a disclaimer, but I am afraid I have no choice. I have no cable and I do not watch mainstream media at all. I find a few clips here and there. So I do not pretend to operate with the totality of available information at my fingertips. And I do not doubt that many will send eloquent counter-arguments for what I am about to write. Additionally I do not follow mainstream conservatism or liberalism – or neo-liberalism – because I find it all to be mostly vapid and worthless. But that is not the point. The point is moving the great middle in one direction or another and that is why I write the following.

From what I have seen of conservative commentator Candace Owens I have found her to be an extremely intelligent quick-thinker who develops and delivers comments, quips, and retorts as if from an automatic weapon. She stands her ground and comes armed with facts to back up her positions.

She has taken some risky positions, which is rare among political commentators on the Left and Right (as they most often resemble cookie cutters or tin soldiers). Though she has walked back her association with the controversial Kanye West as he trod unwaveringly upon all the third rails, she did not throw her former-billionaire friend completely under the bus nor did she grovel for forgiveness vowing that she did not know the man, as did Peter with Jesus.

That is why I was so pleasantly surprised to see her appear on Tucker Carlson – himself happy to often color outside the lines – to denounce the seemingly bottomless pit that is US financial support for Ukraine and its president, the “former” NC-17 comedic actor Vladimir Zelensky.

On Carlson’s show, Owens made the excellent point that just one day after the ignominious US retreat from Afghanistan – where we left billions in advanced weapons behind – the Biden Administration announced that it was teaming up with European partners to push for Ukraine’s accession to NATO.

As Owens put it:

We left one money-laundering operation in which we gave 50 billion of American taxpayers’ hard-earned money and we jumped right into the next one. And how much money did we give Ukraine so far? 50 billion dollars! But that’s not enough for this welfare queen. He wants to keep it coming. And that’s what he is: President Zelensky is America’s welfare queen.

Owens went on to claim, based on her reporting from Europe, that Ukrainian political leaders are benefitting from US handouts to purchase luxury property in Switzerland!

Take that, flag-waving and inflation-suffering middle America.

I have often pointed out that America’s anti-American foreign policy at the hands of the US military-industrial complex will only really be challenged when blue-collar, middle America understands that US foreign policy has nothing to do with patriotism or keeping America safe from foreign threats, but is in fact – as Candace Owens puts it so well – a money-laundering scheme concocted by America’s (mostly liberal) elites to pocket billions with the sleight of hand claim that said billions stolen from them will make them safe and vanquish the bad guys overseas.

Middle America who labors to pay for the “defense” of America would be shocked and dismayed at how leftish and “woke” are the people spending their money. They are San Francisco, not Brazoria. The Pentagon is far left wing, not pro-America. Duh! But wave your flag and stay asleep.

An overseas enemy is critical to this ponzi scheme and there has been a steady stream of “bad actors” hyped by the ruling classes in the US to play that role. Saddam, Milosevic, Gaddafi, Assad, Lukashenko, Putin, and so on and so on. None of these “bad guys” have ever expressed the will – nor did they ever have the means – to in any way harm the United States or its citizens. But nevertheless trillions have been burned up building up and then vanquishing these chimeras.

It is a scam.

Who benefits? Elites in the targeted countries, who find themselves at the receiving end of an endless pipeline of US dollars to do the bidding of Washington’s liberal elite. And of course politicians and especially employees of the US military-industrial complex at home. Oh the mansions in McLean built from the sweat of coal miners in West Virginia who felt they were being patriotic supporting ever-increasing military budgets.

The fact is there is nothing patriotic or pro-American about bleeding America dry to make elites at home and abroad stinkingly rich and powerful.

Candace Owens had the guts on nationwide television – on America’s most popular news program – to call out “Saint” Vladimir (“gimme gimme gimme”) Zelensky as the welfare queen that he is. She is possibly wrong on many things from a pro-freedom perspective, but I don’t care. This may shock some people, but the Ron Paul Institute is NOT a libertarian organization. It was founded with the explicit purpose of bringing together everyone of goodwill – from “far right” to “communist.” From conservatives to liberals and progressives. For the purpose of promoting peace and prosperity by opposing endless conflict overseas to the benefit of the elites and endless Fed money printing at home for the benefit of the same elites.

We are for America. Thank you Candace Owens for your important pro-America efforts. We will invite you to join us on our program. Encourage her.

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The Cheese in the Trap: When Will the Populist Right Join the War Party?

Posted by M. C. on March 25, 2022

Meanwhile, the populist Right’s narrative on China has infiltrated independent media. Figures like Tim PoolJoe RoganSteven CrowderBen ShapiroLex FridmanSaagar EnjetiJack PosobiecThe Young Turks, and many others, push the same narratives about China that Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene did in her statement. Why are these figures trying so hard to convince Americans that their enemy is not the politicians controlling their lives, but instead is a regional power on the other side of the globe?

by Patrick Macfarlane

mtg for patrick

On Wednesday, March 13, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene released a statement on the war in Ukraine.

As the White House is purposely prolonging the conflict, risking a wider war, Greene’s statement is praiseworthy and needed.

She condemned weapons shipments to Ukraine, decried the establishment of a no-fly zone, and warned of the real risk of nuclear war with Russia. She criticized America’s long, pointless wars in the Middle East. She spoke against sanctions that would prevent Russia from exporting fertilizer, grains, and energy and warned these measures will push Russia closer to China. She called for a declaration that Ukraine will never join NATO. She said that the U.S. must broker peace talks between Ukraine and Russia. She even mentioned the American role in the 2014 Maidan Revolution.

There is much to like about what she said. But at the same time, her statement contained many hawkish narratives that have become synonymous with the populist Right, mainly, that:

  • Joe Biden is weak (if only he were more aggressive, we wouldn’t be in this mess)
  • U.S. involvement in Ukraine plays into China’s hands (the 21st Century is defined by great power competition with China)
  • Joe Biden caused the war in Ukraine by lifting sanctions on the Nordstream II pipeline (despite previously saying sanctions are a precursor to war)
  • U.S. dependence on foreign goods makes us weaker (economic decoupling from China)
  • “Deadly Chinese fentanyl” is flowing through our southern border each day (China has infiltrated domestic policy and is attacking us from within)

Her statement largely echoes the prevailing narrative on the populist Right, that, instead of picking a fight with Russia, or wasting blood and treasure in the Middle East, the United States should instead focus on countering China.

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The War Party Wants a New Cold War, and the Money that Comes with It | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on February 14, 2022

Note also that Mead uses the “spending as a percentage of GDP” metric which is a favorite metric of military hawks. They use this metric because as the US economy has become more productive, wealthy, and generally larger, the US has been able to maintain sky-high military spending levels without growing the amount of spending in relation to GDP.

Ryan McMaken

In perhaps the most predictable column of the year, the Wall Street Journal this week featured a column by Walter Russell Mead declaring it’s “Time to Increase Defense Spending.”

Using the Beijing Olympics and the potential Ukraine War to push for funneling ever more taxpayer dollars into military spending, Mead outlines how military spending ought to be raised to match the sort of spending not seen since the hot days of the Cold War. 

Mead claims that “The world has changed, and American policy must change with it.” The presumption here is that the status quo is one of declining military spending in which Americans have embraced some sort of isolationist foreign policy. But the reality doesn’t reflect that claim at all. The status quo is really one of very high levels of military spending, and even outright growth in most years. This sort of gaslighting my military hawks is right up there with leftwing attempts to portray the modern economy as one of unregulated laissez-faire.  


Rather, according to estimates from the White House’s office of management and budget, military spending is set to reach a post-World War II high in 2022, rising to more than $1.1 trillion. That includes $770 billion spent on the Pentagon plus nuclear arms and related spending. Also included is current spending on veterans. Keeping veteran spending apart from defense spending is a convenient and sneaky political fiction, but veterans spending is just deferred spending for past active duty members—necessary to attract and retain personnel. And finally, we have the “defense” portion of the interest of the debt, estimated to be about 20 percent of total interest spending. Taking all this together, we find military spending has increased 13 years out of the last twenty, and is now at or near the highest levels of spending seen since the Second World War. 

This, not surprisingly, is not enough for Mead who would like to see military spending much closer to the Cold War average of 7 percent of GDP, up from today’s spending of a little less than 4 percent. To get this average back up would require at least an extra $300 billion in spending, possibly even requiring spending levels not seen since the bad old days of the Vietnam War. In those days, of course, the US was busy spending enormous amounts of taxpayer wealth on a losing war that cost tens of thousands of American lives. The spending was so enormous that the US regime was driven to breaking the dollar’s last link to gold and subjecting ordinary Americans to years of price controls, inflation, and other forms of economic crisis. 

But none of that will dissuade hawks like Mead who pound the drum incessantly for more military spending. Note also that Mead uses the “spending as a percentage of GDP” metric which is a favorite metric of military hawks. They use this metric because as the US economy has become more productive, wealthy, and generally larger, the US has been able to maintain sky-high military spending levels without growing the amount of spending in relation to GDP. The use of this metric allows hawks to create the false impression that military spending is somehow going down, and that the US is being taken over by peaceniks. In reality, spending levels remain very high—it’s just that the larger economy has been robust. 

Yet, even if we use this metric—and then compare it to other states with large militaries—we find that Mead’s narrative doesn’t quite add up. These numbers in no way suggest that the US regime is being eclipsed by rivals in terms of military spending. 


For example, according to the World Bank, China—with a GDP comparable to that of the US—has military spending amounting to about 1.7 percent of GDP (as of 2020). Meanwhile, the total was at 3.7 percent of GDP in the United States. Russian military spending rose to 4.2 percent of GDP in 2020, but that’s based on a GDP total that’s a small fraction of the US’s GDP. Specifically, the Russian economy is less than one-tenth the size of the US economy. 

Thus, when we look at actual military spending, we find the disconnect to be quite clear. 

According to the SIPRI Military Expenditure Database, in 2020 total Chinese military spending totaled approximately $245 billion in 2019 dollars. In Russia, the total was $66 billion. In the US, the total—which in the SIPRI database excludes veterans spending and interest—amounted to $766 billion in 2020. 


In other words, total military spending by these presumed rivals amounts to mere fractions of total spending in the US. Moreover, as China scholar Michael Beckley has noted, the US benefits from pre-existing military capital—think military know-how and productive capability—built up over decades. Even if the US and China (or Russia) were spending comparable amounts on military capability right now, this would demonstrate any sort of actual military superiority in real terms. 

But, as usual, Mead’s strategy is to claim that financial prudence is in fact imprudence with the usual refrain of “you can’t afford to not spend boatloads of extra money!” This claim is premised on the new domino theory being offered by anti-Russia hawks today. This theory posits that if the US does not start wars with every country that pushed back against US hegemony—i.e., Iran or Russia—then China will see this “weakness” and start conquering countless nations within its own periphery. 

The old cold warriors were telling us this back in 1965 also, insisting that a loss in Vietnam would place all the world under the Communist boot. Needless to say, that didn’t happen, and it turned out Vietnam had nothing to do with American national security. 

But none of this will convince the usual hawks—for example the Heritage Foundation—that there’s ever enough military spending. 

Prudence, however, suggests the US should be going in the opposite direction. At its most belligerent, the US regime should be adopting a doctrine of restraint—focusing on naval defense and cutting back troop deployments—while changing its nuclear posture to one that is less costly and more defensive

The ideal solution is far more radically anti-interventionist than that, but a good start would be eliminating hundreds of nuclear warheads and freezing military spending indefinitely. After all, the US’s deterrent second-strike capability does not at all depend on keeping an arsenal of thousands of warheads, as many hawks insist. And geography today continues to favor US conventional defense, just as it always has. 

Unfortunately, we’re a long way from a change toward much more sane policy, but at the very least we must reject the latest opportunistic calls for a new cold war and trillions more taxpayer dollars burned in the name of “defense.” 


Contact Ryan McMaken

Ryan McMaken is a senior editor at the Mises Institute. Send him your article submissions for the Mises Wire and Power and Market, but read article guidelines first.

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Erie Times E-Edition Article – I am voting for Joe Biden, join me

Posted by M. C. on September 30, 2020

Trump campaigned on bringing troops home and ending endless wars.

He hasn’t done such a great job but the war machine can take no chances.

A vote for Biden is a vote for a Harris administration. Even Biden/Harris can’t keep themselves from saying it. Marxist Harris is no threat to the MIC.

War and fear are a money maker. Trump is a potential threat to Ridge Global’s bottom line.


Tom Ridge

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The Christmas Truce of 1914 – Why There Is Still No Peace On Earth – Original

Posted by M. C. on December 26, 2019

After the Berlin Wall fell in November 1989 and the death of the Soviet Union was confirmed two years later when Boris Yeltsin courageously stood down the Red Army tanks in front of Moscow’s White House, a dark era in human history came to an end.

The world had descended into a 77-Year War, incepting with the mobilization of the armies of old Europe in August 1914. If you want to count bodies, 150 million were killed by all the depredations that germinated in the Great War, its foolish aftermath at Versailles, and the march of history into World War II and the Cold War that followed inexorably thereupon.

Upwards of 8% of the human race was wiped out during that span. The toll encompassed the madness of trench warfare during 1914-1918; the murderous regimes of Soviet and Nazi totalitarianism that rose from the ashes of the Great War and Versailles; and then the carnage of WWII and all the lesser (unnecessary) wars and invasions of the Cold War including Korea and Vietnam.

At the end of the Cold War, therefore, the last embers of the fiery madness that had incepted with the guns of August 1914 had finally burned out. Peace was at hand. Yet 28 years later there is still no peace because Imperial Washington confounds it.

In fact, the War Party entrenched in the nation’s capital is dedicated to economic interests and ideological perversions that guarantee perpetual war. These forces ensure endless waste on armaments; they cause the inestimable death and human suffering that stems from 21st-century high-tech warfare; and they inherently generate terrorist blowback from those upon whom the War Party inflicts its violent hegemony.

Worse still, Washington’s great war machine and teeming national security industry is its own agent of self-perpetuation. When it is not invading, occupying and regime changing, its vast apparatus of internal policy bureaus and outside contractors, lobbies, think tanks and NGOs is busy generating reasons for new imperial ventures.

So there was a virulent threat to peace still lurking on the Potomac after the 77-Year War ended. The great general and President, Dwight Eisenhower, had called it the “military-industrial complex” in his farewell address. But that memorable phrase had been abbreviated by his speechwriters, who deleted the word “congressional” in a gesture of comity to the legislative branch.

So restore Ike’s deleted reference to the pork barrels and Sunday-afternoon warriors of Capitol Hill and toss in the legions of Beltway busybodies who constituted the civilian branches of the Cold War armada (CIA, State, AID, NED and the rest) and the circle would have been complete. It constituted the most awesome machine of warfare and imperial hegemony since the Roman legions bestrode most of the civilized world.

In a word, the real threat to peace circa 1991 was that the American Imperium would not go away quietly into the good night.

In fact, during the past 28 years Imperial Washington has lost all memory that peace was ever possible at the end of the Cold War. Today it is as feckless, misguided and bloodthirsty as were Berlin, Paris, St. Petersburg, Vienna and London in August 1914.

A few months after that horrendous slaughter had been unleashed 105 years ago, however, soldiers along the western front broke into spontaneous truces of Christmas celebration, song and even exchange of gifts. For a brief moment they wondered why they were juxtaposed in lethal combat along the jaws of hell.

As Will Griggs once described it,

A sudden cold snap had left the battlefield frozen, which was actually a relief for troops wallowing in sodden mire. Along the Front, troops extracted themselves from their trenches and dugouts, approaching each other warily, and then eagerly, across No Man’s Land. Greetings and handshakes were exchanged, as were gifts scavenged from care packages sent from home. German souvenirs that ordinarily would have been obtained only through bloodshed – such as spiked pickelhaube helmets, or Gott mit uns belt buckles – were bartered for similar British trinkets. Carols were sung in German, English, and French. A few photographs were taken of British and German officers standing alongside each other, unarmed, in No Man’s Land.

Near the Ypres salient, Germans and Scotsmen chased after wild hares that, once caught, served as an unexpected Christmas feast. Perhaps the sudden exertion of chasing wild hares prompted some of the soldiers to think of having a football match. Then again, little prompting would have been necessary to inspire young, competitive men – many of whom were English youth recruited off soccer fields – to stage a match. In any case, numerous accounts in letters and journals attest to the fact that on Christmas 1914, German and English soldiers played soccer on the frozen turf of No Man’s Land.

British Field Artillery Lieutenant John Wedderburn-Maxwell described the event as “probably the most extraordinary event of the whole war – a soldier’s truce without any higher sanction by officers and generals….”

The truth is, there was no good reason for the Great War. The world had stumbled into war based on false narratives and the institutional imperatives of military mobilization plans, alliances and treaties arrayed into a doomsday machine and petty short-term diplomatic maneuvers and political calculus. Yet it took more than three-quarters of a century for all the consequential impacts and evils to be purged from the life of the planet.

The peace that was lost last time has not been regained this time, however, and for the same reasons. Historians can readily name the culprits from 105 years ago.

These include the German general staff’s plan for a lightning mobilization and strike on the western front called the Schlieffen Plan; the incompetence and intrigue in the court at St. Petersburg; French President Poincare’s anti-German irredentism owing to the 1871 loss of his home province, Alsace-Lorraine; and the bloodthirsty cabal around Winston Churchill who forced England into an unnecessary war, among countless others.

Since these casus belli of 1914 were criminally trivial in light of all that metastasized thereafter, it might do well to name the institutions and false narratives that block the return of peace today. The fact is, these impediments are even more contemptible than the forces that crushed the Christmas truces one century ago.


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The Christmas Truce | Jacobin


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Can the Media Be Stopped – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on February 9, 2019


Tom Woods Show

The media’s treatment of Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, presidential candidate.

Knowing what I know about the warfare state, the establishment, and the media, it’s obvious what they’re trying to do to her.

They’ve done it to other dissidents, and they’ll do it to anyone else who dissents from the War Party.

Exhibits A and B, posted by folks in my private group:

Then, from Lew Rockwell and Twitter, some sane commentary on how Tulsi is being treated:

(That’s a reference to Kasie Hunt of NBC News.)

In other words, ignoramuses are interrogating her, while not actually knowing even the most basic facts…

How did the nuttiness accelerate to this point? It shocks even me.

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The Seditionists – Original

Posted by M. C. on September 10, 2018

The Deep State dictatorship comes out of the closet


I’m often asked “How can you claim President Trump is in any way supporting your antiwar agenda when he …” and this is followed by a reference to at least one of the places on earth where he’s violating his “no more regime change” pledge or otherwise supporting the unsupportable, as in Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen. I’ve always answered by saying that, in the long run, and in a general sense, his November 2016 win was a giant step forward in that the anti-interventionist principle has been victorious even if it’s being imperfectly implemented.

However, back in April I raised the possibility of an active “resistance” inside the White House that is specifically preventing him from carrying out his mandate for peace. In “A President Held Hostage?” I outlined the scenario an anonymous White House official described in a recent New York Times op ed piece, wherein he or she describes the forces out to destroy Trump’s presidency:

“The dilemma – which he does not fully grasp – is that many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.

“I would know. I am one of them.” Read the rest of this entry »

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