Sunday, August 17, 2014

A Question on ISIS, Terrorism, and Libertarian Response

Screenshot from an execution video from ISIS propaganda

Fellow libertarians, we have a major problem. When the federal government waged its illegal wars and clandestine interventions abroad, it bred hatred and ultimately blowback. As I see it, ISIS is worse than Al Qaeda. The previous waves of jihadists' main grievance against our people [Americans] was that our government occupied Islamic holy lands. Their main goal was to remove foreign occupation forces from their holy lands and from the Middle East. ISIS has upped the stakes and done what Al Qaeda couldn't, conquering extensive territory and establishing a state.

Al Qaeda offered rhetoric on establishing a Caliphate and expanding; ISIS is actually doing it, and they're kicking ass and taking names. Furthermore, they've made it absolutely clear that they'll continue expanding and that they're coming for us. They don't care about the difference between the State and We the People; they don't care about statism/tyranny versus anarchy/liberty; they don't care about our nonaggression principle. Hell, they make no qualms about mass-executing civilians for not being good enough Muslims.

They're coming for us, sooner or later, and they're raising their sons to carry on the jihad. They may not be able to send infantry or armored divisions to attack the US, but they'll sure as hell send cells and suicide bombers to kill in America. The ISIS press secretary literally announcing the Islamic State's short term goal of sending "martyrs" to America and their end goal of "raising the flag of prophet Muhammad over the White House." They've promised to attack us; so far they've shown in Iraq and Syria that they keep their promises. 

I'm not afraid of them, but I believe my level of concern to be a healthy one; I'm not afraid of burglars but I still lock my doors at night. So when an organization of assholes who execute 2000 people in single swoops announces an intention of sending violence to the country I live in, I'd like to have a contingency plan JUST IN CASE.

How then do we as libertarians stand by the nonaggression principle and non-interventionism when ISIS continues to expand its state and crush liberty? How do we as libertarians help America prepare for self-defense knowing THIS manifestation of blowback is coming for us? When terrorism targets us, how do We the People fight terrorism without betraying libertarian principles?

Not training or arming foreign armies and insurgencies is a no-brainer in my book, as we would all agree that it causes blowback. However, not causing further blowback in the future doesn't change the fact that a state and army, who hates us for not being like them, currently exist and have declared that they want a piece of America. Also, I'm completely against forfeiting civil liberties over to the government so it [they] can "protect" us. Ben Franklin said that those who trade liberty for security deserve neither.

How do we apply libertarian principles in real-time given the current conditions in American society and the rest of the world? While there's still relative peace on our shores, we NEED to think of ways to prepare for and respond to terrorism, foreign and domestic, without betraying libertarian principles. 

* * *

Execution photo from an ISIS video, courtesy of New York Daily News. Second [mass] execution photo from ISIS' Twitter feed, courtesy of


  1. Staying out is the obvious solution. Arm up the Kurds and piss off. Only use airstrikes to prevent IS from taking over more towns and cities. IS will eventually be forced to lose. If they can't expand they'll look like idiots. We need to use time against them and not make a fuss over this, if IS continues their savagery they'll surely lose support of other Sunnis. There's only a set number of impoverished illiterate communities that IS can draw new support from.

  2. Read what the Hezbollah Secretary General, Sayyed Nasrallah, said about this matter. He said IS poses a threat to the region and that people must unite against IS. Why did we not offer kind words to Syria when they were battling IS three years ago? We should applaud Assad's anti-terrorist operations and show political cooperation with other nations in the region. The political BS against Syria should stop and we should make them our partner in the fight against IS. Russia works with Syria, so why can't the western nations? Political BS serves no purpose. The Syrian airforce bombed the crap out of IS within the last 48 hours we should be thanking them. A libertarian foreign policy should include two things: quit the UN, and negotiate with nations that share our objectives (e.g. a common goal of containing IS).