Harry Browne always says it better than I can, so
I yield the floor to him.
When Will We Learn?
by Harry Browne, with permission
The terrorist attacks against America comprise a
horrible tragedy. But they shouldn't be a
It is well known that
in war, the first casualty is truth
-- that during any war truth is forsaken
for propaganda. But sanity was a prior casualty:
it was the loss of sanity that led to war in the
Our foreign policy has been insane for decades. It
was only a matter of time until Americans would
have to suffer personally for it. It is a terrible
tragedy of life that the innocent so often have to
suffer for the sins of the guilty.
When will we learn that we can't allow our
politicians to bully the world without someone
bullying back eventually?
President Bush has authorized continued bombing of
innocent people in Iraq. President Clinton bombed
innocent people in the Sudan, Afghanistan, Iraq,
and Serbia. President Bush Senior invaded Iraq and
Panama. President Reagan bombed innocent people in
Libya and invaded Grenada. And on and on it goes.
Did we think the people who lost their families
and friends and property in all that destruction
would love America for what happened?
When will we learn that violence always begets violence?
Supposedly, Reagan bombed Libya to teach Muammar
al-Qaddafi a lesson about terrorism. But shortly
thereafter a PanAm (sic) plane was destroyed over
Scotland, and our government is convinced it was
Libyans who did it.
When will we learn that "teaching someone a
lesson" never teaches anything but resentment --
that it only inspires the recipient to greater
acts of defiance.
How many times on Tuesday did we hear someone
describe the terrorist attacks as "cowardly acts"?
But as misguided and despicable as they were, they
were anything but cowardly. The people who
committed them knowingly gave their lives for
whatever stupid beliefs they held.
But what about the American Presidents who order
bombings of innocent people -- while the
Presidents remain completely insulated from any
danger? What would you call their acts?
When will we learn that forsaking truth and reason
in the heat of battle almost always assures that
we will lose the battle?
Losing Our Last Freedoms
And now, as sure as night follows day, we will be
told we must give up more of our freedoms to
avenge what never should have happened in the
When will we learn that it makes no sense to give
up our freedoms in the name of freedom?
What to do?
What should be done?
First of all, stop the hysteria. Stand back and
ask how this could have happened. Ask how a
prosperous country isolated by two oceans could
have so embroiled itself in other people's
business that someone would want to do us harm.
Even sitting in the middle of Europe, Switzerland
isn't beset by terrorist attacks, because the
Swiss mind their own business.
Second, resolve that we won't let our leaders use
this occasion to commit their own terrorist acts
upon more innocent people, foreign and domestic,
that will inspire more terrorist attacks in the
Third, find a way, with enforceable
constitutional limits, to prevent our leaders from
ever again provoking this kind of anger against
There are those who will say this article is
unpatriotic and un-American -- that this is not a
time to question our country or our leaders.
When will we learn that without freedom and
sanity, there is no reason to be patriotic?
Harry Browne was the 2000 Libertarian presidential
candidate (also 1996 -- ed.). You can read more of his articles at
http://www.HarryBrowne.org, and his books are available
FreedomWire is Harry Browne's email list.
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