Mike Renzulli

More About: Foreign Policy

More Rockwellian "Blame America First"

In a recent post at his signature website, Lew Rockwell, essentially, blames US foreign policy for recent aggression on the part of Syrian insurgents against Christians in the country as part of a conspiracy for the US to dominate the world. I agree it is a mistake for the US to involve itself in Syria but not for the usual reasons of Blowback libertarians like him allege. The Free Syrian Army is receiving arms and tactical support from the US in which there are militias allied with al-Quaeda that are fighting along side the FSA. The US should not give them support since the possibility exists that al-Quaeda elements in the region could steal weapons from US shipments. It would be tantamount to enabling terrorists which is something the United States should avoid.

However, it is a mistake to lay blame at the feet of the United States as Rockwell has done on numerous occasions. Ex-Muslim Ayaan Hirsi Ali has written about the reasons why Christians are persecuted in Muslim lands and one can look to many examples (past and present) to get a clear picture why. If blame is to be laid at someone or something, if one considers the evidence critically the culprit is ultimately Islam.

Let us consider the issues of forced conversions, jihad and the state of religious minorities in Muslim countries. When it comes to forced conversions, the Quran explicitly spells out how it is to be done. Quran 16:125 states that first Muslims are to attempt dialogue with non-believers in order to convince them to see the error of their ways. If they refuse or decline the invitation to become Muslims, then the Ummah are allowed to conduct jihad in any manner possible to achieve their goal of conversion. How it can be done is up to the Muslim in which jihad is usually done by deception or outright force.

There are plenty of past and present examples that support the assertion that Muslims are to wage jihad in a manner they see fit in order to achieve conversion. For example, during March of this year, New York Times Magazine published a story about the goings on in a madrassa (i.e. Islamic school) in Pakistan. During the interview, one of the heads of the school said:

We are educating the students in the Quran, and in the Quran it is written that it is every Muslim’s obligation to wage jihad,” he said. “All we are telling them is what is in the Quran. Then it is up to them to go to jihad.

Religious freedom is not only not guaranteed in Muslim states but in some cases other religions are outlawed depending on the country. Members of religious minorities routinely have their rights violated or are harrassed in Muslim countries which is done until and unless the persecuted convert to Islam. For example, it is no coincidence that the population of Iranian Jews plummeted from over 100,000 to approximately 25,000 after Shi'ite Mullahs took power in Iran during 1979. Recently, a young Christian man was murdered this month by a Muslim because he refused to convert to Islam despite numerous attempts to get the Christian to switch his faith. If precedent is any guide, most likely the Muslim man who murdered the Christian will get a light sentence or be acquitted since Islam is the official religion of Pakistan. The Muslim can claim he was doing what he was told by Allah as revealed in the Quran along with the example set forth by Islam's prophet Muhammed in the hadiths (i.e. chapters) of the Sunnah.

There are only three conditions laid out in the Quran for religious minorities who exist where Muslims are the majority: conversion, subjugation (pay jizyah), or death. Only people of the book (Christians and Jews) are allowed these choices while others (such as atheists, Hindus, Buddhists and members of other beliefs) are to be executed. In 2010, an Egyptian cleric gave a very revealing interview on Al-Shabbab television in which the subject was about Islamic rule in Andalusia, Spain. During the interview, the clergyman stated:

We suggested that they convert to Islam and be saved, or pay the jizya poll tax, or else, we would wage war against them. This does not constitute aggression, because we are defending the borders of the Islamic state. We are commanded to enjoin people to worship Allah. We are commanded to enjoin the creatures to worship their Creator, to save whoever wants to be saved from worshipping slaves so that they will worship the Master of Slaves, and bring them from the injustice of the other religions to the justice of Islam, from the narrow straits of this world to the spaciousness of the world to come. That is the mission of every Muslim in this life.

Rockwell is not only wrong but he is nothing more than anti-American. He not only knows nothing about this and other subjects (I am sure) but is logic is grounded in the typical libertarian mantra to blame America first. The best way to respond to such claims by him and his crowd isn't just refuting them with evidence like I have done above but by paraphrasing from Ambassador Jeanne Kirkpatrick's speech at the 1984 Republican National Convention. I will replace words or whole paragraphs when appropriate as indicated in [brackets] and italics:

[Rockwellian libertarians said that saving countries Iran or Chile from communism and totalitarianism was the wrong thing to do - they didn't blame the Soviet Union or the communists for supporting violent and non-violent efforts in places like Latin America] - they blamed the United States instead.

But then, somehow, they always blame America first.

When our Marines, sent to Lebanon on a multinational peacekeeping mission with the consent of the United States Congress, were murdered in their sleep, the "blame America first crowd" didn't blame the terrorists who murdered the Marines, they blamed the United States.

But then, they always blame America first.

[When Hamas breaks cease fire agreements with Israel and supports terrorism against innocent Israeli men, women and children] Rockwellian libertarians didn't blame Hamas intransigence. [The "blame America first" crowd blamed Israel and United States' support].

But then, they always blame America first.

When Marxist dictators shoot their way to power in Central America, the [Rockwellian libertarians] don't blame the guerrillas and their Soviet allies, they blame United States policies of 100 years ago.

But then, they always blame America first.

[When Islamic terrorists fly planes into New York skyscrapers, attempt to bomb planes with unique explosive devices (like in someone's underwear or shoe) or set off bombs in during public marathons - they don't blame people like Osama bin Laden, Anwar Awlaki or Islam itself for inspiring and encouraging them or for regimes like Iran for arming terrorists, they blame the United States.]

[But then, they always blame America first.]


Rockwellian Libertarians prefer treat foreign affairs as an afterthought. Hewing to Murray Rothbard's perspective as if it were scripture preferring the posture of an ostrich - convinced shutting out the world with the US hiding its head in the sand would result in peace overall. This because of some idiotic notion that America (in their eyes) is such a big bully. Never mind the fact that Islam and the commands for Muslims to go to war against non-Muslims have been around for thousands of years long before the United States and the ideas that helped build her ever existed or before Europe was involved in the Middle East.

This is not to say that U.S. policies should be accepted blindly and without question. However, in the case of Lew Rockwell and his ilk (like Ron Paul, Tom DiLorenzo, Jacob Hornberger and Tom Woods) , they have literally made a living and gotten publicity by repeating their narrative rather than telling the unvarnished truths they claim to state. It is out of some sick, twisted notion of gaining popularity no different than people who state they are the love children of celebrities like Michael Jackson, President John F. Kennedy, or Elvis. The reason why libertarian foreign policy will never be accepted is best exemplified by Ms. Kirkpatrick in her 1984 speech when she said:

The American people know that it's dangerous to blame ourselves for terrible problems that we did not cause. They understand just as the distinguished French writer, Jean Francois Revel, understands the dangers of endless self- criticism and self-denigration. He wrote: "Clearly, a civilization that feels guilty for everything it is and does will lack the energy and conviction to defend itself."

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