Re: Pies in the face

From: Michael Lorrey (
Date: Sat Feb 10 2001 - 11:46:16 MST

Charlie Stross wrote:
> On Fri, Feb 09, 2001 at 12:09:43PM -0600, Chris Russo wrote:
> > At 16:01 +0000 2/9/01, Charlie Stross wrote:
> > >I notice that Americans seem to be fanatical about defending their
> > >property -- to the use of lethal force. My take on it is that *no*
> > >property is worth risking your life -- or anyone else's life, for
> > >that matter. Lost or stolen property can be replaced: lives can't.
> > >Another cultural marker ...
> >
> > 1. Wasn't the Gulf War about property rights?
> Nope.
> It was about enforcement of a UN Resolution brought by the Security
> Council against a UN member and treaty signatory which had violated
> an international treaty which it had signed. (Said violation consisted
> of waging aggressive war against it's neighbour state.)

You seem to be acting obtuse here. How is a neighbor state to not be
considered someone else's property?

> At least, that's the official fiction. To the extent that the Gulf
> War was about property rights it was *not* about British property rights
> other than in the very tenuous sense of protecting investments of British
> corporations overseas.

So, then Chris is correct.

> Cynically, the war was fought to keep the price of gas down at pumps
> across the US heartland in the run-up to an election.
> > 2. Weren't the British active participants in the Gulf War - using
> > lethal force to protect those property rights?
> The British were active participants but their official reason for
> being there was nothing to do with property rights. Period.

Britain has always had a close relationship with Kuwait, the Emir's
family, and the Saudis. It was Lawrence, you might recall, who assisted
Abdul Aziz bin Saud in his conquest of the Arabian penninsula (Lawrence
was officially assinged to assist Abdul by the British Government at the
request of BP). Kuwait had been the country the Saud family had been
exiled to by the Hashemite's vassals that deposed them from Riyadh a
generation earlier, and the Emir had been the focus of intent campaigns
of influence from the British, French, Germans, and Russians for many
years. The Emir and the British backed the Saudi campaign that kicked
the Hashemites out of Mecca and Medina, and to keep them quiet, the
British installed Hussein royal butts on the thrones of Iraq and Jordan
(the Hussein king of Iraq later being deposed by Arab nationalist
parties, but Saddam Hussein is actually a distant cousin, which explains
the alliance between Iraq and Jordan, and their general animosity toward
the Saudis and Kuwait.

Note that the Hashemites are descended from Hassan and his Asassins
(known originally as the Hashishim) from the last millenium.

> > 3. Why is it okay to wipe out thousands of soldiers and more than a
> > few innocents to protect property rights on a country scale, but it's
> > not okay to protect property with lethal force on an individual scale?
> It's not okay to do *either*. Period.
> Please do not mistake me for the British government.

I'm rather shocked that you claim to be some sort of libertarian but do
not accept defense of one's property as self defense. One's property is
the product of one's labor. Confiscation of the product of one's labor
is slavery. You approve of slavery?

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon May 28 2001 - 09:56:38 MDT