From: ("Trail Runner")
Subject: [libs4peace] FFF Email Update
Date: Sun, 10 Nov 2002 05:29:58 -0000

FFF EMAIL UPDATE -- November 8, 2002 The Future of Freedom Foundation, Fairfax, Va. -- Advancing ideas on liberty for you --


1. FFF Thoughts for the Week 2. FFF Capsule Commentary: "Delayed Blowback in Indonesia" by Jacob G. Hornberger 3. FFF Op-Ed: "Pawn Takes Knight" by Sheldon Richman 4. Subscribe and Support

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"Innovation, invention, change, all depend on the freedom of the individual to stand on his own two feet." -- George Winder

"It is manifestly contrary to the interest of the consumers to prevent the most efficient entrepreneurs from expanding the sphere of their activities up to the limit to which the public approves of their conduct of business by buying their products. Here again, the issue is who should be supreme, the consumers or the government? In the unhampered market the behavior of consumers, their buying or abstention from buying, ultimately determines each individual's income and wealth. Should one vest in the government the power to overule the consumer's choices?" -- Ludwig Von Mises

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Delayed Blowback in Indonesia by Jacob G. Hornberger

Indonesian reaction to the recent bomb blast in Bali that killed 180 people is another example of the consequences of U.S. interventionist policies. According to an article in the Nov. 7 issue of the New York Times, a common perception among educated Indonesians is that the CIA, not Islamic terrorists, set off the bomb in order to secure support for the U.S. government's upcoming war on Iraq.

Why would Indonesians arrive at that conclusion? Because they haven't forgotten the U.S. government's intervention in their country some four decades ago. As the Times article points out, the CIA helped Indonesian army generals to effect a regime change in 1965 that resulted in the ouster of the country's founding president Sukarno "after he incurred Washington's displeasure for many years."

Even worse, the common perception among Indonesians is that for the next three decades, the U.S. government then proceeded to support the authoritarian efforts of Sukarno's successor, Suharto, to suppress Islamic expression.

U.S. officials, meanwhile, simply cannot understand "why conspiracy theories about the United States are so prevalent in Indonesia." In their minds, the U.S. government is just an innocent babe in the foreign woods that never does anything bad to people and that the Indonesians must simply hate America for its freedom and values.

But U.S. officials are wrong. It is the U.S. government's decades-long interventionist policies that are at the root of deep foreign resentment of the United States all over the world. And as long as the American people permit their government's interventionist foreign policy to go unabated, foreign anger, hatred, mistrust, and terrorism against America will continue.

"Indonesians Say They Suspect C.I.A. in Bali Blast" by Jane Perlez:

Jacob G. Hornberger is president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.

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Pawn Takes Knight by Sheldon Richman

Yeah, right. Even though Saddam Hussein has now agreed to unconditional weapons inspection, the world is going to support a U.S. war against Iraq because he hasn't released his political prisoners or returned Kuwaiti property. Those acts of omission aren't exactly the stuff of a global threat.

It's turning out that Hussein is a better chess player than President Bush. I don't mean that Hussein will avoid war. Make no mistake, Mr. Bush will have his little war. He just won't have it with the support of anyone but Tony Blair and the Israeli government. That's something of a victory for Hussein and blow to Mr. Bush.

Can you imagine going to war over political prisoners and unreturned property? I'm not making light of those transgressions, but how many U.S. allies are guilty of holding political prisoners? Allies including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, Pakistan, the central Asian former Soviet republics, just to name a few, hardly have clean hands in the human-rights department. The Bush administration's line plumbs new depths of cynicism. It seems to think the world, and especially the United States, is peopled with idiots.

Let's face it. Mr. Bush doesn't give a hoot about anything but "regime change" in Iraq, because his administration needs a leader there who adopts the U.S. oil-and-Israel agenda in the Middle East as his own. Hussein, who was always brutal and manipulative, was a close ally as long as he did the U.S. government's bidding. The moment he went independent he had to go. The U.S. agenda, which existed long before 9/11, cannot be pursued with a noncooperative president in a country as big and influential as Iraq in the Arab world. (U.S. policymakers have always been far more concerned about Arab and Iranian nationalism than any other "threat" in that region, including the now-defunct Soviet threat.)

After Iraq has a new and pliant regime, the Bush administration can move on to the next item on the agenda: Iran, which has also shown interest in gaining nuclear weapons. Why anyone would think that the major powers of the Middle East shouldn't be interested in such weapons is mysterious -- until one understands the U.S. program. Israel has had many nuclear weapons for at least 30 years. It is not a signer of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and does not permit international inspection. (Iraq is and does.) For a long time it refused to even acknowledge it has nuclear weapons, even though one of its specialists wrote a book about them some years ago, was kidnapped by Israeli agents in London, and was imprisoned for life.

In other words, Israel is the nuclear monopolist in the region, and its unconditional patron is the most powerful government on earth, the only government to have actually dropped atomic bombs -- on innocent people. Israel has occupied Palestinian territory relentlessly since the 1967, in a war it launched "preemptively." It bombed a nuclear facility in Iraq in 1981, a facility the International Energy Agency had said was being used only for peaceful purposes. It invaded Lebanon in 1982, killing more than 17,000 Lebanese and Palestinians.

Is it so puzzling that Iraq and Iran might want a deterrent to Israeli action? I am no fan those governments, but one cannot infer aggressive intent from their desire to have powerful weapons. As Israel's defenders like to say, it's a tough neighborhood, and as much as we try to ignore this fact, Israel is one of the toughs.

The journalist Eric Margolis reminds us that among the UN resolutions passed in 1990 was one calling for a regional approach to nuclear disarmament. That resolution the United States is happy to ignore because it would require Israel to dismantle its arsenal. That's why the Bush administration has to trump up charges against Hussein.

I hope I'm wrong, but I fear war is inevitable. Anyone who wishes to see what kind of deadly game the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz-Perle Axis is playing need only ask himself this: Short of suicide, what could Saddam Hussein have offered that the Bush administration would not have dismissed as "a tactical step by Iraq in hopes of avoiding strong UN Security Council action"?

Sheldon Richman is senior fellow at The Future of Freedom Foundation in Fairfax, Va., author of Tethered Citizens: Time to Repeal the Welfare State, and editor of Ideas on Liberty magazine.

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