Saturday, July 09, 2005

Unusually Bad Advice

Don Boudreaux of Cafe Hayek writes:
I content myself here merely to point out that if a government has any legitimate functions, surely the most central of these is to protect its people from violence inflicted by foreign invaders. If Uncle Sam’s current foreign policies promote such invasions of terrorists (as Pape’s evidence suggests), then Uncle Sam’s first duty – if it truly puts the welfare of Americans first – is to have its garrisons and guns scram from the middle east ASAP.
Our garrisons and guns in the Middle East are there not only to fight organized terrorism (not an oxymoron) but also to guard our access to oil. Our withdrawal would enable bin Laden and his ilk to disrupt the production and shipment of oil at will. Our withdrawal would also send the message that we're unwilling to defend our vital interests, which would only embolden bin Laden and his ilk. In sum, withdrawal would undermine the economic and physical security of Americans.

Boudreaux, who usually thinks clearly, seems to have let his anti-statism cloud his judgment on a matter of fundamental importance to Americans. Cafe Hayek is reliable on economic issues, but not otherwise.

The only way to defend against terrorism is to fight it, wherever we find it.