Reply to My Critics on Foreign Policy
By David Henderson
I asked a hypothetical question in my previous post today. I’m glad that Prakhar Goel, one of the three people to whom I addressed the question, was willing to participate. Thank you, Prakhar. And, unlike commenter TA, I don’t think you’re being “dumb” by being willing to participate in good faith. There’s nothing dumb about being willing to put your own ideas and principles to the test.
I ask hypothetical questions because it’s a good way of teasing out if you really have a principle. The hypothetical I asked appears to apply–and does apply approximately–to the United States, Saudi Arabia, and Afghanistan, where country A, the country whose airliner is attacked, is the United States, country B, the country where the attackers come from is Saudi Arabia, and country C, the country where the people behind the attacks hang out, is Afghanistan. The one thing I don’t know is whether the United States had an extradition treaty with Afghanistan.
But those facts fit exactly the case I actually had in mind. Country A, the country whose airliner is blown up in mid-air, is Cuba, country B, the country where the alleged mastermind comes from is Venezuela, and country C, the country in which the alleged mastermind hangs out, with the cooperation of the federal government, is the United States.
So what this means is that if you say that given the facts of the case, the U.S. government has the right to invade Afghanistan and put innocent people at risk (and, of course, we now know that the various foreign governments whose agents are in Afghanistan have killed thousands of innocent people in Afghanistan), then it follows that the Venezuelan government has the right to attack the United States and put innocent Americans at risk.
It recently came out that 92% of Afghanis haven’t even heard of 9/11. Probably many of you found that shocking. But it shouldn’t be. I would bet that if you polled Americans, you would find that approximately 92% of Americans have not heard of the terrorist bombing of the Cuban airliner to which I referred.
If you want to know more details, I wrote about it at length here. As you know if you write free-lance articles for non-academic publications, authors rarely get to choose their own titles. I hated the title that the publication’s editor chose. The reason is that I didn’t make a particularly libertarian case against the war in Afghanistan. Instead, I made a case that a liberal Democrat or a conservative Republican or almost anyone else would make if he held the view that governments of various countries ought to be held to the same standards.