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Antiwar backlash and the Pro=liberty position on war

Recently online Antiwar.com and some voices in the antiwar movement have come under criticism, accused of being “left” leaning or pushing an anti-Western agenda. It is nothing new for those who are consistent in their criticism of war to receive backlash from supposed philosophical allies or the usual pro-war beings. Collectivists however are seldom consistent when it comes to principles. They tend to lack an ability to discriminate nuance or to absorb criticism of their ‘side’ when it comes to injustices inflicted upon the innocent. Certain social media ‘celebrities’ in the American liberty movement have zeroed in on Dave DeCamp, Scott Horton and those at Antiwar.com.

To condemn those who would murder innocent children should be an obvious position for most people. The fact that such condemnation needs to occur at all and that so many children are often murdered reveals the cold hard fact that it is not that common a position to be held. For collectivists even the innocent must suffer and die. There is a savagery in the ideology of those who view a baby as fair game simply because it has been relegated into a specific demographic. A child from a familiar camp is viewed as sacred, precious and innocent. Those born inside the borders of a pariah or “insignificant” region are forfeit, they must suffer to satisfy the gods of foreign policy or ideology. The consistently antiwar, understand this. Tourists to the cause seldom do.

Israel has taken on a precious position inside the realms of Western, especially American ideology. To criticise specific Israeli government policies risks one becoming tarred with the brush of anti-Semite or even to be accused of inflicting hatred upon Jews. It is a tiresome slur that seems to have stood the test of time with the horrors of the holocaust and terrible spectre of Nazi Germany an ever present reminder to be used as a sword to justify violent foreign policy. Rarely do the defenders of collective punishment policies ever provide dignified nuance, instead the victims are either ignored, minimised or dehumanised. The crimes and injustices committed by the enemy held up and at times exaggerated. Even if no exaggeration is required. Take the Hamas attack on Israel on 7th October, it was a vile act of terror, yet extra claims have meandered into fanciful horror stories that will only devalue the suffering already felt.

That somehow attacks committed by a government or those who are acting on behalf of a cause validates starving, sniping and bombing thousands of innocent civilians should be equally condemned and reported upon. To criticise a government for conducting such horrible actions is not bias, especially given that sites such as antiwar.com do not shy away from reporting on the actions of anti-Israeli terrorists or even those of non-Western governments if they attack the innocent. Which also raises a point, certain Western governments often come under criticism because it is they who are at times more frequent with their aggression abroad.

Is it anti-American to challenge the foreign policy of the US, when it has led directly to millions of innocent dead? Is it anti-Israeli to demand a cease fire when thousands of children in Gaza have already been killed? It is neither pro Ukraine or Russian to criticise the conduct of those national governments during and in the lead up of the current war. The innocent individual are the ones who need championing, not national governments and the killers who serve them. If Dave DeCamp or Kyle Anzalone are focusing on the Israeli killing of innocent civilians in Gaza, is this a bias sentiment on their behalf or simply because they are covering events as they occur? Events that seem to be endorsed and supported by the US and its allies. In raising such awareness, criticising the murder of the innocent, it is then likely that wider disdain for the war may arise leading to a ceasefire. To prevent further innocent lives being killed.

It seems that those who do not want a cease fire or an end to hostilities in Gaza are those who favour the settler colonial ambitions of certain groups in Israel or even the widespread annihilation of the Palestinian people. Just as it seems those who do not want a cease fire in the Ukraine-Russia war may favour a slow and long bleeding of the Russian bear at the expense of Ukrainian lives and the wider hampering of Europe’s economic well being.

To be libertarian or anarchist has little value on social media platforms, just another handle that some who are interested in being contrarian hold or for ‘celebrities’ on those platforms to find fame from within a certain niche. The anti-COVID regime stance and the tantrums against ‘ the Woke agenda’, DEI or even ‘satanists‘ tends to satisfy a certain followership, guarantees likes and even donations. Helps one to build up a presence to the point that suddenly they become an authority on all things, including liberty itself. And because of their social media numbers they in turn may become a digital powerhouse such as a Ben Shapiro. Appealing to the terminally online and those who enjoy watching digital dumpster fires is profitable, so is parroting certain establishment talking points.

Being pro-Israel is as establishment as one can get. It is not being anti-Jewish or even pro-Hamas, to criticise the murdering of innocent people. It is moral, to be antiwar and pro-individual. To be on the side of power does not take much courage, to be among the ranks of the powerful is seductive but to stand with the innocent, the powerless is less appealing. For the innocent, those suffering the real nature of power, is miserable violence. Injustice prevails. Babies die as their mothers weep, the smug and wealthy live on far removed from such a reality and their cheerleaders profit, sneering from behind their digital avatar at anyone who would criticise such an imbalance. While Ben Shapiro holds Elon Musks’ hand as they visit one of last centuries examples of collectivist mass murder, as though it ratifies another. Javier Milei weeps against a wall symbolically supporting Israeli government policy, while he is apparently a champion of anarchism. Meanwhile babies die, while such rich and powerful men speak lies over corpses.

Recently a person I know was posting images of dead Palestinian children with the caption that read, “ten thousand is not enough.” When challenged on this statement, the individual was smug and assured me that, “they are different.” This mentality is so prevalent among those who claim to be for less government, yet desire it often in the worse possible way. During COVID this same person condemned the Israeli government’s handling of the pandemic, now they cheer its far worse lockdowns and harsher policies. A friend of mine told me it’s simply because, “they hate Arabs.” Maybe it’s that simple? Or perhaps there are some nations and cultures that are more appealing to a certain world view than others.

Online the messaging seems to be a mess between the posts from bot farms, grifters and those who just like to troll. What one really believes in their real life self is hard to know. The online persona is a strange fascination, one of bravado and where the disingenuous seek fame or fortune. I feel that the criticism of antiwar.com is a combination of the three. It is a safe play. Lazy argumentation that always ends in personal slurs, rather than specific talking points. The ideology seems simply, “Israel good.” Therefore it can never be criticised. And those who are consistent in their antiwar reporting are Kremlin stooges, Chinese sympathisers, Nazis, communists or controlled opposition. Take your pick, whatever suits the bias.

Beyond the social media grift lurks the lobbyists and special interests. A degree of depth many more capable writers have covered along with sites such as Mondoweis or The Gray Zone. Though it is not a new thing to have specific governments bribe and massage policies of others. In 1990, Andrew and Leslie Cockburn wrote a book called, “Dangerous Liaison,” which discussed the power of the relationship between Israel and the United States. Though seemingly ancient literature now, it remains ever relevant though the influence has only expanded from 1990 and that is saying something given the scale of influence that was known even then.

Antiwar.com has been around for a very long time, it will be here long after the current social media trends have dissipated. The staff will work tirelessly with dignity and principles long after the grifters have moved on making their money with few (If any principles), frightfully it is profitable to cheer for the mass murder of babies, shamefully so it seems. The liberty movement is very broad, filled with individuals. The key word individuals. Collectivists tend to ignore the sacred status of the individual, especially when it comes to war and collective punishment. If you believe a baby deserves to be ripped to pieces, a toddler starved to death and a family sniped as they forage for food, then I hope whatever God you claim to worship forgives you. Because I fear that I can’t.

Feb 2024

Published inAll Articles and EssaysPhilosophy, Society and LibertyWar, History and Foreign Policy