RE: [lpsf-discuss] Re: International anarchy, UN influence,USgov hegemony, and bloodshed

Dear Starchild,
You are correct I just came on the scene as far as this blog is concerned.
What you say makes sense and I have no quibble with it. As I said, I have
enough trouble with people that are totally opposed to my views (and
perhaps yours also) and freedom and liberty in general. I try to do what I
can. I do think most people who are not politically minded tend to agree
with Libertarian views in most cases but just don't recognize it.
Bob Parkhurst

[Original Message]
From: Starchild <sfdreamer@earthlink.net>
To: <lpsf-discuss@yahoogroups.com>
Date: 4/28/2006 1:40:13 AM
Subject: [lpsf-discuss] Re: International anarchy, UN influence,USgov

hegemony, and bloodshed

Robert,

  I'm afraid I wasn't very clear, and I'm not surprised you
misunderstood me. The topic of nationalism and applying possessive
terms like "we" and "our" to countries and governments is something
I've discussed a fair amount on this list, and I just assumed everyone
on here would understand what I meant, but I realize now that you
haven't been posting that long and may not have been around to have
seen those previous posts.

  In any case, my questions were not at all taking issue with the U.S.
being called prosperous, or U.S. government agents being called
well-meaning (I myself introduced that term in this discussion, after
all). I strongly agree with you that even poor people in the United
States are generally quite well off by the standards of many countries,
and I also tend to credit people with good intentions most of the time.

  What I was getting at was that I don't consider the U.S. government
(USgov) "my" government, nor do I consider the United States "my"
country. Nor I do consider any other government or country "mine."
USgov claims jurisdiction over the place on the earth's surface where I
was born, and by virtue of that fact, it claims jurisdiction over me. I
support some of USgov's actions, at least given the likely alternatives
(invading Iraq to overthrow Saddam Hussein's regime happened to be one
of them) just as I might think it praiseworthy of a criminal thug who's
been robbing and terrorizing me to help deliver some other victim out
of the clutches of a smaller, meaner bully -- but I certainly do not
take responsibility for the actions of the thug who habitually robs and
terrorizes me, or consider him in any sense my representative, even if
he claims to be acting in my name.

  Hope that makes more sense.

Yours in liberty,
        <<< starchild >>>

> Dear Starchild,
>
> I think we in American are all very prosperous - - - even those who
> think
> they are poor. I have lived in several East African countries and they
> know what it is like to be poor. As far as the �well meaning agents�
> is
> concerned, I just took that from your comments without giving it too
> much
> thought. I guess I really like to give most people the benefit of the
> doubt and think they are all �well meaning agents�. Even the far
> left, I
> think most of them think they are doing good, even when they are not.
>
> In any case I would most likely not quibble with you about it. I have
> little time enough arguing with people who profoundly disagree with me
> - -
> - I would not be likely to argue with you.
>
> Thanks and best wishes - - -
>
> Bob Parkhurst
>
>
>> [Original Message]
>> From: Starchild <sfdreamer@earthlink.net>
>> To: <lpsf-discuss@yahoogroups.com>
>> Date: 4/27/2006 6:23:54 PM
>> Subject: Re: [lpsf-discuss] Re: International anarchy, UN
>> influence,USgov
> hegemony, and bloodshed
>>
>> Robert,
>>
>> Thanks for your thoughts. I certainly think you're right about Bush
>> --
>> he has long wanted the war over badly enough to famously rush to the
>> conclusion that it already was with his "Mission Accomplished" talk.
>>
>> The Iraqi insurgents, Al Qaeda and its supporters, and perhaps some
>> anti-Bush and/or anti-American voices in the United States and
>> elsewhere are the ones who would like to see the war in Iraq continue.
>> But ironically, these groups never seem to be at the receiving end of
>> criticism from the misnamed "anti-war" movement.
>>
>> Of course, I also have to ask, in response to some of your choice of
>> wording: *Whose* rather prosperous country? *Whose* reasonably
>> well-meaning agents?
>>
>> Yours in liberty,
>> <<< starchild >>>
>>
>>
>>
>>> Dear Starchild,
>>> I think you have summed this up rather well as far as I can see with
>>> the
>>> [below statement]! I can see no need for our rather prosperous
>>> country or
>>> our reasonably well-meaning agents to want anything other than
>>> peace.
>>> There are many things about the Bush Administration that I do not
>>> like
>>> but
>>> I still think even George Bush would like the Iraq war to end as soon
>>> as
>>> possible.
>>> Best wishes - - -
>>> Bob Parkhurst
>>>
>>> [The bottom line as far as I can see is that most of the bloodshed of
>>> the
>>> past decade and a half in the world has not been due to excessive
>>> military
>>> interventions by USgov, the UN, or other powerful and reasonably
>>> well-meaning agents seeking to restore peace and order (i.e. exercise
>>> the
>>> role of a very limited world government). Rather, this horrific
>>> bloodshed
>>> has largely occurred in the absence of such interventions, or in
>>> other
>>> words under conditions of international anarchy.
>>>
>>> Yours in liberty,
>>> <<< starchild >>>]
>>>
>>>
>>>> [Original Message]
>>>> From: Acree, Michael <acreem@ocim.ucsf.edu>
>>>> To: <lpsf-discuss@yahoogroups.com>
>>>> Date: 4/26/2006 3:13:27 PM
>>>> Subject: RE: [lpsf-discuss] Re: International anarchy, UN
>>>> influence,USgov
>>> hegemony, and bloodshed
>>>>
>>>> Thanks, Starchild, for the list of wars and deaths. I think it's
>>>> also
>>> important to bear in mind, though, that oppression isn't measured
>>> just
>>> by
>>> number of deaths. If one government is sufficiently more powerful
>>> than
>>> others, it doesn't need to do a lot of actual killing, except as a
>>> last
>>> resort (which may be a sign that it's power is breaking down). You
>>> recall
>>> Al Capone's saying, "You can get a lot farther with a kind word and
>>> gun
>>> than with the kind word alone." John Perkins makes this point in
>>> _Confessions of an Economic Hit Man_, that the U.S. has a graduated
>>> series
>>> of devices for getting what it wants from other countries; and
>>> invasion, as
>>> in Iraq, happens only in exceptional cases, when everything else
>>> fails.
>>> The questions you raise about Africa, in particular, are interesting
>>> and
>>> important; but it is my impression that a lot of what is happening
>>> there,
>>> as well as in the rest of the world, is long-run consequences of
>>> earlier
>>> interventions by the U.S. and other colonial powers. We defined
>>> national
>>> borders in ways that suited our interests, and often installed
>>> minorities
>>> in leadership, to guarantee conflicts which might take decades to
>>> come
>>> to
>>> open war; then we blame them. Africans, like Europeans and Asians,
>>> have
>>> always slaughtered one another, but maybe not in the ghastly numbers
>>> that
>>> they have in recent decades.
>>>>
>>>> From: lpsf-discuss@yahoogroups.com
>>>> [mailto:lpsf-discuss@yahoogroups.com]
>>> On Behalf Of Starchild
>>>> Sent: Wednesday, April 26, 2006 1:31 PM
>>>> To: LPSF Discussion List
>>>> Subject: [lpsf-discuss] Re: International anarchy, UN influence,
>>>> USgov
>>> hegemony, and bloodshed
>>>>
>>>> This topic seemed far enough removed from discussion of the LPSF
>>>> lists
>>> that I thought I'd re-create it as a new thread. I've also moved it
>>> to
>>> lpsf-discuss, which is a more appropriate forum than lpsf-activists.
>>>>
>>>> I've also thought it very interesting to consider, among the usual
>>>> talk
>>> of how there has rarely if ever been a functioning anarchy, that the
>>> world
>>> generally is and has always been an anarchy in the broad sense, i.e.
>>> there
>>> has never truly been a world government. The widespread failure of
>>> people
>>> to recognize this fact is probably one more indicator of the degree
>>> to
>>> which nationalism has shaped peoples'
>>>> thinking. When people think of government, or lack thereof, they
>>>> think of
>>> individual nation-states rather than the system as a whole.
>>>>
>>>> The United Nations is the closest thing in history that there has
>>>> been
>>> to a world government. To the extent that it can be described as a
>>> government, it is obviously a very, very limited one (and we should
>>> hope it
>>> stays that way). It's probably best described as a junta, with the
>>> junta
>>> generals being the five permanent members of the Security
>>>> Council: The governments or regimes with jurisdiction over the U.S.,
>>> Britain, France, Russia, and China.
>>>>
>>>> But whether this arrangement has been better or worse than the more
>>> complete anarchy which existed previously and still largely prevails,
>>> seems
>>> to me an open question. When the UN has actually managed to act
>>> militarily
>>> in an efficient manner, I think its role has been a generally
>>> positive
>>> one.
>>> Its greatest failures have been when it has failed to act. It's still
>>> easy
>>> to find fault with the U.N., and I'm open to the argument that the
>>> world
>>> would have been better off if it never existed, but I'm also rather
>>> skeptical of the proposition.
>>>>
>>>> I'm even more skeptical of any claim that the relatively unchecked
>>>> clout
>>> of the U.S. government (USgov) during the post Cold War period has
>>> been a
>>> negative thing. Here is a list of conflicts that have been going on
>>> since
>>> 1990, and an estimated number of casualties in each (from
>>> http://www.scaruffi.com/politics/massacre.html):
>>>>
>>>> 1980-92: Sendero Luminoso - Peru's civil war (69,000)
>>>> 1980-92: El Salvador's civil war (75,000)
>>>> 1980-99: Kurds vs Turkey (35,000)
>>>> 1981-90: Nicaragua vs Contras (60,000)
>>>> 1982-90: Hissene Habre, Chad (40,000)
>>>> 1983-2002: Sri Lanka's civil war (64,000)
>>>> 1983-2002: Sudanese civil war (2 million)
>>>> 1987-: Palestinian Intifada (4,500)
>>>> 1988-2001: Afghanistan civil war (400,000)
>>>> 1988-2004: Somalia's civil war (550,000)
>>>> 1989-: Liberian civil war (220,000)
>>>> 1989-: Uganda vs Lord's Resistance Army (30,000)
>>>> 1991: Gulf War - large coalition against Iraq to liberate Kuwait
>>>> (85,000)
>>>> 1991-97: Congo's civil war (800,000)
>>>> 1991-2000: Sierra Leone's civil war (200,000)
>>>> 1991-: Russia-Chechnya civil war (200,000)
>>>> 1991-94: Armenia-Azerbaijan war (35,000)
>>>> 1992-96: Tajikstan's civil war war (50,000)
>>>> 1992-96: Yugoslavia's civil war (260,000)
>>>> 1992-99: Algerian civil war (150,000)
>>>> 1993-97: Congo Brazzaville's civil war (100,000)
>>>> 1993-2005: Burundi's civil war (200,000)
>>>> 1994: Rwanda's civil war (900,000)
>>>> 1995-: Pakistani Sunnis vs Shiites (1,300)
>>>> 1995-: Maoist rebellion in Nepal (12,000)
>>>> 1998-: Congo/Zaire's war - Rwanda and Uganda vs Zimbabwe, Angola and
>>> Namibia (3.8 million)
>>>> 1998-2000: Ethiopia-Eritrea war (75,000)
>>>> 1999: Kosovo's liberation war - NATO vs Serbia (2,000)
>>>> 2001: Afghanistan's liberation war - USA & UK vs Taliban (25,000)
>>>> 2002-: Cote d'Ivoire's civil war (1,000)
>>>> 2003: Iraq's liberation war - USA, UK and Australia vs Saddam
>>>> Hussein
>>>> (14,000)
>>>> 2003-: Sudan vs JEM/Darfur (180,000)
>>>> 2003-: Iraq's civil war (50,000)
>>>> 2004-: Sudan vs SPLM & Eritrea (?)
>>>>
>>>> I think one of the patterns that clearly emerges from the list is
>>>> that a
>>> very large portion of the bloodshed has been in Africa. Not
>>> coincidentally,
>>> I think, Africa is an area of the globe where USgov has relatively
>>> little
>>> clout and has exercised very limited military intervention.
>>>>
>>>> It gives one particular pause to consider how many of the estimated
>>>> 4.7 million total deaths from various conflicts in Zaire/Congo might
>>>> have
>>> been prevented had the country been under the control of a well-armed
>>> outside force during that period. I was actually shocked myself to
>>> see
>>> 3.8
>>> million deaths cited in this list for the regional war centered on
>>> the
>>> Congo dating from 1998. Considering that huge number of fatalities,
>>> not to
>>> mention the number of countries involved, the conflict received
>>> extremely
>>> little press in the United States. I couldn't even tell you with any
>>> accuracy what the combatants were fighting over. It is hard to avoid
>>> the
>>> conclusion that whether it's because Africans tend to be poor, black,
>>> or
>>> both, African lives seem to matter little to the powers that be.
>>>>
>>>> Of the millions of casualties in the above list, it seems to me
>>>> that
>>>> a
>>> relatively small percentage can be credibly laid at the feet of USgov
>>> hegemony. In several of the conflicts on the list in which USgov was
>>> indirectly involved, [Peru and El Salvador (aid to the governments),
>>> and
>>> Nicaragua (aid to the insurgents)], I believe the bulk of the killing
>>> took
>>> place before the collapse of the Soviet Empire. Indeed I believe the
>>> end of
>>> the conflicts in El Salvador and Nicaragua can likely be traced to
>>> USgov
>>> pressure on the Sandinista regime, which faced with the loss of
>>> support
>>> from its Cuban and Soviet backers, gave in and agreed to hold
>>> elections and
>>> was subsequently voted out, thereby bringing its backing for the
>>> Marxist
>>> insurgency in El Salvador to an end as well. Without USgov and NATO
>>> intervention, the casualty total for the Balkan conflict (listed as
>>> Yugoslavian civil war) also could have easily been substantially
>>> higher.
>>>>
>>>> The bottom line as far as I can see is that most of the bloodshed
>>>> of
>>>> the
>>> past decade and a half in the world has not been due to excessive
>>> military
>>> interventions by USgov, the UN, or other powerful and reasonably
>>> well-meaning agents seeking to restore peace and order (i.e.
>>>> exercise the role of a very limited world government). Rather, this
>>> horrific bloodshed has largely occurred in the absence of such
>>> interventions, or in other words under conditions of international
>>> anarchy.
>>>>
>>>> Yours in liberty,
>>>> <<< starchild >>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> On Wednesday, April 26, 2006, at 10:01 AM, Acree, Michael wrote (in
>>>> part):
>>>>
>>>>> One device that may be helpful--with respect to, say, issues of
>>>>> dispute resolution--is to consider how such things are currently
>>>>> handled internationally, since, on a global level, we've never had
>>>>> anything but anarchy.� Note that (at least in my view) it works
>>>>> best
>>>>> when there is a more homogeneous distribution of power, and worst,
>>>>> as
>>>>> at the present time, when one state is powerful enough to act as a
>>>>> bully.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
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