From The BBC Via Michael Totten: ‘Libya: Islamist Militia Bases Stormed In Benghazi’

Full post here.

Michael Totten’s post here.

This would be good news, and I think a possibly important success for Obama’s foreign policy. It was made possible, sadly, not only by the planned assassination of ambassador Chris Stevens, but by his life’s work. He was there for many Libyans, working alongside them in the bitter struggle against Gadhafi, when it counted. It’s also made possible by the people who stormed Ansar-Al-Sharia’s base. This has been a primary goal of Obama’s foreign policy; to isolate and highlight the extremists, the radicals, the Islamists, especially Al Qaeda affiliates and try and find a sweet spot of Muslim sentiment on the ground to push them aside. ‘Moderate’ Muslims may be a chimera in my limited experience, and they may not, but a group of Libyans apparently giving the thugs a run for their money is a good start.

Totten’s new book: Where The West Ends.

Addition:An emailer points out that such hope reveals my hand as a neo-con. Look around at Egypt, the rise of Islamism generally, the gathering threats on the horizon. They are there, dear reader.

Another Addition:  Beyond Jimmy Carter, Obama believes he will bridge two worlds.  That’s quite a risk for Americans at home and through our foreign policy.  This is a bright spot amidst a real mess.

Obama’s still pushing the video-started-the-riots story?  Was he really willing to be so nebulous on free speech?

It’s more about the Free Libya group getting tired of the lawlessness rather than Ambassador Stevens.

Yet Another Addition: NY Times has an interview with Morsi.  Still ‘optimistic.’  CNN, of all places, releases information from Stevens’ diary after promising the family they wouldn’t, because they thought it pertinent.  The NY Times has a piece critical of the administration’s handling of Iraq, where basically, we’d be lucky to get a strong military and strongman leadership.

Why did the Obama administration claim there was more security when there likely wasn’t for Stevens in Libya?  Why did it blame the ‘Innocence of Muslims’ video for the attack in Benghazi for so long?  Did the administration’s actions during this time potentially put other embassies and other Americans at risk?  Did it fail to meet a fundamental defense of the first amendment by trotting out Nakoula to placate the actually rioting Muslims across the Muslim world, and shift the responsibility to Google, and individual American citizens in order to ultimately save Obama’s foreign policy and belief that he can bridge two worlds?

Those are big risks to take.  A little explanation would be nice.

Another: MSNBC reports on CNN reporting despite the State Department’s to ‘protect the family.’

Related On This Site: Via Reuters: ‘U.S. Ambassador To Libya Killed In Benghazi Attack’

Walter Russell Mead At The American Interest Online: ‘Obama’s War’From The WSJ: “Allies Rally To Stop Gadhafi”From March 27th, 2009 At WhiteHouse.Gov: Remarks By The President On A New Strategy For Afghanistan And PakistanFrom The New Yorker: ‘How Qaddafi Lost Libya’

Adam Garfinkle At The American Interest: ‘Remember Libya?’A Few Thoughts On Watching Operations In Libya

Is Bernhard Henri-Levy actually influencing U.S. policy decisions..? From New York Magazine: ‘European Superhero Quashes Libyan Dictator’Bernhard Henri-Levy At The Daily Beast: ‘A Moral Tipping Point’Charlie Rose Episode On Libya Featuring Bernhard Henri-Levy, Les Gelb And Others

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From Reason’s Hit And Run Blog: ‘Celebrating Roy Childs, A Lost Libertarian Great’

Full post here.

Interesting quote:

‘Childs was the autodidact with the nerve to tell Ayn Rand that Objectivism implied anarchism and to tell Robert Nozick that his “invisible hand” argument for the moral creation of the state collapses around itself. The essays in which he does this are both contained in Anarchism and Justice.’

Worth a read as Reason revisits libertarian thinkers of note.


And now, just to shake things up a bit:  Briton Roger Scruton answers (45 min long) a series of questions about libertarianism, individualism, the State, Hayek, free markets, conservatism, our moral obligations to one another, contractualism, Christianity as he sees them etc.:


It’s the safeguarding of a traditional order that is the real concern of conservatives

Scruton mentions this quotation a la Edmund Burke.  Such is an order that stretches across time, full of more spontaneously and freely entered into arrangements and contracts between people, but also duties and moral obligations that people have to one another, and sometimes to the State. Such arrangements often form institutions which are much stronger than any planned institution on Scruton’s thinking (and I’d argue often stronger and more stable than institutions defined with positive definitions of justice upon a rationalist framework, as I think promising to distribute and redistribute wealth is an over-promise that overlooks human nature and limits our institutions’ real world effectiveness. Such a view wants to extend liberty to ever new groups of people by granting “rights” to them, often without the duties and moral obligation).

Our constitutional republic, too,  grants ‘rights’ to people, and they are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Clearly, people in the U.S have quite differing views on what the role of the State ought to be, in relief especially at the moment as we wade through the effects of excessive individualism through modernism, postmodernism, moral relativism, certain strains of Continental thought (Neo-Marxism in the academy) and those who define freedom, the individual, and the State in very different ways.

Some thoughts on conservatism, its limitations and challenges, its blind spots and strengths.

Don’t call Scruton a man of the right, at least by British standards, anyways.

Also, the connection between political and economic liberty is highlighted, as it should be.

Related On This Site:  Kant is a major influence on libertarians, from Ayn Rand to Robert Nozick:  A Few Thoughts On Robert Nozick’s “Anarchy, State and Utopia”…Link To An Ayn Rand Paper: The Objectivist Attack On Kant

Anarchy and hierarchy: Repost-Youtube Via Libertarianism.Org-David Friedman: ‘The Machinery Of Freedom’…Anarcho-capitalism:  Pro-market, anti-state, anti-war…paleo-libertarian: Link To Lew Rockwell Via A Reader…Anarcho-syndicalist, libertarian socialist and sometime blind supporter of lefty causes:  Via Youtube: (1 of 3) Kant, Chomsky and the Problem of KnowledgeTwo Sunday Quotations By Albert Jay Nock in ‘Anarchist’s Progress’

New liberty away from Hobbes…toward Hayek…but can you see Locke from there?: Repost-From Public Reason: A Discussion Of Gerald Gaus’s Book ‘The Order of Public Reason: A Theory of Freedom And Morality In A Diverse And Bounded World’

Scruton points to the Romans as the beginning of the separation of Church and State, or civil law, as opposed to Islam: From YouTube: Roger Scruton On Religious Freedom, Islam & AtheismFrom The City Journal: Roger Scruton On “Forgiveness And Irony”/Roger Scruton In The American Spectator: The New Humanism

Scruton’s father was a socialist, and he wants to redirect the impulse to save the environment, and the daily lives of people from central planning back toward human aims and away from top down abstract surveys in Britain:Roger Scruton In The City Journal: Cities For Living–Is Modernism Dead?

From romanticism to modernism to postmodernism to….?:  Here’s a suggestion to keep aesthetic and political judgements apart-Roger Scruton In The American Spectator Via A & L Daily: Farewell To Judgment…The conservative/libertarian tradition in the Anglosphere meets the arts: Robert Hughes-R.I.P.Denis Dutton suggests art could head towards Darwin (and may offer new direction from the troubles of the modern art aimlessness and shallow depth) Review of Denis Dutton’s ‘The Art Instinct’

Update On LACMA, Michael Heizer And The ‘Levitated Mass’-Modern Art And The Public

Yes, Edmund Burke opposed the French Revolution: Sunday Quotation: Edmund Burke On The French Revolution..At Bloggingheads Steven Pinker Discusses War And Thomas Hobbes

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