(Published in Capitalism Magazine on September 28, 2001)
Our American leaders find our current war with terrorism to be a complicated and confounding affair. That is because they don’t understand the principles that have made America the most moral nation in history.
America is based implicitly on the morality of rational selfishness. America recognizes the right of the individual to his life, liberty and the selfish pursuit of happiness. America recognizes the right of the individual to follow his own rational judgment in his productive work, in his spiritual ideas–indeed, in all aspects of his life–so long as he does not initiate physical force against anyone else. America recognizes that it is individuals’ rational judgment freely exercised, guiding productive work freely performed, that brings value to inanimate materials, such as underground gold or oil deposits, or acres of farmland, or heaps of rock refined and sculpted into skyscrapers; America therefore recognizes the right of individuals to own property, which is the fruit of individuals’ mental and physical labors. In America there is strict separation of church and state, not merely because individuals must be free to practice their own religion, but because religion is not based on reason, religion does not uphold the sanctity of every individual’s own judgment independent of an authority, and religion is not concerned with the selfish pursuit of happiness on earth; therefore, religion–whether Islam, Christian, or voodoo–as a basis for government is a diametric and deadly opposite of the morality of rational selfishness underlying America.
In America, an individual criminal forfeits his own rights. A thief forfeits his right to liberty for a period of time. A murderer forfeits his right to life. A murderous leader of a foreign government forfeits his right to life, and a murderous government forfeits its right to exist.
In America, an individual has the right to use force in self-defense, even if it means harming innocent bystanders. For example, a citizen has the right to shoot an attacker who is shielding himself with a hostage; that is why President Bush had the right to order that the passenger jet headed for Washington be shot down. Likewise, the American government has the right to use force in defense against individuals or nations that have attacked or threatened Americans, even if it means killing civilians in the attacking country. Indeed, the American government has the moral responsibility to do so; in America, the fundamental purpose of government is to protect the individual rights of Americans.
Once these principles are grasped, the seeming complexity of the current crisis falls away, and the proper course of action is made clear and simple.
It has been common knowledge for decades that the governments of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Sudan, Afghanistan and other nations are murderous regimes. We need not–and should not–wait to find out which of them, if any, committed the latest murders. These governments are already guilty of prior mass murders, and America should have exterminated them long ago. Every moment we delay in using our military might, including our nuclear arsenal, to destroy them risks more American blood and the very survival of America. Our government’s tolerance of these evil nations, in the face of the common knowledge that these nations are developing weapons of mass destruction, is a betrayal tantamount to treason.
We must destroy not only those governments that “harbor” terrorists in the future, but also those that have harbored terrorists in the past–which means all those mentioned above. Indeed, these nations have not merely “harbored” terrorism; they have systematically initiated terrorism. Focusing only on the future and thereby offering a “clean slate” to these mass murderers is suicide by insanity.
And we must not delay in order to build a “coalition.” Any nation that does not support us in our moral action is not worthy of our friendship and should be cut off from trade with and military support from America. And some nations–such as Communist China, our future greatest threat, and Iran–that we are now courting are downright enemies as evil as those we claim to be fighting. Having them–and constantly trying to keep them– on our side limits our military options, surrenders our national sovereignty, and obliterates our moral stand. How can we condemn some murderers while befriending other ones?
After our nuclear and other overwhelming attacks, we must demand the total surrender of these evil regimes. We must confiscate all oil properties of all Arab nations, even so-called moderate ones such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. These properties include the oil fields themselves plus all assets worldwide, such as real estate, bank accounts, and all other financial holdings. The oil fields were robbed–nationalized”–from Western oil companies. All of the Arab military and terrorist power comes from this stolen wealth. These people have lived–and died–as murderous savages for millennia, but were never a threat to anyone but each other until we let them rob our billions. If we take back our wealth and cut these savages off from any contact with the Western civilization they profess to hate, they will again be powerless. Some of them will learn to produce their own wealth by rational means, and they will choose to join the civilized world; the others will kill each other or starve to death, in keeping with their religious belief of forgoing this-worldly wealth in favor of an afterlife, and we will be rid of them.
The U.S. should confiscate the stolen oil properties, and then return those properties to their rightful owners–Western oil companies–if those companies agree to pay the cost of waging this war. The U.S. could then continue occupying and defending these oil-rich territories if the oil companies agree to pay for this protection. And we must surround the evil nations to keep them absolutely cut off from Western civilization. Any short-term threats they pose before they starve should be met by our most deadly weapons involving the least risk to American soldiers and civilians. Our standard of value must be: The rights of one American, whether a soldier or a civilian, are worth more than the lives of all men, women and children in all these nations combined. Over time, pioneers, with the paid support of our military, can go into these isolated territories, subdue the remaining savages, install a civilized, colonial government protecting the rights of both the pioneers and the savages, and settle the land–as American pioneers subdued the savage, murderous American Indian tribes and settled America.
The most fortunate beneficiaries of these actions will be the inhabitants of the savage nations, just as in 1945 the inhabitants of conquered Japan were far more fortunate than the inhabitants of the Soviet Union, which we tragically chose not to conquer back then using our nuclear bombs. Where do Moslems enjoy religious freedom? Only in America and other free nations of the West. There is no religious freedom in nations ruled by Islamic governments, just as there was no religious freedom in Europe in the Dark Ages, when Popes and their lieutenants prepared their wretched subjects for the afterlife and waged “holy” wars. More importantly, after we conquer the savage nations, the former subjects of Islam will finally be free to enjoy something infinitely better than religious government: American government.
But the deliverance to freedom of foreign savages must not be our purpose. Our purpose must be, in accordance with rational selfishness, the protection of the individual rights of Americans.
The issue is simple. Our problem began when we Americans, failing to defend our rational self-interest, put wealth in the hands of savages by letting them rob our oil fields. It will end when we use our might, including our nuclear arsenal, to crush their evil governments, take back our property, and isolate, colonize, and settle the lands the savages now roam.