@NZGreens very sane compared to @DrJillStein @GreenPartyUS

Jill Stein managed to denounce American imperialism without mentioning the invasion of the Crimea and Russian intervention in the Syrian Civil War to prop up the old regime.

Stein is what Orwell called a renegade liberal. Progressives hunt the world for dictators to worship. As George Orwell said in 1941

Pacifism is objectively pro-Fascist. This is elementary common sense. If you hamper the war effort of one side you automatically help that of the other. Nor is there any real way of remaining outside such a war as the present one. In practice, ‘he that is not with me is against me’.

A nuclear free New Zealand delayed the end of the Cold War

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If the dilettantes at the end of the known world accomplished anything at all by declaring New Zealand nuclear free after 1984, anything at all, it was to prolong the Cold War, embolden Communist Russia and increase the chance of a nuclear exchange. As George Orwell said in 1941

Pacifism is objectively pro-Fascist. This is elementary common sense. If you hamper the war effort of one side you automatically help that of the other. Nor is there any real way of remaining outside such a war as the present one. In practice, ‘he that is not with me is against me’.

The idea that you can somehow remain aloof from and superior to the struggle, while living on food which British sailors have to risk their lives to bring you, is a bourgeois illusion bred of money and security.

Mr Savage remarks that ‘according to this type of reasoning, a German or Japanese pacifist would be “objectively pro-British”.’ But of course he would be! That is why pacifist activities are not permitted in those countries (in both of them the penalty is, or can be, beheading) while both the Germans and the Japanese do all they can to encourage the spread of pacifism in British and American territories. The Germans even run a spurious ‘freedom’ station which serves out pacifist propaganda indistinguishable from that of the P.P.U. They would stimulate pacifism in Russia as well if they could, but in that case they have tougher babies to deal with.

In so far as it takes effect at all, pacifist propaganda can only be effective against those countries where a certain amount of freedom of speech is still permitted; in other words it is helpful to totalitarianism.

There is a strong peace movement in the 1930s that undermined rearmament at every point. Indeed, the then leader of the British Labour Party met with Hitler one afternoon with the aim of persuading him to become a Christian pacifist. He failed.

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The slaughterhouse of World War I would certainly rest on the memory but Hitler gave them no choice but to rearm yet some on the Left would not accept this reality. The purpose of British foreign policy in the 1930s was to buy time to rearmament before the inevitable clash.

The pro-fascism of the peace movement continues to this day. To quote Michael Walzer

so many leftists rushed to the defense of civil liberties while refusing to acknowledge that the country faced real dangers–as if there was no need at all to balance security and freedom.

Maybe the right balance will emerge spontaneously from the clash of right-wing authoritarianism and left-wing absolutism, but it would be better practice for the left to figure out the right balance for itself, on its own; the effort would suggest a responsible politics and a real desire to exercise power, some day.

But what really marks the left, or a large part of it, is the bitterness that comes with abandoning any such desire. The alienation is radical.

How else can one understand the unwillingness of people who, after all, live here, and whose children and grandchildren live here, to join in a serious debate about how to protect the country against future terrorist attacks? There is a pathology in this unwillingness, and it has already done us great damage.

With one exception, democracies do not go to war with other democracies. There are plenty of undemocratic countries out there with dictators willing to have it go if they see weakness.

That is before you consider the suspicion that the Communist dictatorships had of other countries. In Tom Schelling’s view, many wars including World War 1 were the products of mutual alarm and unpredictable tests of will.

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Robert Aumann argued well that the way to peace is like bargaining in a medieval bazaar. Never look too keen, and bargain long and hard. Aumann argues that:

If you are ready for war, you will not need to fight. If you cry ‘peace, peace,’ you will end up fighting… What brings war is that you signal weakness and concessions.

A nuclear free New Zealand signalled weakness and a willingness to make concessions. The peace movements across all democracies had the same effect.

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Disarmament increases the chances of war. Aumann gave the example of the Cold War of how their stockpiles of nuclear weapons and fleets of bombers prevented a hot war from starting:

In the long years of the cold war between the US and the Soviet Union, what prevented “hot” war was that bombers carrying nuclear weapons were in the air 24 hours a day, 365 days a year? Disarming would have led to war.

Peace activists are utterly clueless about what is discussed at peace talks. The ability to negotiate a credible peaceful settlement between sovereign states depends on:

  • the divisibility of the outcome of the dispute,
  • the effectiveness of the fortifications and counterattacks with which an attacker would expect to have to contend, and
  • on the permanence of the outcome of a potential war.

Central to any peace talks is that any peace agreement is credible – it will hold and not will not be quickly broken:

A state would think that another state’s promise not to start a war is credible only if the other state would be better off by keeping its promise not to start a war than by breaking its promise.

Peace talks occur only when there something to bargain about. As James Fearon explained, there must be

a set of negotiated settlements that both sides prefer to fighting

That need for a bargaining range is the fundamental flaw of peace activists. When they call for peace talks, peace activists never explain what will be discussed in a world where everybody is not like them terms of good intentions.

What are the possible negotiated settlements that each both side will prefer to continue fighting? Diplomacy is about one side having some control over something the other side wants and this other side have something you want to exchange. In a war, the attacker thinks he can get what it wants to fighting for it.

If peace activists truly want peace, rather than victory for the other side, they must prepare for war including fortified borders so that the other side doesn’t dare cross them and start a war. A peace settlement depends upon the ability to divide the contested territory with or without fortified borders to make a settlement credible:

…despite the costs and risks of war, if a dispute is existential, or, more generally, if the whole of a contested territory is sufficiently more valuable than the sum of its parts, then a peaceful settlement is not possible.

A peaceful settlement of a territorial dispute, and especially a settlement that includes an agreement not to fortify the resulting border, also can be impossible if a state thinks, even if over optimistically, that by starting a war it would be able at a small cost to settle the dispute completely in its favour permanently.

Peace activists didn’t use the knockdown argument against 2nd Iraq war

This idea of suing ministers for abuse of public office has appeal given the gap between many left-wing policies and sound economics.

https://twitter.com/_PaulMonaghan/status/751525929613156352

Anti-war MPs such as Jeremy Corbyn should be sued for abuse of public office and crimes against peace for not making the knockdown argument against the 2nd war against Iraq.

Instead, Corbyn said he did not like war without explaining how this was different from appeasement and surrender. The easiest way to stop a war is to surrender. The easiest way to start a war is to look weak to an aggressor.

That knockdown argument against the 2nd Iraq war argument was right under the noses of the peace movement. It was yes, Iraq has weapons of mass destruction.

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Source: The Secret Casualties of Iraq’s Abandoned Chemical Weapons – The New York Times

It is madness to invade a country that has weapons of mass destruction because they might use them especially if the objective is regime change. Iraq may not have had nuclear weapons, but the potential for Iraq to have biological and chemical weapons secreted away was real.

No one is mad enough to invade North Korea. They will use chemical and biological weapons on Seoul and Tokyo. Syria has chemical and biological weapons to make sure no one invades it.

From what I read, in the current Civil War, Syria uses chemical and biological weapons when it is on the retreat but does not use them to advance and claim new territory.

The reason why the renegade left could not possibly make this obvious argument against the war in Iraq, which was it could be a massive disaster if these chemical and biological weapons were used in desperation, was these peace activists would have to admit nuclear deterrence works. To stop a war by having to admit that weapons of mass destruction deter war was too much for the peace movement to swallow.

An admission that nuclear deterrence works would invalidate the entire political activism of the peace movements in the Cold War. The practical effect of those peace movements was, of course, to undermine the one factor preventing a nuclear war, which was nuclear deterrence.

Since 1945, at least seven or eight wars have occurred where one side had nuclear weapons. In 1973, Israel had nuclear weapons it could have used.

The reason for the non-use of nuclear weapons in those seven or eight wars including the 1973 Yom Kippur War was none were wars of annihilation. Nuclear weapons were more likely to be used if the suspected intention is to invade or occupy a country.

The Yom Kippur war was launched with a plan by President Sadat to reclaim the Sinai then after a few days agreed to an internationally brokered ceasefire. He was intending on reclaiming lost territory, not invading Israel proper continue and risk nuclear retaliation.

Saddam destroyed his nuclear, biological, and weapons but not his weapons development capability soon after he lost the first Iraq war. Saddam played a double strategy: make sure he was not caught with contraband but play a fine game of bluff making everybody think Iraq still has them so he remains a regional strongman.

Saddam could have produced biological and chemical weapons within weeks if he chose to do so but was probably 5 years away from a nuclear weapon. Chilcot’s recent report concluded:

The ingrained belief that Saddam Hussein’s regime retained chemical and biological warfare capabilities, was determined to preserve and if possible enhance its capabilities, including at some point in the future a nuclear capability, and was pursuing an active policy of deception and concealment, had underpinned UK policy towards Iraq since the Gulf Conflict ended in 1991.

The 2nd Iraq war started because Saddam fooled his enemies into thinking he had chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. He certainly had the Japan option. This is having in place the capability to produce weapons of mass destruction such as chemical and biological weapons quickly if he wanted.

Richard Nixon’s public choice economics of the Vietnam anti-war movement

The Vietnam anti-war movement were primarily the result of the draft: hell no, we won’t go and the burning of draft cards. Richard Nixon was as cunning a rat who ever occupied the Oval Office. He was elected in 1968 to end the Vietnam war and to end the draft.

Nixon had an intuitive economic understanding that the anti-war movement’s rioting in the streets and campuses was very much motivated by private gain. In particular, the threat of being drafted. The notion that revolutions and political movements are motivated by private gain is not new.

Vietnamisation changed everything. In 1969, Nixon started the process of phasing down the sending of further combat troops to Vietnam and the phasing down of the draft. US troop withdrawal started on July 1st 1969 with completion dates – December 1970, June 1971 and December 1972.

By the beginning of 1972, over 400,000 U.S. military personnel had been withdrawn, virtually all combat troops. The protests were against ending up in the jungle – not up the rear with the gear. There were 24,000 US troops in Vietnam in 1972. This compares to 560,000+ in 1969.

A Vietnam vet told me that when he returned to his U.S. campus in 1971 for graduate studies, it was very quite compared to 1969 because the spectre of the draft had gone in their minds.

The anti-war movement was really motivated by hell no, we won’t go. As soon as the prospect of going to Vietnam faded away, so did the anti-war movement.

Still further evidence of mass kidnappings of peace activists

Publishing this report during the Gaza war rather than many months later might have left Amnesty International with the semblance of impartiality.

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According to UN data, more than 4,800 rockets and 1,700 mortars were fired from Gaza towards Israel between 8 July and 26 August. Around 224 projectiles are believed to have struck Israeli residential areas.

It does not take months to work out that rockets and mortars fired at civilian areas with the deliberate intention of killing civilians and terrorising the Israeli population are in contravention of the international rules of war. The sound of air raid sirens and civilian casualties in Israel should have been sufficient evidence for an immediate report by Amnesty International last year.

The only explanation as to why peace activists aren’t out in the street today protesting against Hamas for these war crimes and calling for International Criminal Court indictments and citizen’s arrests is mass kidnappings. The only explanation as to why peace activists aren’t out in the street today protesting against Hamas for these war crimes and calling for International Criminal Court indictments and citizen’s arrests is mass kidnappings.

The only explanation as to why peace activists aren’t out in the street today protesting against Hamas for these war crimes and calling for International Criminal Court indictments and citizen’s arrests is mass kidnappings. The only explanation as to why peace activists aren’t out in the street today protesting against Hamas for these war crimes and calling for International Criminal Court indictments and citizen’s arrests is mass kidnappings.

There is no other charitable explanation as to why they are not on the streets today in solidarity, for example, with the above 2009 peace demonstration in London. The 2014 Gaza conflict left a total of at least 2,189 Palestinians dead, including more than 1,486 civilians, according to the UN. On the Israeli side, 67 soldiers were killed along with the six civilians.

via Amnesty International accuses militants in Gaza of war crimes in 2014 conflict | World news | The Guardian.

Thomas Sowell on the empirics of peace movements

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The Disgraceful And Terrifying Revival Of Violent Jew Hate In Europe

jew hate in europe cover

via The Disgraceful And Terrifying Revival Of Violent Jew Hate In Europe [Special Report].

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Ben Shapiro on BDS is just another form of of anti-semitism

The relative contributions of Thomas Schelling and the peace movement to the risks of war

Thomas Schelling (and Robert Aumann) did terrible things such as work out how not to blunder into wars and how to deter wars rather than have to actually fight them.

Schelling’s unique contribution at the Rand Corporation involved viewing strategic situations as bargaining processes.

Focusing on the stand-off between the United States and the Soviet Union, Schelling observed that the two superpowers had both shared and opposing interests.

Their shared interests involved avoiding a nuclear war, while their opposing interests concerned dominating the other. Conflict and cooperation became inseparable.

Iran and Israel are moving down that same path if both have nuclear weapons.

Schelling focused in particular on how the United States and Soviet Union could arrive at and stick to bargains by means of deterrence and compellence.

Deterrence involves dissuading the other from doing something, while compellence referred to persuading the other to do something.

  • Deterrence and compellence are supported by threats and promises.
  • Threats are costly when they fail and successful when they are not carried out.
  • Promises are costly when they succeed and successful when they are carried out. A threat is cheaper than a promise because you do not have to carry it out if your threats work in intimidating others to do what you want.

Since the exploitation of potential force is better than the application of force, it is key to use threats and promises while avoiding having to act upon these.

The challenge is to communicate threats and promises in a credible manner.

The ability to hurt people is conducive to peace, while the ability to destroy weapons increases the risk of war. This is the paradox of deterrence. A country needs a credible second-strike capacity to deter a pre-emptive first strike. A country needs its missiles to survive such an attack.

Populations are better protected by protecting the missiles. By protecting the missiles rather than their cities, each side was offering their populations as a hostage to the other.

With each side holding the other’s cities as hostage, neither has an incentive to strike first. This is much safer than having each side worried about their weapons been destroyed and they therefore use them before they are destroyed in some minor crisis.

That is one of Schelling’s many contributions to peace.

What were the contributions of the peace movements?

Robert Aumann argued well that the way to peace is like bargaining in a medieval bazaar. Never look too keen, and bargain long and hard. Aumann argues that:

If you are ready for war, you will not need to fight. If you cry ‘peace, peace,’ you will end up fighting…

What brings war is that you signal weakness and concessions.

Countries are more likely to cooperate if they have frequent interactions and have a long time horizon. The chances of cooperation increase when it is backed by the threat of punishment.

Disarmament, Aumann argues, “would do exactly the opposite” and increase the chances of war. He gave the example of the Cold War as an example of how their stockpiles of nuclear weapons and fleets of bombers prevented a hot war from starting:

In the long years of the cold war between the US and the Soviet Union, what prevented “hot” war was that bombers carrying nuclear weapons were in the air 24 hours a day, 365 days a year? Disarming would have led to war.

Aumann has quoted the passage from the biblical Book of Isaiah:

Isaiah is saying that the nations can beat their swords into ploughshares when there is a central government – a Lord, recognized by all.

In the absence of that, one can perhaps have peace – no nation lifting up its sword against another.

But the swords must continue to be there – they cannot be beaten into ploughshares – and the nations must continue to learn war, in order not to fight!

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