Monday, November 12, 2007

Pakistan illustrates several problems

I am sure most of the readers of this blog know what is happening in Pakistan. The US has been supporting the current ruler of Pakistan for quite some time. We give him about 1 billion dollars a year and he is somewhat helping us deal with forces we are fighting in Afghanistan.

The President of Pakistan is a moderate who has been fairly friendly to the US.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan was recently disbanded and "martial law" was declared. The President of Pakistan is using the military to enforce his will on the people and has imposed emergency measures and suspended the Constitution.

To make a long story short he has become a dictator and is trying to stamp out the resistance to him being President.

This is a terrible situation and one that we should not stand for. We do not need to get involved with our military (for obvious reasons) however we should take a stronger diplomatic stand.

I think this situation should illustrate a couple of things for the readers of this blog.

First and foremost it illustrates why we must always ensure that the citizenry of this Country is well armed. You never know when a group of idiots will rise to power and we must always ensure that we can remove them if need be...

Second it helps illustrate what is wrong with our foreign policy. Our foreign policy has been terrible for the last forty years. We support leaders who "marginally" support us and we support countries because they are the "lesser of two evils." This has got to stop.

We need to immediately and drastically reduce foreign aid and we need to only aid those countries that are Democratic and that are our strong allies.

Mike Sylvester


Robert Enders said...

That might be the right thing to do for the situation at hand, but do you propose providing foriegn aid only to democratic countires, or would you make exceptions. Would you have provided Lend Lease aid to the Soviet Union during World War II?

Parson said...

"we must always ensure that the citizenry of this Country is well armed."

Does this mean the Government will be handing out guns? Sign me up!

steve said...

Yes. Pakistan presents one of the most troubling international situations. What do Americans and handguns have to do with this? Pakistan's threat to the U.S. is nuclear. Are you going to shoot down a nuclear missile with your six-shooter, Mike?

Your comment on this is bafflingly inept.

Phil Marx said...


I don't belive that Mike was suggesting that our second amendment will protect us against Pakistan. I think he was using Pakistan as an example of a domestic threat to the liberties of a people.

Many people in this country seem to think we only needed guns back during the lawless days of the past. I think (with a lot of history for support) that a well armed citizenry is the best defense against a tyrannical government.

Phil Marx said...

Mike, while I personally agree that it would be good governmental policy to tie our foreign aid to a country's level of democracy, I do not think that is a very Libertarian stance.

I believe the Libertarian philosophy would state that the internal affairs of other countries are none of our concern. All we should be worried about is how that country acts towards us.

As this is one of my major areas of seperation from the Libertarian philosophy, I would be interested to hear your comments on this.

Doug said...

It also highlights the need for an independent judiciary. All those pretty rights don't mean anything without an enforcement mechanism. Ultimately, individual possession of firearms contributes to this, but that's a really, really wasteful means of enforcement and should be avoided if possible. A functioning judiciary is preferable where possible.

Anonymous said...

We need Mike in Congress.

SYLVESTER (L) for Congress

steve said...

Right, Phil. Its an example. But its also the most dangerous situation right now for people in Pakistan and India, and for the U.S.

Bring the 2nd amendment into to this is silly. Again, the Pakistani threat is nuclear. Pakistan or any other "rogue state" (I think we should reject this term) would threaten the rest of the world on a nuclear (or equivalent) level. Ad-hoc citizen militias would make little difference.

It sounds like you think you can protect your family somehow with a gun, or maybe you just get off on the ideas of shooting some invading foreigners. It's a fantasy.

Look at the U.S. defense budget, contractors included. If this protection somehow falters, no amount of handgun welding American would make a significant difference. If America's military crumbles, its weaponry will persist, and its weaponry will be used by others. Again, this is a fantasy conversation.

LP Mike Sylvester said...


I think we should massively cut foreign aid. It should only go to those countries that are both Democratic and strongly allied with us.

We are not involved in a World War like we were in 1941 - 1945 so I do not currently see a need to include aid to the Soviet Union...


You missed part of the purpose of the post. Read it again...

Gus are important since they allow you to oppose dictators...

Seriously, read it again...

Phil Marx:

Good explanation. Steve needed help...

Some Libertarians are isolationists, I am not. I think foreign aid in a limited form is good policy.


Good points!

Mike Sylvester

steve said...

I got you point, Mike. I was just responding to the absurdity of bring the right to bear arms into this. If the U.S. is in a failed state situation internally, what does the legality/illegality of owning guns matters. In this case too, my point about the colossal U.S. weapons store matters. If a U.S. dictator were to take power, like in Pakistan, the would control the military and weaponry. Having a handgun, or any weapon, would count for shit. If, which is a more feasible case, the U.S. comes to a failed state situation externally, individual citizen militias with guns would matter even less.

(I don't mean to detract from the overall discussion about U.S. involvement in the world)

steve said...

By the way. Someone who would enlighten each of us in our understanding of foreign policy and citizen rights is speaking at IPFW tonight, Samantha Power:

Omnibus Lecture

LP Mike Sylvester said...


We will have to disagree on this one...

When citizens have wepaons of their own it is much harder for the Government to perform mass arrests of the citizenry...


Robert Enders said...

Refering to the two hypothetical situations that Steve mentioned.

These are situations that are unlikely to occur in the foreseeable future, so I do not plan for them. But let's talk about the utility of guns in those situations.
1. US as a Failed state- Without a functioning government, you will either want a gun or be real close friends with someone who has one.
2. US under a tyrant- A dictator who attempts to gain control of a nation with a strong democratic tradition cannot be assured that s/he will have the loyalty of the entire military. That would mean a civil war. In an urban enviroment, an armed civilian population can offer resistance and inflict casualties even against well trained and equipped soldiers. (You have been watching the news, haven't you?)

Phil Marx said...


You make a good point. My guns, and even me as an indivdual, will not have any affect against a nuclear missle. That is why I support having a strong federal government with a standing army But I think you've misinterpreted mine and Mike's comments.

Look at the title of Mike's original post (several problems). The first point was that Pakistan's dictator is someone we should probably distance ourselves from , as a nation. This has to do with international relations, as did your comments.

The second point was a totally different subject. I believe he was simply making the point that if the citizenry of Pakistan was well-armed, it might not be so easy for Musharef to become a dictator. This is a valid point, and one that any other nation could learn from regarding their own internal politics.

My gun will certainly not deter any other country's leaders from attacking this country. But it may deter domestic agents from trying to establish a dictatorship here.

While I am not opposed to many of the rules that have been placed upon gun ownership, I am completely in support of an individual American's right to own guns. In fact, If anyone tried to alter this fundamental right, I would consider that to be the beginning of the establishment of a tyrannical government.

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