The Fight for Homeless Homesteading

Municipal governments across the country are targeting vagrants for “misusing” public property. A couple of months ago, the City of Denver, Colorado, cracked down on “Resurrection Village,” a homeless community built on public land. A month earlier, the City Council of Colorado Springs, Colorado, reduced the number of legal reasons for which people may sit and lie on downtown streets. The City Council of Tempe, Arizona, issued a similar proclamation in April, and the City Council of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, recently voted to prohibit people from panhandling within 50 feet of public transportation stops.

The Coalition for Compassion and Action, Denver Homeless Out Loud, the ACLU, and sundry homeless activists say that these ordinances violate civil rights. City officials maintain that they safeguard businesses, non-homeless pedestrians, and homeless people alike.

Who is wrong here? The state of course!

As Murray Rothbard explained, X may acquire an ownerless natural resource by mixing his labor with it. X may even acquire that resource by paying Y to cultivate it on X’s behalf. But if X robs Y in order to finance X’s cultivation of that resource, then X—because of his flagrant assault on Y—loses his moral claim to the resource and must immediately surrender it to Y, the true homesteader. If Y is for some reason unavailable to claim the property, then it becomes essentially ownerless again, and anyone other than X may homestead it.

According to these principles, it is clearly legitimate for peaceful vagrants to camp in untransformed forests and fields. Nobody has homesteaded these resources, so nobody— including the state—has a prior claim to them. The state’s only remotely justifiable imposition would be a “land-value tax” to compensate all citizens who would miss out on the use of these newly homesteaded resources, but even this “geo-libertarian” intervention would place a morally dubious burden on the homeless homesteaders in question. Surely we must not think of tolerating any government action more extensive than that, then.

Unlike the homeless homesteader, who does nothing improper by pitching a tent or unfurling a sleeping bag on ownerless land, the state routinely constructs sidewalks, benches, and lots at the expense of unwilling taxpayers. Unlike the homeless homesteader, then, the state has no right to “its” creations. These instead belong properly to the mulcted taxpayers, each in proportion to her (forced) contribution to the creation in question.

We reach a practical obstacle, of course, in determining how much money each taxpayer contributed and what exactly she wants to do with her share of each public item.  We must therefore turn to the second best solution, in which individuals other than the proven victims begin confiscating state-controlled property. The homeless can help facilitate this process by transforming public constructions into centers of recreation and exchange. Although this solution does not restore goods to their most rightful owners, it at least gives the loot to non-culpable people and reduces the allure of expropriation by demonstrating that nobody can get away with requisitioning private resources. In this way, the new homesteaders perform a valuable service on behalf of peaceful people everywhere.

As a brief aside, we should note that the new homesteaders do not have carte blanche to abuse these properties, for these goods are not totally ownerless. Whereas previously ownerless resources (such as untransformed fields) can be acquired fully by their homesteaders, public constructions ultimately belong to the people who paid for them—in this case, the taxpayers. Therefore, it would be objectionable for a pedestrian to destroy a public bench or to urinate on a public sidewalk, as that would diminish the quality of the public items in question and would thereby prevent the rightful owners from retrieving their property in its pristine form.

With that being said, there is no reason to believe that peaceful acts of panhandling, lounging on city streets, camping in public lots, and sleeping on downtown benches damage expropriated property. Indeed, these activities are usually quite benign, and if ever they turn violent, the perpetrators can be apprehended for violating other laws.

Surely this perspective will disturb many people. Even Rothbard, who at one point advocated mass homesteading of public property, asserted at the end of his career that police officers should “take back the streets” by removing “bums and vagrants” en masse. Others with a mind for liberty today may worry that homeless people on public property will deter pedestrians from patronizing nearby businesses. Still others may suspect that homeless people themselves will benefit if the state nudges them towards homeless shelters.

Though understandable, these sentiments are ultimately misguided. When it advances private market interests by removing homeless people from morally ownerless property, the taxpayer-funded government thereby becomes the enforcement hand of private businessmen who seek to control expropriated (“public”) property without ever homesteading it. Where is the justice in that? It is one thing for the state to protect the private property of a business, quite another for the state to regulate property that the business does not even own.

It is also irrelevant, whether or not it is true, that homeless people would be “better off” in homeless shelters. For our present purposes, all that should matter is that homeless people do not violate anybody’s rights by inhabiting and soliciting money on public property. Concerned citizens certainly may advocate the use of homeless shelters, but they have no right to employ coercive state power in order to effectuate their desired outcome.

We should be resolute, then: until taxpayers claim their individual shares of public sidewalks and lots, which may never happen, the homeless need not move an inch. The homeless are as capable as anyone of seizing the state’s morally tainted property and imprinting their personalities in the ownerless lands that they find. Prejudiced and paternalistic attempts to disrupt these commendable processes must not stand. Let the homeless stay!

This article originally appeared at c4ss.org

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Posted in Criminal Justice

The Restoration of African Americans’ Stolen Property

Every so often, the call for African-American reparations re-emerges in full force. The Atlantic author Ta-Nehisi Coates is perhaps the most prominent pundit to issue the call in recent years, pointing to America’s shameful history of slavery and segregation as grounds for restitution. Because American depravities placed black people at an economic disadvantage, he reasons, and because no formal reparation has yet been paid, the United States should now right its wrongs.

Many other activists, such as Hillary Clinton, emphasize formal reparations less than race-based affirmative action as a way of elevating racial minorities. These thinkers generally argue that traditionally white institutions can help mitigate the enduring effects of past oppression by simply seeking out and offering special consideration to black applicants.

To evaluate either of these remedies to historical racism, we must determine what sort of society we favor and what mechanisms will allow that society to flourish. In ideal circumstances, I posit, people of all colors interact in a nonviolent and voluntary manner. They establish dominion over unowned land by mixing their labor with it. They purchase goods and render services at their discretion. They cultivate friendships, proffer gifts, invest in social action organizations, and collaborate in the spirit of non-coercive mutualism. By allowing peaceful people to use their bodies and property freely, this arrangement respects the individual character and autonomy of everyone it affects.

When people contravene these norms by aggressing against the bodies and property of their peers, we should (1) punish the aggressors and (2) force them to “repair” what they destroyed—in a sense, to make their victims “whole” again. In the event that a criminal dies before trial, his heir should not endure punishment but should be forced to return his ill-gotten property to its legitimate owner.

These principles have several implications. Suppose that a thief steals an innocent woman’s red purse, quickly hands it off to his unwitting wife, and then commits suicide. Must the wife, who aggressed against nobody, now return the red purse to her late husband’s victim? Indeed she must. Although she is not a thief herself, she possesses stolen property and has no right to withhold it from its rightful owner.

Now suppose that the thief, instead of giving the purse to his wife, bequeaths it to his daughter on his deathbed. Suppose that the thief’s victim’s daughter, 50 years later and after her mother has died, sees the thief’s daughter walking around with the stolen purse. Does the victim’s daughter here have a legitimate claim to the purse adorning the arm of a peaceful pedestrian? Again, the answer is yes. If the victim’s daughter can demonstrate that she would have inherited the purse had her mother never gotten robbed, then she can justifiably take the purse from the thief’s daughter.

Next, let us suppose that 5 men rob 15 women and then retreat to a neighborhood of 20 other men. Suppose that the 15 indignant women then enter that neighborhood and demand reparations from all 25 men. Are the victims in the right? Here, the answer is no. The only men who owe reparations are those who possess stolen goods. The other neighbors are undoubtedly justified in helping these women voluntarily, but they should not be compelled to do so.

With these principles in mind, let us now turn our attention to race-based affirmative action. Should a private institution, composed of individuals whose consciences impel them to assist certain groups, have the right to use affirmative action? Yes. Any private institution that relies on voluntary market transactions merely exercises its right to free association by adopting an affirmative action policy.

The answer is different for public institutions. In a state system, public institutions almost invariably rely on taxation, a process whereby the government dragoons innocent people into subsidizing whatever projects the majority (in a democracy) or powerful minority (in an oligarchy) fancies. Public affirmative action programs are therefore objectionable, not because affirmative action is inherently wrong, but because public affirmative action operates at the expense of non-criminal taxpayers.

Beyond that, the imprecision of race-based affirmative action weakens the program’s efficacy as a tool of corrective justice. That is because beneficiary B of race-based affirmative action does not need to demonstrate that his ancestor, A, was robbed of funds that B would have received had A not gotten robbed. Nor must the people disfavored by affirmative action possess property that rightfully belongs to affirmative action’s beneficiaries.

We must therefore reject the notion, propagated by such theorists as David Horowitz, that race-based affirmative action and similarly sweeping welfare programs “count” as reparations for slavery. Contra Horowitz’s claims, reparations “count” only when they go to the victims of crime exclusively. If all black people, poor people, single parents, or Americans qualify for “slavery reparations,” then these are not actually slavery reparations, because not all black people, poor people, single parents, or Americans today descend from slaves. Moreover, reparations for slavery, like reparations for any other crime, “count” only when tendered unconditionally. If slaves’ descendants must apply to certain colleges, achieve certain test scores, work certain jobs, maintain certain incomes, or keep a certain marital status in order to qualify for “slavery reparations,” then these are not slavery reparations either.

Authentic reparations, in both intent and effect, are straightforward: they restore stolen property to its rightful owners. Ethnicity, occupational status, educational status, and everything else do not enter the equation. A Palestinian whose parents were expelled from their land is entitled to reclaim his family’s property. A Jew whose parents were robbed by Egyptians is entitled to retrieve his family’s goods also. The same premise holds true everywhere else for everyone else. Should we demand a statute of limitation for these sorts of property claims? Not at all, for as Walter Block reminds us, “Justice is justice is justice.” With that being said, the onus is on the plaintiff to prove beyond a reasonable doubt (1) that his ancestors legitimately owned the property in question and (2) that the contemporary defendant possesses the property illicitly.

Therefore, reparations must not rely on taxation or other slipshod methods of wealth redistribution. Taking property from every American in order to subsidize reparative checks or public programs would amount to rough-and-tumble collective punishment. If we oppose state-administered collective punishment in other situations—if we believe, as we should, that it is abominable for the American government to assassinate civilians on enemy territory in Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen—then we should oppose it here as well. Just as it is barbarous for state officials to kill innocents who live near terrorists, so too is it barbarous, albeit to a lesser degree, for state officials to seize property from civilians who live near people with stolen property.

A different type of reparations might have us reduce taxes by exempting African Americans from income taxation for a certain period of time. How about it? The gesture would be admirable, but it would go not nearly far enough as a form of “reparation.” In the first place, nobody— African-American or otherwise— should have to pay income taxes. Even if they occasionally use income tax revenue for benevolent causes, statesmen do not deserve innocent people’s income any more than occasionally benevolent thieves do. To rescind African Americans’ income tax obligation, then, would be to respect the property rights of African Americans going forward without compensating them for past injuries.

A justifiable reparations program would be appropriately backward looking, allowing nothing more and nothing less than for affected individuals to retrieve their property from its illegitimate possessors. Though this model is clearly more restrictive than the state-facilitated taxation model, it nonetheless presents clear opportunities for restitution. Descendants of the 1,250 slaves owned by J.P. Morgan Chase’s predecessor banks, for instance, could bring claims against the company now. So too could the descendants of slaves exploited by the Bank of Charleston and the Georgia Railroad and Bank Company, both of which Wachovia acquired before the extant Wells Fargo acquired Wachovia.

Other modern companies did not own slaves but still profited from slavery. Brooks Brothers, for example, sold slave clothes to masters. Might such a company have to pay reparations also?

Yes. Suppose that I steal 10 dollars from you and surreptitiously use it to buy myself a movie ticket from a local cinema. Although the cinema did not steal the 10 dollars from you, it now possesses 10 of your dollars that you did not relinquish voluntarily. That property is rightfully yours, and you should be allowed to take it back, no matter the identity of the person who now holds it. Of course, if you were to take it back, the cinema’s operator would be down ten dollars and would therefore be well within his right to sue me for buying a movie ticket with stolen money. Even if he could not find me though, he would owe you your ten dollars.

Brooks Brothers’s debt to slaves’ descendants is even more clear-cut than the cinema operator’s debt to you. Slavery is worse than mere theft, but beyond that, the cinema operator did not know that I was purchasing a ticket with stolen money, whereas Brooks Brothers knew that its slaveholding customers were purchasing attire with stolen wages. It should therefore be abundantly clear that people have legitimate claims against Brooks Brothers if they can prove that their ancestors’ masters purchased Brooks Brothers attire.

“But wait!” some might plead. “What if Brooks Brothers has donated to African-American charities in the past century? What if it has offered jobs to African Americans?  Surely that counts as reparation.” Actually, it does not. A criminal who bankrolls charities and employs people still has an obligation to his victims.

We should not let other such irrelevancies distract us from the moral case for reparations. It does not matter, for instance, that some slaves’ black descendants are today wealthier than the white people who owe them reparations. A poor man who illegally possesses a rich man’s property, after all, still owes a debt to the rich man. Nor does it matter that some slave owners were black. Because a just system of restitution does not function on the basis of skin color, the heirs of black slave owners would be just as liable as the heirs of white slave owners.

It is also irrelevant that slavers, by bringing Africans to America, inadvertently gave slaves’ descendants access to lucrative American markets. Imagine, as a parallel, that a rapist illegally enters a woman’s home, strangles his victim with a necklace that he purchased, and then departs without removing it from her neck. When the victim takes her assailant to court, the rapist insists that they should “call it even” since he “gave her a necklace” in the process of raping her. Of course, this frightening logic ignores the fact that the victim never agreed to exchange her body (or anything else) for that necklace. Because the rapist unilaterally “gave” his victim a necklace outside the confines of a two-way contract, he cannot reasonably expect anything in return. The same goes for Americans who got wealthy off of slavery. Because slave traders unilaterally transported slaves to America outside the confines of a two-way contract, slaves’ descendants have no obligation to pay for their presence in America by now surrendering their right to reparations.

Although it is not quite an “irrelevancy,” the fact that American slave owners operated with the sanction of law does not undermine the case for reparations either. Law, lest we forget, is often just a tool that powerful people use to facilitate human rights abuses. It possesses no intrinsic value and deserves no knee-jerk appreciation. The law of slave owners, like the law of fascists, should here matter no more to us than barbarians’ arbitrary decrees do.

There remain intricacies to work out, but the African-American reparations idea is neither quixotic nor academic. It hews to a strict conception of property rights and meets the demands of corrective justice. Unlike collective punishment programs that run roughshod over individual rights, it takes property from select individuals and distributes it to the people whose ancestors lost it. To the extent possible, then, it gives people what they would have had if mass expropriation had not occurred.

This article originally appeared at c4ss.org.

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Posted in Criminal Justice

The Perils of Endless War

War tends to perpetuate itself. As soon as one brute gets killed, another takes his place; when the new guy falls, another materializes.

Consider Richard Nixon’s intensification of the American war on Cambodia. In hopes of maintaining an advantage over the Communists as he withdrew American troops from Southeast Asia, Nixon ravaged Vietnam’s western neighbor with approximately 500,000 tons of bombs between 1969 and 1973. But instead of eliminating the Communist menace, these attempts to buttress Nguyen Van Thieu’s South Vietnamese government and then Lon Nol’s Cambodian government only transformed it. The bombings led many of Nixon’s early targets to desert the eastern region of the country in favor of Cambodia’s interior where they organized with the Khmer Rouge.

As a CIA official noted in 1973, the Khmer Rouge started to “us[e] damage caused by B-52 strikes as the main theme of their propaganda.” By appealing to Cambodians who were affected by the bombing raids, this brutal Communist organization, a peripheral batch of roughly 10,000 fighters in 1969, had expanded by 1973 into a formidable army with 20 times as many members. Two years later, they seized control of Phnom Penh and murdered more than one million of their compatriots in a grisly genocide.

The following decade, when war erupted between the forces of Iran’s Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, the United States hedged its bets by providing military assistance to both governments as they slaughtered hundreds of thousands of people. But when Saddam invaded Kuwait in 1990, ousted the emir, and ultimately assassinated about 1,000 Kuwaitis, the United States turned on its former ally with an incursion that directly killed 3,500 innocent Iraqis and suffocated 100,000 others through the destruction of Iraqi infrastructure. Throughout the 1990s, the US also maintained an embargo against Iraq, a program that contributed to the deaths of 500,000 Iraqis and that UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq Dennis Halliday deemed “genocidal” when he explained his 1998 resignation.

The newly restored Kuwaiti government, for its part, retaliated against minority groups for their suspected “collaboration” with the Iraqi occupiers. The government threw Palestinians out of schools, fired its Palestinian employees, and threatened thousands with “arbitrary arrest, torture, rape, and murder.” Beyond that, Kuwait interdicted the reentry of more than 150,000 Palestinians and tens of thousands of Bedoons who had evacuated Kuwait when the tyrant Saddam took over. Thus, years of American maneuvering to achieve peace and security – by playing Iran and Iraq off of each other, by privileging Kuwaiti authoritarians over Iraqi authoritarians, by killing tens of thousands of innocent people who got in the way – failed.

The chase continues today as the United States targets the savage “Islamic State,” another monster that the West inadvertently helped create by assisting foreign militants. History suggests that this war against Islamism, if taken to its logical extreme, will prove to be an endless game of whack-a-mole. Yes, our government can assassinate some terrorists; what it cannot do is stop aggrieved civilian victims of Western bombings from replacing the dead by becoming terrorists themselves. Furthermore, even if ISIS disappeared tomorrow, there would still exist soldiers – in Al-Qaeda, for instance – prepared to fill the void. That will remain true no matter how many bombs the West drops, no matter how many weapons it tenders to foreign militias, no matter how many authoritarian governments it buttresses in pursuit of “national security.”

So what are we to do when foreign antagonists, whatever the source of their discontent, urge people to attack us? We should abandon the Sisyphean task of eradicating anti-American sentiments abroad and invest in security at home. Gathering foreign intelligence is important when it allows us to strengthen our defenses here, but bombing people in Iraq and Syria, enabling the Saudi murder of Yemenis, and deploying troops to Cameroon are futile steps when enemy organizations can constantly replenish their supply of fighters by propagandizing among natives who deplore Western intervention.

This understanding, though underappreciated in contemporary American government, reflects a noble American tradition. John Quincy Adams, for his part, loved an America that “goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy.” Decades later, Jeannette Rankin doubted the benefits of American interventionism, contending that “you can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake.”  Martin Luther King Jr. warned that “violence never brings permanent peace. It solves no social problem: it merely creates new and more complicated ones.” These leaders adamantly rejected an American politics of unending aggressive war. It is time for us to do the same.

This article originally appeared at Antiwar.com.

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Violence at Spring Valley High School

I invite people to listen to the attached recording in which I share several of my thoughts regarding the recent attack at Spring Valley High School.

Spring Valley High School

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Posted in Criminal Justice, Education, Juvenile Justice, Peace

My Interview with Ralph Nader on Left/Right Coalitions Against Militarism

Please check out my recent interview with Ralph Nader! Many thanks to the Center for Study of Responsive Law and the Amherst Political Union for making it possible.

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Malcolm X Understood Empire

It is interesting that Americans do not invoke Malcolm X the way they invoke other civil rights leaders.  Where ideas about American militarism go, X’s contributions were piercingly insightful but lamentably overlooked when the man lived. For that they deserve greater attention today.

But first a word on X’s sporadic anti-Semitism and anti-white fulminations, both of which lead some people to ignore everything else X had to say. If we believe it fair to judge historical figures on the basis of their most contemptible sympathies alone, then X is indeed irredeemable.  But then, so too are Gandhi, Plato, and Aristotle irredeemable for some of their nefarious beliefs. For that matter, the ideas of four of the United States’ first five presidents are worthless, and for much greater reason than X’s are; after all, Washington, Jefferson, Madison and Monroe all owned human beings, whereas X did nothing so barbaric.

If we instead opt to examine X in his nuanced totality, we find not a kook but a winsome human rights activist with a lot of wisdom to share. As a black nationalist during the Cold War, he took no stock whatever in American militarists’ humanitarian pretensions. When many others did not, X questioned the “integrity” and “sincerity” of leaders who tackled problems that were not theirs to solve. Even “liberal” interventionists who genuinely desired progress in foreign lands were not heroes in X’s book. The American meddlers “minding somebody else’s business way over in South Vietnam,” X declaimed, were unhelpful at best and dangerous at worst.

Malcolm saved his admiration for Africans vying to “establish their own independent nations” and working to “create a future for their people” without the involvement of intruders. He noted positively that when “the people in Africa and Asia get some power of their own, they get a mind of their own. They start seeing with their own eyes and listening with their own ears and speaking with their own mouth.” He admired leaders like Patrice Lumumba of the Congo, a CIA target whose anti-colonial disposition disturbed the departing Belgians in 1960. X went so far as to call Lumumba “the greatest black man who ever walked the African continent,” for Lumumba “didn’t fear anybody. He had those people so scared they had to kill him.” X also commended members of the Organization of African Unity for trying to extinguish colonial “vestiges of oppression and exploitation being suffered by African people.”

Nearly 40 years after X’s death, the Organization of African Unity gave way to the African Union, a Pan-African organization at one point chaired by the Libyan Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. As we know, that same Gaddafi fell prey to NATO fighters who decided to “rescue” Libya during the 2011 uprising. Malcolm certainly would have bemoaned that development. America and her allies had no more of a right to dethrone the despot Gaddafi and to deliver Libya to Jihadists than Gaddafi would have had to bomb the United States and to unseat an American president for the political benefit of domestic terrorists.

But Malcolm knew how “Pax Americana” operated, and he probably would have taken recent interventions in Libya, Somalia and Yemen as par for the course. As he understood, and as Randolph Bourne before him indicated, habits of American imperialism can thrive among Democrats, Republicans, “liberals” and “conservatives” who here manage to find common cause. Truculent jingoists relish the opportunity to consolidate their country’s power overseas, and self-styled humanitarians jump aboard in hopes of saving foreigners from tyranny. Civilian casualties, devastated infrastructure, lawlessness, and exploitation generally follow.

To be sure, Malcolm made some unpalatable choices of his own. Some of his language was caustic, some of his tangents were bizarre, and some of his comrades were vulgar. But whatever X’s flaws, one must savor the temerity of a man who, in the face of hegemonic calls for Western militarism – to “save” Vietnam, to assassinate Fidel Castro, to protect the Congo from Communism, to civilize Kenya – called bogus on the whole enterprise. “Athwart history,” as William F. Buckley might put it, Malcolm unabashedly denounced the imperial doctoring, maceration, and dubious “improvement” of foreign societies. He repudiated the American government for its “criminal activity” and took note of the United States’s “ignorance, her blindness, her lack of foresight and hindsight” in foreign affairs. Many people labeled X an “extremist” for that, and surely he was an extremist. Malcolm was extremely opposed to governments that pay lip service to other people’s freedom but ultimately promote authoritarianism and bloodshed throughout the world.

This article originally appeared at Antiwar.com.

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Posted in Peace

American Meddling in Yemen Means Aggression at Home

If the onsite horrors of the war and embargo against Yemen are not reason enough for us to advocate an American withdrawal from that foreign conflagration, hopefully this is: our government’s support for the Saudi war in Yemen entails aggression in the United States.

I am not here referring to anti-American blowback from bereaved Yemenis, although that sort of aggression could very well materialize in the future. I am instead talking about the ongoing and presently verifiable aggression against all American taxpayers forced to subsidize our government’s adventurism in the Arabian Peninsula. As common sense tells us, every bomb, every missile, and every tracer that the United States sends to the Saudi coalition is a bomb, a missile, and a tracer for which somebody somewhere will be compelled to pay. That “somebody” will probably be an American taxpayer who, given the nature of taxation, will risk imprisonment or property seizures should she ever decide not to genuflect to the unshackled military apparatus.

The American war in Yemen therefore extends all the way back home, albeit in a substantially diluted form. Pursuant to its military objectives, the American government threatens to aggress against any of its taxpaying citizens who refuse to aggress against Yemeni civilians. In what world is this not an abomination?

In the world of gung-ho militarists, apparently, who dragoon American taxpayers into shouldering the burden of the Pentagon’s profligacy. By the end of FY 2015, $12 billion from the United States will have buttressed foreign militaries in places like Saudi Arabia. $64 billion will have sustained the United States’ Overseas Contingency Operations. The Pentagon will have taken hundreds of billions more for its “base” supply, a fund that excludes additional resources for nuclear upkeep.

Surely our country should be equipped to defend itself. But our current government’s exorbitant military expenditures and reckless warmongering are far from defensive. The Yemeni Houthis, a foreign group mired in a foreign war with the hope of destroying Al-Qaeda, pose such a small threat to us that the United States’ overwhelming attempts to neutralize them can only make matters worse by intensifying anti-American sentiments. The truly defensive move in this case is for the United States to stop antagonizing people.

That includes Americans themselves who have done nothing to deserve threats from the American war state. There is no good reason that any private worker, as a precondition for receiving an income here at home, should have to bankroll the murder of Yemenis.

This article originally appeared at Antiwar.com.

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Posted in Peace
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