Justin Raimondo

Justin Raimondo 2020

justinraimondo

The unpredictable success of Donald Trump has perplexed left-wing activists and pundits who had call him a fascist. But not only people on the left, even neocons had battled him over not following their warmonger orthodoxy. Donald Trump has been awful on Muslims but good on his neutrality over Israel. The Donald has been worse on his comments on Mexicans but certainly less hawkish than every one of the remaining Republicans. If a three times married millionaire New Yorker is about to win the Republican nomination, the question is if other outsiders can win in the future.

My humble suggestion is Justin Raimondo, for whom I have a sincere admiration. As the founder and editorial director of Antiwar.com, he has been one of the most committed people to the cause of peace. His columns are really among the best material one could find about American foreign policy. As a proud anti-imperialist of the libertarian tradition, he has supported Pat Buchanan, Ralph Nader and Ron Paul. Three man that on a lot issues had disagreements but they share commitment of a Republic, not an Empire. Unlike other libertarians who he dismiss as Cosmopolitans, he came from the Old Right and remain there.

His appreciation for Trump has been misunderstood, he is not supporting him but the chaos and panic the New York millionaire is causing in neocon circles. That would be the same chaos and panic that Raimondo would cause if the he decides to be a Republican presidential candidate. He could had a base of the Ron Paul supporters and it could grow with support of voters with anti-establishment feelings.

One might wonder why I’m saying these. While the most probably thing is that Donald Trump is going to be the Republican nominee, I think he is going to lose not because the neocons are against him but for alienating minorities. So either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders would be president. I hate the liberal interventionism of Clinton so I guess that Sanders would be better in foreign policy, however the Vermont has also embraced military Keynesianism. But America needs a truly anti-imperialist.

Another question that some would ask is what about Rand Paul, Justin Amash or Thomas Massie. They are by far the most libertarian in Congress but not enough. As Justin Raimondo had said in the past, the attempt of Rand Paul to appease neoconservatives had led him to nowhere. Amash and Massie could learn from Rand mistakes, however being congressmen they would be putting their seats in risk. So no better outsider than Justin Raimondo who previously ran for Congress in 1996 as a paleolibertarian challenger to Pelosi in San Francisco, he has move but still lives in California.

Raimondo style is ironic and direct, confrontational to neocons and liberal interventionists. As a Rothbardian, he would consider foreign policy his main concern and that could open the possibility of a left-right populist alliance against Empire. I don’t know if he would accept that challenge, he has done much for the cause of peace with his writings but politicians had compromise over and over again, maybe is time for a real change. Vote Raimondo 2020.

Coming of age with The American Conservative

I must begin by thanking Jordan Bloom for the invitation to become a contributor to The Mitrailleuse. Some readers may know me from my intermittent blogging from about 2009 to 2011 for The American Conservative. Others might even know me for my frequent appearances in roughly the same period at Mondoweiss. And perhaps a few might know me for my first book that was released in 2011, Rabbi Outcast: Elmer Berger and American Jewish Anti-Zionism. In April, the book I’ve been at work on ever since will be released, The Socialist Party of America: A Complete History.

Introducing myself effectively is in many ways exceptionally timely this month with the demise of The New Republic. As an intellectually curious young person who came of age at virtually the very moment of the September 11 attacks, I learned to have a particular hatred for The New Republic at the tail end of its recently much-ballyhooed heyday. I’m mature enough now to have an appreciation for those who are lamenting the apparent demise of the public intellectual and their forum in political magazines as a matter of principle. But in all candor I remain blind to the greatness and romance surrounding TNR, and in particular Leon Wieseltier’s back-of-the-book.

And the reason for this, frankly, is because my adolescent romance for the life of the mind – from politics to literature to ideas – was with The American Conservative. I still remember well when I was 17, first seeing and reading the first issue in the magazine section of Borders at White Flint Mall; two institutions now joined in meeting their reward by TNR, which memorably blasted the premier of TAC as “Buchanan’s surefire flop” (only in the recent coverage did I realize that this was a tasteless reference to The Producers, in the company of their charming headline on the vindication of Iraq realists in 2004, “Springtime for Realism”).

Some background is in order: I was a Jewish kid from Bethesda, Maryland who got his GED as soon as he turned 16. I was in community college for the next two years at the same time I was actively pursuing a highly unstable brew of radical involvements on both the left and right, fancying myself some kind of journalist-revolutionary (like 12-year old Henry Hill, I was living in a fantasy). The critical point of departure for my intellectual journey was some time just after 9/11, as I was becoming enamored with Justin Raimondo, who proved a formative influence to be sure, and discovering that his seemingly half-crazed notion about the Trotskyist roots of neoconservatism was very much true – it turned out my father knew several of them through the Harvard Young People’s Socialist League (Elliott Abrams, Josh Muravchik, and Daniel Pipes well; Bill Kristol just slightly. Anyone curious as to why he didn’t become a neocon should read his recent book on new urbanism).

In other words, the much-storied New York Jewish intellectual tradition, that Carol Kane assured the young Alvy Singer was a wonderful cultural stereotype to be reduced to, was in many ways a birthright. And yet I fell in love with TAC. In that first year or two as America was being conquered by Iraq, I still had high hopes for the Green Party, and even on the eve of TAC’s premier was startled to see Rod Dreher’s “Crunchy Cons” cover story at National Review and knowing there had to be a much, much, much better forum for this (by the time the book came out in 2006, I was of course well past recognizing that the typical figure covered in the book, if asked why they weren’t involved with the Green Party, would simply answer “because I like a steak every now and then”). When I was 18 and first living on my own, I subscribed to four magazines – The American Conservative, The Progressive, Chronicles, and an intriguingly semi-serious short-lived left-anarchist bi-monthly called Clamor.

I hardly need revisit the intellectual climate that surrounded the launching of the Iraq War, and why it was no contest between TAC and any more mainstream magazine – even the sincerely antiwar and often thoughtful liberals at The American Prospect could never stir the intellectual passions. Nor does a great deal need to be said here about what slowly but surely disillusioned me with the radical left, though to this day a large part of me is mystified as to why Bill Kauffman (or for that matter Jim Webb, at least in his career as a politician) is considered anything but a perfectly kosher man of the left. (more…)

Secession lagniappe

From Office of Hawaiian Affairs Kamana’opono Crabbe’s remarks at a press conference on Monday:

A second reason for my questions to Secretary Kerry stems from our Hawaiian community. My staff and I have held some 30 community meetings in the past two months regarding our proposed process to rebuild our nation. In that same period we also held two governance summits with key community leaders. At these gatherings, and in other virtual contexts, we heard repeatedly concerns about engaging in a process of rebuilding a nation when-following the research of many legal, historical, and political experts-our nation continues to exist in the context of international law.

Such concerns have led our community to request more time in the nation rebuilding process to have questions– such as I raised with Secretary Kerry– fully explored and shared with our people so that they can make well-informed decisions throughout the process.

The Hawaiian community needed to know that I was inquiring about the very matters they sought to bring forward. And this is the reason I felt it was imperative not only that I ask the questions but that the community be aware of the inquiry.

However, recognizing the gravity of the questions posed, I met with Chair Machado before making the letter public. I explained that my questions were a matter of due diligence and risk management to avoid OHA missteps in its nation rebuilding facilitation. I believed I had her consent to proceed with sharing publicly my letter to Secretary Kerry. Unfortunately, it is now apparent that we walked away from that meeting with a misunderstanding and misinformation.

Despite disagreements that will need to be worked out between myself and OHA’s trustees, I am certain that the Board and I stand firmly together in our commitment to do all that we appropriately can to reestablish a Hawaiian nation. I look forward to engaging with the trustees in the ho’oponopono, which Chair Machado graciously suggested, so that we can work collectively to Ho’oulu Uihui Aloha, to Rebuild a Beloved Nation.

We must succeed in our efforts for the good of our lahui, our community, and our families for generations to come.

Chairwoman Machado disputes that he consulted with her before sending the letter. The OHA trustees had a very interesting meeting on Thursday, with a big crowd supporting Crabbe. Related: The militarized Pacific.

From one of the translated letters of Tibetan prisoner Goshul Lobsang, written in prison, September 2012. He died on March 19:

I have no regrets, although all of a sudden, I may be compelled to separate from the path of life that [I have been treading along] with my beloved mother, siblings, wife and children. I may have to depart with [feelings] of cold, heavy sadness, but I have no sense of guilt in my heart.
My clear conscience is my only asset in this world. I don’t possess anything other than this, and I don’t need anything other than this.
[But] my only regret that weighs heavily on my heart is the lack of profound sense of solidarity among our people, because of which we are unable to achieve a strong unified stand.

*****

In the Salt Lake Tribune yesterday, a letter to the editor written by a Republican name-checks Lincoln and asks:

The right-wing fanatics who would have the federal government hand over all public lands in Utah, Nevada, etc., remind me of the pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine. When would they like to hold the referendum on secession from the United States?

Chris Roth says the Cliven Bundy standoff is the harbinger of a new “silly season.” State legislators from a number of states are getting involved, including Matt Shea:

Four more county committees forming for the Jefferson statehood effort, one is working with Tea Party Patriots.

*****

Nationalia looks at Yorkshire autonomy, the Bavarian Party’s attempt to get a representative in the European Parliament, and the Occitan Nation Party’s pro-stateless peoples (and pro-EU) message.

Ukrainian oligarch says no to secession.

Timothy Snyder and Leon Wieseltier are in Kiev this weekend.

Scottish Tory MEP says in an address supporting a Spanish unionist MEP that Scottish independence “would trigger a wave of secessionist movements across the EU.”

Israel clears up a rumor that they were going to transfer sovereignty of the tomb of David and the Cenacle to the Vatican.

*****

Adam Gurri, “The Morality of Futility“:

 Our moral sphere should not be stretched beyond the scale appropriate for an individual human life. That does not mean that we are indifferent to suffering outside that scale, nor that there’s something wrong with giving to charity or volunteering. Telescopic as an adjective is meant more pejoratively than categorically; to reject telescopic morality is not to say that our concern for far matters should be reduced to zero, just as rejecting gluttony does not mean that we should stop eating entirely.

Nevertheless, I am very pessimistic about our ability to have a non-negligible impact on large scale and distant matters.

First Things on Quebec:

While generations of Québécois had felt estranged from a spiritually apostate France after the 1789 Revolution, this antirevolutionary ethos vanished during the 1960s. The French Revolution had begun when Louis XVI had convoked the Estates General. Shortly thereafter, the Third Estate, consisting of commoners, rose up and abolished the first two estates, representing the clergy and nobility, declaring itself l’Assemblée nationale, that is, the National Assembly.

In 1968, in an eerie echo of the events of nearly two centuries earlier, Québec similarly abolished the upper chamber of its provincial legislature, le Conseil legislatif, while the lower chamber, l’Assemblée legislative, changed its name to – you guessed it – l’Assemblée nationale! The French Revolution had finally caught up with La Belle Province. That same year saw the formation of the Parti québécois, which sought a wholly French-speaking nation separate from Canada.

David Harvey is extremely skeptical of Thomas Piketty’s Capital.

Trotskyite blames Indian communist parties for Modi’s election.

D.G. Hart on Ulster Presbyterians and protestant radicalism:

Political philosophers and historians have given lots of attention to Calvinism as an engine of modern liberal (read constitutional) politics. Whether it’s resistance theory, the Dutch rebellion, or the so-called Presbyterian revolution of the British colonies in North America, students of Calvinism believe they have a firm read on Reformed Protestant politics as an inherently rebellious outlook, one that won’t let any human authority encroach on the Lordship of Christ. (Why we didn’t celebrate 1861 along with 1776, 1689, and 1567 prior to getting right with race is a bit of an inconsistency.)

That sounds good in theory, and it certainly turns out Calvinist (New, Neo, or Denominational) in large numbers for Fox News. But it doesn’t make sense of history where context matters.

Justin Raimondo on the NSA:

The NSA’s “new collection posture,” as shown in the NSA documents reproduced in Greenwald’s book, is: “Sniff it all, know it all, collect it all, process it all, exploit it all, partner it all.” In short, they aim to abolish the concept of privacy – and if they are now targeting political “radicalizers,” as one of their documents puts it – not Al Qaeda, but American political dissidents – then our old republic is no more. The Constitution means nothing: the Bill of Rights is abolished, and we are living under a de facto “democratic” dictatorship. …

As it stands … anyone in America who has ever expressed a “radical” idea is now a potential target.

Nothing short of a revolution is going to reverse this monstrous reality. Whether it comes in a peaceful form – perhaps some combination of electoral and legislative action – in which the warlords of Washington are thrown out on their ears, or some other way is not for me to say. No one can know the future. What I do know, however, is this: one way or another, the monster must be slain.

Mark Meckler on the John Doe raids in Wisconsin:

… a partisan prosecutor launched “secret John Doe” investigations to terrify the entire conservative community and to remove them from the political conversation. Even though these Wisconsinites have been charged with nothing, they’ve been subjected to pre-dawn raids, warrants, subpoenas, and other harassment.