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“Bleeding Heart Libertarians” on Syria: Right Headline, Bad Reasoning

At a glance, one might think from the headline at the Bleeding Heart Libertarians’ blog post titled “We Should Not Intervene in Syria” , that author Fernando Teson is taking a solid libertarian, non-interventionist stance.

Not so fast!

Teson makes it clear right away that he is not against foreign intervention:

As some of you may know, I have long argued that humanitarian intervention is morally and legally permissible (see here). I stand by those arguments, and that is why I firmly believe that we should not intervene in Syria. I have several reasons, but two are prominent.

Now that he’s established that he has no moral problem with military intervention in foreign countries, just what exactly are Teson’s objections to intervening in Syria? He cites two:

1) A justified intervention must be on behalf of those who have a just cause. In Syria, the available evidence shows that neither side has a just cause. The government is your standard Middle Eastern oppressor, while the rebels are dominated by Al Qaeda and similar sinister characters.

This is a common argument that progressives use when justifying State action, which is funded by money taken by force from the taxpayers. As long as the cause is “just”, well then march on!

But who determines what is “just?” The individuals who had the money taken from them in the first place? (No.) Teson himself? (No again.) It is the politicians that decide such things, not based on whether or not a cause is “just”, but by whether or not a State action will benefit them politically...

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bled heart libertarians

The bleeding heart libertarians are the same folks that categorized anyone that opposes Lincoln's murderous, tyranical rule as a confederate apologist?


Them's the guys. though I don't want to collectivize too much. I greatly admire the work of Roderick Long, who associates himself with them, but I find much of it to be anti-liberty hackery. I've read more than one post arguing against the NAP, for example.

*Advancing the Ideas of Liberty Daily*