Walter Block has co-written an editorial: The Moral Duty to Destroy Hamas; Israel is entitled to do whatever it takes to uproot this evil, depraved culture that resides next to it. It is behind a paywall, so unless you have a Wall Street Journal subscription, don’t bother clicking.
Often titles of editorials do not convey what it was that the author is writing. In this case, the title offers an understatement.
Walter begins with his usual one-sided and ignorant read of the history of Israel and the region (I have previously dealt with this here). He calls for total, unrestrictive support for Israel, that Israel is entitled to do whatever it takes – a libertarian calling for state to state support for unrestricted war.
Hamas needs to be destroyed, just as the Nazis were – the Walter Block libertarian campaign for carpet bombing Dresden. A complete, total, and decisive victory – regardless of the level of force necessary to accomplish this.
Of course, such a war would engulf, at minimum, Iran, Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq. A few hundred million people – no big deal, not too big a price to pay. But, I wonder, once this is done, how many billion more people will feel hatred toward Israel – and the United States. This path will lead to about 7.5 billion people dead, and the rest dying. But you go for it, Walter. Whatever it takes.
And it will entirely be the fault of Hamas – all those tens-of-thousands or tens-of-millions or several billion dead. Hamas started it (they didn’t, but this is Walter’s lie), so everything that follows is on their head.
Let’s measure this against Walter’s supposed thin libertarianism. Let’s measure it against any version of thick libertarianism. It falls far short on either scale – in fact, precisely the opposite. Murray Rothbard, Walter’s supposed mentor, must be spinning in his grave.
And it isn’t enough just for Israel to win. They must win so conclusively that they will never have to face another war – a war to end all wars. Where have we heard that one before? How did that work out?
What an ignorant statement to cap off a masterful full-neocon editorial.
Can we finally give up the pretense that Walter is a libertarian – further, can we quit pretending that he has a single ethical bone in his body? This may be one of the more unhinged pieces of writing I have read on this topic.
What is actually quite surprising to me: this editorial is almost three weeks old, yet I have not seen a single comment, let alone denunciation, regarding it at any of the sites that I might have expected to see it – sites with which Walter is quite well affiliated, sites whose mission is completely opposite of that which is expressed by Walter in this editorial.
I grant, I don’t read everything, so maybe something was said. It came to my attention only due to a post at the Unz website regarding an alternative view of the purposes of Ayn Rand:
Randian Walter Block’s recent Wall Street Journal article describes Palestine as a “depraved culture” which will solely bear full responsibility for any civilian casualties caused by Israel’s retaliation. Because the Hamas-Nazis deserve it too.
I have been clear about my position on this conflict; it is the position that I find consistent with libertarian political theory, but it strikes me as the most appropriate position to take for any human being with an ounce of decency in him or her: a pox on all political leaders on both sides of this conflict, as well as a pox on the political leaders of those states that support and have allowed this conflict to fester for seventy-five years and more.
The only people getting hurt, on all sides, are the common people, just wanting to, or struggling to, get on with life. I have written about this here.
Walter has asked me several times to work with him on different projects, etc. I have even had people take me to task for not taking advantage of such a noble offer from Walter. First, I have always been cautious about linking my work with that of another. Second, specifically with Walter, while we agree on the ninety-five percent of minor topics, I find him completely and dangerously wrong on the five percent of important ones.
But this editorial? It really is unconscionable. I thank God nowhere do Walter and I share a byline. As mentioned, I am not surprised.
This is Walter Block.