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Monday, September 11, 2006

War Criminals "R" Us

One of my favorite pages on the web is The Leithner Letter (http://www.leithner.com.au/newsletter, posted about once a month by Chris Leithner, a value investor (a la Benjamin Graham and Warren Buffett) at the eponymous Leithner & Company Pty Ltd (http://www.leithner.com.au/index.html), a private investment company based in Brisbane, Australia.

Chris' letters are highly readable and chock full of good information and worthwhile insights. His letters demonstrate that he is a serious student of history (American and Canadian as well as Australian) and the Austrian school of economics (Mises, Hayek, etc.).

His latest letter is a true gem. See http://www.leithner.com.au/newsletter/Sept_Oct06%20Newsletter.pdf.


. . . people go to extraordinary lengths to avoid painful reappraisals of their rulers and their basic policies. Perhaps that is why so few Australians think seriously about how their rulers’ policies affect people in other countries. After all, these lands are usually distant and unfamiliar; there are only so many hours in the day to inform oneself about them; and other matters, from mortgage rates to petrol prices, seem to be more pressing. Accordingly, are not such specialised matters best left to the anointed experts in Canberra, the universities, think tanks and editorial pages? And in the final analysis, surely the motives of Australian politicians and their Anglo-American masters are unimpeachable?

But shortages of time and energy do not provide very satisfactory explanations of this general abandonment of the classical liberal virtue of vigilance. It is clear to anybody who opens his eyes that the policies of the political class routinely create messes and disasters at home: so why on earth should they foment anything other than chaos and misery abroad? Alas, few of the ruled ask this question. Instead, many avert their eyes and blindly accept what their rulers tell them about foreigners and far-off parts of the world. Why? Perhaps because if they saw things from the point of view of people at the receiving end of Western governments’ foreign policies, an awful truth would stare them in the face: during and since the Second World War, some celebrated Western “leaders,” particularly American and British, have, by the standards employed at Nuremberg, qualified as war criminals.

If you read the entire article and want to bring it to the attention of others, you can Digg it here: http://digg.com/political_opinion/War_Criminals_R_Us.


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