July 23rd, 2006

Browncoat party

Libertarian Split on Iraq

It's always so comforting to think that I'm not one of the people following the herd, just taking a stand because that's what my neighbors or social class or role models believe. I'm just looking at the facts and making up my own mind, right?

Then I saw Ilya Somin's analysis of how libertarians have split in their support for invading Iraq:
[A]necdotal evidence suggests that immigrant libertarians are more likely to be pro-Iraq War than native-born ones. So too with Jewish libertarians (who, even if native-born, may have a strong consciousness of their people's oppression by governments outside the US) as opposed to gentile ones, though Milton Friedman is one of many exceptions to the pattern. If you are highly focused on the evils of oppressive regimes and political movements outside the US, you might be more willing to countenance the use of American military power to destroy or contain them than if you have regarded the US government itself as the main threat to your freedom.
Sure, I was born in the USA, but my grandparents were immigrants, and I've been to the Old Country and met cousins there. So I don't think of freedom as something for just Americans but for everyone. I've also studied the rest of the world from the point of view of a USAF officer which has shown how nasty some governments are (Plus being part of our military force gave me an appreciation for the good it can do).

All that is a good argument for my views, but am deriving my views from the facts I've learned or just rationalizing the views that are standard for my particular tribe?
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