Tag: Arab Spring

Iraq: What Might Have Been


290165818_4058f117ce_bIn a previous thread, Ricochet member Majestyk expressed a major complaint that he has about libertarians, liberals and even conservatives who gripe about the Iraq and Afghanistan wars: What is your alternate scenario?

If we could unwind the clock of history and place you inside George W. Bush’s head (a la Being John Malkovich) what is your preferred policy prescription for U.S. foreign policy in the days following 9/11?

I never hear that question answered and I barely hear it asked.

Open Markets Are Better Than Destroyed Borders


shutterstock_168752339The situation within Europe is alarming. The so-called Arab Spring — particularly the civil war in Syria — has displaced millions of people and further undermined the traditional system of working nation states in Europe. While not the original cause of Europe’s immigration problem, current events are accelerating them: after a dangerous crossing across the Mediterranean, these refugees are overburdening the European welfare system while leaving their own countries bereft of development.

There can be no doubt that immigration has played an important role in every era of human history. A developing culture depends on exchange: exchange of ideas, exchange of of markets, and exchange of people. Without the Roman invasions, Northern Europe would never have developed civilization. The founding of the United States — closer to our time — was essentially the product of unbounded ideas, a societal tabula rasa created by diligence and hope that lacked the burden of medieval Europe, but preserved the best of its thinkers from Cato, to Cicero, to Saint Augustine, to John Locke. Immigration is the driver of a flourishing culture.

But Europe’s open borders do not represent real exchange, and the problems faced by underdeveloped countries in North Africa and the Middle East cannot be solved by uncontrolled immigration into European welfare states. Indeed, even a short and superficial analysis of the European supranational state must concede that the European Union’s policy of a closed, internal market essentially causes the problems its underdeveloped neighbors face.

Podcast: Israel and the Arab Turmoil, with Itamar Rabinovich


In a one-off podcast for the Hoover Institution, I recently sat down with Itamar Rabinovich, President of the Israel Institute and former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. (he also spent three years as Israel’s chief negotiator with Syria). In this talk, Ambassador Rabinovich takes us on a guided tour of the Arab Middle East and explains how the situations in Syria, Egypt, Iran, and other countries in the area will affect the future of Israeli security.