Dinesh D'Souza is ignorant

I had to restrain my impulse to title this post, "Dinesh D'Souza is an idiot" because I'd rather not engage in name-calling.

D'Souza took part in a debate with Rep. Ron Paul last weekend at FreedomFest in Las Vegas.  Topic: The war in Iraq.  Not satisfied evidently with how he argued the pro-war case, he put up this blogpost as a parting shot.

So here is question for Ron Paul: shouldn't the United States do what it can to promote liberty worldwide? I posed this question and Paul answered that America should be an example of liberty and not try to impose freedom by force. Alas, where freedom has come to countries it has usually come by force. How did we get freedom in this country? We had a revolution. How did African Americans win freedom? It took the invasion of a Northern army to secure for the slaves a freedom they were not in a position to secure for themselves. And let's remember that America imposed freedom at the point of a bayonet on Japan and Germany after World War II, and the results have been excellent.

Let's tick these off one by one.  1) The American Revolution was not an excercise in force, it was an act of resistance to acts of force perpretrated by the British Empire.  2) The initial purpose of that Northern army's invasion was to prevent the secession of the Southern states, not to secure freedom for the slaves.  Freedom for the slaves came only when it proved to be politically expedient.  3) America did not fight World War II for the purpose of "imposing freedom."  It was an act of self-defense after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and Hitler declared war on the United States.  Any "imposition" of freedom on Japan and Germany afterward was a happy by-product.

Oh, but there's more:

It seems that today's libertarians are divided into two camps: the principled and the unprincpled. The former believe in liberty as a universal aspiration. The latter believe in freedom for us but not for anyone else. Ron Paul isn't going to become president, but as America's leading libertarian he would do the group a service by upholding freedom as a universal principle, as the founders did.

A nice little underhanded smear of Paul as an "unprincipled" libertarian.  But come on.  Yes, the Founders believed liberty was the birthright of all, but the corollary of that is that liberty at home is jeopardized by war abroad.  It's why James Madison said war begets the "armies, and debts, and taxes" that are "the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few," and John Quincy Adams advised us not to go abroad "in search of monsters to destroy."

Either D'Souza is ignorant of this basic history (which makes all his scholarship suspect) or — more likely, I suspect — he knows this history all too well, but professes ignorance for the sake of scoring cheap points against Ron Paul in much the same way Rudy Giuliani professed ignorance of the concept of "blowback."

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