<< ARI Watch

These are New Intellectuals ?

In her essay “The Intellectual Bankruptcy of Our Age” Ayn Rand refers to:

“the singular recklessness with which alleged humanitarians treat such issues as force, violence, expropriation, enslavement, bloodshed ...”
Were she alive today, besides alleged humanitarians Ayn Rand might include neocons and alleged Objectivists. On this page we give examples of the appalling vulgarity of the people at the Ayn Rand Institute on the above issues. They advocate killing with a singular recklessness; they can even be flippant about it.

In what follows TIA stands for The Intellectual Activist, a monthly journal once edited and published by Robert Tracinski when he was a senior fellow at ARI. TIA Daily is an email newsletter once co-published with TIA. (In the TIA Daily of Oct. 11, 2005 Mr. Tracinksi writes:  “The goal of TIA Daily and TIA Monthly is to provide the highest and best kind of journalistic commentary, not just a ‘first rough draft of history’, but also a first rough draft of philosophy.”)


What We Won in Fallujah  by Robert Tracinski,  TIA Daily, Nov. 15, 2004:
“As some of the mainstream press begins trying to paint the victory in Fallujah as a defeat ... this article [“Bomb Labs, Hostages Found in Fallujah,” Edward Harris, AP via Washington Times, November 14] highlights what we have won there: the elimination of a terrorist [i.e. insurgent] safe haven that included bomb factories and hostage dungeons. Also amusing is a letter left by an Algerian insurgent, saying  ‘Don’t cry for me. Celebrate my death.’  Will do.”
Perhaps you don’t care for Algerians either, but  “amusing”?  And  “Will do.” – Mr. Tracinski thinks this is funny?

The Era of Muddling Through  by Robert Tracinski,  TIA, Mar. 2003.
Writing on the verge of the Iraq invasion, Mr. Tracinski looks back to the days just after 9-11. Bush, he says, wanted to invade Afghanistan and the only man who had a plan for invading that country was the CIA’s counter-terrorism director, Cofer Black.
“Black, incidentally, emerges as a minor hero of the story. A hard-charging, old-fashioned operator [perhaps Mr. Tracinski has been reading too many cheap spy novels], Black vowed to the president on September 13, ‘When we’re through with them [al Qaeda], they will have flies walking across their eyeballs.’ From that point on, Black was known in the administration as ‘the flies-on-the-eyeballs guy’ ”
And thus Mr. Black is a  “minor hero”?  I couldn’t make this stuff up if you paid me.

Innocents in War?  by Onkar Ghate,  ARI op-ed, Jan. 9, 2002 & Mar. 6, 2003:
“... victory [in war] with a minimum of one’s own casualties may ... require a free nation to deliberately target the civilians of an aggressor nation in order to cripple its economic production and/or break its will. This is what the United States did in WWII when it dropped fire bombs on Dresden and Hamburg and atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.”
Iraq never was “an aggressor nation” against the U.S., and far from breaking the will of a nation, attacks against civilians only strengthen it. “Americans are the monsters our leaders told us they were!” Mr. Ghate’s dishonesty regarding WW II is addressed on our Links page.

What Have We Lost?  by Robert Tracinski,  ARI op-ed, Sept. 11, 2002:
“[On this anniversary of 9-11,]  to focus primarily on the suffering of the victims turns our attention inward, discouraging us from looking outward to ensure the destruction of our enemies. It makes us think that the appropriate way to memorialize September 11 is to devote a day to ‘volunteerism’ and ‘national service’ – rather than, say, the carpet-bombing of Iraq.”
That  “say”  does it for me.

Forward Strategy of Freedom  ARI Press Release, Nov. 20, 2004:
“[Speaking at New York University, Yaron Brook]  denounced the recent operation in Fallujah, saying ... our government could and should have carpet bombed this and other insurgent cities. ... Using the Civil War and World War II as contrasts, he said targeting civilians on a mass scale to break the enemy’s will is desperately needed to reverse course.”
Is Mr. Brook suggesting the U.S. drop an atom bomb on Iraq?
“Our government’s responsibility ... is only to utterly destroy the enemy – eliminating the threat it poses to Americans ... .”
He states this as a generality and obviously intends it to apply to Iraq, though Iraq never was a threat to the U.S. (It was a threat to Israel.) Mr. Brook goes on to recommend  “carpet bombing Tehran.”

The Big Lie: Intelligence Failure in Iraq  by Harry Binswanger,  Capitalism Magazine website, Feb. 23, 2004:
“In the wake of that [9-11], the only intelligent question was: which lousy Middle East pesthole-dictatorship are we going to crush first? Not: was or was not the threat from this particular statist sewer ‘imminent’ or only ‘growing’? ”
Some people cannot make fine distinctions. Mr. Binswanger cannot make even course ones. Iraq had nothing to do with 9-11 – the contrary is the big lie. And Iraq’s threat to the U.S. was non-existent, neither imminent nor growing.

News Flash: War Is Hell  by Robert Tracinski,  TIA Daily, Oct. 27, 2005.
Note Mr. Tracinski’s sarcastic title, “News Flash ... .”  War is hell, and he makes a joke out of it.
“As the casualty count for the Iraq War reaches 2,000, there has not been as much wailing and gnashing of teeth in the press as I expected. I think that pre-emptive criticism from the right shamed them into toning done [sic] their demagoguery.”
That pre-emptive criticism, some of which Mr. Tracinski goes on to quote, consists of pointing out that the casualty rate in Iraq is less than that of either World War II, Korea, or Vietnam. This is another reason to agree with Ayn Rand that America made a grave mistake in entering those wars (see Ayn Rand on WW II on this website): people like Mr. Tracinski use the deaths in those wars to excuse deaths in similar future wars.

Who’s Making Taunts over Burned Bodies?  by Robert Tracinski,  TIA Daily, Oct. 21, 2005:
“Led by video footage from an Australian journalist, Americans are being instructed to feel ashamed of our cause because soldiers burned the bodies of two Taliban militiamen and taunted their [i.e. the enemy’s] compatriots about it on the radio. The Pentagon isn’t celebrating. It has opened an investigation ... .”
In other words, instead of investigating this barbarism the Pentagon ought to have celebrated it. After saying that Arabs don’t worry over their own behavior, and insinuating that we should be no better, Mr. Tracinski concludes with mockery: “Islam offers nothing but existing tribal tradition and dusty pover [sic, poverty] – and the opportunity [?] to taunt us over burning bodies.” Now Mr. Tracinski’s title make sense: taunting the taunters – cute, no?

Stop Apologizing for Civilian Casualties  by Peter Schwartz,  ARI op-ed, April 3, 2003.
As you read the following, keep in mind that Iraq never was a threat to the United States, and that Mr. Schwartz would know this if he allowed himself to see and think. The hysterical emphasis is his:
“By any rational standard of morality, any wartime harm to the most innocent of Iraqis is entirely the responsibility of their government. Our moral right, and responsibility, is to do everything possible to safeguard American lives, however many civilian casualties that goal may require. We may lament the loss of innocent Iraqis during the war, just as we lament the loss of innocent Americans. But we should not apologize, since the blame, in both cases, rests entirely with the enemy, who made it necessary for us to wage war to defend ourselves against his threat.”
This is all true, assuming Mr. Schwartz’s false premise. But lament from a man engaged in such evasion is hypocritical lament. He would dance on your grave if it suited him, and justify it with Objectivist verbiage.


And then there is torture, but that deserves several pages to itself.  See  Torture and Intrinsicism,  on this website, for a list.