About This Blog

Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973) was the greatest economist of my time. His greatest works can be accessed here at no charge.

Mises believed that property, freedom and peace are and should be the hallmarks of a satisfying and prosperous society. I agree. Mises proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the prospect for general and individual prosperity is maximized, indeed, is only possible, if the principle of private property reigns supreme. What's yours is yours. What's mine is mine. When the line between yours and mine is smudged, the door to conflict opens. Without freedom (individual liberty of action) the principle of private property is neutered and the free market, which is the child of property and freedom and the mother of prosperity and satisfaction, cannot exist. Peace is the goal of a prosperous and satisfying society of free individuals, not peace which is purchased by submission to the enemies of property and freedom, but peace which results from the unyielding defense of these principles against all who challenge them.

In this blog I measure American society against the metrics of property, freedom and peace.

Monday, November 14, 2011


According to an AP news report, President "Obama called waterboarding 'torture' and said it was 'contrary to America's traditions' during a news conference at the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit."

I have a simple question for President Obama: Mr. President, if one of your daughters was kidnapped by a known child murderer and you captured an accomplice who, you presume on good authority, knows the whereabouts of your daughter and her captor, wouldn't you beat the living crap out of the guy until he told you what he knows?

In order to think clearly on the "torture" issue it is necessary to draw some hard and fast lines.

First we must distinguish between torture used within our society and torture used during a time of war. In our society we operate by the rule of law. All US citizens are treated equally under the law. The law clearly forbids torture as a means for authorities to garner information, say, local police interrogators. [In my example, President Obama would be clearly violating the law if he beat information out of somebody. It would be his decision whether or not to violate the law and accept its consequences.]

However, if a state of war exists between the US and a specific enemy, I consider torture as a legitimate means of gaining critical information from the enemy. Obviously, I am not advocating torture, such as waterboarding, as the SOP for all captured enemy combatants. It's use should be limited to life and death circumstances on the battlefield or otherwise.

War is hell, which is exactly why we must be so very careful making war.

Ron Paul is advocating that the US not go to war unless Congress declares war. This is part of our Constitution.

Once war is declared, all means necessary to win the war are legitimate.

If this is the understanding going into a war, Congress might not be so cavalier about declaring war, and our enemies might not be so cavalier about rattling their sabres against us.


LD Jackson said...

Good post, Sherman. You make a very good point about our attitude going into a war. If our enemies, or those who would be our enemies, understand just how seriously we take war, attitudes would change, I suspect.

ralph said...

There is no such thing as a civilized war. Torture for no reason other than inflict pain is not a valid reason. Torture to gather information useful in saving lives, all is fair in love and war.

Obama is quick to take credit for the information obtained from the past administration whether that information was obtained by waterboarding or a honey. I have yet to hear him say he cannot take credit because the information was obtained through waterboarding.