Americans who want liberty at home should be wary of expats who seek U.S. intervention abroad.

By Doug Bandow
December 9, 2015
The American Conservative

Before becoming wedded to statism in America, liberalism was a philosophy of liberation. Around the world it stood for liberty and tolerance, battling equally against conservative aristocracy and radical socialism. A global community of those who believe in this older, or classical, liberalism remains active, generally championing free markets, expansive immigration, civil liberties, free speech, and social tolerance. But while leading liberals of the past, such as Great Britain’s John Bright and Richard Cobden, advocated peace, many foreign liberals today favor war—at least, if conducted by Americans at American expense.

For instance, Garry Kasparov, perhaps the greatest chess player ever, has heroically taken on the thankless task of battling for democracy in his Russian homeland. Less commendably, he is surprisingly generous with other people’s lives. He recently declared in the Wall Street Journal: “Anything less than a major U.S. and NATO-led ground offensive against ISIS will be a guarantee of continued failure and more terror attacks in the West. It is immoral to continue putting civilians—Syrian and Western alike—instead of soldiers on the front line against terrorists.”

Kasparov is confused over cause and effect, since terrorism most often follows intervention, as did the recent Islamic State strikes against France, Hezbollah and Russia. But there is a more basic point. It’s easy for a celebrity Russian living in the West to argue that it is the job of Americans, with maybe a couple Europeans tossed in, to destroy ISIS, save Syria, pacify the Mideast, contain Russia, save Ukraine, and more. But there’s actually nothing liberal in pushing a broader, longer war on others.

Read more