Justin Raimondo died last week. It was a long-time coming.
Co-Founder of Antiwar.com, Justin was one of the most important men in America you’ve probably never heard of.
In the dark days after 9/11 he was the Antiwar movement in America. I remember how quickly everything turned against libertarians politically after that.
And yet, there was Raimondo, plugging away exposing the truth, naming names and showing no fear.
Inspiration doesn’t cover it.
For close to 20 years, three times a week, wielding the biggest rhetorical stick he could find, he let the Empire have it right where it deserved it most.
Right between the eyes.
I haven’t talked about him much here on the blog or even recently on my livestreams and it was an omission.
I may have been avoiding this, to be honest. Why else would it take me a week to even address the subject?
I was forced to the other day, thankfully, by Garland Nixon when I was on Fault Lines. I stumbled through it. The interview starts at 130 minutes in.
So, I’ll try to do a slightly better job here.
We’ve all known for a long time that Justin had lung cancer. Frankly, who wants to face knowing that someone whose voice was precious to you, to your development, and without whom you wouldn’t be where you are today would be leaving?
The first time he replied to me on Twitter I was star-struck.
Raimondo was required reading for well more than a decade. He introduced me to a version of the world I didn’t know existed. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday I would soak up what I could of what he knew and integrate it into my evolving worldview.
He wrote about the one subject that libertarians can always claim the moral high ground on: war is never the answer. War is the health of the state.
As Scott Horton says in his short statement here, it’s cool that Antiwar.com was owned by libertarians, not leftists. Not that it should matter. But looking at the current state of politics in the U.S. it certainly does right now.
Because we are the only people who are consistently, at all times, against war, philosophically. It’s something we have to teach people over and over and over again. And now Raimondo isn’t here to shoulder the load.
Okay, Justin, challenge accepted.
It is the obligation, nee the duty, of all libertarians to focus on that above all other issues. Sure lower taxes are nice and all but where do you think the push for those taxes comes from?
When we withhold our taxes where do you think the funding for the Empire and all its wars comes from? The Fed and central banks around the world.
Why do you think, really, Nixon closed the gold window?
Being anti-war is not a consequence of the non-aggression principle, it is the non-aggression principle writ large.
You can’t fix what’s wrong with America until you fix the foreign policy. And you can’t fix the foreign policy until we come clean about where it comes from.
And Raimondo talked about this incessantly until he couldn’t anymore.
This is why I was so uninterested in the election in 2016 at first. Why stress about who’s in the White House when the White House doesn’t set policy? As Vladimir Putin so eloquently put it, “Presidents change. Policies do not.”
But then it looked like Donald Trump might be the real deal.
Raimondo and I were both filled with a sense of hope we hadn’t, I presume, felt since Ron Paul broke out in the 2012 race. But, even then, deep down we knew they would never let him be the nominee.
Better false hope than no hope? Or was it just the enthusiasm of knowing that the issue was popular and it, at times, gets a voice.
That, eventually, the pendulum swings back the other way and who once were kooks are now the cool kids. Hey, a guy can dream a little, no?
Trump alongside Bernie Sanders was something different than 2012. This was the Great Awakening of the American impulse to reject these neocon usurpers and pull the country (and the world, frankly) back from the brink of their planned demolition.
It is too bad he didn’t live long enough to see Trump put a small down payment on that promise the other day in North Korea.
Raimondo taught me to understand that foreign policy is just war by other means, and it was the most important part of our national policy. The foreign policy orthodoxy can never be challenged in the public sphere.
It is verboten.
Because it is that which drives the Empire and all the perks that come with that for those in charge of it.
It was Raimondo who helped coin and popularize the term neoconservative. It was he that traced their Trotskyite roots back to the 1950’s and helped expose the rank hypocrisy of fake conservatives like Bill Buckley, George Will and the rest of them.
It was he that also connected the dots to Paul Wolfowitz, John Bolton, Sheldon Adelson, Dick Cheney, Richard Perle and the Clintons. It was Justin who broke open the seventh seal of foreign policy, naming the names in Israel that stood alongside them.
And it’s our job to continue exposing them in his absence.
The world is a diminished place today without this lion of peace. A man who embodies the following:
Live a life of consequence, leave a life of significance.
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