LRC Blog

Iran as Terror Myth

According to the U.S. Department of State, Iran foments terrorism: “Designated as a State Sponsor of Terrorism in 1984, Iran continued its terrorist-related activity in 2016…”

The Department of State does its best to create an imaginary, unreal, nonexistent, mythical image of Iran as terror haven. This is false.

If this were true, State could list the terror incidents on American soil that Iran sponsored. They do not, because they cannot. If there were such a list showing the guilt of Iran in causing terrorist acts in America, the U.S. would long ago have declared war on Iran.

The closest Washington can come to blaming Iran for a terror event in America is the incident involving the plan to assassinate the Saudi ambassador. The participation of Iran’s government in that affair is highly contested.

We keep getting mass murder attacks on American soil, some of which are terror attacks. List one is here. List two is here. List three, a shorter list that focuses only on radical Islamist attacks during Obama’s 8 years, is here.

How many of these attacks trace back to Iran? NONE. ZERO. None of the 13 attacks in List 3 are even remotely linked to Iran. List 1 doesn’t supply enough data to determine affiliations of terrorists without further research. List 2 is a long Wiki list. Not a single instance of links of a terrorist to Iran occurs among the incidents listed. One case involves an Iranian-American: “Although Taheri-azar was born in Tehran, the capital of Iran, he is a naturalized U.S. citizen who moved to the United States at the age of two.” He had absolutely no connection to Iran.

When it comes to terror attacks on American soil, Iran is totally out of the picture. The U.S. Department of State has created a terror myth concerning Iran.

Any real understanding of terror events in America will also have to acknowledge and accord the proper weight to those attacks whose sources are other than Islamist extremism. These are listed in the Wiki article.

The State Department calls Iran terrorist, not because of anything whatsoever having to do with murders on American soil, but mainly because of Iran’s political and military relations with nearby countries, including Israel, Syria, Lebanon and others.

By calling Iran a state sponsor of terrorism, the State Department hides the truth and makes it easy for Congress to impose sanctions and view Iran as an enemy. The children in Congress, intelligence bureaus and the U.N. can even understand the logic: If Iran is terrorist and terrorism is bad for us, then Iran must be bad and should be squelched. Well, Iran is not terrorist and labeling it as such gets us nowhere.

Leaving Iran aside for a moment, the rest of the logic is flawed too. Terrorism is bad for us when it occurs here. But is it bad for us when it occurs elsewhere or blends into political objectives and conflicts? Not necessarily. There are always bad things going on everywhere and for every person on Earth. This doesn’t mean that the U.S. government should become involved. It easily becomes bad for the government to get involved in all but a tiny, tiny, tiny number, an infinitesimal number, of bad things that are happening in this world. And that’s if the government could even recognize the bad things or knew what to do about them if it did.

The truth is more complex. If Iran has interests in its neighbors, what are they? Why do they have them? Why should the U.S. be interested in their interests? What are the U.S. aims in the region? Once we look at the matter truthfully, we have to recognize differences and conflicts on deeper levels. We do not have the luxury of classifying Iran as a bad guy and leaving it to Nikki Haley to repeat this again and again. The leaders of the U.S. might actually have to study these matters so that they can devise some useful policies. Designating Iran as a state sponsor of terrorism is a substitute for meaningful policies that actually attempt to ameliorate the conflicts of interests that are there. Staying out of these conflicts altogether is a more than viable candidate for a U.S. foreign policy.

Our government’s foreign policy with respect to Iran (and Russia) is poor. Our officials are stuck deeply in a rut of false images and myths. The instigators are neocon think tanks. Neocons establish the myths and the policies. Their thought cuts across political party lines.

The central neocon think tank is the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD). Its slogan is “FIGHTING TERRORISM AND PROMOTING FREEDOM”. See how tricky words and logic can be? Who can be against fighting Iran if it promotes terrorism? The neocons work stepwise. Get State to designate Iran as terrorist. Sooner or later, fighting terrorism then has to lead to fighting Iran. But Iran as terrorist is MYTH. There is no Iranian terrorism to fight, and even if there were, our government has no obligation or charge to fight it. Neither does our government have an obligation or charge to promote freedom IN OTHER LANDS.

The FDD has “top experts on sanctions, illicit finance, nonproliferation, terrorism, human rights and Iran’s domestic power apparatus.” FDD constantly monitors Iran so that it can maintain the myth of its terrorism and badness. The assumption is always that the U.S. should or must interfere. The FDD should monitor the U.S. government. Would it not find incredible regions of badness permeating the entire enterprise, including those that FDD counts on to fight and sanction Iran? Would it not find amounts of badness that are a hundred times worse than what it finds regarding Iran? For that matter, the FDD should monitor Israel, England, Australia, and other stand-up democracies whom it lauds and claims to defend. What will it find if it’s honest but more badness?

2:27 pm on December 15, 2017

The Leftist Hate Group that Has Inspired Left-Wing Terrorists

I speak of  course of the Southern Poverty Law Center, as discussed in a new Web site,

10:55 am on December 15, 2017

Criticisms of my Speech on Libertarianism

From: A
Sent: Monday, December 11, 2017 7:51 PM
Subject: FW: Questions

Dear Dr Block: I was listening to one of your speeches from 4 years ago – December 2013 in Australia. I have several questions. It is an old video, I am enclosing link to a YouTube video to refresh your memory. At time mark 46:01 young lady asks you about a dishonest cop. Wouldn’t letting a prostitute go be a violation of contract, she said, and therefore a better option for a policeman would be not to become one?

I am sorry, but I found your response to her question unusually poor. (You said that contracts with the Devil may be freely broken). While I agree that we have abundance of stupid laws, and everything government declares a war on is doing great (war on drugs, war on terror, war on poverty, etc.) – I think the most logical thing to do would be to entice governments to declare war on prosperity… Anyway, what if I were to contract you for a tour, ask you to pay your travel expenses initially as well as hotel accommodation and offered to pay you $10K per day, but once the tour was over I’d say that you bathe with rubber duckie, and since you are the Devil our contract is no longer valid? What if I disagreed with some of your views just like the policeman may disagree with some of the laws? Would that then morally justify my position and make not paying you agreed fee justified?


1:43 pm on December 14, 2017

Trump To Release New US Strategy: Will Neocons Cheer?

1:02 pm on December 14, 2017

Hey Pence: Don’t Forget to Go to Saudi Arabia

Vice President Mike Pence is set to travel throughout the Middle East this month seeking an “end to the persecution of Christians and all religious minorities.” Hey Pence: Don’t forget to go to U.S. ally Saudi Arabia, where Bibles and churches are illegal and Muslims can be killed if they convert to Christianity. Hey Pence: Make sure you tell the Saudis to allow Christians to openly practice their faith. Hey Pence: Make sure you tell Saudi Arabia to allow its citizens to choose their own religion.

12:24 pm on December 14, 2017

Like the Little Girl With the Curl: How Can Pat Buchanan Be So Good On Foreign Policy, and Yet So Bad on Free Trade?

Pat Buchanan is like the little girl with the curl; when she was good, she was awfully good; when she was bad, she was horrid.

Here he is on foreign policy: This is no less than magnificent. The essay is surely up to the standards of Ron Paul, Murray Rothbard and all other hard-core libertarians who consistently utilize our theory, even in this realm, unlike some beltway “libertarians.”

But in sharp and stark contrast, Buchanan’s views on international trade are bloody awful. He is a protectionist through and through. He never saw a tariff he didn’t like (I exaggerate, but only slightly). Even Milton Friedman and Adam Smith, quasi libertarians at best, can see through this economic illiteracy of Buchanan’s. Friedman, happily, has called for a US unilateral declaration of free trade with all other nations, whether or not they reciprocate. This is the only position consistent with libertarianism. I strive mightily each semester, sometimes even successfully, to inculcate my freshman students with enough economic knowledge to see through the fallacies of protectionism. Mr. Buchanan simply has no knowledge of the doctrine of comparative advantage, specialization and the division of labor.

How can Buchanan be so insightful in one area of human action, foreign policy, and yet so dreadful on another, international trade? Inquiring minds want to know. This may be one of the greatest mysteries of the modern era of political economic commentary.

1:01 pm on December 13, 2017

You Know the CIA Is in Trouble

When it is headquartered in the George Bush Center for Intelligence. That would be former head of the CIA George H. W. Bush, although either Bush would do.

10:49 am on December 13, 2017

Academic Rigor is Racist, Sexist, Homophobic, Bla, Bla, Bla . . .

. . . says one Donna Riley, the dean of the school of “engineering education” (as opposed to real engineering) at Purdue University.  Academic rigor has too much “hardness,” “stiffness,” and “erectness,” says the apparently sex-obsessed Ms. Riley.  It is therefore a tool of oppression by “white heterosexual males,” who she characterizes as the root of all worldly evil in keeping with the standard cultural Marxist  mantra.  She calls for the abandonment of academic rigor in the teaching of engineering education at Purdue University in order to combat white heterosexual male privilege and oppression.

You would have “engineering education” at Purdue University.  The Purdue administration apparently picked Ms. Riley from what must have been a large list of candidates for the job based on her desire to destroy academic rigor in the engineering education program.  One wonders if there was any real engineering faculty input into the hiring decision.  Probably not, from such a white heterosexual male-dominated field.


10:38 am on December 13, 2017

Russia’s Pulling Out Of Syria…Why Can’t We?

5:40 pm on December 12, 2017

Do They Make One for Veterans?

I saw an interesting bumper sticker the other day. It said: “Yes, I am a senior. Now give me my discount.” I could not help but to think of veterans and the attitude that many of them have when it comes to receiving discounts and other honors because of their “service.”

4:11 pm on December 12, 2017

The US Armed Forces Will Become Less Efficient. Is This Good or Bad From the Libertarian Perspective? Good.

Stipulate That the US Armed Forces Will Become Less Efficient; Should We Welcome This Development?

Breaking news: A Federal judge today rejected President Trump’s order stopping the enlistment of transgendered people into the American military. Posit that this will make the Army, Navy, Airforce and Marines less efficient. Is this something to be welcomed by the libertarian? Yes, since with some 800 military bases in about 130 different countries, the U.S. military is an imperialistic power that has long ago over-reached Constitutional limitations. The “land of the free, home of the brave” is throwing its weight all around the world in an offensive posture. From a libertarian point of view, this country’s fighting forces are to defend us, not engage in offensive actions against other countries in every corner of the globe.

3:04 pm on December 12, 2017

Perfect Example of Leftist Hollywood “Culture” . . .

. . . that berates normal people in Alabama, Arkansas, and elsewhere, starring “comedian” Chelsea Handler who daily trashes Trump’s press secretary, calling her a “summer whore” and worse.  (Click on the “December 9, 2017” link for the show).  These are people who always, always pretend to occupy the moral high ground in society as they sneer at the rest of the country from their moronic “talk shows” on TV.

7:53 am on December 12, 2017

I Feel So Much Safer

Trump’s attempt to ban new transgender people from enlisting in the military has been overturned by a federal court. “The Pentagon said Monday that it will begin processing transgender applicants to the military on January 1.”

This is not being forced on the military. Many military leaders want this or don’t care. Former Secretary of Defense Ash Carter was all for it. Now, personally, I don’t care who is in the military and what they think they are and what their sexual practices and perversions are. But I will say this:

  1. I don’t think any decent and moral person should have anything to do with today’s military.
  2. I point these things out about the military because so many Americans, and especially conservative Christians, hold the military in such high esteem.

5:39 pm on December 11, 2017

Anarcho Libertarian Arguments Regarding the Military

From: T
Sent: Monday, December 04, 2017 10:35 AM
To: Walter Block
Subject: Re: Defense and the minarchists

Walter, do you have any advice on a book or chapter that lays out the anarcho libertarian positions or private law society arguments regarding the military that I could use to demonstrate ancap moral superiority over the minarchists viewpoint or neo con positions regarding the military? Thanks, T

Dear T: Here are some readings on this matter:


3:38 pm on December 11, 2017

Pentagon Audit – Just Another Cover-Up!

1:44 pm on December 11, 2017

Good Question

Last night on his FOX show Tucker Carlson asked former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski how moving a U.S. embassy in another country from one city to another “makes America great again.”  Lewandowski answered that it was important to people in Israel.  “But what about Americans?”, asked Carlson.  Good question.  Well, there are American Jews with relatives in Israel, said Lewandowski.

11:23 am on December 9, 2017

Invictus Debate; Disagreements With Rothbard

From: S
Sent: Saturday, November 25, 2017 7:26 PM
Subject: disagreements with Rothbard

Hello Mr Walter Block, my name is S. I live in Argentina and i love your ideas i just listen to your wonderful debate with mr Invictus , and you mention some articles that enunciate the divergences between you and mr Rothbard (You mention for example the agreement of voluntary slavery) I would love to read the other articles that you mention in the Q&A that develop the other point you and Rothbard disagree. when you have some time could you send me the articles you mention? If you can’t, I still love you Mighty Block . I greatly thank you for your beautiful work.

Dear S: Thanks for your kind words.

Let me just say, before I send you that material which contains my disagreements with Murray Rothbard, my friend and mentor, that I revere this man. He was a genius. Possibly, probably, in all of these disagreements I had with him, he was correct, and I was wrong. I still can’t see my way clear to that conclusion, but I’m open to having my errors being pointed out, in this or indeed any other regard. Here is the material you requested:


6:06 pm on December 8, 2017

Why Did 9/11 Happen in 2001?

An article entitled, “Google’s true origin partly lies in CIA and NSA research grants for mass surveillance,” discusses the extensive cooperation—read: “funding” and “research for hire”—between the “intelligence community” and computer scientists:

In the mid 1990s, the intelligence community in America began to realize that they had an opportunity. The supercomputing community was just beginning to migrate from university settings into the private sector …[The intelligence community’s] research aim was to track digital fingerprints inside the rapidly expanding global information network, which was then known as the World Wide Web. Could an entire world of digital information be organized so that the requests humans made inside such a network be tracked and sorted? Could their queries be linked and ranked in order of importance? Could “birds of a feather” be identified inside this sea of information so that communities and groups could be tracked in an organized way?

By working with emerging commercial-data companies, [the intelligence community’s] intent was to track like-minded groups of people across the internet and identify them from the digital fingerprints they left behind, much like forensic scientists use fingerprint smudges to identify criminals….

Intriguing, isn’t it, that 9/11 transpired only a few years after this “collaboration” had resulted in tracking so comprehensive virtually no one anywhere escapes the Feds’ surveillance? As if the “intelligence community” created an emergency that would test its new abilities and legitimate its grabbing all of our data. And indeed, over at the NSA in the months preceding September 2001, the war-criminal Michael Hayden was quashing attempts to monitor only foreign “terrorists” (remember that America’s terrorists are other countries’ patriots) in favor of spying on everyone, 24/7.

Such a fascinating intersection of crisis with technical powers in search of legality…

5:20 pm on December 8, 2017

Moore Accuser Now Admits She Altered Her Yearbook

Interesting, and no wonder she and her attorney were against document experts examining the yearbook.

3:57 pm on December 8, 2017

Bloodthirsty, Nuke Crazy People

Americans. Probably mostly conservatives. Chuck Baldwin points out that an “MIT survey found that 60% of the American people would be willing to preemptively nuke Iran, knowing that 2 million civilians would be killed.” The report concludes that “today, as in 1945, the U.S. public is unlikely to serve as a serious constraint on any president who might consider using nuclear weapons in the crucible of war.”

7:45 pm on December 7, 2017

Body Shape of a Turtle, Face of a Muskrat, Spine of a Serpent, Teeth Like a Beaver, Mentality of a Leech

Swamp Creature Al Franken has resigned from the U.S. Senate to be replaced, I assume, by someone even more odious.

3:10 pm on December 7, 2017

Bipartisanship On Jerusalem: Does It Make Us Safer?

1:37 pm on December 7, 2017

Tax Evader?

From: T
Sent: Thursday, December 07, 2017 8:48 AM
Subject: Defending III

Dr. Block: Will “Defending III” finally include a chapter devoted to the tax evader???

Dear T: Yes. Here are the first few words of this chapter, The Tax Evader (1061 words, so far)

“This chapter is dedicated to the memory of Vivien Kellems, Irwin Schiff and to all others savaged by a criminal gang for not forking over funds they had never agreed to pay in the first place.

“Initially, I labeled this chapter: ‘the tax cheat.’ But, in the process of writing it, I realized that this is only the way the government sees the matter. Those who do not pay their taxes due are ‘cheaters.’ But that is not at all how I look at the matter. Hence, the substitution of the more neutral term, ‘evader.’ ‘Non-payer’ might even be a better, more accurate, nomenclature.”

1:20 pm on December 7, 2017

Southern Poverty Law Center Defends Antifa

If you are a violent communist criminal who screams at those with whom you disagree, calling them Nazis and beating them bloody, setting cars and buildings on fire, throwing urine and feces at people, throwing bricks and bottles at the police, and instigating riots then there could be nothing but purity and love in your heart according to the Soviet Poverty Lie Center (SPLC), which has refused to label “Antifa” as one of its “hate groups.”  The Singing Nuns are on its list, however, as is almost every conservative and libertarian organization in America.  The American Enterprise Institute was condemned by the SPLC for “mainstreaming hate” by sponsoring a public debate on immigration policy, a topic Americans have been debating since the Louisiana Purchase.  It was the SPLC, under contract with the Department of Fatherland Security, that advised during the Obama administration that anyone with a “Ron Paul for President’ bumper sticker should be considered to be a potential terrorist.  If Antifa is not a hate group, then there is no such thing as a hate group.

8:04 am on December 7, 2017

Ward Allen R.I.P.

Dr. Ward S. Allen, for many years professor of English at Auburn University, a friend of many at the Mises Institute, and my mentor, has died at age 95. A great man, a genuine scholar, and a true Southern gentleman.

10:09 pm on December 6, 2017

Under CommieCare, Your Pet Fares Better As a Patient Than You Do

A report in a Canadian newspaper about “a private-for-profit veterinarian clinic, where, for a fee, you are able to, pardon the grotesque pun, acquire a CAT scan, along with other medical procedures, for your beloved pet quickly and efficiently” inspired our northern correspondent, David Maharaj, to the following comparison:
“Counter that situation with government-run health care in [Canada], where people routinely die on waiting lists waiting to see a specialist. In the novel, Animal Farm, Orwell speaks of some animals being more equal than others. In this country, animals are definitely more equal than humans on the health care front.”

The same fate awaits Americans if we continue down the pit of socialized medicine. The repeal of Obummercare’s mandate seems heartening—but remember that what one set of criminals in Congress repeal, the next can reinstate.

7:19 pm on December 6, 2017

Israel’s Capital: Who Decides?

12:43 pm on December 6, 2017

Defending the Undefendable, Mises University, the AERC

From: J
Sent: Tuesday, November 28, 2017 10:26 PM
Subject: Your Defense of the Undefendable

Hi Dr. Block! I finished reading your book, Defending the Undefendable, earlier this evening and I just wanted to say that, despite having had the urge to recoil in more than one occasion, I found myself agreeing with your analysis. Your chapters on the (non-government) counterfeiter, the curmudgeon, and the speculator struck me particularly as profound, although I found all other chapters to contain valuable insight into practical economic services as seen through the lens of the Austrian. I plan to attend the Mises University Summer Fellowship in order to further my knowledge of Austrian economics and to improve my prospects of doing research on that basis at a graduate program. Will you by any chance be there? Best regards, J

12:19 pm on December 6, 2017

Harvard’s Illiberal and Intolerant Prejudice Against Blacklisted Male Clubs

Harvard College has had private, undergraduate, male-only clubs for a very long time. The Porcellian Club, the oldest club, dates from 1791. Harvard can’t legally force the clubs to admit particular kinds of members, arranged by gender, sex, race, or other attributes. Instead, Harvard has found a stick to beat the clubs with, and that stick is to discriminate against members of clubs that it calls “unrecognized single-gender social organizations (USGSOs)”.

“Starting with Harvard’s Class of 2021, undergraduate members of unrecognized single-gender social organizations will be banned from holding athletic team captaincies and leadership positions in all recognized student groups. They will also be ineligible for College endorsement for top fellowships like the Rhodes and Marshall scholarships.”

If Harvard were a purely private institution, it would have a right to discriminate against all-male clubs. Harvard could be as prejudiced as a KKK member. As a large-scale recipient of federal money, certain federal rules come into play with respect to “diversity”, “affirmative action”, and all such witless devices that claim to achieve social ends by not recognizing basic rights, one of which is to discriminate ad libitum. Under federal rules, Harvard can still discriminate and be as prejudiced as any anti-Semitic zealot, if it discriminates in the politically correct way.

If Harvard were openly to claim that it has a right to discriminate with its scholarships, recommendations, and leadership positions, we could respect that and find it consistent with libertarian reasoning. But then Harvard would find itself having to tolerate private discrimination arising from freedom elsewhere in America as in the making of wedding cakes, the supplying of restroom facilities, the offering of jobs, the openness of motels and restaurants and dozens of other situations. This approval Harvard cannot render. So it must resort to specious justifications other than the assertion of its right to discriminate.

The foremost of these phony arguments is that freedom of males to choose or not to choose associations with others in all-male clubs must be curtailed because it harms the Harvard community’s social life. Such association doesn’t harm those who voluntarily join. How does it harm others? Does it incite their jealousy? Does it rankle them, inciting their resentment? That cannot be laid at the doorstep of an exclusive club. Freedom, exclusivity, and private property all go together. The excluded have had a right for hundreds of years to create and form clubs of their own, along any lines they desire. Harvard’s anti-USGSO policy restricts that right. It is Harvard that is now harming the social options and the social life of Harvard by its illiberal attempts to enforce diversity.

Harvard wants “to create a community where students have the fair opportunity to engage in curricular and extracurricular activities regardless of their gender, socioeconomic status, or other attributes unrelated to merit.” This is not an argument based on Harvard’s right, an argument Harvard cannot make without contradicting its politically correct beliefs. This is an argument that clubs are unfair and unfairly discriminate, something that Harvard cannot demonstrate. If Harvard believes this, it shouldn’t seek to remedy it by unfair discrimination of its own. It should encourage students to form new and more diverse clubs. And if generations of students believed this, they could have formed clubs or associations of their own.

Harvard is blacklisting the all-male clubs. There are no two ways about it. The futile, destructive and unjust attempt to make life “fair” by regulating the micro-behavior of every person, business, family and group in America has reached the Harvard clubs.

6:16 pm on December 5, 2017

One Thing that Is Not Being Discussed that Is in the GOP Tax Bills

One thing that is not being discussed (not even by libertarians) that is in the House and Senate GOP tax bills is the Earned Income Tax Credit. This giant welfare program is basically untouched in both bills. Yet, the refundable part of this credit should have been the first thing that was changed in the tax code. So, why wasn’t it? Because Republicans are welfare statists.

5:16 pm on December 5, 2017