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Volume 8, Issue 29: July 17, 2006

  1. Eland on Israel and Lebanon
  2. The Other Face of Europe
  3. Vargas Llosa on Simon Bolivar
  4. THE INDEPENDENT REVIEW -- Summer 2006 Issue Now Available

1) Eland on Israel and Lebanon

Israel's raids in Lebanon and Gaza have undermined rather than improved Israeli security, according to Ivan Eland, director of the Independent Institute's Center on Peace & Liberty. A better option for Israel, he argues, would have been to have quietly deployed "stealthy special operations forces, killing or capturing leading figures" of Hamas and Hezbollah.

"Once again, Israel's disproportionate action of holding a whole country responsible for a group's capturing and killing of a few of its solders has now triggered a full-blown war that has endangered citizens of northern Israel," writes Eland in his latest op-ed. "Even if Hamas and Hezbollah do oftentimes resort to acts of terror, what terrorists crave most is publicity."

Ehud Olmert, Israel's prime minister, may also have been using the raids for publicity -- "to show the folks at home that he was tough," Eland writes. "No one can excuse genuine acts of terror by rag-tag groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah, especially indiscriminate rocket attacks on towns and cities. But neither should the great power, especially the United States, look the other way while the governments -- read Israel -- systematically kill many more civilians under the guise of a disingenuous claim of offensive self-defense."

"Israeli-Arab War: Terrorism on Both Sides," by Ivan Eland (7/17/06)
"La Guerra Arabe-Israelí: Terrorismo de ambos lados"

THE EMPIRE HAS NO CLOTHES: U.S. Foreign Policy Exposed, by Ivan Eland

Center on Peace & Liberty (Ivan Eland, director)


2) The Other Face of Europe

The recent World Cup soccer games draw attention to the two faces of Europe -- a multiracial one (represented by Europe's many mixed-raced soccer teams) and a relatively homogeneous one (represented by Europe's entrenched political culture -- e.g., that of France), according to Alvaro Vargas Llosa, director of the Independent Institute's Center on Global Prosperity.

"The reason there has been much less integration in France than, say, in the United States, is a republican system that defined identity in narrow terms and a socioeconomic system that was not conducive to permanent wealth-creation and social mobility," Vargas Llosa writes.

"Perhaps the growing acceptance of diversity through symbols such as a national soccer team will eventually help foster a political and economic system that is porous enough for today's vertiginous world and helps to diffuse tension by spreading out opportunity. The irony of thousands of French whites who inundated the Champs-Elysees these past four weeks defining their identity through the faces of people such as Zaire-born Makelele and Senegal-born Vieira is striking enough to merit recognition. Let us hope not all of this will be lost in France's -- and Europe's -- minds in the months and years to come."

"The Other Face of Europe," by Alvaro Vargas Llosa (7/12/06)
"El otro rostro de Europa"

Center on Global Prosperity (Alvaro Vargas Llosa, director)


3) Vargas Llosa on Simon Bolivar

Simon Bolivar (1783-1830) has been praised for liberating five Latin American countries from colonial rule and has been reviled for his authoritarian ways, Alvaro Vargas Llosa (director, Center on Global Prosperity) explains in an article for THE NEW REPUBLIC.

"Not even two like-minded South Americans are able to agree on whether he was a great founding father born ahead of his time or a part of the reason why South America, two centuries after it gained independence, is still in its political and economic infancy," writes Vargas Llosa. "My own view of him has become slightly more benign, though I still insist that the Liberator was not only a military force of nature but also a dangerous strongman who did not understand that the best way to prevent the things he feared -- factionalism, and ethnic and class revolt against the Creole elite -- was the rule of law, and not an allegedly enlightened but still authoritarian caudillismo."

Vargas Llosa's lengthy article offers a fascinating glimpse into the life -- and ongoing significance -- of this key historical figure. "The cult of Bolivar is a fascinating -- and frightening -- phenomenon in South America. It has now been taken up by Hugo Chavez for reasons of political convenience. (Meanwhile, Chavez is busy destroying the Andean Community of Nations because this regional bloc does not conform to his goal of scrapping the free trade agreements that some of the Andean countries have signed with the United States. Bolivar, who was pro-American and pro-integration, would cringe.) For much of the twentieth century, Bolivar’s cult was a thing of the right; but no more, as Chavez’s myth-making worship of Bolivar demonstrates.... The Liberator, a man of the elite who believed in oligarchic institutions and spent a good deal of his life trying to avoid social revolution, is now the icon of left-wing populism. He must be turning in his grave."

"Democracy's Caudillo," by Alvaro Vargas Llosa (THE NEW REPUBLIC, 6/19/06)
"Caudillo De la Democracia"

LIBERTY FOR LATIN AMERICA: How to Undo Five Hundred Years of State Oppression


El Independent: El Blog del Centro Para la Prosperidad Global de The Independent Institute


4) THE INDEPENDENT REVIEW -- Summer 2006 Issue Now Available

We are pleased to announce the publication of the Summer 2006 issue of THE INDEPENDENT REVIEW, the Independent Institute's quarterly journal of political economy.

The following questions are among those addressed in this issue:

* Why has democracy become the unofficial religion of the United States?
* Why did the theorists of the new welfare economics ignore the laissez-faire implications of their own discoveries?
* Why is there no political diversity in the sociology profession in the United States?
* How efficient are the corporate-governance regulations that were enacted in the wake of the Enron scandal?
* How does government outsourcing to third-party organizations affect government accountability?
* In what ways do advocates of noninterventionism in U.S. foreign policy reflect America's political traditions?
* Why might the privatization of marriage end public battles over same-sex marriage?
* How do economists celebrate the innovators of their profession?
* Why do relatively few people recognize that going to war usually results in net losses?

Books reviews:

CONSTRUCTING CIVIL LIBERTIES: Discontinuities in the Development of American Constitutional Law, by Ken I. Kersch

Reviewed by James W. Ely


SAVING OUR ENVIRONMENT FROM WASHINGTON: How Congress Grabs Power, Shirks Responsibility, and Shortchanges the People, by David Schoenbrod

HEALTHY COMPETITION: What's Holding Back Health Care and How to Free It, by Michael F. Cannon and Michael D. Tanner

DIGITAL PHOENIX: Why the Information Economy Collapsed and How It Will Rise Again, by Bruce Abramson

DIGITAL CROSSROADS: American Telecommunications Policy in the Internet Age, by Jonathan E. Nuechterlein and Philip J. Weiser


James A. Montanye, Pierre Lemieux, Daniel B. Klein, Charlotta Stern, Roy C. Smith, Ingo Walter, Sheila Seuss Kennedy, Joseph R. Stromberg, Colin P.A. Jones, Julio H. Cole, James W. Ely Jr., Richard Murphy, Jonathan H. Adler, Robert L. Ohsfeldt, Steven E. Margolis, Robert Higgs

We hope that you will find this and other issues of THE INDEPENDENT REVIEW useful and enjoyable in your own teaching, research, and writing. Selected articles, book reviews, and back issues are available online at:

To purchase print copies of the Summer 2006 issue, subscriptions, and back issues, see


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