US Foreign Policy: “No Daylight” Is Where Peace Dies In Darkness

2024 Iranian consulate airstrike in Damascus. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.
2024 Iranian consulate airstrike in Damascus. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.

“Absent a directed, sustained, and articulated policy of no daylight between the United States and Israel,” Matthew Continetti wrote in the Washington Free Beacon on March 29, “the rift between America and her ally will widen and the world will grow more dangerous.”

Proof that Continetti had things completely bass-ackward arrived on April 1, when Israeli aircraft attacked an Iranian consulate building in Syria, killing 16 and boosting the already not insignificant prospect of a wider regional war. The US regime disclaimed prior knowledge of the Israeli strike, but couldn’t be bothered to actually condemn it.

While occasionally, softly, and grudgingly calling for “restraint” from all parties, Washington has continued its policy of supporting the Israeli regime no matter what it does, and blaming Israel’s adversaries for every Bad Thing that happens in the Middle East.

The US and Israeli regimes remain in a bear hug through which not so much as a single ray of daylight passes. And THAT makes the world more dangerous.

If the US left Israel to its own devices, or at the very least conditioned its billions of dollars in annual aid — not to mention its support in every argument — on good behavior, we might see some progress toward peace.

How many fights would Israel pick with Iran, Syria, and Lebanon if it didn’t have the US threatening to pound anyone who doesn’t comply with its every demand?

Without the US backing its every play, might not Israel eventually consider withdrawing to within its own borders and leaving the state of Palestine to chart its own future course, instead of continuing  decades of military occupation both rooted in, and giving rise to, numerous large and small wars?

The US-Israeli relationship is, essentially, a big bully standing behind a smaller bully, routinely supporting the smaller bully’s bullying.

When, as (very) occasionally happens, Big Bully whispers “hey, you might want to take it down a notch,” Little Bully ignores the whisper.

But instead of walking away and letting Little Bully experience the full consequences of his actions, Big Bully always gives in and protects Little Bully from those consequences.

That raise the interesting question of who’s really the more powerful bully in the relationship. And, more importantly, it tells Little Bully “there are no consequences for bad behavior — do whatever you feel like doing with impunity.”

Such a policy both creates and increases the dangers of war. For everyone.

Thomas L. Knapp (Twitter: @thomaslknapp) is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism ( He lives and works in north central Florida.


Mayorkas Impeachment: Clearly Guilty On One Count (But So Is Congress)

DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas Records an Employee Message (50914053238)

On April 17, the US Senate declined to try Alejandro Mayorkas, US Secretary of Homeland Security, on two articles of impeachment sent by the US House of Representatives. The maneuver involved a majority of the Senate “taking well” two points of order raised by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to the effect that neither of the counts charged Mayorkas with “conduct that rises to the level of a high crime or misdemeanor,” the standard for impeaching in the first place.

I disagree. Alejandro Mayorkas is clearly and unambiguously guilty on the first count, which charges that he “willfully and systematically refused to comply with Federal immigration laws.”

Let’s review the whole of federal immigration law:

“The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.” — US Constitution, Article I, Section 9

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” US Constitution, 10th Amendment

That’s the entirety of federal immigration law. There is no federal power to regulate immigration, no such power can be created without a constitutional amendment, and, as John Marshall, Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court, wrote in the court’s ruling in Marbury v. Madison, “an act of the legislature repugnant to the constitution is void.”

Mayorkas was impeached for displaying insufficient enthusiasm in enforcing “laws” that aren’t actual laws.

He should have been impeached for, and convicted of, violating the ACTUAL “Supreme Law of the Land” by enforcing those fake “laws” at all.

Unfortunately, both branches of Congress, as well as the executive and judicial branches, are co-conspirators in Mayorkas’s crimes.

If the US government followed the US Constitution, the US would have “open borders,” while the states would have free rein to adopt idiotic and tyrannical immigration policies like those of Texas … which the feds are suing to nullify!

Lysander Spooner, a 19th century American anarchist, explained this kind perpetual farce better than anyone before or since:

“[W]hether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain — that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist.”

We’re not going to “Constitution” ourselves out of our problems. Politicians always have ignored, and will always ignore, any parts of the Constitution they find inconvenient — not just on this issue, but on all issues.

Thomas L. Knapp (Twitter: @thomaslknapp) is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism ( He lives and works in north central Florida.


Two Different Days, Same Terrible Tax News

Income-tax-491626 1920 (1)

As most Americans know, the Internal Revenue Service’s deadline for filing 2023 federal income tax returns fell on April 15 this year. Millions of Americans probably waited until the last minute to file those returns, in part because nobody likes doing the paperwork (even if it’s done on a computer with expert assistance), and in part because they dreaded the possibility of having to cough up even more money instead of getting a refund.

As many Americans may not know, Tax Freedom Day fell on April 16. Tax Freedom Day is the day when, according to the Tax Foundation, the average American has earned enough to coughed up what the government is going to demand from him or her this year. After Tax Freedom Day, you’re theoretically earning money for yourself instead of for Uncle Sam.

As of 2020 (the last year I could find Tax Foundation information for), the average American forked over 13.6 cents of every dollar earned … and that’s just for federal income tax. It doesn’t include capital gains taxes, state income taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, tariffs (you only see them as price increases, but you’re still paying them), gas taxes, “sin” taxes on booze and tobacco … the taxing just never stops.

The message of “tax day” and “Tax Freedom Day” is really the same: For nearly 1/3 of the year, the government considers itself entitled to everything YOU earn or produce, and demands that YOU do the work of documenting whether it took “enough.”

There’s a word for that kind of claim … but we supposedly ended slavery in 1865. I guess there are reasonable arguments for using weaker terms like “theft” or “extortion,” but there’s no honest way of making taxation sound moral.

The dishonest way is best exemplified by Oliver Wendell Holmes’s claim that “taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society,” or Barney Frank’s definition of “government” as “simply the name we give to the things we choose to do together.”

Paying taxes is not something we “choose to do together.” It’s something we do because  government threatens to steal our stuff and/or lock us up if we don’t.

As for “civilized society,” I refrain from beating my neighbor senseless or burning down his house because I’m not a terrible person, not because he filled out a 1040 form. I’m inclined to doubt that my fellow citizens will suddenly descend into savagery if   government stops stealing a third of their wealth every year.

And even if the “civilized society” dodge made sense at all, I’d have to conclude, like Jimmy McMillan, that “the rent is too damn high.” A government that has enough money to build 750 military bases in other countries (not counting the ones in the US), and enough money to track me down and put me in a cage if I smoke the wrong plant, neither of which has anything to do with “society” being “civilized,” has WAY too much money.

If politicians need money, they should hold bake sales instead of holding guns to our heads.

Thomas L. Knapp (Twitter: @thomaslknapp) is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism ( He lives and works in north central Florida.