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Liberty Belle.

Libertarian means different things to different people, but Sabine Herold, the young self-proclaimed Franco-libertarian profiled by Matt Welch ("Liberty Belle," October) seems a bit confused on one of the most basic tenets of libertarianism: a non-interventionist foreign policy. In spite of libertarian positions on several important issues, including labor unions, drug policy, and taxes, Herold's leadership of pro-war rallies makes one wonder if she understands what libertarianism means or if she thinks it is just the newest political fad.

Unfortunately, Welch failed to question her misguided belief that fighting completely unjustified wars is somehow "libertarian" and left Herold looking rather more like a French counterpart to America's misguided hippies, rebelling against their respective national stereotypes. Ms. Herold may be rebelling against a stifling French socialism, but she is either too young or too immature to concede that her countrymen were completely justified in opposing the war in Iraq, even if their opposition was not based on completely libertarian reasoning.

Paul Gessing

Alexandria, VA

Matt Welch replies: There are a number of prominent self-identified libertarians who supported both the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. As has been detailed repeatedly in this magazine (most recently in the roundtable debate "Forcing Freedom: Can liberalism be spread at gunpoint?," in the August/ September 2003 issue), libertarians have notoriously divided positions on international policy. There was much ground to cover in the 30 minutes I had with Mlle. Herold, and I chose to focus on other things.
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Title Annotation:Letters
Author:Gessing, Paul
Article Type:Letter to the Editor
Date:Jan 1, 2004
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