Libertarianism Stops at the Water’s Edge

I guess we’ve uncovered another reason why I, just like the d-42 guy, only scored a 66 on the Libertarian Purity Test: I am all in favor of legalizing most things, but I’ll be damned if some international body is going to force it on my country.

Slashdot links to a story in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer about the World Trade Organization deciding that the United States is violating international trade laws by banning Internet gambling:

The World Trade Organization, in its first decision on an Internet-related dispute, has ignited a political, cultural and legal tinderbox by ruling that the U.S. policy prohibiting online gambling violates its obligations under international trade law.

The ruling by a WTO panel Wednesday is being hailed by online casinos operators overseas as a major victory that could force the United States to liberalize its laws.

But the Bush administration vowed to appeal the decision, and several members of Congress said they would rather have an international trade war or withdraw from future rounds of the World Trade Organization than have American social policy dictated from abroad.

“It’s appalling,” said Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va. “It cannot be allowed to stand that another nation can impose its values on the U.S. and make it a trade issue.”

The decision stems from a case taken to the WTO in June by the island nation of Antigua and Barbuda, which licenses 19 companies that offer sports betting and casino games such as blackjack over the Internet.

Antigua and Barbuda argued that U.S. trade policy does not prohibit cross-border gambling operations and that the United States would be hypocritical to do otherwise because it wants to allow American casino operations to operate land-based and Internet-based subsidiaries overseas.

It is not clear precisely why the WTO ruled in favor of Antigua and Barbuda, because the specifics remain confidential. The ruling covers only online casinos based on the islands, but other nations could seek similar rulings.

Cheez, Luis, this makes me want to put on a black ski mask, go to Washington state, and heave a brick through a Starbucks window. So the NWO World Trade Order gets to overwrite the laws of its members now, and to force them to trade in things its members have deemed illegal?

I tell you what, I will support this decision as soon as the WTO forces Smith and Wesson shops in interior China and opens Saudia Arabia to America’s pork industry. Until that time, the WTO can stick to doing what it does best, which is…um….making bureacrats fatter.

On another note, we at MfBJN have created a pool to determine when regime change will occur in Anitgua and Barbuda. What the heck, who needs regime change? I say Antigua for us and Barbuda for our Canadian friends who so lust for a Caribbean paradise. Let the partitioning begin!

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