By Yaron Brook
In "Not truly Randian" (Providence Journal, August 2, 2007), George Waterston alleges that the Ayn Rand Institute's advocacy of retaliatory military action against Iran--a nation that has been waging a terror war on America and the West for decades--is inconsistent with Ayn Rand's philosophy, and Waterston also accuses ARI of pursuing a self-sacrificial, "neo-conservative agenda." But nothing could be further from the truth.
The Institute advocates eliminating the Iranian threat to American lives because we espouse Rand's morality of rational egoism: we hold that it is the government's job to defend its citizens' right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. What we advocate for is a real war of self-defense, a war to protect the lives and freedom of individual Americans, and we advocate waging as ruthless a war as is necessary to defeat Iran's regime. As ARI's David Holcberg noted in a recent letter, this position is radically different from the Bush administration's selfless mission to bring the good life to Iraqis and "rebuild" their nation--an avowedly altruistic crusade. Indeed, Bush and other neo-conservatives tell us that America is duty-bound to sacrifice for strangers; ARI condmens that foreign policy as perversely immoral and (as events have shown) self-destructive.