The requirements of “proportionality” and “discrimination” are deadly to the nation that takes them seriously. A nation fully committed to defending itself must value the lives of its citizens more than the lives of its enemy’s citizens; it must be morally confident in its goodness, in its right to exist, and of the rightness of killing whomever in enemy nations it must to preserve the lives and liberty of its citizens. Self-defense may well require killing more of the enemy’s citizens than the enemy has killed of ours."
Acts of aggression left unpunished can lead only to further acts of aggression. Appeasing the initiators of force, as we have seen throughout history, leads to more and greater violence. Thus a proper, rights-respecting government does not appease its force-wielding enemies; it acts to eliminate them. Such action, when executed consistently in self-defense, will not only destroy the particular initiator of force; it will also deter other such threats. Indeed, it is America’s reputation for appeasement, for being a “paper tiger,” that fuels the belief of Islamic Totalitarians that they can bring down America."
The specific identity of any given threat and what is necessary to destroy it is not the province of morality; it requires specialized cultural and military knowledge (whereas morality applies only to the basic principles governing human life). But the morality of rational self-interest provides crucial, principled guidance in identifying and then destroying a threat. It holds that the identification of a threat, just like any identification, can be achieved only by means of a scrupulously rational process—unclouded by considerations such as an unwarranted affinity for religion, or the desire to be liked by foreign leaders, or the dogma that all cultures are equal. As for what to do about any given threat, egoism gives the crucial sanction, in enemy territory, to kill and destroy whomever and whatever needs to be killed and destroyed in order to end the threat to the victim country. Such a policy, contrary to Just War Theory, upholds both the principle of justice and the principle of individual rights. Depending on the circumstances, legitimate targets can include the leaders, soldiers, and civilians of the enemy nation."
When Ayn Rand wrote about the moral code she originated, the code of rational self-interest, she stressed that morality is a matter of life and death. The right ethics, she held, leads to individual (and societal) survival, prosperity, happiness; the wrong ethics leads to misery, poverty, death.
This is true in every field but is especially true in the realm of war, as the present struggle has made clear. We are losing the war on Islamic Totalitarianism because our leadership, political and military, is crippled by the morality of altruism, embodied in the tenets of Just War Theory. The moral code inherent in Just War Theory defines rules that undercut, inhibit, and subvert any hope of success in war, because it demands that one regard one’s own life as the sacrificial object of others. The moral code of rational self-interest, by contrast, defines principles to attain the values that one’s life and happiness require—including success in war and national self-defense. Altruism is the morality of defeat, and rational self-interest is the morality of victory.
America faces a choice between two irreconcilable foes: self-defense or altruism—which are but forms of the basic choice we all face: life or death. Let us choose life."