For immediate release: September 9, 2014
Libertarian Party urges lawmakers to get out, stay out of Iraq and SyriaThe Libertarian Party urges lawmakers to stop bombing in Iraq and to disengage operations in both Iraq and Syria.
“The U.S. government has been intervening in the Middle East for more than half a century under the pretext of achieving peace,” said Nicholas Sarwark, chair of the Libertarian National Committee. “But things just keep getting worse. We must stop stoking conflicts that tear countries apart, stop dropping bombs, and stay out of the region.”
Any attempt by the United States and other foreigners to intervene in the area undermines the ability of natives who oppose the Islamic State (IS) to mount sustainable opposition. It also helps the IS recruit supporters and puts the world at greater risk of terrorist attacks.
More than 30 Libertarian candidates for federal office nationwide who will be on the ballot on Nov. 4 have pledged to downsize the U.S. military. Each has promised:
“If elected, I will sponsor legislation to cut military spending by 60 percent or more and cut total federal spending accordingly; close all foreign U.S. military bases; withdraw completely from the Middle East; and bring our troops home.”
Downsizing the military to 40 percent of today’s spending would leave more than enough to fund decisive military action against any enemy who attacks the United States while fully funding benefits for the veterans of our previous wars.
The United States spent $20 billion to train and equip the Iraqi Army. President Barack Obama is now dropping bombs to destroy the equipment the U.S. military left behind, some of which remains in the hands of the Islamic State.
“The absurdity of spending more U.S. taxpayer dollars to destroy U.S. weapons is one more piece of evidence that we must draw down our military,” said Sarwark. “A non-interventionist foreign policy is the best way to achieve peace and reduce the risk of a terrorist attack on U.S. soil. It will also go a long way toward balancing the federal budget, cutting taxes, and halting inflation.”
The Islamic State joins a long line of U.S. enemies whom the U.S. government helped in their rise to power: Muammar Gaddafi, Ayatollah Khomeini, Manuel Noriega, Saddam Hussein, and Osama bin Laden.
Both Democrats, such as Sen. Dianne Feinstein, and Republicans like Sen. John McCain are calling for more war in Iraq.
“Democratic and Republican politicians have meddled so extensively in the Middle East that they’re now in the ludicrous position of siding with very recent U.S. enemies: Iran, Assad, and al-Qaeda, all of whom oppose the Islamic State,” Sarwark said.
Lawmakers cite the highly publicized and brutal beheading of two U.S. journalists in the region as justification for more intervention against IS. But they ignore the fact that, according to a Reuters report, U.S. ally Saudi Arabia beheaded several of its citizens in the last month who were convicted of non-violent crimes such as smuggling hashish and sorcery.
President Obama cites the need to protect U.S. military personnel in Erbil as a reason for going back to war in Iraq. But he’s the one who stationed troops there in violation of the U.S. Constitution, which requires a vote of Congress to declare war.