WASHINGTON – Giving little thought to the lessons of history, President Obama has begun attacking Libya with the full support of virtually every member of Congress, both Democrats and Republicans. Libertarian Party Chair Mark Hinkle issued the following statement today:
“President Obama’s decision to order military attacks on Libya is only surprising to those who actually think he deserved the Nobel Peace Prize. He has now ordered bombing strikes in six different countries, adding Libya to Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen.
“While the justifications vary in each case, the disturbing common thread is that these are all predominantly Muslim countries. And the goodwill expressed by Arab people about Obama in opinion polls early in his administration has completely vanished: in the most recent Zogby survey, 85% expressed an unfavorable opinion toward the United States, eclipsing the 83% negative opinion in the final year of the Bush administration.
“Libyan President Muammar Gadaffi is no friend of liberty, but the military involvement of the United States in the rebellion against him threatens to undermine the credibility of the resistance to his rule and turn him into a hero. As news of both actual and rumored killings of innocent civilians by American bombs spreads throughout the Arab world, the hatred which spawned the 9/11 murderers will continue to grow. Finally, what if Gadaffi still manages to defeat the rebels? Faced with the choice of losing face or upping the ante with an escalation of military involvement, this could turn into yet another disastrous campaign. And as Steve Chapman put it in an article in Reason magazine, ‘Most of the people endorsing an attack know less about Libya than they do about playing the oboe.’ When will we ever learn?
“Libertarians advocate the foreign policy eloquently described by Thomas Jefferson at his inauguration: ‘Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none.’ Just as the Founding Fathers expressed admiration for the ‘Swiss Model’ of armed neutrality that has managed to keep Switzerland out of the vicious wars of Europe for hundreds of years, we should embrace the idea that the purpose of an American military is the defense of American soil, period. As Senator Barack Obama said in criticizing the Bush administration, ‘The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.’
“The Constitution of the United States requires an explicit Declaration of War in order for this country to engage in hostilities with foreign nations. Obama, after dithering for two weeks, has joined the list of presidents who chose to launch wars on their personal say-so in direct contravention of the Constitution.
“I don’t know how many times we have to endure administrations, both Republican and Democratic, who shoot first and ask questions later. Probably for as long as we continue to elect Republicans and Democrats to office.”
The Libertarian Party platform includes the following:
3.1 National Defense
We support the maintenance of a sufficient military to defend the United States against aggression. The United States should both avoid entangling alliances and abandon its attempts to act as policeman for the world. We oppose any form of compulsory national service.
For more information, or to arrange an interview, call LP Executive Director Wes Benedict at 202-333-0008 ext. 222.
The LP is America’s third-largest political party, founded in 1971. The Libertarian Party stands for free markets, civil liberties, and peace. You can find more information on the Libertarian Party at our website.