[By Ben Noble]
Of all the reasons that people give for rejecting the Libertarian Party, foreign policy is the most common in my experience. I find this strange considering all the other hard line positions that they take on domestic policy. There are many juicy topics and policy stances that would impact the lives of American citizens directly as opposed to the etherial connection with foreign policy. I suppose the post 9/11 state of the country is a large reason for this as well as the average person’s lack of knowledge about libertarian stances.
Libertarians talk seriously about legalizing all drugs and treating addiction as a health issue rather than a criminal one. We also talk openly about ending the Federal Reserve and even allowing for competing currencies alongside the US dollar. We would eliminate most taxation and regulation. Some of us would take that all the way to Anarchy Town. We would end the Department of Education, the FBI, the CIA, the NSA, the FDA, and so on. But all of this takes a back seat to people’s desire for the US military to crush any perceived threat to the US, no matter how tenuous.
The Libertarian Party foreign policy is simple. Focus on free trade, avoid entangling alliances, and avoid wars that do not concern us. The War on Terror has created an excuse to get involved in every conflict in the Middle East. While the conflicts there are incredibly complex, I think I can boil down it down to one important point: There are no “good guys” in the Middle East. There is no real movement there for western style democracy and it refuses to take hold no matter how hard we try to push it on them. The very act of siding with any group in the Middle East is to side with the the bad guys. The governments are corrupt and oppressive, many of which the US government have been funding and arming for decades, and the rebel groups are virtually all chapters of the Muslim Brotherhood that would implement their own oppressive state given the chance.
We have had 15 years of invasions, occupations, drone strikes, toppling dictators, and arming rebels. Recently it has been uncovered that the Pentagon has lost trillions dollars and lost track of 100s thousands weapons. Not to mention all the arms it has intentionally gave to nearly every rebel group they could find only to see them fight each other or join the bad guys. If we look at the results of US foreign policy versus the intentions behind it, we find a complete failure. We are less safe and the Middle East is more unstable than it has ever been.
No serious Libertarian candidate for office is calling for a mass disarmament or dissolution of the US military. We just want to bring all the troops home, close the 100s of superfluous bases across the world, stop arming rebels, stop the bombings that are killing civilians, and use the military for domestic defense. If the current US foreign policy is not working, then our only choice is to change it. You can’t continue doing the same thing expecting the outcome to change.
Conservatives, especially, need to come to grips with their disjointed view of government. They claim to want small government but never question one of the biggest government programs in the history of the world, the US military. Military interventionism is big government and suffers from the same failures. It is managed poorly, wastes money, and if it fails its given a money enema as a reward. If you’re a fan of the Constitution, or civil liberties in general, you can’t support interventionist foreign policy. Nearly every Amendment in the Bill of Rights has been eroded by war and the lust to flex military might. The right to free speech, protection from unreasonable searches, trial by jury, states rights, and so on. A wise man once said that “war is the health of the state.” If you want small government you cannot support constant war.
Say what you want about the refugee crisis and whether or not we should take them in. They were created by US foreign policy in the region. The lust for war and foreign intervention has created the conditions for masses of people from the 3rd world to migrate to the west. No one should be surprised that toppling governments in the Middle East and arming all sides of every conflict would displace millions of people. Now terrorists and those that have been radicalized can take advantage of these mass movements of refugees and the good intensions people have behind it to bring the fight to our doorstep. I’m sure we’re all familiar with the uptick in terrorist activity in the US and Europe. Good job conservatives, you kicked the bee’s nest and then shoved it in our pants. There is no way we can even fathom the full repercussions to come.
Liberals, you have been pacified by having your “guy” is in office. Many attacked Bush for the simultaneous wars and the drone strikes in the Middle East, but then they fell silent as Obama ran the surge in Afghanistan and conducted way more drone strikes than Bush ever did. Now you have the gall to run Hillary Clinton as your Presidential candidate. She had her hands in numerous conflicts in the Middle East when she was Secretary of State. All of them turning from bad to worse, especially Syria and Libya. She green lighted the selling of arms to oppressive regimes in places like Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is putting all those arms to use bombing the hell out of Yemen, including blowing up a hospital in August of this year. Radio silence on all this, though.
Just like the conservatives, you are responsible for the refugee crisis. While you think you’re practicing altruism by calling for them to be settled in the west, you support all the policies that made them refugees. Now you’re about to elect the warmonger who is directly responsible for the creation of the refugee crisis and appears to have not changed a single disastrous policy stance.
Make no mistake, a vote for Trump or Clinton is a vote for more war and more intervention. It is a vote for the foreign policy that has destabilized the Middle East to the point that it has created the refugee crisis, and ISIS for crying out loud. Now we have to fight over whether to take the refugees or not. We are now trapped with the mass suffering of 3rd world peoples and all Americans are stuck paying the check on top of the $20 Trillion debt we have going.
But whatever, if using the military for actual defense and reducing the harm it does overseas is too scary for you, then go ahead and reject the Libertarian Party. Forget about your appreciation for small government or humanitarianism and side with big government overseas and massive human suffering. At least own up to the repercussions that are landing own our shores.
Audit reveals Army’s trillion-dollar accounting gaffes [http://www.cnn.com/2016/08/23/politics/us-army-audit-accounting-errors/ ]
Pentagon Has No Clue Where Hundreds of Thousands of Weapons Went [http://theantimedia.org/pentagon-no-clue-where-hundreds-thousands-weapons/ ]
Support for Saudi Arabia Gives U.S. Direct Role in Yemen Conflict [http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/25/world/middleeast/yemen-saudi-arabia-hospital-bombing.html?_r=0 ]