On 7 September 2008, the Libertarian National Committee passed a resolution against the war in Afghanistan. To date, we are informed, the party’s staff members have refused to issue a press release on the topic, and have not added it to the LP.org web site as of this writing. Curiously, on 11 September 2008, the party issued a press release quoting Bob Barr as praising Bush for sending troops into Afghanistan.
Below is the text of the LNC resolution, a link to the 11-Sep-08 press release, and all the Afghanistan quotes from that press release. The question is now obvious: who owns the Libertarian Party? Evidently, the LNC is not in control of party policy, and can pass a resolution but cannot get the staff to do anything with it. I note with satisfaction that the Boston Tea Party has no national budget, and no national staff, so we have no such difficulties.
Text of the LNC resolution – I gather this was authored by Susan Hogarth who was endorsed by our national committee some weeks ago:
“WHEREAS the government of the United States should return to its historical libertarian tradition of avoiding entangling alliances, foreign quarrels, and military adventures; and
“WHEREAS the stability and security of Afghanistan lie outside the jurisdiction of the government of the United States; and
“WHEREAS the Libertarian Party recognizes that the only legitimate role of the military is to defend America against direct attack or the imminent threat of attack;
“THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Libertarian National Committee calls on the government of the United States to withdraw the armed forces of the United States from Afghanistan, without undue delay.”
Here is the LP.org press release link:
Here are all the paragraphs of that press release where the word Afghanistan appears:
“‘The Bush administration deserves credit for having done much to disable al Qaeda as an effective terrorist organization,’ Barr says. ‘However, early on, the administration took its eye off of the ball when it shifted troops from searching for Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan to use in the unnecessary war in Iraq. Now, the situation in Afghanistan is deteriorating badly,’ adds Barr.”
As you can see, the Barr policy statement is significantly at odds with the LNC’s policy statement. As a fan of Anti-War.com and an activist against militarism since 1981, I am unable to be a part of the Libertarian Party due to this situation. I cannot in good conscience support a political party that has a war monger for its presidential nominee.
I believe, personally, that the LP would be wise to clean house, fire staff, and place its policy initiatives before the American people. Obviously, the Boston Tea Party has no official position on how the LP should run itself. In my opinion, the LP staff are clearly owned and operated by the Barr campaign, and are not directed by the LNC.
Which, given the quality of some of the individuals on the LNC, is rather a shame.