Libertarians opposed to new war plans for Afghanistan

Posted at

WASHINGTON – The Libertarian Party (LP) today expressed its opposition to the Afghanistan war plans announced by President Barack Obama last night.

Wes Benedict, Executive Director of the LP, said, "Rush Limbaugh should buy Obama a nice cigar. The liberal president has done exactly what the conservative leader wanted: escalate the war."

William Redpath, Chairman of the Libertarian National Committee (LNC), commented, "This is further evidence that the differences between Republicans and Democrats are, at most, rhetorical. This president, whose votes made him the most liberal member of the U.S. Senate, has just announced an escalation of a foreign war. His campaign promise of ‘Change’ now sounds a lot more hollow."

Redpath continued, "Some congressional Democrats may make a rhetorical show of opposing Obama’s decision, but that is all it will be. Obama is guaranteed to get the additional troops and funding that he wants."

Redpath continued, "Instead, Congress should re-assert its authority in matters of war, by passing legislation that terminates the president’s authorization to make war in Afghanistan, and that calls for an orderly withdrawal from Afghanistan. If the president vetoes it, Congress should override the veto."

In September 2008, the LNC adopted a resolution calling for a military withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Benedict commented further, "One problem with the president’s strategy is that it demonstrates a hyperinflated fear of terrorists. When we act worried and threatened, we make the terrorists feel like they’re having their intended effect, which encourages them to keep doing what they’re doing."

Redpath continued, "According to the Cato Institute, ‘the U.S. military’s counterinsurgency doctrine says that stabilizing a country the size of Afghanistan would require far more troops than the most wild-eyed hawk has proposed: about 600,000 troops.’ President Obama is proposing to put a total of about 100,000 troops in Afghanistan, which won’t come close to accomplishing anything."

Redpath concluded, "The president’s speech was surprisingly content-free. The speech was nearly all platitudes, which is typical for politicians, particularly presidents. Will someone please restore substance to American political discourse?"

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 and civil liberties. You can find more information on the Libertarian Party at our website.


17 thoughts on “Libertarians opposed to new war plans for Afghanistan

  1. Jill Pyeatt

    Thank you, Wes Benedict and William Redpath, for speaking out so soon about this latest travesty by our peace-prize-winning president for change.

  2. Aroundtheblockafewtimes

    The news release is surprisingly content-free.
    Should any interviews actually result, the LP needs to stop preaching to the choir and cogently discuss why an immediate orderly withdrawal will not cause all the fears of the interventionists – such as” OMG the Pakis will fall to the Taliban and then their nuclear weapons will be given to Al Qaeda to smuggle into New York “- to come true. We have to take the six or ten reasons for intervention and show they are bogeymen. And Benedict/Redpath need to quote less partisan sources than Cato – perhaps ex-generals, foreign polcy experts, Obama supporters speaking before they were tapped by the Messiah, etc.

  3. Brian Holtz

    This was an excellent press release. Around the block, you must have been on the far side of the block the last time LPHQ published an Exit Strategy white paper. 🙂

    This release is an improvement over the Afghan poll that recently held. While that poll cleverly tried to make the point that both Ds and Rs favor escalation in Afghanistan, it didn’t really give Libertarians a chance to explore their differences. It should have included choices like:

    * indefinitely suppressing any Islamist/Taliban resurgence
    * transitioning security responsibility to a federal democratic government
    * finding and destroying al Qaeda by taking and holding ground
    * finding and destroying al Qaeda by opportunistically applying air, airborne and spec-ops forces
    * renouncing any role for the U.S. military in retaliating against Afghan-based anti-U.S. terrorists

  4. Thomas L. Knapp

    Around the block,

    Press releases are necessarily of limited length. Their purpose is to provide the bare bones and a few pull quotes for lazy journalists, or to generate interviews, etc. with journalists who are willing to work to get a more detailed story.

    I agree that the transitions are little repetitive, i.e. that it’s not PERFECT, but it’s damn good.

  5. Robert Milnes

    If anyone is interested, I have emailed candidates libertarian Independent Joe Kennedy and Green Jane Rands about The PLAS Experiment. I await response.

  6. George Phillies

    Excellent press release! The only paragraphs that matter are the first two, and they establish we are against the warmonger Obama’s military adventurism.

    Mind you, Obama is keeping a campaign promise, namely his promise to escalate the war on Afghanistan and the 100 bin Laden followers still hiding there.


  7. Aroundtheblockafewtimes

    Mr. Blanton’s yawn is appropriate. Why should the media care about this release? What action is suggested? It doesn’t threaten that the LP will be staging anti-war demonstrations in numerous cities. It doesn’t say the LP has targeted the biggest warmongers in Congress for defeat and name names.

  8. Steve

    Good release, although this would be the time to use Adm. Colley, LTC Kwiatowski, or other high-ranking retired military to bolster the LP’s position.

  9. Michael H. Wilson

    Not a bad release from my perspective. I’ll give the guys credit for getting it out considering they are shorthanded in the office and I assume they are getting ready for the LNC meeting which I hear is this weekend.

    But to plug an idea I have been trying to push for sometime we need to develop an open source process for getting some of the work done such as news releases, brochures and the website. There is simply too much for the office to do.

  10. paulie Post author

    I’d say it’s good in that they got it out in a timely fashion. Would anyone who is criticizing it like to write a better one and post it here?

  11. Clay Barham

    It belongs to Obama. His rules of war differ from professional military. The soldiers sent into the war zone have one mission, which is to “watch your back.” The enemy is both in front and behind. The most recent proof of that is the three Navy Seals who, accomplishing their mission to capture a known terrorist, are accused by that terrorist with unnecessary roughness. He was punched in the mouth. He must be treated as a criminal suspect would be treated when arrested by our police, with care, comfort and lack of stress. He is innocent until proven guilty, must be thoroughly informed of his rights under our Constitution, be provided legal counsel before questioning, and treated with greater respect than he treated his victims. God help the soldier who mistreats an enemy combatant on the battlefield, lest he have Congressman Murtha or Senator Kerry publicly charging him with overly violent behavior. Our soldiers who mistreat an enemy will be tried in a military court, while the terror suspect would be tried in an American civilian court under American trial rules, say in New York or San Francisco. When released, as expected, he will be well rewarded and allowed to settle into an American neighborhood, compliments of the American taxpayer. That is how Obama’s war will be fought, mainly against our own troops. Obama must prove to his anti-American American supporters that he is ready to allow America to be destroyed in more ways than just by his legislation.

  12. George Phillies


    Obama equals Bush
    Obama equals War

    And organizing anti-war demos is actually a good idea. Unlike the TRea Bag rally organized by the LPIllinois, to give credit where it si due, Obama=War is unlikely to be stolen by the Republicans.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *