by R. Lee Wrights
BURNET, Texas (March 3) – It is becoming increasingly clear to me that President Barack Obama is determined to add to his record as the Nobel Peace Prize winner who has bombed the greatest number of countries. He’ll probably order this action before the November presidential election. It may seem that he’s waffling, but that’s only due to the general ineptitude of his administration. President Obama is too much of a politician to let a good “crisis,” however synthetic, go to waste.
The only question in my mind is … what nation is he going to attack? Will it be Pakistan, Syria or Iran? The most likely target is Iran. You can hear the drum beats of war everywhere, reverberating from the White House to the halls of Congress. The bellicose spirit spews from the mouths of political pundits, and is evident in the posturing of three of the four Republican candidates for president still standing.
To my utter astonishment and dismay, even some libertarians are supporting this. In complete disregard for the non-aggression principle, a fundamental precept of libertarianism, they buy into the misguided notion that either the U.S. must stop Iran from getting “the bomb” or support Israel if they decide to act. Either way, America winds up in another war!
No U.S. intelligence agency has presented any evidence that Iran is developing a nuclear weapon, nor has the International Atomic Energy Agency. But administration officials, Democratic and Republican politicians, and presidential candidates won’t let the facts get in the way of an opportunity to exploit fear for their own political gain. Anyone who questions or challenges their saber rattling is dismissed as an “isolationist,” belittled as naïve, or smeared as an “America-hater.”
In fact, this next war may have already begun. There are news reports that the U.S. is conducting or supporting covert operations against Iran, including funding dissident groups, cyber-terrorism, commercial sabotage, and targeted assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists. All these actions are actual acts of war, unlike the verbal rantings emanating from Iran. Once again, the Obama administration is interfering in the affairs of a sovereign nation, practicing the nosy neighbor foreign policy so beloved by Democratic and Republican war hawks and which ultimately leads us to war.
Only true libertarians dare to ask the right questions: What gives the United States the right to tell any other nation how it can defend itself? What gives us the right to attack a nation without hard evidence that they will attack us? The answer to both questions is clear: nothing.
We invaded Iraq because our government claimed they had weapons of mass destruction that would be used against us. When we occupied the country, we found no such weapons. The claim was a lie and the “intelligence” was false. Now, the war hawks are clamoring to attack yet another sovereign nation under similar false pretenses and without just cause.
Fear that your neighbor, or someone across town, will shoot you simply because he has a gun doesn’t justify shooting him first. Nor is shooting first justified if your antagonist is shouting insults at you from his front yard. Shooting first is only justified in self-defense, where it’s clear someone is going to shoot you. If they aim a loaded gun at you, you can be pretty sure they intend you harm. You’re only justified in shooting first when the threat is proven real and imminent.
The people running the Iranian government may be bombastic and bellicose. They may, in fact, rant and rave about “the Great Satan,” but there’s no clear intelligence that they have the means to carry out their threats.
That isn’t a popular view to express. The war hawks will surely invoke the terrible and emotionally charged image of a mushroom cloud over D.C. to deride us, claiming we can’t wait for “final proof” of a possible attack, we must act first. But they won’t provide any evidence Iran has the capability to deliver such a weapon either, even if it had one. It doesn’t.
Stop the coming war on Iran before it starts. Only the Libertarian Party is committed to peace. Join The Million Vote March to vote Libertarian and stop all war. Make them remember this November! Send a clear message to the ruling elites, who would again spill our most precious blood based on unproven allegations, that enough is enough.
R. Lee Wrights, 53, a libertarian writer and political activist, is seeking the presidential nomination because he believes the Libertarian message in 2012 must be a loud, clear and unequivocal call to stop all war. To that end he has pledged that 10 percent of all donations to his campaign will be spent for ballot access so that the stop all war message can be heard in all 50 states. Wrights is a lifetime member of the Libertarian Party and co-founder and editor of the free speech online magazine Liberty For All. Born in Winston-Salem, N.C., he now lives and works in Texas.