Libertarians Oppose Kosovo Actiongreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
======================================= NEWS FROM THE LIBERTARIAN PARTY 2600 Virginia Avenue, NW, Suite 100 Washington DC 20037 World Wide Web: http://www.lp.org/ ======================================= For release: March 25, 1999 ======================================= For additional information: George Getz, Press Secretary Phone: (202) 333-0008 Ext. 222 E-Mail: 76214.3676@Compuserve.com =======================================
End attack against Yugoslavia, demands the Libertarian Party
WASHINGTON, DC -- The U.S.-led military strike on Yugoslavia is an unprovoked attack on a sovereign nation, a potential Vietnam-style morass for American ground troops, and a dangerous expansion of the U.S. government's "perpetual war for perpetual peace" foreign policy, the Libertarian Party said today.
"This is not our war," said the party's national chairman, David Bergland. "No matter how tragic the civil war in Yugoslavia is, the security of the United States is not at stake. We should not be involved in this conflict."
On Wednesday, American-led NATO forces attacked Yugoslavia with B-2 Stealth bombers, Cruise missiles, warships, and submarines. The stated goal: To "degrade" Yugoslavian President Slobodan Milosevic's ability to wage a civil war against the breakaway Kosovo province.
In justifying the attack, the Clinton Administration said that President Milosevic was behaving like Adolf Hitler, and was committing genocide and "ethnic cleansing" against ethnic Albanians in Kosovo.
But the Libertarian Party said that ending a foreign civil war -- however noble the rhetoric justifying it -- is no excuse for getting the United States involved in another distant conflict.
"The job of our military is to protect the United States; not play kingmaker or nation-builder to the world," said Bergland. "There is no legitimate reason why we should be involved in military operations in the Balkans -- a region notorious for bloody ethnic, religious, and territorial squabbles for over 600 years.
"Yes, the war in the Balkans is a tragedy. But that does not justify spilling one drop of American blood or spending one dollar of American taxpayers' money."
In addition, the military strike is dangerous and alarming because it opens the floodgates to unlimited foreign intervention by the U.S. government, said Bergland.
"Aside from a few token claims that our security is at stake, the Clinton Administration is primarily justifying this attack on moral grounds -- arguing that we have a moral obligation to stop one particular group of foreigners from killing another group of foreigners. However, that argument writes a blank check on our military, and on the American taxpayers who fund it."
For example, noted Bergland, Kosovo is just one of a dozen internal conflicts raging around the world.
"More than 37,000 Kurds have been killed in Turkey over the past decade in that civil war. Russia just finished a bloody military action against rebels in Chechnya. Sri Lanka continues to battle Tamil secessionists. More than 4,000 people have died in the last month in the Sierra Leone civil war. A low-intensity civil conflict has been raging in Northern Ireland for most of the past 30 years. India is busy suppressing supporters of Kashmir independence," he said.
"Given the endless number of conflicts around the globe -- all of which involve innocent people tragically being killed -- where do we stop? Will the United States move into an eternal war footing, fighting a perpetual war for an increasingly elusive peace?"
Even worse, the military strike against Yugoslavia represents an unprovoked attack on a sovereign nation by NATO -- and marks the "end of NATO's innocence" as a defensive force, said Bergland.
"Separate from the debate about whether NATO was genuinely needed for the defense of the United States, you must grant that NATO has an impressive 50-year track record as a purely defensive alliance," he said.
"That's all over now. With the attack on Yugoslavia, NATO has launched its first unprovoked military aggression against a sovereign nation. The transition of NATO from peace-keeper to war-maker is complete."
The attack on Yugoslavia is also unconstitutional, since it is a blatant act of war against a sovereign nation without formal Congressional authorization, said Bergland.
"Even the Clinton Administration acknowledges that bombing a sovereign nation qualifies as an act of war, which should, according to the U.S Constitution, require a declaration of war by Congress," he said. "However, the U.S. government justifies its action because genocide is allegedly occurring, and because no declaration of war was required for U.S. military intervention in Bosnia, Somalia, or Iraq.
"So, past foreign intervention is used as a justification for current foreign intervention -- with the definition of 'war' becoming ever more murky, and the Constitution slipping into irrelevance. That's a tragedy, because a government unfettered by any Constitutional limitations poses a greater danger to Americans than a civil war in an obscure Balkan province."
Finally, the attack on Yugoslavia has no "end game" -- no clearly articulated plan for the United States to disengage from the conflict, said Bergland.
"This conflict could very easily turn into a Balkan Vietnam," he said. "Whether or not we intervene, the Kosovo conflict could spiral into a regional war. How long is the U.S. government willing to stay involved in a Balkan war? How much money is it willing to spend? How many American lives it is willing to waste?
"Just look at Bosnia: Our one-year peacekeeping mission has turned into a three-year nation-building mission, with no end in sight. The cost has ballooned to $20 billion, with no end in sight. Look at Haiti: Four years later, American peace-keeping troops are still in that nation, with no end in sight. Or look at Iraq: Eight years later, we're still fighting that war, with no end in sight.
"Now, President Clinton is prepared to deploy another 4,000 American troops to Kosovo, with no end in sight.
"We should stop this foolishness. We don't need another Bosnia. We don't need another Haiti. We don't need another Iraq. And we certainly don't need another Vietnam. That's why the Libertarian Party urges: End the attack on Yugoslavia. Bring our troops home," he said.
"Americans deserve peace. And we're not going to achieve that goal by recklessly intervening in every conflict around the globe, with the goal of bombing our way to peace."
-- Leo (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 26, 1999
Yes, I oppose this ongoing tragedy that we have jumped into with both feet. Yes, there are people there that need help. There are people all over the world that need help. But this is none of our business. Why are we always poking our nose in their business. We are doing a fine job of provoking Russia.
The Balkans have been been fighting for hundreds of years, so has the Mideast, so has Northern Ireland. There are 26 wars, or "police actions" or whatever you want to call them going on at the present. Haven't we learned anything from Viet Nam? Why are we trying to be Nanny of the World?
-- gilda jessie (email@example.com), March 26, 1999.
I agree except in the case of Iraq. That war had a very clear and urgent national interest.
-- Shimrod (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 26, 1999.
You mean there's no oil in Kosovo? We have so many new toys (weapons) to try out, we need a little non-nuclear civil war to stick our noses into. Just a practice run for China/Tiawan, North/South Korea II or maybe we can back small former Solviet republics in there quests for freedom?
-- Bill (email@example.com), March 26, 1999.
I am so enraged at what's been going on that I no longer consider myself a supporter of this government. Sometimes I wonder if secession is the only answer to an aloof oligarchy of people who are obsessed with power and control. They are not even elected by a majority of our population. (Of the fraction who register to vote, only a fraction even bother to show up at the polls.) These oligarchs have betrayed each one of the great ideals which were beginning to make this a great country--all for the sake of financial, sexual, or sheer egotistical gratification. They have beaten down the American spirit into a unfeeling, unthinking, amoral consumption machine.
NATO, please come in and help my state throw off the yoke of Uncle Sam!!
This is treasonous talk so I will shut up and go back to sleep and keep being brainwashed by CNN and the like. No, on second thought, maybe there is a ghost of a chance that the Libertarian party will fare better this year. They have my vote; I still believe in the Constitution; and perhaps this idiot madness will subside. But I wonder how long I will be able to quench my anger with that illusion...
-- coprolith (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 26, 1999.
I seem to remember Sadam was practically invited, by US, to invade Kuwait. What exactly was our "national interest", that being the case?
Of course, "humanitarian", "economic", "emergency", "temporary", "objective" or, as in this case, "moral" reasons should always superceed actual laws. That makes everything a lot easier, doesn't it? Right!
-- Floyd Baker (email@example.com), March 26, 1999.
Can anyone say "wag the dog?"
-- (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 27, 1999.
can anyone say "Don't let KLA heroin distribution network get disrupted, don't let it fall into Milosovic's hands, where it will magnify his power immensely". These days white gold has more geo-political significance than black gold.
-- humpty (email@example.com), March 27, 1999.
THe other side of the argument should at least be stated.
Sixty years ago, the world did nothing except exchange pieces of paper with a genocidal dictator. By the time it became apparent that his words on pieces of paper were worthless, a world war was the only answer and millions of soldiers died (together with many more million victims of genocide, and civilians on both sides).
Today, another dictator who believes in military conquest and "ethnic cleansing" (read genocide) is trying to expand. This time, the west is (perhaps belatedly) acting against him.
It's hard to know what's right in such a situation, but always remember: "for evil to flourish, all that is necessary is for good men to do nothing". Should we really sit back and watch this evil unfold, simply because we have little strategic interest in Yugoslavia?
-- Nigel Arnot (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 29, 1999.