Wrights joins Americans calling for an end to U.S. militarism

BURNET, Texas (July 6) – Lee Wrights has joined with a group of eminent Americans from across the political spectrum who have put aside political differences on other issues to send a letter to President Obama and Congress urging an end to U.S. militarism. The letter, spearheaded by Come Home America, cites a combination of events that present a “historic opportunity to redirect U.S. foreign policy down the pathways of peace, liberty, justice, respect for community, obedience to the rule of law and fiscal responsibility.”

“I’m proud to join such distinguished company as Daniel Ellsberg, David Cobb and Michael Badnarik and add my voice to theirs in calling President Obama and Congress to stop all wars,” Wrights said. “That is exactly what my campaign for the Libertarian presidential nomination is all about.”

The letter urges a “fundamental shift in U.S. foreign policy away from domination of others through military strength and damaging sanctions.” It calls for the end to “these unconstitutional wars (which) have been justified on false premises … fueling hatred abroad for Americans and undermining the rule of law.”

“I urge everyone to go to ComeHomeAmerica.us and add their name to the list of signers,” Wrights said. “Just as our Founding Fathers pledge their ‘lives, fortune and sacred honor’ to defend liberty 235 years ago, Americans today must pledge today to demand our elected leaders stop all the immoral, unconstitutional and unnecessary wars which threaten our liberty and freedom.”

Go here to read the full letter and add your name to the list of signers.

Wrights 2012 press release

President Obama takes Nobel Peace Prize to war

“Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr., 1964 Nobel Peace Prize winner

BURNET, Texas (March 27) — There’s an anonymous message circulating on Twitter that’s says, “Barack Obama has now fired more cruise missiles than all other Nobel Peace prize winners combined.” That would be funny, if it weren’t so depressing an observation. There are calls now from some foreign leaders for President Obama to return the award. “How is it possible to give the Nobel Peace Prize to someone who has launched an invasion, a bombing? It’s a violation, an assault, an aggression,” said Bolivian President Evo Morales.

President Obama dismissed this idea by repeating a line he used in his Oslo acceptance speech he delivered in December 2009. The president said then it was an “irony” for him to get this award when he was dealing with two wars. “So I am accustomed to this contradiction of being both a commander-in-chief but also someone who aspires to peace,” he told CNN.

That is not irony, Mr. President; it is hypocrisy. It is not a contradiction; it is a violation of your oath of office.

Isn’t it bad enough that America has an immediate-past president who is afraid to visit another country for fear of being arrested for war crimes? Now we have a sitting president who’s being asked to return a prestigious international award because he’s an aggressor. It seems to me we’re not doing a very good job of picking presidents.

Maybe it’s time we elect someone who won’t bring shame and condemnation to our nation by attacking other countries. Maybe it’s time we elected a president who took his oath to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States” seriously. Maybe it’s time we elected a president who understands the true meaning of that document.

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President Obama contradicts Sen. Obama again

The North Carolina Libertarian party has condemned the U.S. attack on Libya, saying that President Obama not only circumvented the U.S. Constitution but contradicted his own statements about presidential power to order such attacks.

“The Libertarian Party of North Carolina joins the national Libertarian Party in condemning President Obama for this military assault on Libya, circumventing the constitutionally required Congressional vote,” said Barbara Howe, Libertarian Party state chair in a statement posted on the party’s website.

In 2007, then candidate Obama told the Boston Globe, “”The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.”

“The president was correct then, but he’s wrong now,” she said. “His actions are a direct contradiction of that statement. He has forgotten his own words. The selected bombing targets posed no imminent threat to the U.S.”

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They hate us because we bomb them

President Obama’s decision to attack on Libya is only surprising to those who actually think he deserved the Nobel Peace Prize and indicates a “disturbing trend” of attacking Muslim countries, the Libertarian Party national chair said yesterday.

“After dithering for two weeks, Obama has joined the list of presidents who chose to launch wars on their personal say-so in direct contravention of the Constitution,” said Mark Hinkle. The attacks on Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen and now Libya have also eroded the goodwill Obama gained from the Arab world early in his administration. In the most recent Zogby survey, 85 percent of the respondents expressed an unfavorable opinion toward the United States, eclipsing the 83 percent negative opinion in the final year of the Bush administration.

“I’m deeply disappointed that the U.S. government has once again galloped into battle on foreign soil, in the grand tradition of Teddy and San Juan Hill,” said Lon Cecil, a 2010 Libertarian Congressional candidate. “Libertarians recognize that our standing armies are for the defense of our nation and our shores, not running around the world shoving gun barrels in the face of anyone who refuses to bow down or run away.”

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Bombs fall on the evil and the innocent

“War is violence at large scale, conducted by imperfect people using imperfect weapons on the basis of limited information. There’s nothing humanitarian about that. Innocents and non-combatants will be killed.” –Thomas L. Knapp

BURNET, Texas (March 22) – When you drop a bomb, you cannot be sure who will die when it hits, and once you let it go you cannot bring it back. It doesn’t matter if you claim the person you’re dropping the bomb on is evil, or whether you maintain that your cause is noble and humanitarian. Bombs don’t discriminate between the innocent and the evil.

In a war, any war, innocent people die. Politicians and military leaders may use an innocuous-sounding euphemism like “collateral damage,” to mask the death of non-combatants. But let’s call it what it is – murder. Make no mistake, whether your name is Gadhafi or Obama, if you unleash your bombs knowing full-well that innocent people are going to die as a result, you are committing murder. And to make matters worse, you order others to do your crime for you.

Think about it. If someone blew up your entire family, would it really matter if a well-intentioned busybody rather than an oppressive tyrant delivered the bomb? As Gandhi so eloquently said, “What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty and democracy?”

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Any U.S. attack on Libya would be unconstitutional and despicable

BURNET, Texas (March 19) – After weeks of vacillation, uttering veiled threats that Libyan dictator Muammar Gadhafi must go while his key advisers made contradictory statements, President Obama has followed the example of his recent predecessors and decided that it is okay for the United States to attack another sovereign nation so long as the United Nations approves it. For an American president to initiate an attack on a nation that does not threaten us is despicable enough, but to justify such aggression by citing a United Nations resolution sets a dangerous precedent that threatens our very sovereignty.

Now the president has made an incredibly duplicitous statement on Libya, claiming that American leadership is essential in this situation and vowing that the United States would not stand “idly by while global peace and security is undermined.” In other words, we need some war so we can have peace. George Orwell, author of 1984, seems more like a prophet every day.

What hubris! A tyrant, who just a few weeks ago wasn’t even on the State Department’s radar, is now suddenly a threat to the world? Tyrants in other Middle East nations are shooting citizens who protest their oppression, but the United States says and does nothing. Why? Because the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet is based in the area and we need the support of those tyrants in order to flex our muscles against another tyrant.

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War is not the answer

What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty and democracy?” (Gandhi)

by R. Lee Wrights

War is never good, no matter how moral, lofty or beneficial the justification sounds; and, no matter what the objectives. Even a necessary war of defense has negative consequences that are devastating. War is the ultimate in destruction. War destroys peace, it destroys prosperity, it destroys property and most cruelly – war destroys people.

That’s why it troubles me that the language of war dominates our political discourse. The words we use do matter. The metaphors we use to express our thoughts reflect how we actually think about things. It can be disturbing to say the least.

War is a zero-sum game. There are perceived winners and losers, of course. The losers are destroyed or killed, but even the winners are left less than whole by the experience. While I’m proud of my service in the U.S. Air Force, I’m most grateful to have served as a medic. I was able to serve my country without killing a single human being. However, I helped treat those who did, and who consequently suffered both physical and mental harm as a result of their actions. Even though I was fortunate not to have experienced it first-hand, the destruction of war touched me and changed my life forever.

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Christmas present to the troops – bring them home

“They shall beat their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks;
one nation shall not raise the sword against another,
nor shall they train for war again.” (Isaiah 2:4)

BURNET, Texas (Dec. 24) – In a Christmas Eve statement R. Lee Wrights, a libertarian writer, activist and potential 2012 presidential nominee, said that if elected president his first message to members of the U.S. Armed Forces will be “you will be home for Christmas.”

“As I listen once again to the taped messages from our men and women in uniform serving overseas being aired on TV and radio this holiday season, it saddens my heart to know that for many of them this is not the first Christmas they’ve spent away from home and family, nor will it be the last,” Wrights said. “Sadder still is that for too many of those brave souls serving their country, this Christmas will be their last. That should not be.”

“The greatest Christmas present any president can give the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces is to bring them home,” Wrights said. “My first order as commander-in-chief will be to instruct the joint chiefs of staff to make it so, as quickly and safely as possible.”

Stocking stuffers for real patriots“There are a multitude of organizations and thousands of individuals who do think of our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines at this time of year. They sincerely try to make the troops’ holidays away from home a little brighter,” Wrights said. “I greatly admire and respect their work. But I think the greater gift is to never send these young men and women into harms way unnecessarily again.”

“As president, my pledge to those men and women who take the oath to defend our country and our Constitution, and to their families, will be that I will never send them to fight and die on far-away battlefields in order to support dictators, corrupt governments or to serve some nebulous ideal of global nation-building.”

“Whether or not you’re a Christian, or whether or not you even believe in God, the true meaning of this annual holiday season transcends any and all political, national and religious differences,” Wrights said. “The proclamation of peace on earth and good will to all men is greater than any one person, or any one faith, or any one nation.”

“The message of peace announced more than two thousand years ago inspired me to consider seeking the Libertarian presidential nomination and sustains me in that endeavor. To achieve peace we must first stop all war. Stop all war, beginning with the coercion and violence exercised by our own government at home and abroad, and extending to calming the turmoil and unrest inside our selves.”

“America is indeed the home of the brave and my promise to the men and women of our Armed Forces is that I will bring the brave home.” Wrights concluded by saying, “I much prefer a nation filled with living patriots to American cemeteries filled with dead heroes. Merry Christmas, my comrades in arms. My Christmas wish for you is for God to watch over you and grant each of you a safe return.”

Wrights is considering seeking the presidential nomination because he believes the Libertarian message in 2012 should be a loud, clear and unequivocal call to stop all war. 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.

The 52-year old writer and political activist was born in Winston Salem, N.C. and now lives in Texas. He is the co-founder and editor of the free speech online magazine Liberty For All.

Wrights 2012 press release

Reaction to WikiLeaks threatens liberty

BURNET, Texas (Dec. 15) – The reactions from American politicians and elected officials regarding the latest WikiLeaks publication of classified U.S. documents poses a greater threat to liberty than anything in the documents themselves, R. Lee Wrights, a libertarian writer and potential 2012 Libertarian presidential nominee said in a statement today.

“The greatest threat to our liberty comes not from anything published by WikiLeaks, but from the irresponsible, irrational and hysterical comments from politicians and government officials,” Wrights said. He noted that Julian Assange, WikiLeaks founder, has been called a terrorist, an enemy combatant, and a traitor.

“Such characterizations are much worse than merely being inaccurate and irresponsible,” Wrights said. “They are chilling and sobering assertions, since President Obama has claimed the U.S. has the authority to kill anyone they label an ‘enemy combatant,” Wrights said. “In other words, the government’s war on civil liberty has no frontline or boundaries. Anyone who is labeled an enemy is a target.”

“Government has become deadly because those who possess it demonstrate an appalling arrogance. American leaders who in effect are claiming that the United States can punish anyone who disagrees with or opposes American foreign policy and uncovers anything embarrassing about the way U.S. diplomats operate,” Wrights continued.

“Once again the very people who have taken an oath to defend the U.S. Constitution attest by their words that they are either ignorant of that document, or have contempt for the limitations the Constitution places on their power,” Wrights said.

“Calling Assange a traitor, for example, is one of the more incredulous comments that’s been made, since he’s an Australian citizen living in Sweden,” Wrights said. He said that Article III, Section 3 of the Constitution, which defines treason applies only to U.S. citizens.

“Another ludicrous comment is the suggestion by some Congressional so-called leaders for a bill to punish WikiLeaks, disregarding the Constitutional prohibition on ex post facto laws enumerated in Article I Section 9,” Wrights said.

“All this is a smokescreen, designed to cover up, obfuscate and obscure revelations about the lies and deceits perpetrated by the U.S. government in pursing an interventionist foreign policy,” Wrights said. “Those of us who lived through the Vietnam War recall this tactic all too well.”

“There’s been no evidence or proof presented that the information contained in these leaked documents has resulted in the death of anyone, let alone any American, or caused any direct harm to American security,” Wrights said. He noted that none of the information released had high classification and that most of it appears only to have been classified in order to avoid embarrassment.

“Besides being embarrassing to American diplomats, the bulk of the information released has simply confirmed what was already widely reported,” Wrights noted. “This includes the fact that the Saudi Arabian government is a principle supporter and financier of al-Qaida, and that there was no al-Qaida in Iraq before we invaded that country.”

Wrights said that one of the most interesting documents he’s seen is a report by Dan Lawson, deputy political counselor in the U.S. Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela. Lawson’s analysis of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was that despite his “professed allegiance to socialism,” Chavez “lacks any consistent ideology” but relies on “an increasingly authoritarian playbook” to stay in power.

“In the authoritarian playbook Lawson outlines, some points struck me as eerily familiar to our own government,” Wrights said. “They include centralization of power, polarizing society along political and class lines, hyping the existence of external and internal enemies and promoting chest-thumping nationalism.”

“Perhaps this document was classified because it hit to close to home. It is little wonder that the current administration wants these documents to disappear. Government prefers the cloak of darkness to the illumination of information.”

Wrights concluded by observing, “Sadly, it appears those controlling government are willing to kill in order to keep their petty little embarrassments hidden from the people they are supposed to represent.”

Wrights is considering seeking the presidential nomination because he believes the Libertarian message in 2012 should be a loud, clear and unequivocal call to stop all war. 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.

The 52-year old writer and political activist was born in Winston Salem, N.C. and now lives in Texas. He is the co-founder and editor of the free speech online magazine Liberty For All.

Wrights 2012 press release

Wars consume our most precious resource

The greatest cost of the endless and needless wars the United States is engaged in can’t be measure in dollars and cents but in the expenditure of our most precious resource, the lives of our young people, said potential Libertarian presidential candidate R. Lee Wrights.

“The greatest cost of war is the toll it is taking on our most precious resources, our young people,” said Wrights. “Every time a young American soldier, sailor, airman or marine is killed, another dream dies, another possibility dies, another prospect dies. Every time a young American is killed, another hope dies.”

One such precious resource was 24-year-old Robert J. Miller. The Special Forces soldier was recently awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, the highest U.S. military decoration, for his action in Afghanistan in saving the lives of 22 American and Afghan soldiers.

“Staff Sgt. Miller gave his life for his fellow man, the greatest sacrifice any person can make,” Wrights said. “He should be honored, as should every American killed defending themselves or their comrades.”

“But the greatest honor we can bestow on these young people is to stop asking them to sacrifice themselves in endless and needless wars,” he said. “If we truly want to support the troops we should bring them home – now.”

“Most Americans are untouched by the war, other than having to endure invasions of their civil liberties when they try to get on an airplane,” Wrights said. “During the Vietnam war, the anti-war movement was galvanized by the images of death and destruction on their television screens. Sadly, today Americans are either numb or indifferent to very similar images coming out of Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has even acknowledged that this is not a shared cost. He told a group of students at Duke University recently that less than 20 percent of Americans know someone who has been in the military and that number is declining. Gates said that despite the “fond sentiments for men and women in uniform, for most Americans the wars remain an abstraction.”

Wrights said that America’s wars are now being fought by a professional military, the standing army that our nation’s founders feared and warned against. In his Duke lecture, Gates said that United States couldn’t sustain such “complex and protracted missions” like Iraq and Afghanistan without the dedication of “seasoned professional who choose to serve and keep on serving.”

The defense secretary also said that whatever mistakes were made in these conflicts were the result of failures and “miscalculations” at the top, not by the troops in the field. “It has taken every ounce of our troops’ skill, initiative and commitment to battle a cunning and adaptive enemy at the front while overcoming bureaucratic lassitude and sometimes worse at the rear,” Gates said.

“This is stunning,” Wrights said. “What the secretary is saying in effect is that these young people who choose to serve their country have more honor and integrity to do the right thing than the leaders who send them to fight and die. I am appalled at such callousness.”

Gates said that the wars are putting extraordinary stress on military members and their families, causing anxiety, increased domestic strife and a growing number of suicides. He said that the divorce rate among Army enlisted personnel has nearly doubled since the wars began.

“Yet neither the secretary nor President Obama offer any solutions to these problems,” Wrights said. “They piously praise the dedication and sacrifice made by America’s young men and women in uniform, yet they continue to promote policies that will cause them and their families to suffer and sacrifice even more.”

“Our military deserves better. Our military deserves a Commander-in-Chief who will honor and respect their devotion to duty by calling on them to fight and die only to defend America when we have been directly attacked,” Wrights said.

Wrights, a military veteran himself, is considering seeking the presidential nomination because he believes the Libertarian message in 2012 should be a loud, clear and unequivocal call to stop all war. 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 the co-founder and editor of the free speech online magazine Liberty For All.  The 52-year old writer and political activist was born in Winston Salem, NC and now lives in Texas. Contact Lee at rleewrights@gmail.com.