Obama is shockingly pro-war

President Obama’s announcement of the end of the combat mission in Iraq was a ridiculous and false statement and shows that the president is as shockingly pro-war as his predecessor, said the chair of the Libertarian Party.

“President Obama needs to stop lying,” said Mark Hinkle. “He repeated the ridiculous and false claim that the U.S. combat mission is over in Iraq. He seems to think that if he keeps talking about the war in a nice way, then the war isn’t really happening.”

Even though he is the one person with the authority to withdraw U.S. military forces from Iraq, Hinkle said the president has chosen to keep risking the lives of 50,000 Americans and bleeding taxpayers.

“Contrary to his rhetoric before being elected, the president has proven himself to be shockingly pro-war,” Hinkle said. “In addition to sustaining the American war presence in Iraq, he has greatly escalated the war in Afghanistan.”

All the Libertarian candidates for Congress in North Carolina agree that ending the war means bringing all the troops home. “It does not end until all troops are back on American soil,” said Tom Rose, Libertarian candidate for U.S. House District 12.

On his website, Libertarian U.S. Senate Mike Beitler writes, “The best thing we can do for our troops is to bring them home. “America cannot afford to serve as the policeman of the world, nor does it have the authority to do so.”

The Republicans are equally to blame because they have consistently failed to oppose the terrible financial impact of these wars, while claiming to champions of small government, Hinkle said.

“They want to nit-pick Obama’s past statements about the war, but in fact they should be showering him with praise for doing exactly what they want,” he said.

Hinkle called the conflict the “Bush-Obama war” and said it has been “shameful from the beginning.” Even if the U.S. military success in imposing democracy, he said that the effort is not worth the thousands of American lives and billions of dollars lost in the process.

“The Bush-Obama War in Iraq has done nothing to safeguard the rights of Americans — on the contrary, it has probably made Americans less safe, and certainly poorer,” he said. “The purpose of the U.S. armed forces is to defend the territory of the United States, not to re-engineer foreign societies.”

“Just like his predecessor, Obama believes that government force is the answer to everything.”

The Libertarian Party believes U.S. foreign policy should emphasize defense against attack from abroad and enhance the likelihood of peace by avoiding foreign entanglements, including intervention and military and economic aid.

Wrights says close the book on Iraq war

It’s time do more than just “turn the page” on America’s foreign wars. We should close the book and put it pack on the shelf, said potential Libertarian presidential candidate R. Lee Wrights in response to President Obama’s address to the nation Tuesday night.

“President Obama said he was announcing that ‘the American combat mission in Iraq’ has ended and that it was time to ‘turn the page’ on a ‘remarkable chapter in American history,” Wrights said. “It is time to do more than just turn the page. It is time to close the book of war, put it back on the shelf, and never refer to it again.”

“There is nothing remarkable about this chapter in American history,” Wrights said. “If the president really wanted to end the war he would simply tell the joint chiefs to draw up a plan to remove every last American solider, sailor, airman and marine from the region as quickly and safely as possible.”

“If the president really wanted to honor the sacrifices made by America’s men and women in uniform, he would not continue to put them in harm’s way unnecessarily,” Wrights said.

Wrights said that President Obama was elected on the expectation that he would end America’s interventionist foreign policy, but from the words he used in this address it appears he is going to continue this policy and use different language to hide his intentions.

For example, Wrights noted that while the president said the combat mission is ending, he said our commitment to Iraq is not. The president also said a transitional force will remain to advise and assist Iraqi security forces, support Iraqi troops in targeted counter-terrorism missions and protect civilians. In fact, as the last “combat” troops leave Iraq, fifty thousand troops will remain behind.

“In other words, our soldiers and marines will still be going on patrol, getting shot at, and possibly getting killed, but the president won’t call it combat operations,” Wrights said. He noted that the infantry brigades still in Iraq have been renamed “advise and assist” brigades.

“It is shameful the way politicians will parse words in order to justify and obscure their actions; and, it is disgraceful that any president who refers to himself as the commander-in-chief would use such a tactic to disguise the service of the men and women he is supposed to command.”

“It is disturbing the way the president casually dismissed the fact that this war was fought for a lie,” Wrights said. The president said that what began as “a war to disarm a state became a fight against insurgency.”

“It is distressing that President Obama admitted that the war has cost us one trillion dollars, most of it borrowed for other nations, and contributed to our debt, yet he doesn’t miss a beat in calling for even more government spending,” Wrights said. “He shows absolutely no signs that he is going to change anything in American foreign policy when he said America ‘must use all elements of our power to secure our interests and stand by our allies.'”

Wrights is considering seeking the presidential nomination because he believes the Libertarian message in 2012 should be a loud 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 Wrights, a Winston-Salem native, is writer and political activist living in Texas. He is the co-founder and editor of the free speech online magazine Liberty For All.

From Wrights for President Exploratory Committee press release

True cost of war more than a trillion dollars

The cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has surpassed one trillion dollars, according to the Congressional Budget Office. While this figure is staggering, a Libertarian presidential hopeful said that the real cost of these conflicts to our economy and our liberty is even more staggering.

“One trillion dollars is an almost incomprehensible number, but what is even more incomprehensible is the fact that most of that cost is borrowed money,” said R. Lee Wrights, former Libertarian Party national vice chair and the editor and co-founder of Liberty for All, an online free speech magazine.

“The most successful war seldom pays for its losses.”
– Thomas Jefferson

“The federal government borrows about 43 cents of every dollar it spends, and then uses it to build schools, roads and hospitals in countries where we’re partly responsible for destroying that infrastructure,” he said. “That’s not only insane, it’s immoral.”

Wrights said that he is considering seeking the presidential nomination because he believes the Libertarian message in 2012 should be a loud and unequivocal call to stop all war. Wrights, 52, was born in Winston-Salem and lived in North Carolina most of his life. He now lives and works in Texas.

“The Libertarian Party faces a critical test in 2012 and I want to make sure that we’re up to the challenge,” Wrights said. “The Libertarian message in 2012 must be loud and clear – stop all wars! Stop the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, stop the war on drugs and alternative lifestyles, stop the war on civil liberties.”

“When we first invaded Iraq we were told that the ‘war would pay for itself’ because Iraq had the oil resources,” Wrights said. He noted that Paul Wolfowitz, then assistant secretary of defense, told Congress in March 2003, “There’s a lot of money to pay for this. It doesn’t have to be U.S. taxpayer money. We are dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon.”

“That hasn’t happened. Instead, the federal government has simply printed or borrowed the money to rebuild what’s been destroyed,” Wrights said. “Politicians are treating war spending like an open checkbook. As long as they have checks, they keep writing them without bothering to balance the account.”

The 2010 military budget is $700 billion. In real terms, defense spending is more today than at any time during the Cold War, the Korean War, or the Vietnam War, according to Doug Bandow of the Cato Institute.

“To justify its budget, the Defense Department said it was not enough to have a military capable of deterring or responding to aggression,” Wrights said. “Incredibly, defense officials actually claimed it was ‘vital’ the United States be ‘a force for good by engaging with and helping positively to shape the world.’”

“Our founder’s would be appalled,” Wrights said. “They predicted that war would be the most dreaded threat to our liberties. They told us that from war would proceed mean debt, taxes, fraud and degeneracy of morals. They warned us that no nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.”

Wrights 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.