“Our government has kept us in a perpetual state of fear, kept us in a continuous stampede of patriotic fervor with the cry of grave national emergency. Always there has been some terrible evil at home or some monstrous foreign power that was going to gobble us up if we did not blindly rally behind it.” (Gen. Douglas MacArthur)
BURNET, Texas (Sept. 7) – As we approach the tenth anniversary of one of the most devastating events in American history, we will be inundated with a mind-numbing around-the-clock media coverage of the event. We will be flooded with a rehash of the events of that tragic day, hear countless stories about heroes, be subjected, once again, to endless analysis from “experts” about why this attack occurred, and listen to political leaders pontificate on the meaning of the tragedy in memorial services, newspapers and on radio and television. We will see the tragic events over and over again just as they were captured that day when people all over the world sat in front of their televisions and watched the horror as the twin towers came tumbling down.
“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.
BURNET, Texas (March 26) – Potential Libertarian presidential candidate R. Lee Wrights will be the guest on the “Live and Let Live” radio show hosted by Texas Libertarian Gary Johnson Sunday, March 27 from 8-9 p.m. CST. The program airs over Austin station 90.1 and online on the Rule of Law Radio Network. The call in number for this live program is (512) 646-1984.
Wrights, a past vice chair of the Libertarian National Committee, is considering seeking the Libertarian presidential nomination. He believes the Libertarian message in 2012 must be a loud, clear and unequivocal call to stop all war. To that end, Wrights has pledged that 10 percent of all donations to his campaign will go toward ballot access so that the stop all war message can be heard in all 50 states.
Wrights, 52, is a longtime Libertarian writer and activists. He is co-founder and editor of the free speech online magazine Liberty For All. Born in Winston Salem, N.C., he now lives in Texas.
Wrights for President Exploratory Committee
“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?”
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.
BURNET, Texas (March 14) – When former President George W. Bush canceled a trip to Geneva for a charity fundraiser because he feared being arrested for war crimes, it was a shame and a blot on our nation, potential Libertarian presidential candidate R. Lee Wrights told the Georgia Libertarian Party State Convention Saturday.
“It’s a shame. It’s a blot on this country and it’s a blot on all of us that one of our former leaders is afraid to go somewhere because he’s going to be charged with war crimes,” Wrights said. In February, Bush canceled a speaking engagement at a charity fundraiser in Geneva because a human rights group filed a criminal complaint against him in a Swiss court alleging torture.
“I’d like to think that if I got the job, you’d never have to worry about that,” said Wrights, former Vice Chair of the national Libertarian Party. The incident is an inevitable and direct result of the “nosy neighbor” foreign policy pursued by both Democratic and Republican presidents.
“What bothers you more than a nosy neighbor? Somebody who moves next door to you and is in your business all the time,” Wrights asked. “It is aggravating and will make you go to war.”
“So imagine that neighbor is half way across the world and sticking their nose in your business … and has pretty big guns to back it up,” he added. “You don’t make many friends that way, you don’t have peace, and you don’t have prosperity.”
BURNET, Texas (March 2) – Potential Libertarian presidential candidate R. Lee Wrights will be in taking his stop all war message to the state Libertarian Party conventions in Kentucky and Georgia over the next two weekends.
Wrights will be he luncheon speaker at the Kentucky LP convention in Maysville March 5. The convention will be held at the French Quarter Inn, 25 E. McDonald Parkway.
The following weekend, Wrights will attend the Georgia state convention which will be held March 11 and 12 at the Atlanta Airport Weston, 4736 Best Rd.
Wrights, 52, is a longtime libertarian writer, political activist, a lifetime member of the Libertarian Party, and a past vice chair of the Libertarian National Committee. He is considering seeking the presidential nomination because he’s determined that the Libertarian message in 2012 be a loud, clear and unequivocal call to stop all war. To that end, Wrights has pledged that 10 percent of all donations to his campaign will go toward 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. He is also co-founder and president of the Foundation for a Free Society, an educational organization dedicated to promoting the principles of liberty, personal sovereignty, private property, and free markets in order to create a more free and prosperous society. Born in Winston-Salem, N.C., Wrights now lives in Texas.
“The only defensible war is a war of defense.”
– C.K. Chesterton
One of the most misunderstood principles of libertarianism is the non-aggression principle. The belief that no one has the right, under any circumstances, to initiate force against another human being for any reason whatsoever; nor advocate the initiation of force, or delegate it to anyone else including government is the very essence of the non-aggression principle. The misconception starts when we use the phrase “initiation of force.” People tend to focus on the last word and ignore or forget the first.
Most libertarians are not pacifists so our adherence to the non-aggression principle doesn’t mean we won’t defend ourselves. On the contrary, the right to self-defense is inherent in the concept of self-ownership. It is absolutely necessary for every individual to be prepared always to defend him or herself. Your life is too precious to trust it to the hands of strangers.
There seems to be similar confusion with the understanding of the theme of this exploratory campaign – stop all war. That theme was chosen based on the feedback and comments I’ve been hearing from Libertarians across the nation for the past several years. They are asking why the Libertarian Party isn’t out front in the anti-war movement. The questioning was particularly strong and passionate from many of the young people who were delegates to the 2010 national convention in St. Louis.
by Thomas Hill
Since I signed on as the campaign manager of the Lee Wrights for President Exploratory Committee I’ve taken some heat from some of my radical and anarchist friends in the libertarian movement, people I love and respect, for getting involved in electoral politics. Some of them have even called me a statist, which is very hurtful.
Now I understand libertarians may have disagreements about tactics, and I understand that some in the movement refuse to participate in electoral politics because it’s based on force and violence. I understand and I agree with many of these views. But a true libertarian attitude is to respect each other’s choices, not condemn them.
I’ve chosen to become involved in the electoral process because I’m driven to do it. I’m driven to do it first because I love and respect R. Lee Wrights and what he stands for, and second because it’s a way to use the networking infrastructure of electoral politics to educate the mainstream about radical libertarianism, the heart and soul of libertarianism.
“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.