“Some explanations of a crime are not explanations: they’re part of the crime.” (Olavo de Carvalho)
BURNET, Texas (Jan. 24) — Every American who has ever worn a uniform should be offended and outraged by the claim by former President George H.W. Bush that the 1991 Iraq war was morally justified, said R. Lee Wrights, a libertarian activist, writer and potential 2012 Libertarian presidential nominee.
“I am outraged by the cavalier attitude about war and death this remark implies, an attitude apparently shared by his son,” said Wrights, an Air Force veteran. “Acts of immorality are inevitable in any war, even a justified war of self-defense. Therefore, no war is moral, and certainly not a war to defend or prop up oppressive governments.”
Bush and other key members of his foreign policy team spoke at a gathering at Texas A&M University marking the 20th anniversary of the first invasion of Iraq which began on Jan. 17, 1991.
In response to a question about the view that economics and oil were the real reason for going to war, Bush said, “I think (economics) was vitally important, but I don’t think that was the whole message by a longshot. It was the immorality of a big country – with the fourth-largest army in the world – taking over a member state of the U.N., just brutally taking it over.”
James Baker, secretary of state under Bush, added that it was “appropriate to use all the arguments” in favor of the war because, “We were doing the right thing.”
Wrights stated in a phone conference that he was flabbergasted at those statements. “If it’s immoral for a big country to take over a smaller country, then how can he justify the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan,” Wrights asks. “But I shouldn’t have been surprised, since this is the same president who directed the U.S. military to invade a small country in Central America (Panama) in an action called Operation Just Cause.”
“Claiming they were ‘doing the right thing’ and citing moral justification is a tactic every tyrant, dictator and aggressor in history has used to vindicate their evil,” observed Wrights. “It is disgraceful, but not surprising, to hear similar arguments from American leaders.”
“War is never about morality or doing the right thing. It is always about power and control,” Wrights said. “In 1991, one autocratic state invaded another autocratic Muslim state. What should the United States have done? Nothing.”
“Libertarians believe it is never moral to use force, fraud or coercion to achieve political, social or economic goals,” Wrights explains. “Unfortunately, the politicians who run governments don’t think the same way. They are more than willing to use force, and sacrifice other people’s lives to achieve their goal of power.”
Wrights concluded by restating one of the themes of his campaign, “You do not teach people it is wrong to kill people by killing people. You only perpetuate war and sentence our children to death on battlefields far from home. There is nothing moral about sending someone else’s loved one to fight for something in which you believe. I want to bring those loved ones home.”
Wrights, a lifetime member of the Libertarian Party, 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.