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