Steve G.

Archive for January 4th, 2007|Daily archive page

George Phillies on Iraq

In George Phillies, Iraq War, War on January 4, 2007 at 5:09 pm

George Phillies has released a new position paper on Iraq. Unsurprisingly, it advocates leaving immediately, the only principled and pragmatic option:

“For three thousand Americans, their relatives, and their families, peace with Iraq is now too late. Those three thousand Americans made the ultimate sacrifice for their country: They died fighting a pointless war in a foreign land. We cannot undo the sacrifice that they made. We should seek to ensure that more Americans do not go forth, courageously, only to make the same sacrifice in the distant desert sands of Iraq.

Our soldiers in Iraq face hazards unknown in past wars. They are under constant attack. No matter how often George Bush claims that we are winning, the number of effective attacks against us continues to climb, in the past year from 70 to 180 per day. Worse, that count of attacks does not include vastly more “violent acts” committed against us. Those violent acts apparently number more than one thousand a day. Over the course of a year, that’s two violent acts for each serviceman and each servicewoman in Iraq. No matter where our troops go, to Iraq’s teeming cities, to the remote wastes of Al Anbar province, or even to their bases and bunkers, Iraqi guerrillas continue their incessant war on our men and women.

There are no front lines. Our opponents wear no uniforms. Except when they are actively shooting at us, they simply blend in with their fellow Iraqis. Our brave men and women have no way to tell friend from foe, no response except to wait and watch.

For our soldiers, sailors, and airmen overseas, not to mention their families and friends, this is a war that tests people’s spirits. In World War II and Korea, there were front lines. In Viet Nam, there were areas where the Viet Cong was inactive. In the Iraqi capital, our people take refuge in the Green zone, protected by massive berms and razor wire, but the Green Zone is regularly attacked.

Our original war aims, whether sensible or misguided, at least made sense in English. We invaded Iraq to pursue President Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction. We invaded Iraq to end collaboration between Iraq and various terrorist groups. We invaded Iraq to remove President Hussein for power.

We did those things. There were no WMDs in Iraq. The Iraqi government hated Al Qaida. President Hussein had nothing to do with September 11. Now President Hussein has had his appointment with the hangman. The original mission may have been pointless, but that’s no fault of our servicemen or their relatives and families.

It’s time to bring the War on Iraq to an end. It’s time to bring our men and women home from Iraq. No matter when we leave, the Iraqis will still face their national problems. It’s no criticism of our military’s dedication or courage to say that further fighting is futile. Iraq’s problems are problems the Iraqis must solve for themselves. Our intervention only wastes American lives.

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Libertarian judge swears in Libertarian office-holder

In Libertarian, Politics on January 4, 2007 at 8:37 am

This is a first for American politics, I do believe.

From the Muncie Free Press:

“What makes this so very special is that this is the first time this has ever happened to my knowledge in the United States. Never before has a judge elected as a Libertarian given the oath of office to any newly elected officials elected as a Libertarian” said Mark Rutherford, State Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Indiana.

“Despite the election law hurdles placed against the Libertarian Party by the Republicans and Democrats, the Libertarian Party has grown in Indiana to the point where an elected Libertarian judge is now giving the oath of office to two Libertarian elected officials today.”

Susan Bell was elected to the Town Court in 2003. Tillson was elected to the Clay Township Advisory Board, and Coffman was elected to the Liberty Township Advisory Board in last November’s election.

Good for them. The LPIN is sounding more and more like a force in local politics… they’ve got a lot to be proud of and in a few more years they could be electing state senators, easily.

Yet another new blogger.

In Libertarian on January 4, 2007 at 6:58 am

My friend C.E. Oberg is now a blogger here on LFV.

He’s new to the libertarian movement and has pretty much no experience with its inner workings-which is precisely why I thought he would make an excellent addition to this blog. Too often, we libertarians are too busy looking for the forest that we can’t see it because all the trees are in the way. Yet the inner workings of our libertarian brains are all-too-often foreign and scary to outsiders when they need not be. So, every once in a while, it’s a good thing to bring in outside opinions and outside views to give ourselves a fresh perspective. Companies do this in the real world; even the Libertarian Party just did it with Bob Barr.

He’s done other things too. He helps me keep my message boards in line, and he’s tipped me off to news plenty of times in the past, both for articles I’ve written here and back on HoT.

I look forward to reading his insights on the libertarian movement, and welcome him to the fold.

Immigration and the 2008 LP Presidential Race

In Uncategorized on January 4, 2007 at 2:46 am

As George Phillies‘s electronic outreach coordinator, I’ve been taking some heat on his immigration position, reproduced here:

Americans are entitled to the certainty that their country’s just laws will be enforced until those laws are changed. Furthermore, America is a welfare state with generous safety net. The low-cost workers we import into America pay less in taxes than the social services they receive, so a vote for open borders is also a vote for a tax increase on the rest of us. Needless to say, I am not in the habit of supporting tax increases.

There’s some other stuff in there, but that’s the essence of it. Immigration isn’t an issue in a vacuum. Yes, open borders would be ideal, but if borders are opened without an elimination of free handouts, “entitlements” would skyrocket, as would the national debt. Obviously the goal is to eliminate silly immigration controls and free handouts, but to advocate one without advocating the other is silliness.