Steve G.

Barr on Iraq: Military Bases?

In Libertarian on August 28, 2008 at 11:19 am

A recent release from the Barr campaign discusses a recent proposed agreement between the Bush administration and the government of Iraq regarding troop levels, and urges Congress to “demand to see the proposed agreement and should approve, disapprove, or modify it.”

Most of the release is very much get-out-now sort of stuff, which is great. But there’s one passage I find disturbing:

“The administration has treated the war as a presidential prerogative from the very beginning,” notes Barr. “It is time for Congress to insist on fulfilling its constitutional responsibilities.  If the president refuses to comply, Congress should cut off money for any bases in Iraq.”

I’m open to different interpretations, and I do realize I may view this through something of a non Barr-friendly filter, but my read on the line “If the president refuses to comply, Congress should cut off money for any bases in Iraq,” is that Barr thinks that there are at least some conditions where the U.S. building new military bases in Iraq is a good thing. Put another way – if he wants to use non-base-building as punishment for Bush’s non-compliance, it seems to me that implies that he is willing to use base-building as a reward for Bush’s compliance.

As a traditional noninterventionist Libertarian, I don’t want any U.S. military bases overseas. And, yes, I’d like a lot fewer of them on this side of the ocean, too.

Perhaps someone close to the Barr campaign – or Barr himself – can clear this up by answering a simple question: Does Barr unequivocally call for an end to U.S. military intervention in Iraq, including building and staffing new military bases in the country?

  1. I think Susan has asked a vital question.

    I think the answer to the more general question “Does Barr unequivocally call for an end to US military intervention” can be answered. Since he continues to call for intervention in Central and South America to fight the aspects of the drug war he likes, it seems clear that he is not opposed to US military intervention.

    Which means, to me, that Barr is not a libertarian.

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