Are Cato and the LP "warmongers"?
Bill Woolsey and Kevin B. O’Reilly take me to task for my statement yesterday that “the Cato Institute and the so-called ‘Libertarian’ Party and its ‘New Libertarian’ faction, all front groups for the warmongering right-wing, have hammered a wedge into the libertarian movement.”
Woolsey says that both Cato and the LP opposed the war in
O’Reilly writes: “To call Cato and the LP warmongers is laughable. Is this because both supported the war in
Both Cato and the LP supported the
In October 2001, Cato Executive Vice President David Boaz offered an outline of “what we should be doing now.” By we, he meant the
- “Go after Al Qaeda and the Taliban. The air strikes are a good beginning, but we must insist that
hand Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants over. Failing that, we must go into Afghanistan to find them.” Afghanistan
- “Build a new bomber. ... Heavy bombers can carry heavier payloads over much longer ranges than can fighters and can operate from less-vulnerable bases in theaters that are farther away from the fighting or even from bases in the
. No matter what type of foreign policy the United States adopts in the future, it will need the ability to project power abroad. It’s time to start developing a new bomber.” United States
“Libertarians usually enter public debates to call for restrictions on government activity. In the wake of September 11, we have all been reminded of the real purpose of government: to protect our life, liberty, and property from violence. This would be a good time for the federal government to do its job with vigor and determination.”
Six months later, Ted Galen Carpenter, Cato’s vice president for defense and foreign-policy studies, wrote a piece for National Review Online titled “Head Straight for
“The reality is that al Qaeda will never be destroyed as long as it can enjoy a de facto sanctuary in
. One of the most serious mistakes in the otherwise successful Pakistan military operation in U.S. was the decision to trust the Pakistani government to seal the border and trap Taliban and al Qaeda troops. It is now clear that Afghanistan failed to fulfill that task. ... Pakistan
should inform Musharraf that we intend to wipe out the al Qaeda sanctuaries in the northwest frontier province, with or without Washington ’s permission. ... Islamabad
“But whatever Musharraf’s ultimate decision about granting permission, the
should not shrink from confronting al Qaeda in its Pakistani lair.” United States
Likewise, the Libertarian Party National Committee released a statement on the War on Terror and in Afghanistan in October 2001: "It is proper for the government to take forceful action against terrorists. ... Such criminals must be rooted out and destroyed. ... Their training camps and weapons must be eliminated. Their supply infrastructure must be shattered."
For a “party of peace,” the LP has never taken a real leadership role in the antiwar effort. As Justin Raimondo wrote on Antiwar.com in April of last year:
“To read the LP News, you’d never know there was a war on. You’d never know that this has been the bloodiest month of the war so far, with the prospect of more looming as an immediate likelihood. In the literature and public pronouncements of the LP there is scant mention of the most important issue we are all facing, and that is the question of war and peace.”
At a time when American liberties are threatened by the Patriot Act and public opposition to the war is running high, Raimondo added, the LP has “given the question of war and peace no more attention than they would the privatization of garbage collection or the abolition of local sales taxes.” As an example of the LP’s lack of antiwar commitment, he cited the party’s decision to invite warmonger and Bush-defending radio personality Neal Boortz to speak at the LP national convention.
So do I think Cato and the LP have become “front groups for the warmongering right-wing”? Yes, in large part. I think antiwar activists and radical libertarians should look elsewhere for building effective alliances.-----
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