Missouri's 7th District, U.S. House of Representatives




Bringing LIBERTY to Capitol Hill -- 2008
Saturday Morning, July 14, 2007, 10:30am

A Discussion of The President's Saturday Morning Radio Address

Click here to listen to a replay of the July 14, 2007 Ozarks Virtual Town Hall

Notes and Summary of the Broadcast -- Progress in Iraq?

THE PRESIDENT: Good morning.
This week, my Administration submitted to Congress an interim report on the situation in Iraq. This report provides an initial assessment of how the Iraqi government is doing in meeting the 18 benchmarks that Congress asked us to measure. This is a preliminary report. In September, General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker will return to Washington to provide a more comprehensive assessment.

A Libertarian Response:

  1. America's Founders warned us against "entangling alliances."
  2. America's Founders warned us against "standing armies" and perpetual war.
  3. Nearly $500 billion has been taken out of the paychecks of Americans like you and has been used to bomb one Iraqi neighborhood after another into rubble.
  4. Imagine if that money had been used to build businesses in Iraq and teach the Iraqi people about the concepts of capitalism and "Liberty Under God."
  5. Imagine we had been doing this for the last 20 years, instead of helping Saddam Hussein stay in power when he was at war with Iran.

Kevin Craig's Platform: Iraq | Terrorism

The 2006 Libertarian Party Platform: Foreign Affairs

Recent Blog Posts:

Thomas Jefferson's Libertarian Anti-Terrorism Program

More Detailed Response:

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
July 14, 2007

President's Radio Address A Libertarian Response
THE PRESIDENT: Good morning.  
This week, my Administration submitted to Congress an interim report on the situation in Iraq. This report provides an initial assessment of how the Iraqi government is doing in meeting the 18 benchmarks that Congress asked us to measure. This is a preliminary report. In September, General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker will return to Washington to provide a more comprehensive assessment. This report does not ask the most fundamental questions:
  • Should we be in Iraq in the first place?
  • Should we have given aid to Saddam Hussein when he was at war with Iran?
  • Would Saddam have been at war with Iran if the U.S. had not overthrown the Iranian government decades before?

Foreign Policy: A Libertarian Perspective

The interim report released this week finds that the Iraqis have made satisfactory progress in eight areas -- such as providing the three brigades they promised for the surge, establishing joint security stations in Baghdad neighborhoods, and providing $10 billion of their own money for reconstruction. In eight other areas, the progress was unsatisfactory -- such as failing to prepare for local elections or pass a law to share oil revenues. In two remaining areas, the progress was too unclear to be characterized one way or the other. Providing troops and building security stations will not make Iraq a land of Liberty. They would not need to come up with $10 billion for "reconstruction" if the U.S. had not engaged in a policy of "destruction."

U.S. presence in Iraq is creating a recruiting ground for terrorists, who are there to fight the U.S. and anyone accused of helping the U.S.

Those who believe that the battle in Iraq is lost are pointing to the unsatisfactory performance on some of the political benchmarks. Those of us who believe the battle in Iraq can and must be won see the satisfactory performance on several of the security benchmarks as a cause for optimism. Our strategy is built on the premise that progress on security will pave the way for political progress. This report shows that conditions can change, progress can be made, and the fight in Iraq can be won. If we win the war in Iraq, will Iraq be the winner? If the U.S. turns Iraq into a puppet nation that is aligned with the U.S. will U.S. enemies make Iraq a perpetual target for their anger at the U.S.?
The strategy we are now pursuing is markedly different from the one we were following last year. It became clear that our approach in Iraq was not working. So I consulted my national security team, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and military commanders and diplomats on the ground. I brought in outside experts to hear their ideas. And after listening to this advice, in January I announced a new way forward -- sending reinforcements to help the Iraqis protect their people, improve their security forces, and advance the difficult process of reconciliation at both the national and local levels. "The Surge" is really is not a "new" way. It is the same old way, only with more U.S. troops, more targets for more terrorists.


Our recent experience in Anbar Province shows what we hope to achieve throughout Iraq. As recently as last September, Anbar was held up as an example of America's failure in Iraq. Around the same time, the situation began to change. Sunni tribes that had been fighting alongside al Qaeda against our coalition came forward to fight alongside our coalition against al Qaeda. So I sent reinforcements to take advantage of this opportunity. And together we have driven al Qaeda from most of Anbar's capital city of Ramadi -- and attacks there are now at a two-year low. "Bring Our Troops Home Now" by Congressman Ron Paul
We are now carrying out operations to replicate the success in Anbar in other parts of the country -- especially in the regions in and around Baghdad. We are starting to take the initiative away from al Qaeda -- and aiding the rise of an Iraqi government that can protect its people, deliver basic services, and be an ally in the war against extremists and radicals. By doing this, we are creating the conditions that will allow our troops to begin coming home. When America starts drawing down our forces in Iraq, it will be because our military commanders say the conditions on the ground are right -- not because pollsters say it would be good politics. The Curse of Power - by Thomas Gale Moore
Some people say the surge has been going for six months and that is long enough to conclude that it has failed. In fact, the final reinforcements arrived in Iraq just a month ago -- and only then was General Petraeus able to launch the surge in full force. He and the troops who have begun these dangerous operations deserve the time and resources to carry them out. The U.S. Constitution begins, "We the People." America was made up of Englishmen who knew their God-given rights. They were committed to obeying "the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God," and this morality made capitalism work. The people of Iraq have none of this. More troops and bombs will not make Iraq a "virtuous people."
To begin to bring troops home before our commanders tell us we are ready would be dangerous for our country. It would mean surrendering the future of Iraq to al Qaeda, risking a humanitarian catastrophe, and allowing the terrorists to establish a safe haven in Iraq and gain control of vast oil resources they could use to fund new attacks on America. And it would increase the probability that American troops would have to return at some later date to confront an enemy that is even more dangerous. We need to debate the future "return" of our troops now. We should never have sent them to Iraq, and they should not return.
Most Americans want to see two things in Iraq: They want to see our troops succeed, and they want to see our troops begin to come home. We can do both, and we will. Our troops in Iraq are serving bravely. They're making great sacrifices. Changing the conditions in Iraq is difficult, and it can be done. The best way to start bringing these good men and women home is to make sure the surge succeeds. Our troops cannot reform Iraq. That is a spiritual and cultural task.
Thank you for listening.  

The Democrat Party Radio Address: 

Brandon Friedman, a former infantry officer in the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division and veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, delivers the Democratic radio address this week. In March 2002, Friedman led troops into Afghanistan as part of Operation Anaconda and later commanded troops during the invasion of Iraq and combat operations in Hillah, Baghdad, and Tal Afar.

In the address, Friedman urges President Bush and Senate Republicans to vote with the Democratic majority to responsibly redeploy our troops from Iraq. Especially in light of the fact that the war has kept us from devoting resources needed to fight terrorists and the escalation of the Iraq war is failing, Friedman called on Republicans in Congress and those in their party running for President to support changing the mission in Iraq.

A Libertarian Response to Democrats:

Most Democrats voted for the war. They had no principle on which to stand to oppose the war. Today's opposition is simply partisan. If Kerry were in the White House as Commander-in-Chief of this very same war, Democrats would support it all, just as they supported Clinton's unconstitutional war in Bosnia.

The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations to have with them as little political connection as possible."
— Washington, Farewell Address (1796) [Washington’s emphasis]

I deem [one of] the essential principles of our government, and consequently [one] which ought to shape its administration,…peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none.
— Jefferson, First Inaugural Address (1801) 

Click here for a replay of this edition of the Ozarks Virtual Town Hall