Bringing LIBERTY to
Capitol Hill -- 2008
Saturday Morning, July 14, 2007, 10:30am
A Discussion of The President's Saturday Morning
to listen to a replay of the July 14, 2007 Ozarks Virtual Town
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:
- America's Founders warned us against "entangling
- America's Founders warned us against "standing armies"
and perpetual war.
- 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.
- 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."
- 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
The 2006 Libertarian Party Platform: Foreign
- Recent Blog Posts:
Jefferson's Libertarian Anti-Terrorism Program
More Detailed Response:
For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
July 14, 2007
|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
- 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
|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
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.
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.
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
||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
|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
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)
for a replay of this edition of the Ozarks Virtual