Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Going Against the Party Line

One of the advantages over the Demopublican Party a “Capital L” Libertarian has is that he or she is not expected to hold the Party line on every single issue. The very basic philosophical ideology of the party allows open discussion of each issue. The Libertarian Party line on the ongoing operations in Iraq and the Middle East follows the philosophy that American Military forces should never be used except in defense to the direct initiation of force against the United States or its interests. To many in the Libertarian Party, those who believe that Saddam’s Iraq posed no immediate danger to the United States or its interests, the presence of our forces there is a waste of time, money, and lives, and that the reasons we began the operation are either irrelevant, or untrue.
I exercise my prerogative to go against the party line. I earnestly believe that it was very necessary to depose Saddam, and, just as earnestly, believe that it is very necessary to ensure stability in the new Iraq. There were around 22 reasons to remove Saddam Hussein from power, outlined not only in the State of the Union Address of 2003, and then Secretary of State Colin Powell’s address to the United Nations Security Council, but, also in President Clinton’s 1998 Iraqi Liberation Act. Weapons of mass destruction, and the lack of presence thereof, has been the main issue of criticism of US involvement in Iraq, but the many other arguments for regime change all boiled down to stability issues:
Saddam was starving his people, using the oil for food money to build palaces, bunkers, and to develop his military forces, while the Iraqi economy and infrastructure went rock-bottom. According to people within his own government, he continued to plan invasions and annexation of neighboring countries. He continued his pogrom against the Iraqi Kurds, financing and supplying a terrorist camp in Kurdish territory, from which Zarqawi and his followers ran “training” operations against the Kurdish people, their farmlands, and their villages. There was little reason to believe that Saddam Hussein didn’t have a WMD program--many times, even within months of the US invasion, UN weapons inspectors were turned away from certain sites, and allowed to inspect only after delays of several days. Often, they were not allowed back into facilities they had previously inspected. Saddam’s crimes against his own people, the extermination and imprisonment of thousands of She’at Muslims, were proof that he, himself was a WMD. If not anything else, Saddam was a threat to stability in the Middle East.
Stability, in that region of the world, is important to the security of the United States, as well as the rest of the world. Most of civilized society is dependent on the Middle East for oil, and we must accept the fact that the need for oil is going to take much time and money to replace with alternative energy sources. If the flow of oil is disrupted, the impact on the world-wide economy is almost immediate.I don't think I need to explain, here, how the failure of the economy would be a severe threat to the United States and its interests. Iraq is important in the Big Picture, because of the demographics of the region, and should not fall to those who would cause even more strife in the Middle East. This is one important reason I support the US effort in Iraq, and the continuing presence of US and Allied military forces in that country until stability and security are ensured.
If that isn't enough, I do feel that the humanitarian reasons are also good enough to justify our presence. I realize that there are many who would say that it is not our role to police the world, but, to me, it is a question of culpability. If you witnessed someone attacking, or otherwise harmfully trespassing against, your friend or neighbor,and you just stood by and watched, wouldn't you be just as guilty as the perpetrator in causing injury to the victim? Since no one else seemed willing, I think the US had to step in. It was, in my opinion, necessary, because we had been waiting through 11 years of UN resolutions and inaction by that organization and other countries while Saddam continued to commit crimes against humanity. In reality, the initiation of force had been already begun by Saddam, and we were only reacting to it.