Saturday, October 22, 2011

Withdrawal from Iraq Indicates Obama Is a Broken Clock

President Obama Announces All Troops to Leave Iraq by End of 2011

On Friday, President Obama announced that all U.S. troops would evacuate Iraq by the end of 2011.  Citing the end of an eight-year war that has cost 4,400 American lives, the president stated, "our troops will definitely be home for the holidays."

As a libertarian, I support a well-maintained defense.  One of the few governmental expenditures I think correct is the protection of our national sovereignty.  However, I draw the line between what constitutes defense and what becomes interventionism.

When we thought that 9/11 originated in Afghanistan, I supported reacting.  When it became clear that the Taliban had given safe harbor to Osama Bin Laden in the years prior to the attack, I was in favor of their overthrow.  However, the nation-building that has since occurred there and the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, though both noble in intention and action, have never been anything but an overstepping of our responsibility to the world.

We absolutely have the right to defend ourselves...I'm not arguing that.  But the Roosevelt Corollary, which initiated the notion of the United States as the policeman to the world, is simply not our job.  I propose my own corollary, which is to say that much like my rights end at my property line, so should a country's rights end at its borders. be clear...I mean ALL that doesn't mean I support Iran being able to launch a nuclear missile at us.  But...part of being a libertarian is that you have to grant people the ability to behave in ways of which you don't approve.  If Iran (or North Korea or Pakistan or the Mexican drug cartels) did launch an attack on us, then I would say we pull no punches.

This notion that we have to rebuild what we destroy, however, is both paternalistic and nonsensical.  From my point of view, if we're attacked, and we fight back, and we leave destruction in our wake, then that serves as an example of the price you pay for attacking us.  If you break someone's nose in a fight, you don't immediately set it and splint it, why must we do so on a macro-level, spending trillions of dollars that we clearly do not have?

Lastly, do not construe this argument as a way of me saying I don't support our troops or military.  Choosing to serve one's country at the risk of life is one of the grandest acts a person can do.  The fact that we have a completely volunteer army heightens the nobility of this act.  All I'm saying is that the people in charge need to stop using them like pawns on the international stage, and more like the nation's shield.

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