[Last update: 9 August 2002]

Libertarian Party Opposition to War on Iraq

For release: August 8, 2002

WASHINGTON, DC -- President Bush's unfolding plan to invade Iraq is totally unjustified, Libertarians say, because that nation poses no direct threat to the United States.

"Before the president risks the life of even one American soldier, he needs a reason, not an excuse," said Steve Dasbach, Libertarian Party executive director. "Unless the United States is at risk of an Iraqi military attack, Bush's proposal to invade that nation should be denounced for what it is: reckless foreign interventionism."

Yet a full-blown war against Iraq appears inevitable, according to administration sources, after reports on Wednesday that all of Bush's top national security advisors agree on the need to topple the Iraqi dictator. The most likely scenario involves using 200,000 U.S. ground, air, and naval troops to invade Iraq as early as the winter of 2003.

But one crucial fact has been ignored in the debate, Libertarians say: Saddam has not committed an act of aggression against the United States.

"Wars that are not defensive are merely acts of aggression against sovereign nations," Dasbach said. "And wars that are launched by presidents, rather than formally declared by Congress as the Constitution requires, are illegal."

Moreover, while the U.S. government has made vague claims that the Iraqi regime has terrorist links, it has produced no public evidence specifically linking Saddam to the September 11 attacks, Dasbach pointed out.

"Since Bush has no legitimate reason for waging war on Iraq, he has cobbled together a list of accusations, none of which provide sufficient justification for invading a sovereign nation and risking American lives," he said. For example, Bush claims that:

  • Saddam Hussein is a ruthless dictator. "True enough, but there are dozens of ruthless dictators around the globe, starting with Fidel Castro; the leaders of Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia; the Chinese communists; and various tyrants sprinkled throughout Africa, Asia, and Latin America," Dasbach said. "Is Bush going to send troops to topple them all?"

    According to Freedom House, an organization that tracks the status of democracy around the world, only 120 of the world's 192 nations are electoral democracies, Dasbach noted. "So unless Mr. Bush plans to launch strikes on the 72 other captive nations, he owes the American people an explanation as to why they should fear Iraq more than other despotic regimes," Dasbach said.

  • Saddam has weapons of mass destruction. "According to the Pentagon, 12 countries have nuclear weapons programs, 13 have biological weapons, 16 have chemical weapons and 28 have ballistic missiles," Dasbach said. "So what makes Saddam's chemical weapons more menacing than, say, Pakistan's nuclear bomb?

  • Saddam supports terrorism. "According to the State Department's official list of terrorist sponsors, 45 nations have active al Qaeda cells," Dasbach said. "So even if terrorists are operating inside Iraq, that in itself makes Iraq no more of a threat to the United States than Malaysia, Somalia, or the Philippines."
  • The bottom line is that Bush's wide-ranging indictment against Saddam Hussein is missing one key element: proof that Iraq poses a direct threat to the United States, Dasbach said.

    "Instead of struggling to find a justification for war, Mr. Bush should be looking for a way to avoid war - and avoid the needless loss of American lives that could result."

    Back to War on Iraq Resources
    Back to War on Terrorism Resources
    Back to ProgressiveAustin main page
    Back to Austin Against War main page

    Contact this site