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A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have! - Thomas Jefferson

Friday, June 13, 2008

Bob Barr Tells John McCain: America is Not an Occupying Power

ohn McCain apparently believes that the U.S. should be a permanent occupying power in Iraq, but that is not and never has been America’s purpose,” says Bob Barr, the Libertarian Party candidate for president. Sen. McCain announced on the “Today” show that when U.S. forces come home is “not too important.”

Ending the occupation obviously is important to the Iraqi people, who have been protesting reports that the Bush administration is seeking more than 50 permanent bases. “And ending the occupation is important to the American people, who are spending $3 billion a week and losing soldiers daily in the midst of factional fighting in Iraq,” Barr insists.

The situation in Iraq has improved in recent months, but it would be shocking if there had been no change after the U.S. had sacrificed more than 4,000 lives and over $500 billion. This improvement “cannot justify a permanent occupation, since as long as the American people are paying the bill for Iraq’s well-being, the Iraq people and government will not assume full responsibility for their own affairs,” explains Barr. Nor need any American troops remain to fight al-Qaeda, since Washington’s occupation helps energize the terrorist group. “Every leading Iraqi faction hates al-Qaeda, which would quickly be wiped out following America’s exit,” he adds.

It isn’t only in Iraq where John McCain doesn’t “get it,” notes Barr. In defending America’s presence in Iraq, Sen. McCain said it didn’t matter that U.S. troops were still in Germany, Japan, and South Korea, decades after those nations were at war: “That’s all fine,” McCain declared. But it isn’t all fine.

“U.S. taxpayers should not be forced to pay to defend wealthy nations that are able to defend themselves, especially when their own peoples have tired of America’s presence,” Barr explains. He points to massive demonstrations in South Korea against that government’s decision to allow the import of U.S. beef. “America has become the target of nationalist attacks and its forces should come home.”

Sen. McCain is stuck with the mindset of the past. “So is Sen. Barack Obama, who, despite his rhetoric of change, wants to keep doing what we’ve always been doing, as if that is sufficient to defend America in the 21st century,” Barr says. “We need a quality military focused on defending American sovereignty, liberties, and interests, backed by accurate intelligence, and ready to strike decisively against genuine threats. We should not be occupying other nations and attempting to build other societies, whether into our image or anyone else’s,” he added. The starting point for the necessary transformation of U.S. policy is to initiate a speedy and complete American withdrawal from Iraq. “The Iraqi people don’t believe that a permanent U.S. occupation is “fine.” Neither should the American people,” insists Barr.

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