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: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."
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