Recent polls show that most Americans don’t trust Donald Trump, and most Americans do not trust Hilary Clinton. A current ABC/Washington Post poll indicates that 64% of Americans have an unfavorable view of Donald Trump, and 53% have an unfavorable view of Hilary Clinton.
Gary Johnson, Libertarian candidate, continues to hold the support of 8 to 10% of voters nationally, and polling 15% or more in 15 states. Polls show that former Gov. Johnson draws support from both Mr Trump and Secretary Clinton. Clinton supporters are worried; progressive websites and Democrat politicians are attacking Gary Johnson and The Libertarian Party in hopes of insuring a Clinton victory.
The Hill reports that Sen. Tim Kaine is telling people that they should not vote for a third party, because it might throw the election to Donald Trump. He brings up the 2000 election, claiming that votes for Nader in Florida led to the victory of George W Bush, and that resulted in the Iraq War.
I am glad Sen. Kaine understands the Iraq War is a disaster for America. His logic implies that Al Gore as President would have undertaken a foreign policy based on peace. This is at odds with the record of Al Gore in the Senate, and the record of the Clinton/Gore administration.
CLINTON, GORE AND THE FIRST IRAQ WAR
The Iraq War authorized in 2002 was a sequel to an earlier Iraq War in 1991, during the reign of George H W Bush. Sen Al Gore voted to authorize the first Iraq War, along with Joe Lieberman, Harry Reid and 7 more Democrats.
At the 2000 Democratic National Convention, Bill Clinton explained that in 1992, he picked Al Gore as his candidate for Vice-President, because Sen. Gore had crossed party lines to support President Bush’s policy in Iraq.
The Clinton Gore Administration continued the policy of sanctions on Iraq, along with a “no fly zone” to keep the Iraq air force from flights over the Kurdish north of Iraq. The “no fly zone” was enforced by retaliatory bombing raids. President Clinton ordered hundreds of bombing raids in Iraq during his time in office.
President Clinton also ordered U.S. Bombers to take part in the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia had not attacked the United States; the bombing was a “humanitarian intervention” with unclear military objectives and too many non-military targets.
At the 2000 Democratic National Convention, Al Gore explained that he chose Sen. Joe Lieberman as his running mate for Vice-President because Lieberman crossed party lines in 1991 to support President Bush’s policy in Iraq. Lieberman was re-elected to the Senate as the Gore/Lieberman ticket was defeated. In 2002 Sen. Joe Lieberman voted to authorize President George W Bush to undertake military action in Iraq.
His vote for the first Iraq War and his loyal support through eight years of the Clinton policy of bombing Iraq and Yugoslavia show Al Gore was not a peace candidate.
IS HILARY CLINTON A PEACE CANDIDATE?
Sen. Kaine is correct that the election of George W Bush resulted in a disastrous war in Iraq. Yet Al Gore supported the policy of military intervention in the Middle East.
Sen. Kaine does not acknowledge Democrat responsibility for the passage of the Authorization for the Use of Military Force in 2002, legal basis for the second Iraq War.
The Senate in 2002 included 50 Democrats, 49 Republicans and 1 Independent. The AUMF needed support from Democrats and Republicans. Blinded by party loyalty, 48 Republicans voted Yes; they needed 3 Democrat Senators to pass it. They got 29.
29 Democrat Senators voted for Bush’s war in Iraq. Sen. Hilary Clinton, Sen. Joe Biden, Sen. John Kerry, Sen. John Edwards, Sen. Harry Reid and Sen. Joe Lieberman all voted for the Iraq War.
In 2000 there were strong third party candidates for U.S. Senate in only 2 states. In California, a Green Party candidate, a Libertarian and 3 more candidates received a total of more than 851,000 votes; Sen. Feinstein was re-elected.
In Washington State, Maria Cantwell was elected with less than 49% of the vote; a Libertarian candidate received 65,000 votes, and was blamed for the Republican loss. Sen. Feinstein and Sen. Cantwell, both Democrats, voted for the Iraq War that George Bush wanted.
Sen. Jim Jeffords (Ind-VT) and Sen. Lincoln Chafee (Rep-R.I.) both voted No. If all 50 Democrats had voted No, the Authorization for the Use of Military Force would have lost, 52 to 48. Sen. Kaine invokes the disaster of the Iraq War, then asks you to vote for Hilary Clinton, who voted to authorize that war.
VOTE LIBERTARIAN FOR ANTIWAR POLICY
Hilary Clinton did not give up her support for interventionism when she became Secretary of State. Secretary Clinton ha supported intervention in Libya and Syria, with the best motives. Muamar Gaddafi was an oppressive dictator, and Bashar al-Assad has undertaken violent repression to maintain a hold on autocratic power.
In Libya, the aftermath of the revolution is chaos, replacement of everyday repression with everyday violence. The most likely end to chaos will come with the seizure of power by a new oppressive regime, probably allied with extremists in Libya and beyond.
In Syria the Assad regime backed by Russia has resorted to extreme levels of violence to suppress all opposition groups. The more extreme opposition groups have grown stronger and more violent. U.S. strategy includes supplying guns to “moderate” rebel groups, but our weapons have gone directly to allies of Al Qaida; ISIS gets our weapons indirectly, by defeating rebel groups that we supply, and taking what they have.
Gary Johnson does not have the answer for how to end the human tragedy in Aleppo, and in Syria as a whole. President Obama does not have the answer either, nor does Secretary of State John Kerry. Their answers in the past helped create the chaos and tragedy that we see today.
For the foresseable future, Syria will be engulfed in a civil war pitting extremist groups against a repressive regime. As the violence escalates, each side will blame the other. The winner will either maintain an oppressive regime, or institute a new repressive regime.
Gary Johnson and The Libertarian Party call for an end to the Bush/Clinton policy of intervention in the Middle East. If you agree with Sen. Kaine that the Iraq War was a disaster, vote against Hilary Clinton and the other bipartisan politicians that made it happen. Vote Libertarian for Gary Johnson if you don’t want to elect a supporter of Bush’s war of choice in Ir\aq.
For more information, go to www.JohnsonWeld2016.com
(By Gene Berkman, Editor, California Libertarian Report)