Monday, December 22, 2008

Redpath on Obama's foreign policy: is this reality testing?

I have to wonder if Libertarian Party chair Bill Redpath isn't smarting enough from criticisms that his recent press releases in the wake of the Angela Keaton debacle were shown to be profoundly unconcerned with American imperialism abroad. Little else explains the new LP release quoting Redpath about President-elect Barack Obama and Afghanistan.

Here's Redpath:

"What we hoped to see with the incoming Obama administration were plans for a total withdrawal from Afghanistan and Iraq," says William Redpath, national chairman of the Libertarian Party. "Instead, we're seeing the same missteps of the Bush administration that have kept our troops in the Middle East since 2001." ...

"Shifting troops from one front to another is not 'bringing them home,' as Democrats promised to do in 2006," says Redpath. "Obama is pursuing a hawkish foreign policy that should worry any advocates of non-intervention. He'll keep us in that region for his entire presidency."


The problem here is not that Redpath is wrong about Obama's foreign policy aims--he isn't. Along with dozens of other bloggers around the country, I've been telling people this ... for months.

The problem is that there was never, despite Redpath's naive protestation to the contrary, any indication that Barack Obama was going to withdraw from Afghanistan. He made it a centerpiece of his foreign policy statements throughout the campaign that he intended to reinforce Afghanistan and stay as long as he thought necessary. He also made it perfectly clear that he never intended a complete withdrawal from Iraq [changed thanks to Paulie's sharp eye; it originally said "Afghanistan" again].

You can accuse Barack Obama of continuing the long-running legacy of American interventionist imperialism all you want, but you have absolutely no grounds to suggest he ever misled anybody about his intentions.

Here's once again the problem with the current leadership of the Libertarian Party: a campaign late and millions of dollars short.

Hell, even Bob Barr got it long before the LNC.

3 comments:

paulie said...

Point taken, but nevertheless, far better than anything I have seen from them in a long, long time.

We should praise them for it instead of finding the (this time, relatively small, at least in comparison to most of their stuff lately) flaws.

I don't think they get a lot of positive reinforcement - although they do get a lot of criticism. Even a little bit of praise here and there can go a long way.

And while you are correct about what Obama actually said - it's not what most people heard.

Now that I have spoken out against nitpicking, it's time to do a little of my own:

"He made it a centerpiece of his foreign policy statements throughout the campaign that he intended to reinforce Afghanistan and stay as long as he thought necessary. He also made it perfectly clear that he never intended a complete withdrawal from Afghanistan."

From context, I think you must have meant Iraq in the latter sentence.

Steve Newton said...

Good nitpick, Paulie--changed.

I have a difficult time praising the people who handed the party over to Bob Barr, who failed to speak out about Prop 8, and who tried to burn Angela Keaton at the stake.

John Famularo said...

One of the perks of the office of Chairman of the LNC is getting to issue press releases. However, no one in the real world gives a tinkers damn about what the LP says.

It is only a matter of concern within the LP. The LP needs to focus on its mission of electing libertarians to office.

There are a hand full of elected Libertarians around the country who are trying to do a good job in local office while balancing a career and raising a family.

While it may not be as grandiose as pontificating on foreign policy of macro economics, helping a local elected libertarian with his/her local issues would be much more productive.