November 17, 2011

The Minnesota Arms Spending Alternatives Project (MN ASAP) is an organization seeking to build a coalition to pressure Minnesota’s federal representatives away from their focus on military spending and war. The LPMN is lending its support to this initiative.

Military spending has dominated federal priorities for decades. While the American people were once promised a “peace dividend” from the end of the Cold War, many may be surprised to learn that
US military spending has doubled from what it was before the collapse of the Soviet Union. In fact, it is now nearly as much as all 195 other countries of the world combined! This is despite the fact that the United States no longer faces any serious foreign adversary nor any threat of military invasion.

Other organizations which have endorsed MN ASAP have cited the cost of military spending. This is important, as it is bankrupting the federal government. However, Libertarians believe that cost is not the most important reason to oppose spending on war.

By a 9-1 vote, the LPMN Executive Committee passed a resolution endorsing MN ASAP’s goal as stated in their “Therefore” clause, conditional upon our four “Whereas” clauses, as follows:

Whereas US military involvement in overseas conflicts unrelated to our defense have been the direct or indirect cause of approximately 3 million deaths from the Korean War, another 3 million deaths from the Vietnam War, 120 thousand deaths from the 1991 Gulf War, 100 thousand deaths in the current Iraq War, and 28 thousand deaths in the current Afghanistan War, not including other smaller conflicts, covert military operations, or military aid supplied to foreign dictators acting on behalf of the US government, and not including handicapped, dismembered, and mentally traumatized soldiers and civilians as a result of these conflicts; and while the sheer size of these statistics may make it all too easy to gloss over them, we recognize that every single one of these casualties was a human being who had a family, goals, and dreams for what they wanted to do in their lives; and that these uncountable deaths and unimaginable suffering by both Americans and foreigners alike are the end result of the federal government’s massive spending for war; and,

Whereas it is one of the great crimes of our time that governments have divided humanity into nation-states and ordered otherwise peaceful people to mass-murder each other; and,

Whereas these wars have not brought about greater security, but rather the opposite, leading to hatred, retaliatory blowback, and American citizens now living under a threat of terrorism by foreigners who would otherwise have no reason to harbor a grudge against us; and,

Whereas the tremendous amount of wealth spent and debt incurred by the federal government for warfare should not be shifted to other federal programs nor to state or local government programs, but should instead be returned to the individuals who worked to create that wealth, who could save, invest, or spend it on their own essential needs, personal interests, and other productive endeavors that would raise the standard of living for themselves, their neighbors, and foreigners alike through voluntary charitible efforts, peaceful commerce, and free trade;

Therefore be it resolved that we, the Libertarian Party of Minnesota, call on Senators Klobuchar and Franken, and Representatives Walz, Kline, Paulsen, McCollum, Ellison, Bachmann, Peterson, and Cravaack, as well as President Barack Obama, to shift federal funding priorities from war and the interests of the few, to meeting the essential needs of us all.

Concerned about the expansion of government control and the erosion of individual liberty? Please consider joining and becoming active with the Libertarian Party of Minnesota. Libertarians support liberty on all issues, all the time. Libertarianism is a philosophical and political movement to promote personal freedom, voluntary consent, a genuinely free marketplace, and peace.