Tag: noninterventionism

Donald Trump Pulls a Ron Paul with North Korea

By CJ Westfall | United States

Libertarians and non-interventionists have been pitching this idea for years. The hermit country of North Korea once again like it does every few years is back at the negotiating table talking peace. Should we believe them this time?

U.S. national security adviser John Bolton addressed this concern this Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation”, Bolton said: “Well, we’ve heard this before. This is – the North Korean propaganda playbook is an infinitely rich resource.”

“What we want to see from them is evidence that it’s real and not just rhetoric,” he added.

We’re all waiting on the edge of our seats for that evidence, and if it comes out there’s already talks of President Trump being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. That’d be quite the award for a man who threatened “fire and fury” on the country just a few months ago. He wouldn’t be awarded for that rhetoric of course, he’d be awarded for pulling the roughly 28,500 troops from the region in exchange for North Korea abandoning it’s nuclear program.

The crazy part about this is that Libertarians have been talking about this forever. Ron Paul has been advocating for years that we pull our bases from that region altogether. How crazy is it that President Trump is now the subject of conversation relating to the Nobel Peace Prize because he’s considering a non-interventionist policy.

Some might oppose demilitarizing calling the method an isolationist approach. War hawks and Neo Cons on the left and right will try to keep President Trump from his win and will argue the Kim regime is still dangerous despite any evidence of denuclearization Kim Jong Un might offer. It always seems like there’s someone arguing for more intervention. Military provocation is undoubtedly counter-productive to peace. Some say that’s “isolationist.”

The problem with that is North Korea has already been isolated for years. It is isolationist to impose sanctions, to prohibit Americans from doing business, to impede or forbid travel by US citizens to countries with which the US government disagrees. North Korea is isolated in part because our government has isolated it. North Korea threatens to attack South Korea and the United States partly because South Korea and the United States continue to mount very provocative military exercises on North Korea’s border.

If President Trump wants to rack up the awards throughout his presidency, it sure seems like he should start listening to the Pauls.


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#FinallyFreeAmerica – Interview with Adam Kokesh

By John Keller | United States

Adam Kokesh is a libertarian political activist, known for his show Adam vs. The Man. He announced his desire to run for President of the United States in 2020 on July 18th, 2013 and officially filed the paperwork on January 16th, 2018. Adam Kokesh is working to #FinallyFreeAmerica.

Keller: You are a veteran of the war in Iraq and a former marine. What was the moment that you decided you were changing from a marine into a political activist?

Kokesh: Some things are just decided for you! When I got out of the Marines, I moved to DC to study at GWU. While I was there, I came across the website for Iraq Veterans Against the War and I realized that I had to have my name on that list and joined right away. I really fell over backwards into full-time activism because I of the welcoming nature of the organization and the movement behind it. When I realized that the story of my experience in Iraq could be used to save lives, I had no choice.

Keller: You wrote a book titled ‘FREEDOM!’. To you what is the message of freedom all about? Why is Libertarianism better than conservatism or liberalism?

Kokesh: Freedom is what you have when no one is forcing their will on you. That is to say that freedom is a state of harmonious coexistence. Freedom is peace. Freedom is love and respect and appreciation for people. A Libertarian is someone who opposes the initiation of force. Why would you settle for anything less? Conservativism and liberalism are just different flavors of statism. Statism is the incorrect belief that it is ok, positive, or ethical for people to force themselves on others. It’s really that simple!

Keller: Trump has taken credit for the booming ‘success’ of the stock market. Is he right to take this credit?

Kokesh: That’s hard to call and I don’t really care. The stock market is a highly manipulated racket. I’m sure some things he does manipulates it up, some things down. Either way, buy Bitcoin. Invest in innovation. Buy real property that can’t be manipulated by government like the stock market.

Keller: There has been a growing movement, often credited in its growing traction to Ron Paul, to ‘End the Fed’. What does this slogan mean to you?

Kokesh: Ron Paul definitely deserves credit for bringing the crimes of the Federal Reserve System to the attention of the American people and his supporters deserve credit for sloganizing his message into, “End the Fed” at his rallies that I attended going back to his 2008 campaign. The slogan has come to mean something much bigger now. To me, it means end the federal government entirely!

Keller: The #LetRonSpeak Scandal quickly went viral. What was your stance on this issue?

Kokesh: The people with the Libertarian Party who decided to decline to give Dr Paul an opportunity to speak at the 2018 convention, National Chair Nick Sarwark and Convention Chair Daniel Hayes, definitely do not represent the base of the party and I hope they are never in positions to make such an embarrassing mistake ever again.

Keller: Arvin Vohra has been stirring up quite a storm online with comments about rape and school shootings and many speculate his actions are harming the Libertarian Party. Where do you stand on this controversy? Should Vice Chairman Vohra step down?

Kokesh: It’s not so much the controversy about “inflammatory” that concerns me so much as his statements advocating for violations of the nonaggression principle. Those clearly go against what the party stands for. He should and will be replaced at the upcoming national convention.

Keller: Recently you were arrested in Texas, mere hours after official filing candidacy for President of the United States. What was this experience like? What charges did the police have against you?

Kokesh: I’ve been arrested over three dozen times relating to my activism, mostly in civil disobedience. This one was unplanned. I can’t say it was scary, but it was disturbing because, as you can see from the video, the officer who pulled me over was determined to arrest me even though I had not committed a crime. He broke multiple laws and violated police procedure in order to come up with an excuse to arrest me after unlawfully ordering me to stop recording. When he entered my vehicle, the first thing he did was turn off the other camera I had rolling. I was jailed for ten days and have still yet to be presented with any official papers regarding my charges or the police report despite my repeated requests. Welcome to the United Police States of America! Fortunately, with self-driving vehicles on the horizon, most of the excuses that police use to harass people will go away.

Keller: Your campaign is on the philosophy of voluntaryism, with a peaceful and prosperous people without the threat of government. When this idea is depicted it is often, almost exclusively, depicted as chaotic anarchism. What makes your vision different from the media portrayed voluntaryism?

Kokesh: I have no idea what you are talking about. I have NEVER heard anyone say that a voluntary society would be chaotic. It is contrary to the very definition. A voluntary society is one in which all human interactions are free of force, fraud, and coercion. As for my campaign, it is based on the practical policy of localization, the idea that political power should be localized as opposed to centralized. Voluntaryism is the philosophy that leads me to that practical policy.

Keller: Within the Libertarian Party there is a philosophical divide between minarchists and voluntaryists. As a voluntaryist, what do you have to say to the question of minarchism? In essence, how is anarchy preferable to minarchism?

Kokesh: There is no such divide. When you join the party, you take a pledge that says, “” That is voluntaryism in pledge form. The people who take that pledge and mean it sometimes identify as minarchists, but they always want whatever the government does to be voluntary. So I’m a minarchist myself in that sense because I’m a voluntaryist. You can have as much government as you want, as long as it’s voluntary! The divide in the party is between people who believe in the Party’s Statement of Principles and take their pledge seriously, and infiltrators like Bob Barr, Gary Johnson, and Bill Weld, who pretend to not understand the pledge they took in order to misrepresent the party. Sadly, many Libertarians are fooled into supporting them, with the obvious disastrous results and negative consequences we saw in the last three election cycles, but the effectiveness of their infiltration would not have been possible without the support of hundreds who infiltrated the delegations of the last three nominating conventions. A big part of my campaign is to encourage people who believe in the principles of the party to be delegates so that isn’t possible again. Frankly, it’s embarrassing that they were able to take so many vacant delegate slots. If I have anything to say about it, they will all be filled with real Libertarians, not infiltrators. So far, our success this year is undeniable. We are halfway through state convention season, and only about a dozen (out of over 1,000) delegate slots are empty.

Keller: You campaign on the peaceful dissolution of the national government. What will that look like in office, how will you accomplish such a goal? What role will Congress play?

Kokesh: On day one, I will sign my one and only executive order declaring the federal government bankrupt and of no authority. I will resign to become “Custodian of the Federal Government” to oversee the process as a bankruptcy agent. The executive order will be as detailed as possible in laying that process out in a clear, legally binding way. Congress will have no authority, but may have some minor role to play in the apportionment of certain agencies and resources. Every federal agency will be either liquidated, localized to the state level, or spun off as a private institution.

Keller: You campaign on dissolving the national government, but often states can be more tyrannical than the national government. As president, what actions would you take against such injustices, if any?

Kokesh: I would have no such authority and will make no promises that I cannot keep. However, the premise of your question needs to be put into perspective. Yes, States can occasionally be more tyrannical than the federal government, but if you added up all the injustices committed by state governments and compared them to the injustices of the federal government, it would be like comparing a schoolyard bully to the mafia! And to be fair, you would first have to subtract all the State injustices made possible by the federal government. More importantly, when people see the benefits of localization, (which they will immediately, because on day one, federal laws will not be enforced) there will be a race among the States to dissolve down to the County level. Then a global race to localize. Eventually, government will be so local that it will be … voluntary.

Keller: Recently, you announced and have been working to implement “Operation Big Easy Book Bomb”. What is this operation and why was it enacted?

Kokesh: We are putting a copy of my book, FREEDOM! in every residential mailbox in New Orleans. 205,000 copies. We want to deliver the message of FREEDOM! directly to the people. Once we show that it can be done there, we will do it in every city in America.

Keller: As of late, the Democratic Party faces a small identity crisis and the Republican Party is losing faith in Donald Trump. What makes you the best candidate for 2020 and what should attract disillusioned voters?

Kokesh: I’m not the best candidate for President. In fact, asking who is the best candidate for President is like asking who would you most want to kick your ass? If your answer is, “NOBODY!” vote for me, because I will resign. I don’t need to attract disillusioned voters. The government is doing a fine job driving them away. We just have to show them that there is an alternative to government: freedom.

Keller: If people are interested in getting involved with joining your campaign, what steps can they take to do so?

Kokesh: Check out KokeshForPresident.com, click on volunteer, and fill out the form. But more importantly, don’t wait for direction and don’t ask permission to spread the message of freedom! Have fun waking people up and do something that you enjoy. Talk to your friends and family about why you care about freedom.

Keller: Do you have an final remarks to the readers, to supporters, and potential voters?

Kokesh: I’m the last President you’ll never need and I approve this message.

I would like to thank Adam Kokesh for his time. Be sure to visit KokeshForPresident.com and be sure to read his book “FREEDOM!”, which you can find here and follow his Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for all updates.

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Life, Liberty, Property – Mike Kolls for Congress

By John Keller | United States

Mike Kolls is a Libertarian Candidate for Congress. He started his political activism as a supporter of Ronald Reagan and found himself a supported of Ross Perot in 1992. In his own words, “Ross Perot, finally! … some different ideas”. In 2012 Kolls discovered the Libertarian Party and has been an active member since and is currently running to be the next Congressman for the 24th Congressional District in Texas. 71 Republic’s John Keller spoke with Mr. Kolls about his ideas and the campaign:

Keller: In your own words, what is Libertarianism?

Kolls: Libertarianism is both a philosophy and a political movement. Our positions are driven by our Non-Aggression principle. Each person is Free to act (for his own best interest) up until the time he injures another person. “Injury” includes physical injury, property damage, theft, deception, and fraud. Gov’t is the most egregious agent of aggression/force. Gov’t should be kept to an absolute minimum.

Keller: The dominating political thought, or rather the frozen political thought, in America is between conservatism and liberalism. What attracted you to Libertarianism and what should attract voters to the Libertarian Party?

Kolls: Both D’s and R’s use force in an effort to institutionalize their ideas/ideology – forced charity and a military-industrial complex, respectively. Both dominant parties want my money without my consent. The TEA Party yearning for smaller gov’t woke me up. Libertarians truly believe in The People and NOT in gov’t institutions. With smaller gov’t, We The People have more choices and Freedom.

Keller: What encouraged you to seek election to Congress?

Kolls: I read the Constitution of the United States. Our “leaders” are acting far outside its provisions. I want to protect and defend our Constitution, to govern properly.

Keller: If elected to Congress, what will you bring to the national political dialogue?

Kolls: A voice for smaller gov’t and a return to constitutional principles. When in doubt, align with The People.

Keller: Important to voters is knowing what their choices are when they go to the ballet box. What three policies define your campaign?

Kolls: 1) a constant discussion of individual Liberty!, 2) conducting politics and governance better than usual, and 3) the reduction of the size, scope, and reach of the federal gov’t.

Keller: The Trump Administration has been highly controversial among all parties. If elected to Congress, how do you plan to work with other members, as well as President Trump, to see libertarian legislation passed?

Kolls: Most Libertarian legislation would be to repeal/vacate current statutes that take choices away from The People. I will always speak the truth of Freedom. Every issue/debate must serve The People. No elected “leader” can deny this, their true charge. The conversation must be long enough to reach its rational conclusion – a zealous defense of Life, Liberty, and Property.

Keller: The Drug War is becoming a hot button issue with the recent clamp down by the Trump Administration on marijuana. Do you plan on standing up to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and members of Congress to end this war on the people?

Kolls: I must defend an individual’s choice, their Liberty! I favor decriminalization (the exit of gov’t, like Amendment XXI) as opposed to legalization, where gov’t would regulate use.

Any impairment (a willful choice) should be treated in the context of injury caused or property damaged. Penalties may be harsher due to the choice to be impaired. IMHO, most will use cannabis in the safety of their own household; NO menace to society.

Keller: What is key to winning come election day? If someone was interested, how can they get involved with your campaign?

Kolls: Libertarian ideas are better than those of D’s and R’s. Liberty! is irresistible.
Within my congressional district some local TV time would assist in sharing our philosophy. I think the general public just needs to hear our ideas. Libertarian ideas transcend Ds and Rs insistence on larger gov’t that, with each edict, takes away decisions from The People.

If you are a Libertarian thinker, be bold and tell friends and family our truth. We must win on our terms and NOT engage in the shameful politics that are all too prevalent.

Keller: Do you have any final remarks for the readers?

Kolls: The brilliance of Libertarian thinking is featured on my campaign website – http://tx24.us. With a constant focus on maintaining individual Liberty!, I will look to solve the issues facing our great nation. I want more decisions made at kitchen tables than in distant chambers. It is all about Liberty!

I would like to thank Mike Kolls for his time and encourage all of those interested to visit his website.

The Number of U.S. Airstrikes Skyrocket, Along with Civilian Casualties

By Vaughn Hoisington | UNITED STATES

Donald Trump has become the new “Drone King.”

Since President Trump has been in office, more U.S. led air strikes have been performed than ever before. Afghanistan received twice as many air strikes in 2017, as it did the previous year, and Yemen was struck more in 2017 than the entirety of the four previous years.

The increased amount of strikes is an outcome of Trump relaxing Obama-era drone strike restrictions, and U.S. military commanders being granted complete authorization to make complex decisions pertaining to military operations.

Drone Strikes are nowhere near perfect, due to civilian casualties. It has been reported that the number of civilian casualties is only getting worse, with a 50% increase in civilian casualties occurring in Afghanistan as a result of strikes.

During the 29 months that Obama was leading the United States Military in the war against ISIS, the nonprofit aerial warfare monitoring organization, Airwars, estimated that there were anywhere between 2298-3398 civilian deaths as a result of U.S. led coalition air strikes in Iraq and Syria.

Under Trump’s leadership, that record was broken within a year. The minimum number of civilian casualties from Iraq and Syria rose to 3,749, as of January 30.

For comparison, Iraq Body Count has determined that the number of civilians killed by ISIS in Iraq alone from the beginning of 2014 to February of 2017 was about 26,667.


Image from Newsweek.

Trump Foreign Policy: An Anti-Globalist Crusade? An Aggressive Militaristic Regime? Or Both?

By Andrew Lepore | USA

January 20th marks one year since president Trump’s inauguration. When our 45th president was elected, Many (including me) had an optimistic in the realm of foreign policy. With the president’s past disapproval of the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, his warning of Obama to stay out of Syria, and his jabs at globalist institutions like NATO and UN, he left more reason to be hopeful than concerned. Especially with the alternative option being the War-Hawk Hillary Clinton (who Trump himself called “trigger happy”). Yet after 12-months of Trump Foreign policy, we have seen positives in some areas, and we have moved in a negative direction in many areas. Although Trump has achieved significant wins with a cut in UN spending and pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord; We have seen a serious ramp-up of militarism and aggression as well as escalating intervention and presence in various countries. In this article, I will cover some of my biggest problems with the Trump administration military policy from this year, as well as the consequences already emerging from it.

During the election, Trump and his rhetoric in the area of foreign policy pandered to those who were sick of globalism and nation-building overseas and wanted to see foreign intervention reduced. Many of these people were in no way philosophically libertarian-minded, they just wanted to stop seeing Precious lives and taxpayer dollars being wasted away in avoidable conflict after avoidable conflict. Trump took head-on opposition against Globalism, constantly railing against The UN, EU, NATO, the Iran deal, The TPP, NAFTA etc. etc. After winning the North Eastern primaries, Trump delivered a major foreign policy address, often quoted by populist conservative social media pages and viewers of InfoWars. Trump said, “We will no longer surrender this country or its people to the false song of globalism,” he promised. “I am skeptical of international unions that tie us up and bring America down”. Even previous to the election Trump seemed to hold this view. In March 2013 Trump tweeted about the war on Afghanistan “I agree with Pres. Obama on Afghanistan. We should have a speedy withdrawal. Why should we keep wasting our money — rebuild the U.S.!” Also in June 2013 Trump tweeted in opposition to possible Syrian intervention “We should stay the hell out of Syria, the “rebels” are just as bad as the current regime. WHAT WILL WE GET FOR OUR LIVES AND $ BILLIONS? ZERO”. With this kind of rhetoric, it’s easy to see why many supported him in this aspect, but his rhetoric and his policy in practice are not exactly in line.

After a year of Trump foreign policy, we have seen him keep various promises, as well as seen him diverge from earlier rhetoric or make flat-out contradictions. We have seen a downscale of taxpayer dollars going to other countries, and a reduction in the involvement with globalist institutions. Successes such as Pulling out of the Paris climate agreement, achieving a reduction in UN spending, and the halting of CIA funding of Syrian Rebels give credit to Trump’s Rhetoric as well as Non-interventionists hope. But we have also seen an expansion of Military involvement in various countries and a ramping up of aggressive and militaristic tactics, along with the already observable consequences of these tactics. One of these tactics being the self-described “Annihilation tactic”, meaning to drop so many bombs on a designated area that most or all enemies within the area have been displaced or annihilated. See past failures in the application of this tactic in the trenches of WW1 and the Jungles of Vietnam. An expected problem with the implementation of this tactic is a high number of civilians casualties, which allows for groups like ISIS to recruit in far higher numbers. He has expanded this “annihilation tactic” not only in the number of bombs dropped on average but with the list of countries and consistency with which we bomb them. In 2017 the Trump Administration exceeded the number of bombs dropped by the United States on the middle east in a single year by over 10%. Not only that, but we have expanded bombing and drone strike programs to several North and Central African nations. Another tactic the Trump Admin is taking advantage of is the rolling back of an Obama era constraint on drone warfare requiring “Near certainty” that no civilian bystanders would be killed in an attack. The consequences of rolling back this rule are already showing after just one year of Trump at the helm of the war on terror. The statistics show in the first 7 months of Trump’s war on ISIS have resulted in more civilian casualties from drone strikes than Obama’s full 3 years in this theatre. Airwars, a journalist led transparency project tweeted, “During @BarackObama’s 29 months at helm of ISIS war we tracked 855 alleged civilian casualty events which likely killed 2298-3398 civilians, “In @realDonaldTrump’s first 7 months as President, we tracked 1,196 alleged incidents in which we assess at least 2,819-4,529 civilians died,” it added. Trump has also been under fire for his flip-flops in regards to both Syria and Afghanistan. Trump emphasized on many occasions before his presidency (For example his quotes in the paragraph above) that he would not get involved in Syria, and declared a speedy withdrawal from Afghanistan “necessary”. Consider this trump tweet from March 2012, “Can you believe that the Afghan war is our “longest war” ever—bring our troops home, rebuild the U.S., make America great again.” Compared to his most recent Afghan policy initiative which called for more troops and more money to be sent overseas. Not to mention Trump’s airstrikes on an Assad regime airfield back in April 2017.

With 2017 having rapidly come to a close, and 2018 signifying new beginnings, Libertarian non-interventionists and anti-globalists alike have much to be optimistic about, as well as a lot to be pessimistic about. Overall, we have seen many steps in the right direction, away from globalism; But we have also seen many steps in the wrong direction, which is ramping up of government intervention overseas. What Libertarians can most realistically hope for in 2018 is more of the anti-globalist rhetoric which trump and his base love, and less of the Neo-Conservative warmongering hawkish behavior that trump and his base also love.