Posted by: irishhawk | March 1, 2011

National Co – Chairman Bjornson Responds to LP “Cut and Run” Communique

Libertarian Defense Caucus National Co – Chairman Kevin Bjornson penned this response to LP Executive Director Wes Benedict’s intellectually dishonest “Cut and Run” communique. The full text of Benedict’s bizarre and baseless rantings follows Co – Chairman Bjornson’s response:

Fellow libertarians–

After a temporary lull in hostilities,  LP director
Wes Benedict has once again declared war on
history, common sense, and liberty.

Reagan’s method and purpose of deploying
US Marines in Lebanon was misguided. They
were lightly armed, bunched together in a
readily-accessible barracks, and given no clear
mission. The phrase “peace keeping” is not a
substitute for strategy, and certainly they were
not tasked with attacking Jihadists.

Lebanon’s Christian minority, which was once a
majority, was largely middle-class and built Lebanon
into what was a “Switzerland of the middle east”.
That was before Islamists tore their country apart,
through bombs, murder, robbery, and sexual assault.

The US could have charged the Lebanese infidels,
or neighboring Israel, for protection services. That
would have been an option in a libertarian foreign
policy–but apparently not the “non-interventionist”
foreign policy of Rothbardites.

That being said, the US withdrawal sent a wrong
signal to our enemies. We were “punked” and
simply withdrew. That was a reward to Jihadists.
They attacked us, and got what they wanted.
Whatever is rewarded, we will tend to see more of.

If rewarded, Jihadist demands will keep escalating.
Their ideology commands nothing less than world
domination. They have a bloody history–going
back well before the US was born and before Europe
was a world power.  Before the Enlightenment gave
the west the edge, Islamist Barbary coast pirates
would raid Europe’s coastal cities, for plunder and slaves;
until the US navy under Jefferson, the British navy,
and French forces, defeated them.

How to deal with Jihadism, is a matter for debate within
the libertarian movement and party. For one faction
to seize control (by showing up at national conventions),
and then proclaim that their plan is the only one possible
for libertarians, is false and misleading.

We cannot assume that US defense costs would fall,
if all US forces were withdrawn to within US borders.
Fighting a war on US soil, would be enormously
expensive to US infrastructure, and result in US
civilian deaths. Not being able to project US power
into the foreign sanctuaries of Jihadists, would force
us into passivity, having to defend every possible
target all the time. Instead of choosing the time and
place of conflict.

If the US adopted Wes’ foreign policy,
US military and war costs would skyrocket.
There are ways of financing and privatizing
the US military, which Wes has been made
aware of, but chooses to ignore.

Further, we pledge that if libertarian hawks were to
become the majority faction at LP conventions,
we would not abuse our position of power by
mis-representing our foreign policy views as the only
ones possible under libertarianism. That much is
required by intellectual honesty.

We would welcome libertarian doves for other reasons.
By running only doves in political contests, the LP would
tend to siphon votes disproportionately from the Democrat
party base, which is also dovish. Under current leadership,
the LP is simply a minor shill for Republicans, who have
shown that they are not serious about either liberty or
effective counter-Jihadism.

Consequently, the Libertarian Defense Caucus calls for
the replacement of LP director Wes Benedict and LP chair
Mark Hinkle

The full text of Mr. Benedict’s “Cut and Run” screed:

February 28, 2011

Dear Friend of Liberty,

In the Middle East, it’s time to cut and run like Ronald Reagan did in 1984.

In 1982, President Reagan ordered American Marines into Lebanon as part of a “multinational peacekeeping force.” In 1983, there were several bombings targeting Americans in Lebanon, including the well-known Marine barracks bombing that killed 241 U.S. Marines.

At first, Reagan insisted that the U.S. would keep military forces in Lebanon. But in February 1984, he changed course and ordered a complete troop withdrawal.

The following is from Reagan’s autobiography:

Perhaps we didn’t appreciate fully enough the depth of the hatred and the complexity of the problems that made the Middle East such a jungle. Perhaps the idea of a suicide car bomber committing mass murder to gain instant entry to Paradise was so foreign to our own values and consciousness that it did not create in us the concern for the marines’ safety that it should have.

In the weeks immediately after the bombing, I believed the last thing that we should do was turn tail and leave. Yet the irrationality of Middle Eastern politics forced us to rethink our policy there. If there would be some rethinking of policy before our men die, we would be a lot better off. If that policy had changed towards more of a neutral position and neutrality, those 241 marines would be alive today.
I think our government would be well-advised to think about that quote before they stick their nose into Egypt, Libya, and other Middle Eastern countries in turmoil right now.

I applaud Reagan’s decision to withdraw from Lebanon, and I call on President Obama to follow his example by withdrawing U.S. forces from Iraq, Afghanistan, and the rest of the greater Middle East.

Even though many Arabs hated the American intervention in Lebanon, it’s important to remember that Reagan’s withdrawal did not result in terrorist attacks in America. It did not result in a spreading takeover of Middle Eastern governments by terrorist groups. What it did was stop further American casualties, and allow for a reduction in military spending.

It was foolish and wrong for Reagan to send American troops into Lebanon, but it was good that Reagan was able to recognize his mistake and withdraw those troops.

In Iraq and Afghanistan, President George W. Bush’s pride and stubbornness prevented him from following Reagan’s example. Unfortunately, President Obama has shown that same pride and stubbornness so far.

A withdrawal might cause President Obama to lose face, but it would save many American lives, and it would help save our economy as well.

Many people say “cut and run” as if it were cowardly or idiotic, but that may not be accurate. Apparently the term comes from navigation, when in dire circumstances a ship’s captain might quickly cut the anchor line, raise sail, and “run” before the wind. You lose the anchor, but you save the ship.

I am so frustrated. Sometimes I think we’re spending a trillion dollars and wasting thousands of lives in the Middle East just because politicians are scared of the words “cut and run.”

But I say that’s exactly what we should do: cut and run.


The views, opinions, positions or strategies expressed by the authors and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, positions, policies, or strategies of The Libertarian Defense Caucus or any individual Caucus member thereof.


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