Improving Messaging

We have an historic opportunity to see three podiums during the presidential debates--with a Libertarian on stage!  It behooves us to hone messaging as much as possible to make the stage.  This is not a call to change his positions on issues (though there is room to explain the issue from a more libertarian, Constitutionalist and federalist approach).

It would, IMHO, be to Gary's advantage to drop the pro-abortion four words ("women's right to choose") from his stump answer. Better to focus more exclusively on issues that differentiate himself in a positive light from Hilary and Trump.
Here is Gary's typical answer (https://reason.com/blog/2016/08/14/gary-johnson-on-the-greg-gutfeld-show-i) to the question, "What do you want to do if you were president?"
JOHNSON: Well, I want, I want to reduce the size of government. I believe that less money out of my pocket is a good thing and then stand up for civil liberties. Included in those civil liberties, of course, legalizing marijuana, marriage equality, women's right to choose, and then let's stop with the military interventions with regime change that has resulted in a less safe world. How is that for starters? Let's, let's, let's bring the world together with free markets.

By bringing up abortion, unsolicited, all the time with dated rhetoric, Gary unintentionally alienates two key demographics of his support. Polling cross tabs (http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2015/03/23/abortion-generation-demographics-choice-life-column/24900705/) pretty universally show Gary does better with younger voters and with Latinos than he does with the general population. In fact, if the polls for the debates were just those two cross tabs, Gary would be included already!

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A Realistic Set of Goals for a Johnson/Weld First Term

While I can make a list a mile long enumerating the challenges and goals we need to confront if we hope to increase freedom, prosperity, and peace in this country in the coming years, a firm grasp of political reality requires that a pro-freedom administration should focus on a few that are critical and doable.

The Obamacare-induced "death spiral" currently underway in our health care system is reaching almost emergency stages. Everyday people are either having their health insurance cancelled, premiums skyrocket, or are learning that there will no longer be health insurance available in their region. Obamacare needs to be repealed even if the new President must call for an emergency session of Congress to solely address the health care issue. Market-based reforms must be instituted simultaneously. While there are several good free-market proposals being debated among free market health economists, a few basic principles are common to them all:

1-The preferential tax treatment of employer-based health insurance needs to be rectified; the playing field needs to be leveled and the market distortions created by the tax exclusion of employer-provided health insurance need to be corrected. Some would advocate replacing it with a universal (even refundable) health care tax credit in conjunction with expanded health savings accounts. Others would require the expansion of health savings accounts to be coupled with a basic catastrophic policy. (I have a problem with this latter idea, because it invites the problem of having the government decide what qualifies as a basic catastrophic policy--which, of course, will be subject to special interest pleading.)

2-An emphasis needs to be placed on reducing the role of the third party payer (government or insurance company) in the health care transactions that should ordinarily directly take place between the consumer and the provider of health care. Insurance should, ideally, be only of the catastrophic variety. This will allow market forces to drive down prices and increase competition and innovation.

3-People should be allowed to buy insurance across state lines. The McCarran-Ferguson Act of 1948 allowed states to set up individual insurance cartels by waiving the right of the proper interpretation of the "Commerce Clause" to make commerce REGULAR between the states. (A SCOTUS decision prior to the McCarran-Ferguson Act had defined the sale of insurance products as a form of commerce.)

4-State-based mandated benefits laws need to be eliminated. Because the federal government must respect state sovereignty, the best way to get states to reduce their mandated benefits laws is to allow insurance to be sold across state lines. This will ignite a competition based upon price, which is in turn influenced by the mandated benefits laws of the individual states.

5-Medicaid and Medicare must be reformed. Some advocate devolving both programs to the states in the form of block grants and allowing the 50 laboratories of democracy to devise their own solutions. Others say that a universal refundable tax credit for health care tied to a health savings account would eliminate any need for Medicaid, and that Medicare can be transitioned, over time, to a "premium support" program (similar to the proposal of Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin).

All of the above proposals are subject to debate, of course. But they serve as a guide to realistically addressing the distortions and dislocations that are a result of all of the government intervention in the health care market. A President Johnson would not be a king or a dictator--so he would not be able to order Congress to come up with a specific set of proposals. But proposals along the lines outlined above should be generally acceptable and worthy of his signature.

Even more important--if not more urgent--is the issue of our national debt. A rigorous effort to decrease government spending across the board--no sacred cows--including defense and military spending must be pushed hard by a Johnson Administration. This will, of course, need to be combined with an effort to eliminate entire government agencies, or consolidate necessary agencies to eliminate redundancy.

Tax reform--at the very least, tax simplification and an across-the-board reduction in taxes must be promoted as a part of the agenda to reduce the national debt and the size of government. Proper tax reform will stimulate economic growth which will enhance efforts to reduce the debt. As in the case of health care reform, many good people on the free market side argue over various proposals, and the President is not a dictator. But he can encourage and seek to point the Congress in a particular direction.

The violence we are seeing in the nation's inner cities highlights the need for criminal justice reform. And there appears to be a real opportunity for bipartisan consensus on this issue. But criminal justice reform must be linked to drug policy reform. The two issues are intimately related. In addition to rescheduling marijuana, the federal role in the "war on drugs" needs to be phased out and the entire matter gradually devolved to the states.

Finally, a foreign policy of non-interventionism and "strategic engagement," that seeks to end the role of the US as world policeman, will go a long way toward decreasing the threat of terrorism at home and abroad, as well as the continued accumulation of debt and government growth here at home. Our 20th century military and security alliances that were developed to address issues of another time should be reevaluated. If they no longer serve a vital purpose, their phase-out should be considered. As George Washington warned us, these "entangling alliances" only drag us into unnecessary wars and conflicts. And "war is the health of the state."

The goals enumerated above are far from modest. It would be a momentous achievement, in my opinion, if they could all be attained within a 4 year time-frame. But I offer these my idea of a realistic blueprint for a Johnson/Weld first term.

Jeffrey Singer, MD
Jeffrey A. Singer, MD is a general surgeon in private practice in Phoenix, is an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute, and former member of the Board of Directors of the Goldwater Institute.
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America Can Do Better

We must dissent from the indifference. We must dissent from the apathy. We must dissent from the fear, the hatred and the mistrust. We must dissent from a nation that has buried its head in the sand, waiting in vain for the needs of its poor, its elderly, and its sick to disappear and just blow away. We must dissent from a government that has left its young without jobs, education or hope. We must dissent from the poverty of vision and the absence of moral leadership. We must dissent because America can do better, because America has no choice but to do better. - - Thurgood Marshall

Absolutely positively AGREED! The United States is filled with people who believe election cycle after election cycle that others will do what they continue to fail to do. More to the point, I believe that now, THIS YEAR, 2016, people are finally starting to wake up, realize that politicians will NEVER do the jobs that the people need to be doing in the first place!

These issues will NEVER go away if we hope in government to solve them. These issues will NEVER go away if we fail to act.

The ONLY way these issues are solved is if WE THE PEOPLE solve them.

In the preamble to the United States Constitution, it says:

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

WE THE PEOPLE shall establish Justice. WE THE PEOPLE shall insure domestic Tranquility. WE THE PEOPLE...........

It does NOT say we the people shall abdicate our responsibilities and entrust that politicians will do right by us. No, we have to make this happen, this is our job. Thurgood Marshall had it absolutely correct when he made this statement, and while it was true previously, this year, 2016, we all need to remember what is at stake, and I challenge everyone to re-read the quote and determine exactly what he/she can do to help The United States of America do better. Not because we can, but because we have to do better.

Like I stated before, there is a lot of work to do, not much time to make it happen. Come work with me and make our world a better place for us having been here!

My name is Steve Scheetz, and I am running for Congress in Pennsylvania’s District 8!

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Party Perceptions: Religious Freedom

Gary Johnson is closer to being right on "religious freedom" than most libertarians. There is no such thing as religious freedom except in the sense that applies to all people—including those of all religions or no religion at all. What conservatives complain about is NOT religious freedom but special privileges.

In spite of all their "moral" posturing they are highly dishonest about the "facts" they report. Take the Alliance Defending Freedom as an example. They put out press statements saying the New Hampshire Supreme Court “forced a home-schooled student into a government-run school against the mother’s wishes.” Sounds bad, doesn't it. The truth was very different in that they left out critical facts, which change the way the claim is interpreted. Yes, the mother lost, but the father won. This was a custody dispute between two parents, something ADF’s statement didn’t mention. For one parent to win, another must lose. Both can't have their way. If A wanted the child in a Baptist school and B wanted the child in a Catholic one, then no matter what happens ADF can claim the child was "denied the right to attend a Christian school" by the court. It's the same logic.

Another so-called "religious freedom" case was Rose Marie Belforti, the town clerk of Ledyard, NY who refused to sign marriage licenses, but only for gay couples. Her religious beliefs are anti-gay. She was hired for a job and she was now asserting her religious beliefs should give her a pass on actually doing the job.

In Minnesota, the ADF went to court to demand the same privilege. They urged anti-gay clerks to contact them for help, but only if gays were the victims of their hate, religious freedom didn’t apply if it meant refusing marriage licenses to interracial couples or divorced individuals.

If a Muslim clerk refused to sign for Christian couples ADF would not be defending the clerk's "religious freedom." In fact, they would be doing the exact opposite as they have in other cases. ADF supports special privileges for Christian fundamentalists and ONLY for Christian fundamentalists. They demand the right for Christians to discriminate against gay customers but also want anti-discrimination laws that make it illegal to discriminate against Christians.

When fundamentalist doctor Paul Church used the hospital Internet to post anti-gay rants to all staff members he was asked to stop. He refused. He was told he was harassing other staff and asked to stop again. He still refused. He did it several times. The hospital then said he was no longer free to practice medicine in their facilities.

We know the Religious Right says they support “freedom of association.” Just not in this case. It’s only freedom of association to fire people for their private sex life, not for firing them because they are harassing other staff members. Then it’s “discrimination.” The Liberty Counsel, a Christian Right group that defends the right of Christians to discriminate, sued the hospital on behalf of the doctor. Their policy completely reverses depending on who is doing the discriminating.

When FOX Sports ended their contract with commentator Craig James, the misnamed “Liberty Institute,” a religious Right group, claimed it was anti-Christian discrimination and filed a suit against the network.

In Washington State Republican Christians tried to pass a law that would grant limited rights to discriminate. Christians would have the right to discriminate against gays based on “sincerely held religious beliefs.” At the same time gay businesses were forbidden to discriminate against Christians. It was a “one-way right,” or what most of us call a special privilege.

In Arizona the Alliance Defending Freedom tried to push a law that would allow the right to discriminate based “sincerely held religious beliefs.” Only religious people would have this right. Everyone else was still compelled to obey the law.

The conservative Acton Institute argued that Catholic Charities should have “freedom to hire without government interference,” meaning anti-discrimination laws. Yet, the charities were not privately financed Catholic groups, but organizations relying on state funding. Religious-right groups complained because Catholic Charities in Illinois wasn't allowed to discriminate against same-sex couples in adoptions and child-placement. They neglected to mention the group was acting on behalf of the state Department of Children and Family Services and funded by the taxpayers. Apparently “religious freedom” means they can take funds from gay taxpayers, while simultaneously refusing to give them the services they paid for.

There is a great danger in this so-called “freedom.” First, government has to differentiate between “religious” beliefs and nonreligious beliefs. One is exempt; the other is not. Second, government gets to decide which beliefs are “sincerely held” and which are not. This is inviting government to intrude in religious matters at an unprecedented level, to the point of deciding which religious beliefs it will acknowledge as “sincerely held.”

Once government defines these terms it grants privileges to the one class and denies them to everyone else. This is what the Religious Right calls “equality before the law.”

Like most ill conceived ideas the religious Right pushes, their theories of “religious freedom” are actually anti-freedom. They don’t support equality of rights, or even equality of freedom. They demand special privileges. What I find sad is that so many libertarians fall for what these people are pushing, not because of the substance of their arguments, but solely based on them using the right trigger words. But, calling something “religious freedom” doesn’t necessarily mean it is about freedom and most of what the Religious Right is pushing in this realm is very anti-freedom indeed.

James Peron is the president of the Moorfield Storey Institute, an organization dedicated to the furtherance of a free society, especially in regards to social issues. 

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What will the GOP do about EPA climate regs?

In June of 2014 the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) detailed an audacious proposal to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants. The usual fall-out unfolded. Agency favorable Democrats and environmentalists smiled while Industry favorable Republicans, suits and the nations conservative right cried: "Green is the new Red!"

Now, in the twilight of summer 2016 Climate Change is in the news again. This summer we panted through some of the hottest temperatures ever recorded in human history. Thank goodness for air-conditioning, the Icee (Coke flavor, of course) and cold beer.

Over at The Hill, a February 2015 article by Jerry Taylor, of the libertarian think-tank Niskanen Center, recently caught my eye. In it, he detailed a possible Republican strategy for attack. Basically, Taylor explains, they don't really have one. Reminds me of a study by Duke University scholars Troy H. Campbell and Aaron C. Kay (“Solution Aversion: On the Relation Between Ideology and Motivated Disbelief,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology) that suggests politics is the root of all social ills.

The research finds that people evaluate issues based on the desirability of policy implications. If said implications are undesirable people tend to deny a problem even exists. The study uses the subject of climate change as a specific example. Most discourse regarding climate simply asks after the role of the nation, or state, in addressing global change — to carbon tax, or not to carbon tax is the question. The Washington Post‘s Chris Mooney connects the dots and notes: “Conservatives don’t hate climate science. They hate the left’s climate solutions.”

So, as climate policy implications are undesirable for the nations conservatives, to them, climate change simply doesn't exist. The mainstream politicos of the GOP openly and proudly deny climate science despite overwhelming consensus to the contrary. "No such thing as a footprint" is the mantra of the party. In the years since the EPA proposal we've watched the GOP deny climate change as a phenomenon (the moderates question human-kinds role in the process) and simultaneously promote anti-science policy proposals (such as Trump's call for clean coal -- a dirty lie). This is all we can expect for some time. 

Not surprising, the party is in shambles. Climate is one of many key issues that will continue to splinter liberty leaning Republicans, Libertarians proper and a very important voting block, Millennial's, for some time. Millennial's, the future of policy, are rather concerned about global change. 

At the end of his article, Taylor offers a Libertarian prescription:

Republicans should forward a bill that would (1) eliminate EPA authority to regulate greenhouse gases, and (2) impose an economy-wide, revenue neutral carbon tax. 

Far better to let market actors decide when, where, and how emissions are reduced than to leave that decision to state and federal regulatory agencies. The revenues from a tax would be used to cut capital gains taxes, corporate income taxes, or other taxes that discourage wealth creation. And some of the revenues could be used to transfer resources to the poor to reduce or eliminate the regressive nature of the tax changes. 

Let's go straight to the meat and potatoes of this prescription: Carbon Taxation. I have long been skeptical of the carbon or carbon neutral tax as a levy. Democrat Dennis Kucinich actually does a great job deconstructing the proposal. So does Republican Ron Paul. Carbon taxes are hard to explain, thus hard to sell.  Taxes of all stripes encourage State manipulation of markets and carbon taxes leave open a lot of wiggle room for powerful polluters to keep on polluting. Market actors will not collectively decide emission reduction, major players like Duke Energy will -- and Duke will keep on burning their fossil fuels as they push smaller competitors out of the energy market. 

Now, I am not a policy person, so Taylor may be right that this is an engagement that needs to happen in Washington. I'm not a political scientist, but I am skeptical of his claim.

I think it is more interesting to find flaws in systems. This time let's shrug a little bit. These EPA regulations are bold and sweeping, but they wouldn't exist if not for a lot of public support. Major environmental/political movements have been organized over the past decade to reign in fossil fuels. A lot of folks have engaged the political system like never before to demand change. These new regulations are the response.

The knee jerk reaction of confronting power with counter power should be put on hold. The best strategy, in my opinion, is to take the national conversation in a new direction. Point out governments involvement in exacerbating the climate problem. Call out the Department of Defense as the largest polluter on the planet -- cannot take climate seriously until the empires footprint is reduced. Clinton is a war candidate, the Democrats are the party of war. Should we take them at face value on climate? What is the EPA's authority over the Pentagon?

More importantly, the most successful climate crusaders are folks who are local -- folks who are sitting in and pushing for change. Folks with ideas to better their neighborhoods and protect their commons. In fact, humanities greatest climate hero's are indigenous people. Libertarian-socialist Noam Chomsky has an interesting take on this over at popular resistance.

The environmental movement is known for thinking global, but acting local. Does this not require a libertarian relationship between people and their institutions? Neighborhood cleanups, smart growth, liberated markets (check out this really cool example of how fireflies are stopping logging operations), urban forests and some good recreation in the natural world will do more to reduce our collective ecological footprints than any sweeping federal policy -- Democrat, Republican or otherwise. 

The state is a system of organized power and domination. Best to stop looking up to such an institution, but rather horizontally to one another instead.

 

 

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Our Nation Has Lost Its Way

Our nation has lost its way. The Rs and Ds trade in fear-mongering and scapegoating rather than rolling up their sleeves to solve real problems.

 

We have a national debt approaching $20 trillion with no end in sight.

 

We are fighting pointless, counterproductive wars in the Middle East in which everyone loses, and which further tarnish our nation’s stature in the world.

 

Our prisons are brimming with non-violent criminals, chewing up useful resources that would make us all wealthier and happier.

 

In the toxic brew, we are seeing a reversal of the color-blind society, as tribalistic hate seems to replace peaceful co-existence and goodwill toward all, regardless of race, creed, or religion.

 

We need to transcend these real challenges with a fresh approach, one that engages all at a higher level, above the pettiness and backbiting that keeps us mired in a vicious circle of fear.

 

-Robert Capozzi, Medford, NY

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2 PARAGRAPHS 4 LIBERTY: #36 "LIBERTY AND FULL DEBATES"

Image Credit: Agenda-Setting Theory. (2008). Retrieved from https://mctheory.wordpress.com/2008/11/19/agenda-setting-theory/All voters, regardless of their political affiliations, have a direct interest in the upcoming presidential election.  And that election will be deeply affected by which candidates are invited to participate in the presidential debates.  Why?  Not necessarily because it will dictate who wins the election, but it will dictate the issues, arguments and suggestions that are placed into the public marketplace of ideas submitted to the voters.  As I hope you know, on Tuesday, September 29, 2015 Our America Initiative sponsored and filed a Complaint in the federal district court in Washington DC against the Commission on Presidential Debates, as well as the Democratic and Republican National Parties.  The thrust of the lawsuit is to force the Commission, which is completely controlled by the Republican and Democratic National Parties, to invite the presidential and vice presidential candidates of all serious political parties to participate in the final national debates.  Serious political parties is defined as any party that is on the ballots in enough states technically to win the presidency.  In 2012 that would have included the Libertarian Party and the Green Party, which were on the ballots in 48 and 40 states, respectively.  Liberty demands that all serious voices, and the issues they raise, be heard!  And, along the way, help to reduce the stagnation that has occurred during the last decades because of the predominance of only two political parties!  Unfortunately, the trial court judge recently dismissed our law suit, saying that we had no standing to present it.  Among other things, she concluded that the commission is a private entity that can invite whomever it chooses.  Furthermore, she argued, plaintiffs had not suffered any financial injury, and that the only reason they had not been invited to participate in the debates was that they had not garnered sufficient voter approval.  We violently disagree with those conclusions, and are presently considering our options.
           
During the 2012 election, there were some issues that President Obama and Governor Romney simply did not want discuss and, since their parties controlled the debates and their format, for the most part they didn't.  This included our government's irresponsible spending and military adventurism, and our failed policies on immigration, drug prohibition and Obamacare.  But had the candidates from the other two serious parties been involved, those issues and more would certainly have been openly and fully discussed.  Who would have won from this situation?  The voters, because they would be more completely informed.  Who would have lost?  Only the two main parties.  So please pass the word!  Help us; help yourselves; help our great country; and help Liberty! 

 

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President,
Along with Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President
 
Please forward this on to your circle of friends for their consideration.  And, by the way, these columns are now on Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray,
Twitter at judgejamesgray,
and wordpress at judgejimgray@wordpress.com
Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty.      
Image Credit: Agenda-Setting Theory. (2008). [Image File]. Retrieved from https://mctheory.wordpress.com/2008/11/19/agenda-setting-theory/

 

           
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Ballot for President 2016

Ballot Access laws which impose additional burdens beyond the Constitutional requirements of the office in question, is an example of strategic tampering with the system performed by past winners. As the system began to be more and more geared towards the Republican and Democratic parties, ballot access laws became one of the few areas of bipartisan compromise. The two parties had accrued considerable power and largesse in the pursuit and maintenance of many offices and then agreed on various strategies to declare those holdings to be prerequisite.

The chosen hurdles are often of little strategic value for gaining partisan credibility and are even sometimes designed to make the newcomers appear strategically unsound. “Why is that new party so focused on that particular office? Don’t they know to start local?”. 
Yes, they know, but the performance in that race and meeting a minimum outcome might be a requirement to place someone in next year’s Township Trustee election.

In Indiana, I ran for Secretary of State, the role which oversees elections. I was lucky in that this was an office which fit my overall political goals. I believe that election reform is crucial to enjoying our liberty, however, the party should not have to bear that. Election of local candidates should be where the bulk of their efforts are able to go, but due to the requirement for two percent in that election most Libertarians in Indiana use their political funds to finance that particular race.

The Democratic and Republican parties both work to starve newcomer parties with non-strategic encumbrances to prevent the acquisition of truly strategic offices. This is why it is incumbent on new party members and leaders to always give voice to election reform.



About the Author: Karl Tatgenhorst is, first and foremost, a Libertarian. Karl is a veteran paratrooper from the US Army and has run for Indiana Secretary of State and Lieutenant Governor and has also served as Vice Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Indiana. Karl’s primary focus on politics is election reform and elimination of ballot access hurdles.

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This Year's Best Idea! #DumpTheCPD

Because of the general public discontent with this year's election, third parties are much in the news. If they can get into the debates, who knows what may happen.
 
Hofstra starts classes on September 6, 2016. The first debate, at Hofstra, is scheduled for September 26, 2016.
 
We have 20 days to convince the Hofstra students they should demand the school 1) #KeepTheDebate but 2) #DumpThe CPD.
 
There is a student newspaper, but the first issue comes out on September 20, I believe. We can buy a full page ad for under $1,000 and a quarter page ad for $214.
 
There is a respected student run FM radio station. They cover politics and sent reporters to both DNC and RNC.
 
Hofstra is a private university so does not have to provide freedom of speech, and they do have the right to arrest anyone on campus who pisses them off. In 2012 they had Jill Stein arrested.
 
We need the Hofstra students on our side. They will have to be convinced.
 
The Help The Commission group plans to create a #FirestormOfAnger at the CPD. Only two parties debating each other ... Trump v. Clinton ... there are plenty of angry people, many of whom are young Hofstra students, and our job is to simply get their anger directed at the proper target.
 
We will Post on FB/email/Tweet daily. 1) Hofstra president, 2) Hofstra trustees, 3) radio station, 4) student paper, 5) whatever we can figure out.
 
Questions?
 
Please ask.
 
Rick
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It was just a question of when, not if

According to the Pentagon, the Syrian Air Force dropped bombs in an area where U.S. Special Operations forces are operating on the ground. Naturally, the U.S. is incredulous. According to Captain Jeff Davis,the Syrians would be "well-advised" not to interfere with coalition forces on the ground in the future.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but ... WTF?

The area in question is Hasaka ... in Syria. So we're telling the Syrians what they can and can't do in their own country. Although it's perfectly OK for the U.S. to drop bombs in Syria.

Syria is just another example of ill-fated U.S. foreign policy and military intervention. Even though ISIS is not an existential threat, we persist in trying to destroy it since the group is in Syria. But we also don't very much like the Assad regime (admittedly, Bahsar Assad is a thug and a threat to his own people, but not a threat to U.S. national security). So while ISIS is a threat to Assad, we are loathe to let him deal with the threat as he sees fit (meanwhile, we turn a blind eye to the Saudis bombing in Yemen). Instead, we're arming so-called opposition forces who we hope (and hope is not a plan) will not only defeat ISIS but depose Assad. And of course, we have historical precedent (Iraq being the most recent) to know that (a) this will work and (b) if it does work that the result will be exactly as planned, i.e., liberal democracy in Syria ... not.

We never stop to think about how we would react if a foreign military power told us what we could and couldn't do in our own country. Instead, we're shocked -- like Inspector Renault in Casablanca -- when we're attacked for meddling in the internal affairs of a foreign country that does not threaten America.

 

# # #

 

Charles (Chuck) Peña is a Senior Fellow with Defense Priorities, but the views expressed are his own opinions. He has more than 25 years experience as a policy and program analyst, as well as senior manager, supporting the Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security. He is the former Director of Defense Policy Studies at the Cato Institute and author of Winning the Un-War: A New Strategy for the War on Terrorism.

Follow Chuck on Twitter at @gofastchuck

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