US must curb ‘inappropriate, unconstitutional’ posture on Syria strikes
Howell said despite the behavior of the US government, Americans
do not want war in Syria, and US politicians should heed American
public opinion after a decade of conflict.
RT: I know your party is against military involvement in Syria. What do you think of this proposal to remove chemical weapons held by the Assad government?
Carla Howell: On one hand, it’s an improvement. It looks like it weakens the chance that the US military will actually strike Syria, which is good news. On the other hand it’s also more entangling alliances where the US does not belong. The Libertarian Party calls for a complete withdrawal from the region and to stop engaging in these negotiations which are premised on a threat issued by President Obama, drawing a so-called “red line.” That’s completely inappropriate, unconstitutional and out of line with what Americans want, which is we want our leaders to focus on domestic issues and to reduce government, both domestically and internationally, not increase it.
RT: But Obama’s reacting to a humanitarian crisis, use of chemical weapons. So in the future, how should America act when another country reportedly uses chemical weapons, or if they’re used again in Syria? Just stand back and do nothing?
CH: We should allow citizens individually -- representing themselves, not the country -- to do whatever they so choose, to donate if they want, to go and help one side or another, they should be free to do that. But no one representing the United States should be getting involved in a country where we have no interests and where we can expect, based on the results of our past interventions, more bad things to come
RT: You say no interests, Obama said this was a security interest to the US, the use of chemical weapons. This threatens not just people of Syria but of other countries, too.
CH: Invading is a security risk and possibly more of one. Look what’s happened. Our continual intervening in the Middle East resulted in the 9/11 strikes--very possibly blowback from our intervention. This makes us less secure.
RT: Do you expect Obama now to change course away from calling for intervention in his televised address to the nation, not a U-turn but certainly a change in sentiment?
CH: I’m not sure what he’s going to do. Certainly it’s been embarrassing, him waffling the way he has been, that a so-called off-the-cuff comment by his secretary of state would change the course of events seems pretty amateurish. But more importantly, we’re talking about lives at stake, we’re talking about innocent people being killed if there are any kind of strikes, and that is not acceptable, and he needs to man-up and do the right thing, not the face-saving thing. And the right thing is to recognize our intervention is a mistake, our threats are a mistake and we need to take a neutral position on these issues and mind our own affairs domestically, not intervene abroad.
RT: Are your thoughts echoed amongst many other American politicians? We know what some think in the House and indeed in the Senate. How do you think the vote really will go among the full spectrum of politicians there in the States?
CH: It’s been changing and it might depend on what they end up proposing and amending and so forth. I think politicians are inclined to support the President and inclined to do whatever will spend more money because virtually all of them, or most of them, are invested in the military-industrial complex here in the United States. But they are also reacting to pressures from home, many of them are up for reelection next year, and the people don’t want this. People in the United States want peace despite our government’s very different behavior around the world -- that is not what Americans want. Once they enter in a war, many in America tend to be silent because they don’t want to put our servicemen and women at risk, so they will just stop talking about it once a strike occurs and we need to make sure that doesn’t happen.