Will Hammer: ISIL and U.S. foreign policy
The current situation with ISIL is a direct result of our flawed interventionist foreign policy created and supported by nearly every member of the United States Congress. The US Government created ISIL by intervening in foreign countries without considering the second and third order effects of our actions.
There is no debate that we invaded Iraq in 2003 with bad intelligence. The Iraq War was sold to the American people on the heels of 9/11, and we were all told that the preemptive strike was necessary to protect the United States. When no weapons of mass destruction were found, the mantra of our leaders became regime change. Saddam was replaced with a severely corrupt government and Congress threw money at problems in Iraq. Somehow, the idea of regime change and spreading democracy, which had been an excuse when our real reason for invading Iraq proved untrue, became our foreign policy. Fast forward to Syria where we backed and funded rebels who would eventually become ISIL. And now we are bombing a group we helped arm and fund in a country that we spent roughly $2 trillion, where 4500 US service members died and over 30,000 were injured, and where over 100,000 innocent Iraqi citizens died.
Rep. Goodlatte supports our current operations against ISIL in Iraq, voicing support and voting for it in a spending bill recently before going on yet another recess, with no plans to discuss this issue until at least after the November election. He also said that he wishes the president would recognize the war making powers that the Constitution grants Congress, even though he voted for the Authorization for Use of Military Force in 2001, which has allowed the president to use military force since in an unprecedented fashion in the War on Terror, an ambiguous war with no definable end in sight. Goodlatte also has not co-sponsored HR 198, which would repeal the aforementioned resolution. Of course, being a Constitutional Conservative has become vogue in the Republican Party, but only when it sounds good to voters and doesn’t conflict with the status quo.
Though the government, thanks to representatives such as Goodlatte, has caused most of the issues in the Middle East, we need to end the vicious cycle sometime soon. If elected, I will champion peace and free trade. Friendly countries are trade partners. Trade partners have a vested economic interest in not creating instability and economically unfeasible wars. Our interventionist policies are to blame for creating terrorists and instability in the Middle East. We create our own enemies through invasion, bombing, and backing groups who then become our enemies. Why not use the same effort and resources to build partners through trade and diplomacy?
Will Hammer is the Libertarian Party nominee for the Sixth District congressional seat.