by Luke Henderson
Donald Trump ordered an attack Thursday on of the Al Sharyat Airfield in Syria after a reported chemical attack ordered by President Assad Tuesday that supposedly killed 100 people. According to NBC, the 59 tomahawk missiles launched by the United States killed at least 6 people although civilians were not targeted as a part of the attack. These actions have put strains on U.S. relations with Russia and President Vladimir Putin stated that the launch was a breach of international law and a Russian Defense Ministry spokesperson announced that measures would be taken to “protect the most sensitive Syrian infrastructure facilities.” The Kremlin also had one of their frigates moved to the U.S. ships that had carried out the launch.
Within hours of this news reaching the public, Libertarian Party Chair Nicholas Sarwark released a statement denouncing the attack. Sarwark claimed that the U.S. jumped the gun since the cause of the chemical attack was not entirely certain and that this would only proceed to create further turmoil in the already unstable region. “For decades, the United States has pursued a foreign policy based on the idea that we can play policeman for the world. Time and time again we have seen this fail. Sadly, our intervention into Syria will be no different” stated the Party Chair. He continues the release by reminding the country of the party’s support for Syrian refugees and explaining “the Libertarian Party recommends ending American military aggression in Syria and the rest of the Middle East.”
While the Libertarian Party was chiding the wrongs of this attack, the rest of the world is applauding Trump’s order. An article by National Public Radio gathered the responses from many world leaders and most approved of the U.S. retaliation. The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated when asked about the attack that “I don’t see it as being enough” and expressed his hope that these attacks would lead to more action being taken in Syria. Officials from the United Kingdom and Jordan saw the missile strikes as necessary responses to the chemical attacks, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe released a statement saying “The Government of Japan supports the resolve of the U.S. Government of never tolerating the proliferation and use of chemical weapons. We understand that the latest action taken by the United States was a measure intended to prevent the further worsening of the situation.” Overall, it seemed that all the countries in support of the United States’ actions felt that a message had to be sent to President Assad against the use of chemical weaponry.
The Libertarian Party Platform calls for a strong military for the defense of the country and to “enhance the likelihood of peace by avoiding foreign entanglements.” Non-intervention, free movement of individuals, and free trade among nations are staples of libertarian philosophy and foreign policy. In times like these, it’s important for libertarians to continue to spread the values of non-interventionism and to speak out in solidarity with everyone who sees these attacks as only worsening the conflicts in Syria. Now is the time to show that Libertarians are the party of peace and principle by standing united even with those we may disagree with philosophically.