Liberty, War, and Peace

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The
greatest threats to our liberties are not Saddam Hussein, Osama
Bin Laden (if he is still alive), or the North Korean Communists.
The threat to our liberties is much closer to home, and all have
easily pronounceable names: George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald
Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, Tom Daschle, Trent Lott, Dennis Hastert,
Dick Armey, and Dick Gephardt — in short, America’s ruling political
elite. To be more accurate, we all have to fear the Bush Administration,
a majority of the members of Congress, the nine justices of the
Supreme Court, and hundreds of federal judges.

For
they, and they alone, can turn America into a dictatorship.

The
people who make up the ruling class, who also occupy
places in DC think tanks, the media, the military-industrial complex,
and corporate America, have one agenda in mind for the foreseeable
future: to wage the war against both terrorism and weapons of mass
destruction, in Iraq and elsewhere. If this policy is pursued aggressively,
America will be unrecognizable — physically and constitutionally
— in a few years because the federal government would impose marital
law after another major — possibly nuclear — attack.

This
past Monday night in New Jersey this issue — and others — was brought
into sharp focus by the three GOP candidates vying for the US Senate
nomination to face Senator Robert Torricelli in November.

The
candidates are two state senators, Diane Allen, a former television
anchor, and John Matheussen, an attorney who was first elected in
the GOP landslide in 1991 after Democrat governor Jim Florio raised
taxes $2.8 billion in a recession year, 1990. He has been reelected
ever since. Rounding out the field is wealthy businessman Douglas
Forrester, a former state pension official and small town mayor.
He is self-financing his campaign. So far, he has contributed three
million dollars, a far cry from the $62 million Jon Corzine spent
to win the primary and then the general election against former
congressman Bob Franks for the New Jersey US Senate seat in 2000.

During the one-hour debate, which could be viewed on http://www.njn.org/, Diane Allen was
“cool,” Douglas Forrester was “hot,” and John Matheussen gave the
best response of the night on the most important issue facing the
nation.

Diane Allen’s television experience showed last night a deliberate,
methodical message, which was “I’m behind President Bush all the
way.” Since Bush has been making mistake after mistake by signing
the so-called campaign finance reform bill, boosting federal funding
for education, hiking steel tariffs, supporting amnesty for illegal
immigrants, overseeing a quantum leap in government spending, and
supporting more agricultural subsidies, a candidate who is behind
the president 100% – even with his high approval ratings –
risks alienating the GOP base. Diane Allen did not show any independence
at all, but expects to ride to the US Senate nomination on the president’s
coattails.

Douglas Forrester gave rapid-fire answers to his questions
and showed feistiness that may play well with the voters. However,
according to one well-respected commentator of the New Jersey political
scene I spoke to Monday night, “Forrester came across as an elitist.
Princeton, Harvard, and all that. That may not play well with voters."
And why was Forrester sucking up to EPA administrator and former
New Jersey governor Christie Whitman, singing her praises, time
and time again?

Whitman gave us the disastrous auto emissions test instead
of standing up to the EPA. She gave us a mountain of debt, more
and more spending, and she refused to stand up to the Supreme Court’s
Abbott decision requiring more state dollars be funneled to urban
schools.

When
asked about a possible US invasion of Iraq, Sen. John Matheussen
responded that Congress has to be brought into the decision-making
process, all the facts have to be put on the table for members of
Congress and the American people, and only then could they decide
that an invasion of Iraq is in the national interests of the United
States.

John
gave a statesmanlike answer to the possibility of the United States
committing 250,000 troops to an invasion of Iraq, which could lead
to the deaths of thousands, if not tens of thousands, of American
troops.

As
co-chairman of Sen. Matheussen’s campaign I speak to the campaign
staff — and the candidate – constantly about the issues. On
Monday night, Sen. Matheussen told Sen. Kyrillos, chairman of the
state GOP, “Murray knows the issues.” In short, having the ability
to communicate the “right" positions to a candidate, who is
with us on several issues, is the first step in convincing a candidate
about ALL our principles, not just one or two.

By
the way, in the New Jersey US Senate race two years ago, I gave
Bob Franks some advice, after he beat three other candidates, including
yours truly, for the GOP nomination. (My website is still up.) He
ignored it. Corzine just squeaked past Bob, even though Bob was
outspent at least six to one. In last year’s New Jersey gubernatorial
campaign GOP nominee and former Jersey City mayor Bret Schundler
did not seek my advice in the general election either, or the advice
of my supporters who have been fighting the good fight in Trenton
for decades. After all, I debated McGreevey and Whitman three times
in 1997, when I was the Libertarian Party candidate.

This
is not to conclude that my input would have won the elections for
Bob or Bret. In the final analysis, the candidate has to prove himself
to the voters.

My
supporters in 1997 and 2000 made it possible for our ideas to be
part of the debate. At New Jersey Network on Monday night, a long-time
employee told me I was the most intellectually stimulating candidate
he has heard in the more than two decades he has been at the network.
In short, because of the support from libertarians and conservatives
in all fifty states, I was able to articulate hard-core free market
and limited government ideas to a wide audience…twice.

In
consultations with Sen. Matheussen, I give him our message loud
and clear — peace, limited government, and free enterprise. In fact,
the Matheussen campaign called a few weeks ago to get my support
and advice on the issues. Now it is now up to Sen. Matheussen to
step up to the plate. There is no more important issue than war
and peace. And for that reason, his response Monday night was a
home run.

There is a segment of the political establishment that is hell
bent on war, even though it may lead to unspeakable horrors. In
fact, our “victory” in the Gulf War more than a decade ago has been
a hollow one. (The neocons didn’t get their confrontation with the
Chinese last year after a US plane was forced to land in China.
Now after the attack on September 11th, the warmongers
are licking their chops for President Bush to order the invasion
of Iraq.)

The
consequences of our victory in the Gulf in 1991 has been the attack
on the World Trade Center in 1993, possibly the bombing in Oklahoma
City in 1995, the bombing of our embassy in Kenya, the attack on
the USS Cole in Yemen in 2000, and the attacks on September 11th.
In other words, the Gulf War has been ongoing since August 1990,
when Iraq invaded Kuwait.

The
future of America may literally be in George Bush’s hands. Your
efforts could help prevent the unthinkable. During the 2000 campaign
I said the threat to America would be terrorists with suitcases
containing powerful weapons — not incoming missiles. According to
reliable sources, this is a reality. We must defuse the situation.
Otherwise, out of the ashes of a nuclear explosion in America, may
come the end of the Republic, and what’s left of our constitutional
rights, let alone the deaths of untold numbers of Americans.

May
11, 2002

Murray
Sabrin [send him mail] is
professor of finance at Ramapo College of New Jersey and author
of Tax
Free 2000: The Rebirth of American Liberty
. He was the Libertarian
Party candidate for governor in 1997 and after rejoining the GOP
after 25 years, sought the party’s nomination for the United States
Senate in 2000.

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