NH Libertarians are split on war in Iraq

I came across this article in the Politics section of Yahoo News.

GOFFSTOWN - A special New Hampshire Libertarian Party convention yesterday at St. Anselm College nominated candidates for U.S. president, Senate, House, and various state offices that will be up for election in 2008.

One of the top issues at the convention, party leaders said in interviews, was the war against Iraq. The convention split over the war, nominating candidates who are outspokenly for and against it.

You can read the whole article here.

26 Responses to “NH Libertarians are split on war in Iraq”

  1. Tom Gellhaus Says:

    We need more news coverage of Libertarian Party events. Articles such as this one can only help. The major two political parties get coverage ALL the time - I see no downside to more coverage of any third party convention, as long as the coverage is not biased. This article seems pretty neutral to me.

  2. matt Says:

    I see no upside to an LP organization in New Hampshire that’s “split about war in Iraq”. It’s like being “split about slavery”.

  3. Trent Hill Says:

    I disagree Matt. While Slavery is an obvious wrong and immoral calamity.
    The war in iraq isn’t quite on that level. Alot of the people who support the war do so for humanitarian reasons. Alot of them are well meaning. Whereas a slave-owner could not really be humanitarian and well meaning, only self-serving.

  4. globalist_elitist Says:

    I agree that comparing this particular war to slavery in general is a bit much. But this just shows that in NH, “libertarian” just means right-wing Republican.

  5. Tom Gellhaus Says:

    The point I had intended to make has nothing at all to do with the various issues dividing the LP in certain states. It had to do with visibility in the media. I was focusing on the forest rather than the trees, if you will. The catch-22 of the LP is the lack of national (or even local) media coverage of the candidates who run. That is then used as the feeble excuse to not “waste your vote” on candidates who cannot win. Why not? Because they don’t get MEDIA COVERAGE.
    I was just trying to say something positive about how we could all benefit from more media coverage. It will get people’s attention who might not have heard of us.

  6. matt Says:

    Slavery is of course wrong, but I think a slave owner could concievably have good intentions but a very flawed moral process and a loose grasp on the facts of life.

    Similarly, going to another country, bombing their cities and occupying them by force based upon the presupposition that they might intend to do you harm at some future juncture, is immoral. I know a lot of good people who think that the war is okay, but they are, in my opinion, just as mistaken as the benevolent slaveowner.

  7. Trent Hill Says:

    We’ll have to agree to disagree. The slaveowner is directly involved and knows all the facts.
    An iraqi war supporter is largely ignorant of facts and has not seen most of the devastation you’re talking of first-hand.

  8. matt Says:

    I acknowledge that I’m bringing a bit of hyperbole to the table. I just really hate it when libertarians treat the war as though it’s just another issue. Murray Rothbard wouldn’t have stood for it.

  9. Devious David Says:

    I think that the “split on slavery” is perfectly appropriate. There is no hyperbole.

    The war is a litmus test. Nobody who is a bonafide libertarian can support such a thing. I think the pro-war faction should be purged immediately. They clearly have no understanding of libertarian philosophy. And they aren’t too bright, either. I guess all parties need some dumb members for licking envelopes and pasting stamps, but there is no excuse - such a membership is not the type we should cultivate.

    Abortion by bomb and depleted uranium is not something any libertarian would support. There is utterly no basis for it, whatever. And frankly, I want no identification or affiliation with anyone who supports it. War is the health of the state and the absolutely worst possible outcome. It this the epitome of anti-liberty. War and libertarianism are like oil and water. They do not mix.

    split on slavery = split on war

    Let’s purge.

  10. Trent Hill Says:

    Be purged? How incredibly anti-libertarian of you.

    And no, slavery is still not equal to war, at least not this war.

  11. Andy Says:

    “Trent Hill Says:

    April 16th, 2007 at 2:27 pm
    I disagree Matt. While Slavery is an obvious wrong and immoral calamity.
    The war in iraq isn’t quite on that level. Alot of the people who support the war do so for humanitarian reasons. Alot of them are well meaning. Whereas a slave-owner could not really be humanitarian and well meaning, only self-serving.”

    I can imagine that there were probably slave owners who could come up with all kinds of justifications for owning slaves, but that doesn’t mean that it’s good to own slaves.

    Support the war in Iraq is an absolutely HORRIBLE position. Anyone who supports it is either seriously uninformed or has some seriously flawed reasoning. I can’t see any libertarian arguement in favor of this war.

  12. Trent Hill Says:

    Well, i’ll say this. I can’t see a libertarian arguement in favor of the war either. But I can see someone who considers themselves libertarian leaning, or small government advocating this war. I still think it is dumb,and incorrect, but it’s understandable. Especially considering the lack of information on the war.

  13. George Phillies Says:

    Buried in this discussion, the LPNH nominated candidates for 2008, so that they can start petitioning. The petitions will place people on the November General Elections Ballot. To quote from the article:

    For governor, the party overwhelmingly supported Nashua state Rep. Bea Franceoeur. For Senate, party members chose Ken Blevens of Bow. Bob Kingsbury of Laconia ran unopposed to be the party nominee for the First Congressional seat while Chester Lapointe of Swanzey beat Morey Straus of Concord in the race for the second district. For executive council, the convention chose Dan Belforti for District 3.

    For president: Massachusetts physicist George Phillies was favored over Colorado native Christine Smith … For vice president, the party nominated retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski, a noted critic of the Iraq War, instead of Smith.

  14. Roscoe Says:

    What the heck is the LP position on war? I’m guessing it is still “If attacked the U.S. will fight back.” What if the attacking armada is 30 miles out to sea? Or a missile is incoming, probably projected to hit the U.S. but still 400 miles away? Or if Dictator X has ramped up production of Anthrax and made continual threats to wipe out the U.S.? Is there a point were an imminent threat permits unilateral action or not? [Its obvious now that Iraq was not an imminent threat.] O.K., so a mistake (deliberate or not) was made and we find out - should the U.S. rectify that mistake or say, whoops, we are out of here? Or try to keep the peace and rebuild the damage? And at what point can the U.S. say, “We can’t keep the peace because you morons want to kill it each so we are out of here?” All legitimate questions that real voters want answers too, not mindless posturing by politicians of any stripe (including ours).

  15. infojunkie Says:

    Roscoe: it’s about self-defense. It’s all about self-defense. How close does the guy’s fist have to be to your nose before you know he’s gonna hit you? It’s taken on a detailed case-by-case basis. Iraq was not an imminent threat to the U.S.

  16. Austin Cassidy Says:

    So the NH LP has nominated Phillies and he will be on the LP line if the party gets ballot status? Is that correct?

  17. Eric Dondero Says:

    How can Libertarians in New Hampshire be regarded as simply “Right-wing Republicans,” when they are Pro-Choice, Pro-Drug Legalization, Pro-Gambling, Pro-Prostitution?

    Is everything based simply on one’s views on foreign policy? Do civil liberties issues no longer count for anything?

  18. Eric Dondero Says:

    Okay, there’s a huge mysterious question about this NH LP Convention and their endorsements.

    As far as I know the Libertarian Party currently does not have a single sitting State Legislature in New Hampshire or any other state.

    So who is this Bea F. woman?

    I assume she is a Republican legislator. Does this now mean that the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire is actively supporting a Republican for Governor?

  19. Trent Hill Says:

    I actually agree with Eric Dondero for once.
    More than just foreign policy matters.

    and I have the same question as Austin,
    If Kubby or someone else secures the LP nomination…will NH still give their nomination to Phillies?

  20. Trent Hill Says:

    OH. And Dondero, to answer your question—

    It appears she is a state rep who tried to avoid a speeding ticket by claiming protection under Article 21, about how a representatibe cannot be detained on the way to legal proceedings. She was on her way to the inauguration of the governor.

  21. matt Says:

    It’s true that foreign policy isn’t the only important issue, but like gun control, one’s stand on that issue speaks volumes.

  22. globalist_elitist Says:

    Dondero - I was referring more to the fact that they nominated several Republicans - who are NOT “Pro-Choice, Pro-Drug Legalization, Pro-Gambling, Pro-Prostitution” - then I was of their willingness to support candidates who support/supported the war.

  23. George Phillies Says:

    The LPNH did indeed nominate

    for President—George Phillies
    for Vice President—Karen Kwiatkowski

    The reference to ballot status is imprecise. In New Hampshire, you nominate by petition, with each voter signing a separate nominating paper listing up to all the candidates they have in their district. The requirement for President is 3000 signatures, with a geographic distibution requirement by Congressional District. If enough signatures are collected, the candidates go on the November 2008 ballot. Party status is gained by getting enough of the vote for Governor or Senator, and cannot affect the 2008 campaign, for which one runs as D, R, or Independent.

  24. [email protected] Says:


    Have you accepted the LPNH’s nomination?

  25. catholicresistence Says:

    Many so-called Libertarians are really GOP in sheeps clothing. I applaud Lew Rockwell and Antiwar.com for outing this periodically.

  26. catholicresistence Says:

    For anyone willing to listen:

    2314 “Every act of war directed to the indiscriminate destruction of whole cities or vast areas with their inhabitants is a crime against God and man, which merits firm and unequivocal condemnation.” A danger of modern warfare is that it provides the opportunity to those who possess modern scientific weapons especially atomic, biological, or chemical weapons - to commit such crimes.

    2315 The accumulation of arms strikes many as a paradoxically suitable way of deterring potential adversaries from war. They see it as the most effective means of ensuring peace among nations. This method of deterrence gives rise to strong moral reservations. The arms race does not ensure peace. Far from eliminating the causes of war, it risks aggravating them. Spending enormous sums to produce ever new types of weapons impedes efforts to aid needy populations; it thwarts the development of peoples. Over-armament multiplies reasons for conflict and increases the danger of escalation.

    2317 Injustice, excessive economic or social inequalities, envy, distrust, and pride raging among men and nations constantly threaten peace and cause wars. Everything done to overcome these disorders contributes to building up peace and avoiding war:

    Insofar as men are sinners, the threat of war hangs over them and will so continue until Christ comes again; but insofar as they can vanquish sin by coming together in charity, violence itself will be vanquished and these words will be fulfilled: “they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”

    2309 The strict conditions for legitimate defense by military force require rigorous consideration. The gravity of such a decision makes it subject to rigorous conditions of moral legitimacy. At one and the same time: - the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain;

    - all other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective;
    - there must be serious prospects of success;
    - the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated. The power of modem means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition.

    These are the traditional elements enumerated in what is called the “just war” doctrine.

    The evaluation of these conditions for moral legitimacy belongs to the prudential judgment of those who have responsibility for the common good.


    arms, 2314, 2316
    arms race, 2315
    duty to avoid, 2307-08
    economic and social injustices and inequalities as causes of, 2317
    just, 2309
    obligation to resist unjust orders, 2313
    peace and absence of, 2304
    permanence of the moral law during armed conflict, 2312-13



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