LP: Tragic bombing in Yemen was result of our interventionist foreign policy

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For release: October 13, 2000
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Tragic bombing in Yemen was result
of our interventionist foreign policy

WASHINGTON, DC -- The apparent terrorist attack on a U.S. Navy destroyer that killed 17 Americans in Yemen on Thursday is another bloody reminder that an interventionist foreign policy inevitably results in the deaths of innocent Americans, the Libertarian Party says.

"These U.S. servicemen were murdered in part because their own government sent them to a dangerous, unstable region where hundreds of U.S. soldiers have been slaughtered before," charged Steve Dasbach, national director of the Libertarian Party.

"Bill Clinton says he is 'horrified' by this attack. But what's truly horrifying are the politicians who keep putting U.S. servicemen and women in harm's way -- knowing that more will almost certainly be killed in the future."

At least 17 U.S. servicemen were killed and three dozen injured after a small boat pulled alongside the USS Cole and set off an explosion as the destroyer was docked in Yemen on Thursday. U.S. officials say they believe the bombing was a terrorist attack, most likely in retaliation for the American role in the Middle East conflict.

"We mourn the loss of these U.S. servicemen, and condemn the terrorists who bombed the USS Cole as the cold-blooded killers they are," Dasbach said. "But the only reason they had the opportunity to strike is because those servicemen's own government put them there in the first place."

And our government tacitly admits that such attacks on Americans are inevitable, he said.

"These attacks happen with such regularity that the FBI has set up five Rapid Deployment Teams solely to investigate attacks on Americans overseas," Dasbach said. "The majority of the agents dispatched to Yemen on Thursday were in the Middle East to investigate the 1996 truck bombing that killed 19 U.S. airmen in Saudi Arabia and the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 12 Americans.

"But instead of eliminating the cause of these killings -- foreign intervention -- the government seems content to set up more Rapid Deployment Teams and dispatch more investigators and more bodybags to clean up after the terrorists."

The reason that future bombings are so predictable, Dasbach said, is that U.S. policies virtually invite terrorist attacks.

"The U.S. government's willingness to take both sides in the Middle East dispute has put billions of dollars of lethal weapons in the hands of Israel, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq, and Iran," he said. "No wonder both sides have reason to dislike the United States, since we've armed and aided both sides' enemies."

On Thursday, President Clinton said the terrorist bombing should not "deter us from our mission of promoting peace and security in the Middle East" -- when such a policy actually promotes war and insecurity, said Dasbach.

"A government concerned with preventing the killing of additional soldiers would be deploying U.S. troops back home, instead of deploying more FBI agents and more bodybags to the Middle East," he said.

Unfortunately, a Libertarian policy of non-intervention doesn't appeal to Democratic and Republican politicians, who appear to see foreign crises as opportunities for greater power, more government spending, and a chance to demonstrate their courage by risking the lives of others, said Dasbach.

Case in point: Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who said on Thursday, "This is no time for the United States to retreat from its responsibilities in the region. We are operating in a world filled with a variety of threats. But that doesn't mean that we can crawl into an ostrich-like mode. We are eagles."

In fact, said Dasbach, "In the Middle East, the United States is neither an ostrich nor an eagle -- thanks to the U.S. government's reckless interventionism, we're a sitting duck."

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