Statement by Chairman James W. Lark in response
to September 11 terrorist attacks:
WASHINGTON, DC -- On behalf of the Libertarian Party, I wish
to express our profound sorrow and grief for the tragic loss
of life and suffering caused by yesterday's terrorist
attacks. Our hearts go out to the victims and their grieving
families and friends. Nothing we say can ease the
devastation and sense of loss they feel -- and that every
other American certainly shares -- but we stand with them in
mourning the loss of friends, family, neighbors, co-workers,
loved ones, and fellow citizens.
The Libertarian Party condemns the vicious and barbaric
attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. There is
no excuse for such savage acts. No legitimate political or
religious ideology can
justify the murder of thousands of innocent people. These
actions, and the revulsion they cause to all decent people
around the world, demonstrate in the starkest way possible
that the initiation of force is never an
appropriate way to settle political or social differences.
The result of such violence is more hatred, more grieving
relatives and friends, more tombstones -- and, ultimately,
more violence. Libertarians unequivocally reject the
initiation of force as a solution to the disagreements
between people and between governments.
The Libertarian Party calls for justice to be meted out to
the terrorists responsible for the attacks. However, we
encourage the United States government to be sure that any
response is appropriate and measured. Action should not be
taken that will cause innocent people in other countries to
be killed because of the actions of terrorists. Such a
response would only continue the cycle of
violence and revenge.
The Libertarian Party calls on all Libertarians to aid our
fellow Americans who have suffered from this horrible
tragedy: Donate blood for the victims fighting for their
lives in hospitals in New York and Washington, DC.
Contribute to the charities that will assist the families
and relatives. If you live near where the attacks
took place, volunteer to assist in rescue or recovery
efforts, as appropriate. And if you know any of the victims'
families, offer solace and support in any way you can. Now
is a time for all Libertarians to stand together
to help those who are suffering.
The Libertarian Party calls on all Americans to act with
tolerance and kindness in the days to follow. A natural
reaction after such a tragedy is to find a scapegoat -- to
blame Arab-Americans, or individuals who practice the
Islamic faith, or other people who are in some
way different. We must rise above that impulse. If Americans
turn down a path of hatred and intolerance, then the
terrorists will have won.
That's not the only way terrorists can win. In the past,
some have responded to terrorism with proposals to restrict
the civil liberties of Americans. We must resist that
tendency. The fundamental rights
that define the very essence of America should not be
destroyed in an effort to deal with terrorism or any other
problem. Citizens must remain ever vigilant that terrorists
don't win by turning America into the kind of
nation where our cherished freedoms are only a fading
Finally, the Libertarian Party hopes these attacks will
elicit a thoughtful national discussion about how we can
prevent similar tragedies in the future. Of course, there is
no way to guarantee that evil will not strike again.
However, a foreign policy that limits our intervention in
the affairs and quarrels of other nations is a foreign
policy that will reduce the chance that terrorists will want
to strike at America. Peace and free trade with all nations,
and entangling alliances with none, is a time-honored
prescription for an America that is at peace with the world,
and for a nation that has little
to fear from the savage and bloodthirsty actions of
Again, our hearts go out to the thousands of Americans who
suffered a loss during the terrible events of September 11,
2001. It is a tragic day that will live in our memories --
but is also a day that will allow the best of America to
shine through by virtue of our response.
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