In 1999, Harry Browne penned the following article. Harry was the LP candidate for President in 1996 and in 2000. Sadly, Harry left us in 1996. His words from 1999 are still true today and apply to all of our recent interventions in the affairs of other nations. This memorial day, let us remember those who have been sacrificed by our government and avoid glorifying war. More of Harry's writings can be found at

Top 10 reasons to get the U.S. out of Yugoslavia

by Harry Browne
May 3, 1999

10. You can’t save innocent people by bombing innocent people. If that seems to be the only way to solve a problem, you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time.

9. The man in the White House leading the fight against the Serbs is well known to be a congenital liar. Why in the world would we fight and die based on his version of the facts?


8. U.S. intervention hasn’t brought us a single unqualified success in decades — not in Somalia, Rwanda, Libya, Nicaragua, Panama, Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, the Philippines, South Africa, Vietnam, Korea, Cuba, or anywhere else. In every case, the original reason for the intervention still exists (as with Saddam Hussein) or the enemy has been replaced by one that’s equally bad (as in the case of Afghanistan or South Africa).

7. The U.S. armed the Afghan “freedom fighters,” Saddam Hussein, and Manuel Noriega (among others) — all of whom became enemies that had to be attacked. Now the U.S. is supporting the Kosovo Liberation Army, which people in our own government have called a terrorist organization. Does this mean we will be attacking the Kosovars next?

6. When Benjamin Franklin said the Constitutional Convention had given us “a republic, if you can keep it,” he was reminding us that the Roman Republic became the Roman Empire and collapsed. The Romans gave too much power to their leaders, who used it to create an Empire through foreign conquest. The American Republic has long since become the American Empire. It’s time to return to the peace-loving Republic.

5. The foreign adventures of our Republican and Democratic leaders have led to people in all parts of the world hating America. Don’t we have enough enemies by now? Or must we turn our few remaining friends against us?

4. It may have been “a dangerous world out there” for others, but it wasn’t for us until the meddling of our leaders made it so. Now it is extremely dangerous to be an American — thanks to a series of Republican and Democratic Presidents. How long will it be before Serbs start smuggling bombs into America? (Doesn’t anyone ever wonder why terrorists target us and not Switzerland?)

3. American intervention escalated a stupid, endless European conflict into World War I — which then devastated Germany, creating the despair that led to Adolf Hitler and World War II. Have our leaders learned nothing from history? (The answer isn’t just “no;” they deliberately ignore any history that interferes with their lust for more power.)

2. By allowing the President to fight undeclared wars, the Republicans and Democrats in Congress have violated their Constitutional oaths. It’s time to respect the Constitution and stop allowing Presidents to suck us into wars that are none of our business.

And the No. 1 reason to get the U.S. out of Yugoslavia completely and immediately. …

1. If we have a moral responsibility to fight every evil in the world, you’d better kiss your children goodbye and prepare for wars in Rwanda, Zaire, China, Russia, Croatia, Northern Ireland, South Africa, Turkey, the Sudan, Algeria, Kashmir, Angola, Sierra Leone and many other countries. Our volunteer military can’t handle them all, encouraging a return of the draft – and your children and your grandchildren probably won’t be exempt next time. Airstrikes can’t do the job, so your children will be slogging through the mud of Europe, Asia, or Africa — sleeping in filthy foxholes, risking their lives as they become hardened killers. Is that what you want?

Here’s a bonus reason to get out of Yugoslavia — the most important reason of all. …

War is almost always the first resort of politicians. But for a free country, it should be the very last resort. America should be the symbol of liberty and peace — not big government and war-making. Why does it seem that only Libertarians understand this on issue after issue after issue? Why is it so hard for Democratic and Republican politicians to resist war consistently? Are they so in love with big government that they will use any excuse to make it bigger?

You don’t need to reply to the question. We all know the answer.