Author Archive for Bill Kelsey

policy to Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and Iran


To express my Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and Iran policy I have some Persian calligraphy I discovered in Kabul.  It is four lines from a poem by Mawlana Jalaluddin Rumi al Balkhi, commonly known in the West as Rumi.


از محبت خارها گل میشود

وز محبت سرکه ها مل میشود

از محبت نار نوری میشود

وز محبت دیو حوری میشود


My translation is:


With love thorns become a rose

With love vinegar becomes honey

With love fire becomes light

With love a demoness becomes a heavenly angel.

Respect and Welcome for Immigrants

I stand with and support the libertarian position that immigration is a positive tradition of the country which is “twice blessed”- it is good for the immigrants and good for our nation. The diversity of talent and creativity brought by people from around the world has been vital to our economy.

We do not share the fear that immigrants are an inordinate burden on the social services sector. Nonetheless to the extent that there might be any such a burden we advocate that new arrivals be self sufficient and self supporting, except for an adjustment period during which they might be dependent on responsible sponsors.

Rather than dwell on the many categories of documented and undocumented arrivals we would reduce these bureaucratic distinctions through streamlined visa processing and standardization. We have no desire to deport the millions of undocumented residents who are productive and contributing to the economy.

I personally have a few moral reasons for favoring immigration and respect for those who choose to live among us:

Given the way the original settlers took possession of this continent it is not very sporting to keep others out. This is especially true when the newcomers have no desire to displace us but to live and work among us peacefully.

In the years leading up to World War II many Jewish refuges from Europe were denied entry into the United States and were lost to the genocide. The ship St. Louis was turned away from American ports full of refugees who had to return to their fate. This event might suggest an atonement by way of welcoming refugees.

To the extent that our government supports repressive regimes in countries such as Honduras, for example, it might be decent enough to accept the exiles generated by such regimes.

Finally, to the extent artisans of death, war profiteers, and powerful people in the Washington regime are making fortunes selling weapons to war zones in Asia and Africa, it behooves us to welcome the refugees from those wars whether they come in legally or “illegally.” On my mind are the wars in Syria and Yemen fueled by our weapons and ammunition.

When the Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent of the Ottoman Empire heard that Spain was expelling its Jewish residents in 1492 he expressed wonder that Spain would forfeit such talent. The Sultan made arrangements for as many of them as possible to come and settle in his Empire. We should do the same whenever there is a persecution or ethnic cleansing abroad.

“Be not forgetful to entertain strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” Hebrews 13:2

the two most troubling entangling alliances

The libertarian movement supports free trade with all and entangling alliances with none.  One example of an entangling alliance is a US taxpayer subsidy to a foreign government.  It is unfortunate enough that we are taxed to such an extent to pay for the schemes of the scoundrels in Washington, without additionally having to subsidize questionable foreign governments.  Another entangling alliance would be an open ended flow of weapons sales to an unsavory regime involved in a catastrophic war.  This benefits no one but the merchants and profiteers of death.  A government has no right – or ability – to choose friends and enemies for its citizens, and much less compel them to aid the chosen friends in deadly violence against the chosen enemies.


While we reject this process in all cases, the two most outstanding ones today deserve our attention.  They are the relationships with the State of Israel and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.  As I have spent many years living and working in the region they attract my focus.  I bear no animosity to the citizens of these nations and count many among my friends.  I welcome them to the United States as students, tourists, and immigrants. I wish them all well.  Indeed it could be argued that the alliances with the US have enabled their respective governments to do things that have put their own citizens in harm’s way.  While raising this issue in my campaign I solicit support from all citizens of good will and reject any common cause with haters of Jewish or Muslim people.


In the case of Israel we have a state with one tenth of one per cent of the world’s population commanding the lion’s share of US foreign aid.  When this aid is calculated on a per capita basis it is off the charts.  More significant than the blank aid check, however, is the spectacle of politicians from the traditional old parties falling all over each other to prove their loyalty to a foreign state. Before each election for Federal office the candidates are expected to seek approval from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, commonly known as AIPAC. Nominees for Cabinet positions and the seat of US Ambassador to the United Nations must declare their intention to defend Israel during the confirmation process.   A festering scandal is the cover up of the attack on the USS Liberty on June 8, 1967, and the refusal of Congress to have a complete investigation of the event.  Our inability to give an honest hearing to the Palestinian case has been a factor in their tragedy.  It is also a violation of the rights of Americans with Palestinian origins, friends, and relatives. The US-fueled conflict is ultimately a long term misfortune for the people of Israel itself, as well as a long term liability for US relations with the world at large.   The efforts of peace seeking Israelis have been undercut throughout the decades by a process in which the actions of the extremist hawks are supported generously at the compulsory expense of the US taxpayer.  In campaigning for the end of US aid to all foreign governments I will not be making exceptions for the biggest challenge, which will be Israel.


In other words, I will not be seeking approval from AIPAC for my campaign.


In the case of Saudi Arabia the current disaster is the culmination of several factors in an entanglement that has existed for nearly a century.  There are merchants of death who without conscience sell an endless stream weapons to Saudi Arabia with the blessing of our government.  And the Armed Forces of the United States, whose members have sworn to defend our Constitution, find themselves rented out in the service of a declining and despised monarchy.  Thousands of our soldiers and civilian contractors are providing maintenance and training on this deadly equipment in Saudi Arabia.  Meanwhile much of it is transported to Syria where it is serves a confusing, violent, and bloody mission.  In the maelstrom of horror we do not know how much if any is used to fight ISIS or how much ends up in the hands of ISIS.  To the south the Saudi armed forces are engaged in destroying Yemen, a beautiful country I through which I wandered in my youth.  The trauma being inflicted by the flow of weapons and ammunition to Saudi Arabia is immeasurable.  The potential for violent blowback is frightening to contemplate. We must understand that weapons outlast the purposes, short sighted alliances, and even the fighting units for which they were originally intended.  In battle a predictable quantity of ordnance does not explode, but remains intact to explode at a later unpredictable date.  Those yet unborn will be punished for our quarrels for years, indeed decades to come.


Again, the violent alliance with the Saudi monarchy is a violation of the rights of Americans with Syrian or Yemeni origins, relatives, or friends.


This is not the best America has to offer the world.  I will do my part to challenge this perverse practice.  We must urge all those involved to search their consciences and see the light to a better path.