WASHINGTON DC, February 17, 2012 – Adam Kokesh is a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War, and along with Nathan Cox, co-founded Veterans for Ron Paul. He and Mr. Cox are organizing a march on the White House next week with the theme “Ron Paul is the Choice of the Troops”.
Catching up with Adam and he was gracious enough to answer questions about the march, Ron Paul’s foreign policy, and Veterans for Ron Paul.
Adam’s remarks have been shortened to fit this article.
Conor Murphy (CM): Now you’re a member of another group called Iraq Veterans Against the War. What inspired you and Nathan Cox to start Veterans for Ron Paul?
Adam Kokesh (AK): The message of Ron Paul, it’s as simple as that. We want a Commander-in-chief who will be decisive, put America’s security first, and only send troops into harms way with a clear mission. Ron Paul is the only candidate with a pragmatic and principled foreign policy.
CM: Ron Paul has been generating a large amount of support from the military. Do you think this is a widely known fact, or is this one of the issues you’re trying to bring to light with the march?
AK: It’s exactly what we’re trying to bring to light with the march. This is exactly why the theme of our march is “Ron Paul is the Choice of the Troops”.
I think it’s sad that if any other candidate had this much support of the troops, we’d be talking about this race as if it was over. It’s not over because it’s a message that some have failed to understand despite its clarity.
It’s upseting when you hear debates about whether we should have 100,000 troops or 130,000 troops in Afghanistan instead of whether or not we should be policing the world or basing our foreign policy on the golden rule of treating others the way you want to be treated.
CM: Karen Kwiatkowski, a congressional candidate from Virginia’s 6th district, is going to be attending the march. Are there other special guests or speakers that you would like to announce at this time?
AK: I’m very excited to have Karen Kwiatkowski’s support. I’m not announcing any other special guests until Friday. There are twenty speaking spots that will be made available to the winners of our video contest.
The prospective speaker must make a video about why they wish to speak and the top twenty videos decided by page views will win spots. I’m sure Karen will be one of those twenty, and I can’t wait to hear her speak.
There are also several active duty troops who, due to their position in the military, cannot RSVP on Facebook to the actual event but who have told me personally that they will be there.
CM: Some people may remember that you ran for Congress in New Mexico about two years ago. Do you have any plans on running again in the near future?
AK: No immediate plans.
CM: Are there any candidates running for lower offices that have the same platform as Dr. Paul and who might get your endorsement.
AK: I will be working closely with several candidates who will be running on liberty platforms. I don’t want to mention any names for fear of missing people. There are so many liberty-oriented candidates running this year, that I wouldn’t want to leave anyone out.
CM: Back in 2008 Barack Obama ran as an anti-war candidate. How would you grade his success, or lack of success in his first term?
AK: I do think Barack Obama ran as an anti-war candidate. The difference between Ron Paul and Barack Obama was that Ron Paul wasn’t just kind of against this particular war. He was basing his foreign policy on the non-aggression principle and the golden rule. His stand was completely principled, unlike Obama’s.
Now in terms of how I would grade his success; if your standard is what he campaigned on, then he’s done just the opposite. He increased troops in Afghanistan and we went into Libya.
Barack Obama has done nothing to change the way we make foreign policy decisions.
CM: Although not as hard as four years ago, it’s still pretty tough to be an anti-war conservative these days. Why do you think that is?
AK: I think it’s getting easier and easier to be anti-war and conservative these days. It’s detrimental to free-trade, and it requires vast amounts of government spending. People are beginning to realize that a big government foreign policy is not conservative.
The issue of sanctions is also something that conservatives are beginning to wake up to as well. Sanctions have always been an old weapon that stronger nations have used against weaker nations in order to get what they want.
But people are starting to realize that sanctions are contrary to the ideals of the free-market. So I think being able to be a principled anti-war conservative is getting even easier.
CM: I already know that you’re a vocal critic of the USA Patriot Act. But I was wondering if you could give me your thoughts on the National Defense Authorization Act.
AK: The scary part about the National Defense Authorization Act isn’t just that it allows the military to arrest US citizens without a trial or due process, it’s that it gives government employees a cover for their actions.
The government has always had the power to do this, but now they’re protected by law. The Obama administration does not care about the rule of law any more than the Bush administration did.
However, I don’t think there’s anything ground breaking about what they did other than the fact that they think they can get away with it. I mean, people aren’t going to immediately start vanishing or being black bagged by the government, but it’s taking us one step further and now the federal government has given itself unchecked authority.
CM: Almost four years ago at Ron Paul’s March on Washington, you gave a very stirring speech. Can we expect a similar speech next Monday?
AK: No, I will not be speaking. I really want this event to be defined by those who are most effected by these issues and who are the most passionate. I might speak for a few minutes at the reception, but I want it to be the vets and active duty troops who have the most invested to speak at the rally.
CM: Can you tell our readers one more time where and when the march is taking place?
AK: It will take place on Monday, February 20th, which is President’s Day. We’ll gather at the base of the Washington Monument at noon. We’ll march up to the White House at 1400 hours or 2 P.M. and then we’ll march back.
We are then going to have a reception afterward with some of the top libertarian musicians to provide entertainment. Aimee Allen is going to be there. We’ve got Aimee Allen, Jordan Page, Golden State, Rebel Inc., and Michale Graves from the Misfits.
The reception starts at 7 P.M. with doors opening at 6.
CM: Adam, thanks so much for time, and good luck with the march.
AK: No problem. You’re welcome.
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