Sunday, May 2, 2010

It Is Time For America To Rethink It's Interventionist Foreign Policy

By: Les Carpenter III
Rational Nation USA

The United States of America must remain strong. Our defenses should be second to none in the world and we must stand prepared to engage in military actions in defense of our freedom and liberties "against all threats both foreign and domestic."  The operative words being... in defense of our freedom and liberties.

The United States, which began it's interventionist foreign policy in earnest during the early twentieth century,  has never looked back. I shall exclude World War Two  from this discussion because I personally believe the fight to liberate Europe from a despotic dictator was justified. Both on an ethical basis as well as it was in our national self interest to stop Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan before we had to fight them on our shores. I shall also exclude the Cuban Missile Crisis as the decisions made by President Kennedy at the time were essentially in our national security interest and in keeping with The Monroe Doctrine.

Following the rebuilding of Europe and Japan, on America's dime, we continued to maintain a worldwide presence militarily. Our justification for doing so was essentially to prevent the spread of communism throughout the world by projecting American military power wherever the government set it's sights. Aside from the obvious cost to American taxpayers there is an ethical question that was never seriously considered IMO.

In as much as America has always valued her sovereignty as a nation, and carefully guarded the right of her elected leaders to govern this nation, we at the same time felt endowed with a nonexistent right to determine the course of other sovereign states. Hence Korea, Vietnam, and all subsequent military actions that followed. An exception is Afghanistan where this nation had both the the right as well as the obligation to retaliate for the horrific acts of September 11, 2001.

The use of force against any individual, group of individuals, or a sovereign state is justified only when there has been an act of aggression committed. When the use of force is to defend your life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness the use of it is justified on moral and ethical grounds. Most of our intervention into the affairs of other countries since WW II have not been in the defense of our nation. Rather they have been to combat political ideologies we find distasteful. As distasteful as the politics of another sovereign country  may be... if they do not pose a threat to our national security through an act of aggression it simply is not America's business to be involved in another sovereign nation's affairs. How would America react should the shoe be on the others foot?

In 1961 President Eisenhower warned America about the military industrial complex. He forcefully and correctly pointed out in his farewell speech to America the dangers inherent in a growing military industrial complex. The very thing he warned the nation about exists today, and is helping strangle us with debt. We didn't listen in 1961, and we still are not listening today.

The video you are about to watch, featuring RINO Arizona Senator John McCain, is an example of the pro interventionist foreign policy mindset our founding fathers would have been vehemently opposed to.

The continuation of our prior and present interventionist  foreign policy initiatives will merely serve to embroil our nation in continued conflicts and infinitum. Continuing on the path we have traveled will only add to our serious financial burden, and very likely with devastating consequences.

President Eisenhower's views, and mine as well, are precisely  the opposite of the views the republican/republicrat RINO's would have us accept. There are many democrat/demicans that would have us believe the line fed us by powerful interests that are not aligned with our nations best interests as well.

One of the best discussions I have read on this important issue can be found in Representative Ron Paul's book,  The Revolution - A Manifesto. He demonstrates clearly how dangerous and damaging in interventionist foreign policy really is to our nation.

Interventionist policy can take many forms. One of the forms deemed effective by advocates of interventionism is the enacting of trade sanctions (or embargo) against a nation they wish to punish for whatever reason.. Again Ron Paul stands in opposition to sanctions, the most recent being those proposed against Iran. My friend and fellow blogger has a post up at The Humble Libertarian with a video of  Ron Paul illustrating this point as he speaks on the floor of the House of Representatives.

As I said in my opening, our founding fathers were wise people and stood in opposition to America becoming entangled in foreign affairs.  They were by and large opposed to interventionism because they saw the dangers inherent in such policy. They also believed in free and open trade and exchange of goods between countries.

Here are some thoughts from our founders and others to consider.

In the wars of the European powers in matters relating to themselves we have never taken any part, nor does it comport with our policy so to do. It is only when our rights are invaded or seriously menaced that we resent injuries or make preparation for our defence. James Monroe 

Do not ever say that the desire to "do good" by force is a good motive. Neither power-lust nor stupidity are good motives. Ayn Rand 

Everyone assumes America must play the leading role in crafting some settlement or compromise between the Israelis and the Palestinians. But Jefferson, Madison, and Washington explicitly warned against involving ourselves in foreign conflicts. Ron Paul 

If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy. James Madison 

No nation was ever ruined by trade. Benjamin Franklin 

I am in favor of helping the prosperity of all countries because, when we are all prosperous, the trade with each becomes more valuable to the other. William Howard Taft 

There is no question we need a strong defense as there will likely always be aggressor nations, and we must be prepared to defeat any aggression against our nation. Everyone with a thinking mind realizes the truth of this. but defending our nation is certainly different than involving ourselves in the entanglements of others. 

It simply is not our business to do so unless we are directly threatened. And pursuing efforts to strangle another nation through trade sanctions and embargo's certainly falls into the category of interventionist foreign policy. A policy that will, if continued, strangle us in the end.


  1. Great post Les.

    The problem is that the interventionist crowd has successfully painted non-interventionists as pacifists and anti-America.

    The reality is, our interventionist foreign policy does give ammunition to the Islamist extremists in their global jihad and until we take that recruiting tool away from them, they will be able to use it against us.

    Nor are we pacifists, at least I'm not. I believe that we should swiftly punish any group that attacks this country but this should not be used as a reason to occupy another sovereign nation.

  2. I view myself as essentially a non-interventionist, but I'm definitely not a pacifist, nor do I think that we should never engage in war outside our borders; sometimes it is necessary to go to the cockroach nest to get rid of the cockroaches.

    However, I vehemently disagree with the way the president and politicians have been doing it, whether under Bush or Chancellor Obama. It's like we have spent most of the time playing golf while the enemy was playing rugby.

    You get rid of the cockroaches by going in quickly, wiping out the nest and all remnants of it, then getting back to life.

    Here's how we would fight wars if real men were in charge, not narcissistic fops.
    1. Give one warning: "Stop forever or we will eliminate your ability to continue."
    2. If they don't stop, eliminate their ability to continue.
    3. Start diplomacy with the survivors.
    4. That diplomacy must consist solely of the U.S. telling them to stop trying to harm the U.S. and them accepting those conditions unconditionally.
    5. If they don't accept, eliminate them completely.

    Never, ever, under any circumstances start "diplomacy" until you have won.

    Considering the firepower that we have, any war that the U.S. gets into should take no longer than a week for actual military action, then one day to give them the chance to surrender. We don't need boots on the ground. We just need to bomb them until they choose to stop or are gone. Their choice.

  3. I'm with you on this one.

    First, a slight defense of the other side: All I can say in defense of foreign intervention is "do it now or be forced to do it bigger later." The Europeans are famous for either doing nothing, trading with the enemy, or screwing it all up. Then we must step in (The Balkans).

    The world is much more interconnected than when the founders were alive.

    So we'd have to be able, as a people, to stand aside and watch it all burn. I think if we did this it would have the salubrious effect of forcing the Euros and other to man up. China and Russia would have to take care of their own back yards with no Uncle Sam to blame and harangue (while they are secretly happy we are doing their dirty work).

    I imagine our standing in the world might even go up. My only other concern would be for true friends (a much as countries can have friends) like Israel, India, Colombia and the Eastern Europeans.

    Also, a minor nit pick, but we would still need the military industrial complex, but getting it under control, putting back in it's proper role of servant, not master, is a whole other topic!

  4. Chris - Thank you. I. like you am not a pacifist, nor am I a isolationist. Another charge leveled at those who think as we do.

    I agree, anyone who pursues a course of aggression against our nation and people should be dealt with swiftly and decisively. In an act of self defense.

  5. Bastiatarian - I agree with you, if our response is a result to a direct threat to our security or a overt act of aggression.

    I would disagree if the situation amounted to nothing more than the rhetoric of a tin horn idiot.

    As I said, we as a nation must respect the sovereignty of other nations. Even when we disagree with their national politics.

  6. SilverFiddle - Very cogent points you make, I am in agreement with each and every one of them.


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