Saturday, April 24, 2010

A Foreign Policy of Freedom

Anyone who is concerned about Obama's quiet but steady military buildup, should go and buy a copy of Ron Paul's A Foreign Policy of Freedom.
"A policy of foreign intervention has numerous shortcomings. A casual look at the results of interventionist policies, both throughout history and in our American experience over the past hundred years, should convince a thoughtful person that the Founders' policy of nonintervention makes a great deal of sense. There are several reasons, of course, that nations cling to a policy of foreign entanglements. Political power is an aphrodisiac for most politicians, and too many of those with power develop grandiose dreams of world conquest. In the United States, private financial interests frequently benefit from foreign meddling, and foreign nationalistic interests also influence our policies and relationships in world affairs.

Another reason people succumb to dangerous policies of war and conquest relates to the false sense of patriotism promoted by our politicians. Most Americans do not want to appear weak; they enjoy expressions of strength and bravado. They fail to understand that self-confidence and true strength of conviction place restraints on the use of force, that peaceful solutions to problems require greater wisdom than unprovoked force.

Thus the missionary zeal to spread American goodness, always promoted as altruism by neoconservatives, gains public support. Military adventurism seems justified to many, especially before the costs, the failures, and the deaths are widely recognized.

The unintended consequences of foreign intervention often are delayed for years, obscuring the direct cause/effect relationship between certain events. For instance, our unnecessary entrance into World War I was a principal cause of World War II and the subsequent Cold War. The CIA's removal of democratically elected President Mohammed Mossadegh in 1953 significantly contributed to the rise of the Iranian Islamic state.

Fear, usually orchestrated by government, is a powerful catalyst. Fear makes the people demand protection from every sinister evil lurking around the corner that's about to attack us. The embodiment of evil may well be a single demented individual, halfway around the world. Though incapable of attacking anyone, such an individual stirs up irrational fears and encourages policies that over time are not in our best interest.

When the people of a nation are fearful and insecure, it allows bullies in government to throw their weight around with promises of safety. Confidence and true strength, by contrast, encourage humility. Americans should never lack confidence and feel insecure, since we can resort, if needed, to a large stockpile of weapons to protect us from any outside conventional military threat. What we need is more confidence in ourselves, and a stronger belief in our traditions, so that we never are tempted to initiate force to make others live as we do. If we truly have an economic and political message worth emulating, our only responsibility is to set a standard that others will want to follow."

Click here to read my political column in the Spokane Libertarian Examiner

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