Foreign Policy

I am a Ron Paul Conservative. I consider myself to be a member of Regan’s, “silent majority.” I feel warmly about former President Bush even though he in the end, his policies let down conservative base.

We wanted revenge for 9/11. They took down two towers, we took down two nations. While I can sympathize still with that sediment, we need to step back and see what Teddy Roosevelt’s, “battleship diplomacy” has turned itself into. We have proved to have the best military in the world and as any conservative, I feel the need to support our troops where ever they are and no matter what they are doing. But that patriotism is not blind, we have a moral obligation to look at how our military might applies its violent means and what purpose do those actions serve. Now that we have our forces in Libya, its making me look back at history and really taking a look at where we have been and where we are going.

We have to start back at World War II to get our current state into perspective. I’m not a historian, not ever terribly well versed on the subject, but looking back at the period from 1940-1990 it appears to me that Democratic Presidents were the ones declaring wars and Republican presidents were the ones ending them. Then came 9/11 and now we have both political parties on the same side of the fence.

Where are the noninterventionalists? What happened to streamlining government? When we stopped kicking ass and decided we had to rebuild nations we went from serving the will of the people into something else.  What are we doing? Well historically we have been in the business of setting up or supporting national leadership around the world. I can see how it used to make sense to want to support friendlies in bad neighborhoods, especially in bad neighborhoods with vital economic interests for us.

It’s not hard to see when one looks at the North Africa: the world has changed. Egypt and Tunisia are modern examples that Gandhi’s principles of nonviolence do work when widely accepted by the populace.  These are some of the same principles brought to us by Henry David Thoreau and we should embrace these peaceful movements. We should applaud these efforts, but at the same time we should not alienate our friends. What we demonstrated to all our allies is that we are willing to abandon our friends; sometimes we are even willing to ask them to abandon their position. In Libya the position gets worse.

In Libya we have demonstrated a willingness to pick sides in internal conflicts and wage war on the side of our choosing. So if push comes to shove we might not support our friends and allies, but if we want we’ll unleash our military too? What gives us the right to intervene in Libya’s civil war? What right does President Obama have to tell a head of a nation state that he must go? I don’t know if we’ve turned into the UN’s attack dog or just a bully of nation states, but I do know it looks like an Imperialistic Revival in North Africa right now. If we keep on this path and Donald Trump gets his way, our military is going to become the world’s mercenary force.  From his point of view it’s a sound business decision, but it’s time we need to look back and ask ourselves what we have gotten ourselves into.  Is this who we want to be as a nation? What is the alternative?

The alternative is to relook at who we are as a nation. Do we want to be a beckon of hope, an example of prosperity that others can emulate or do we want to spread democracy by the sword?  I think we can now look at the world and see that the blow back from propping up repressive regimes is proving to be a failure. I’ll paraphrase Ron Paul on the subject: when we prop up a dictator all it does is take money from poor people and put it in the hands of rich people. Our foreign policy entrenches the subsidized government leadership. The reason why we do it is because we want to see the countries reform. We think if we support people who promise to reform we will see reform. Clearly money and power we instill on reformers leads to many other things that aren’t necessarily in our best interests. What is in our best interest? I’ll suggest that American interests aren’t in nation building nor in nation bullying. We have a role to play in the world and for that I like our navy for one reason: on the world scale, the ships move real slow. If we hastily jump into acts of war, we can’t be sure what American interests will be. If instead we act deliberately and conserve our blood and treasure we still have a chance to reclaim our goal to be a beacon onto the world. We have 24 hour strike capability on anywhere in the world and to be frank it is much too easy for us to use it. I support Ron Paul’s call for deliberate military action with declared wars and with calling back our ground troops from all foreign shores.