Skip to comments.Libertarianism's foreign policy folly
Posted on 02/26/2010 8:13:12 AM PST by caldera599
Libertarians have many good things going for them. They oppose massive federal spending and the growth of the welfare state in America. They support liberty for all Americans. They believe in curbing federal power over the economy by getting rid of the Fed and promoting sound money at home. All essentially good ideas.
Though, as the old saying goes, no one is perfect.
(Excerpt) Read more at examiner.com ...
Their economic and freedom philosophies are sound but their foreign policy ideas are tin-foil hat and looney toon.
What is so wrong with the founder’s foreign policy?
“It is our true policy to steer clear of entangling alliances with any portion of the foreign world.” George Washington
Thomas Jefferson summed up the noninterventionist foreign policy position perfectly in his 1801 inaugural address: “Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations entangling alliances with none.” Washington similarly urged that we must, “Act for ourselves and not for others,” by forming an “American character wholly free of foreign attachments.”
“What is so wrong with the founders foreign policy?”
When the United States was effectively beyond reach, protected by two oceans and its nearest neighbors were colonial empires that were mostly empty space, this policy made sense. Not to mention the fact that before WWI, the US was militarily impotent- the Monroe Doctrine was mostly underwritten by British sea power, because they preferred to weaken their European competitors.
Since the end of the 19th century, we have not been beyond reach. Technology has made it so that a man on the other side of the planet can launch a missile and it be here in a few hours. Things that happen in remote places can kill people in our country- please use 9/11 as a reference. Sticking one’s head in the sand only results in getting one’s buttocks kicked. Like it or not, we cannot return to that isolation that our forefathers enjoyed.
“Noninterventionism is not isolationism. Nonintervention simply means America does not interfere militarily, financially, or covertly in the internal affairs of other nations. It does not mean that we isolate ourselves; on the contrary, our founders advocated open trade, travel, communication, and diplomacy with other nations.”
So when an enemy like Hitler or Islam or China puts a 20 or 40 year plan in place to isolate us, cut us off from markets, raw materials, strategic choke points and allies, we should merely watch them? How about as the plan progresses and they set up bases in Mexico and then conquer Canada or a strategic portion of it? Do we just watch and patiently wait?
You think that once their navy and troop transports anchor on the horizon with no more enemies at their back, and their transport planes are dropping paratroopers and their Marines are hitting the beaches, that then we can start our resistance?
What is to keep them from securing our defeat without a shot directed at us by merely coming to control the vital materials and markets and populations of the world, thereby being able to receive tribute from us by merely pulling strings, like the Muslims did against us when we were too weak to fight back under Washington, Adams and Jefferson as the Muslims took up to 20% of the annual American Federal budget?
Are you saying that there is no where in the world that the US could reduce or cut military presence? That we have no choice but to maintain each and every one of the more than 700 military installations worldwide?
Is there no way to reduce our global presence? Afterall, the US is not the world’s police. Those men and women did not sign up to police the whole world, did they?
To answer your question, No one is advocating a weakening of the US militarily. A strong national defense is in everyone’s best interests.
What some question, myself included, is the extent to which the US must be involved in international affairs.
What I was saying is right there in post 6, are you going to answer those questions?
>Thomas Jefferson summed up the noninterventionist foreign policy position perfectly in his 1801 inaugural address>
When Jefferson wrote that in 1801, it tooks weeks for man of war ships to reach America and damage to small areas.
NOW, it takes 30 mins for nuclear missiles to reach America
taking out many major cities and killing millions.
It was easier to be a sitting target in 1801 vs 2010
If we don’t take out the enemy who declared war on us and attacked our buildings and killed 3,000+ people and are
attacking other areas around the world, There won be an
Sounds like a great reason to bring home our missile defense shields from eastern Europe and whereever else we have them. If what you say is true, then we need to protect our own borders. Don’t you agree?
I favor a very strong national defense, not a wide international presence.
You’re worried about suicide bombers - We’re worried about Suicide Bankers!
If suicide bombers suceed you won’t have to worry about suicide bankers as there will be nothing left to finance.
You frame your views by turning on its head a statement.
If you had a football team, you would have a defense but no offence. It takes both to win.
Sorry, but I really hate the analogy of football and war. The two are not the same. One is a child’s game where the winner gets the ball to the goal. The other is a ‘game’ of death.
The bad part is, our defenses, in order to be effective, have to be well beyond our borders- hence, our current incursions into Iraq and Afghanistan. It is better to battle our enemies on the streets of Baghdad than in the streets of New York. I would not disagree that we need to protect our borders better- that is a gigantic hole in our defenses- but I would submit to you that if we did not project power into other countries, they most certainly will do so into ours. In any case, it is usually better to be the one dishing it out than the one taking it. If the world were a better place, we could withdraw from it with few repercussions. Unfortunately, it is not.
I was and still am in favor of killing or captruing OBL. So I still support Afghanistan, but I predict that the general population will become weary of it after 2011 or 2012. At some point we have to wind it down.
Iraq was questionable, but I accept the fact. However, it’s time for the US to change the way we do business with the rest of the world. We need to disengage from the role of world cop, and let the chips fall where they may.
I would like to see this become US foreign policy.
Most conservatives are always saying they are for a Constitutionally limited govt, except for this point. Why is that? There is no specified authority in the US Constitution that allows the Federal govt to change our military into a world police force, is there?
“We need to disengage from the role of world cop, and let the chips fall where they may.”
If you do that the chips tend to land in a shape resembling Chamberlain’s chat with Hitler at Munich. And you wind up having to intervene (at much greater cost in blood and treasure) later anyway. Look at it this way- in a dangerous world, no one is going to look out for the US better than the US. It is safer for us to play world cop than to leave it up to others who neither have our best interests at heart nor are competent enough to do so.
“Most conservatives are always saying they are for a Constitutionally limited govt, except for this point. Why is that? There is no specified authority in the US Constitution that allows the Federal govt to change our military into a world police force, is there?”
Nothing is specified for or against it- the Founders realized that foreign policy has to be mutable (they themselves sustained an alliance with France during the Revolution and up through the Quasi-War in the early 1790s). Conservatives are generally good at spotting the reality of a situation instead of utilizing wishful thinking. Foreign policy is mostly a matter of 1. keeping the boots of others off your neck, which usually requires 2. putting your boots onto someone else’s when it is necessary. If history shows us anything, it is that if you are actively working to gain your own security, you will incur less painful and costly losses and you won’t wind up having to make an amazing comeback after another nation cleans your clock. And you can’t always do that at your own borders- that’s just not being realistic.
That argument only undermines your case. If anything is example of an activist/interventionist foreign policy, it is the British sell out of the Czechs.
Swept up by reflexive war hysteria, I used to “support Afghanistan” too until I realized it was a dishonest attempt to smuggle in a nation building operation. Also, of course, seven years later Obama is laughing in his cave as we overextend ourselves. A better approach would have been to authorize a targeted resolution of marque and reprisal. Had we done that, I’ll wager that by this time Osama would be dead and we’d be hundreds of billions of dollars richer.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.