Great Quotes (iv)Submitted by Ulfilas on Thu, 04/25/2013 - 09:28
Hello again, another book down and time for another dose of Great Quotes. Last night I finished Senator Robert A. Taft's 'A Foreign Policy for Americans'. Some of you may already be familiar with Robert Taft as he was a well known critic of the US involvement in WWII and especially the Korean War. Robert served as a senator for Ohio from 1939 to 1953 when he died. A Foreign Policy for Americans was published in 1952, towards the end of the Korean War. Taft was very outspoken about combating Communism locally and abroad, almost shedding his non interventionist stance to do so, but I feel it was justified. His viewpoint was counter to the FDR and Truman administrations open aid to Stalin post War and the pressure they applied to other countries to accept communist members into their cabinets. Taft opposed NATO, was critical of the UN though not directly opposed to it, and was an ardent supporter of Liberty of the individual.
On foreign intervention
Power without foresight leads to disaster. Our international relations have been conducted with so little foresight since 1941 that six years after vast military victories in Europe and Asia we face a more dangerous threat than any that has menaced us before. Our soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen have not failed us. Our political leaders have. By 1941 anyone who was not bamboozled by soviet psychological warfare knew that the soviet government was a predatory totalitarian tyranny intent on establishing communist dictatorship throughout the world. But our leaders failed to foresee that the soviet union would turn against us after the defeat of Germany and japan. they made no attempt to insure our future against that eventuality. they brought forth no positive policy for the creation of a free and united Europe or for the preservation of the independence of china. they preferred wishful thinking to facts, and convinced themselves that Stalin would co-operate with them to create a free world of permanent peace. so at Tehran, Yalta, Potsdam they handed Stalin the freedom of eastern Europe and Manchuria, and prepared our present peril.
Our traditional policy of neutrality and non-interference with other nations was based on the principle that this policy was the best way to avoid disputes with other nations and to maintain the liberty of this country without war. From the days of George Washington that has been the policy of the United States. It has never been isolationism; but it has always avoided alliances and interference in foreign quarrels as a preventive against possible war, and it has always opposed any commitment by the united states, in advance, to take any military action outside of our territory.
On the United Nations as an international state
The theory of an international state, bearing the same relation to nations and their citizens as our federal Government bears to the states and their citizens, appears to me, at least in this century, to be fantastic, dangerous, and impractical. It is proposed that it have a supreme legislature, executive, and court. It would maintain an all-powerful military force able to dominate all nations. It would control all trade, all seaports, and all airports within the various nations. Such a state, in my opinion, would fall to pieces in ten years.
On perpetual war
In the first place, it requires a complete surrender of liberty and the turning over to the central government of power to control in detail the lives of the people and all of their activities. While in time of war people are willing to surrender those liberties in order to protect the ultimate liberty of the entire country, they do so on the theory that it is a limited surrender and one which they hope will soon be over, perhaps within a few months, certainly within a few years. But an indefinite surrender of liberty such as would be required by an all-out war program in time of peace might mean the final and complete destruction of those liberties which it is the very purpose of the preparation to protect.
On an ever increasing military budget and eventual taxation
For there is also a limit to the taxes that can be levied on any uniform basis, without creating injustice and hardship and inflation. If taxes are raised too high they are themselves inflationary, even though the budget is balanced. When the hardship of taxes is too great people succeed in one way or another in passing them on into the price of goods, which is ultimately paid for by the consumer. The rise of prices in this manner will be met in part, at least, by increased wages, and those again increase costs and prices.
On previous attempts at conquering and unifying Western Europe
There is another point that I would like to bring out. We speak of Western Europe as if it were a single country. It is nothing of the kind, and the efforts to make it such have completely failed up to this time.
On socialism leading to communism
They know that socialism in the long run cannot be imposed upon a people, except by dictatorial power, and that socialism imposed by a dictatorship of a small group of enthusiasts is almost exactly the same as communism.