Ron Paul: Interventionism? Isolationism? Actually, both

by Ron Paul
Orginally published on Texas Straight Talk, Dr. Paul's Weekly Column

A few months back, I wrote back-to-back weekly messages regarding globalism and isolationism. In writing those columns, I focused on the fact that our nation’s interventionist foreign policy was precisely what was isolating us from other countries.

Turkey’s recall of their U.S. ambassador in the wake of last week’s resolution, passed in the House Foreign Affairs Committee in condemnation of Turkey, is a perfect example of what I wrote in those columns, as well as what I have been saying for years.

The House has passed similar resolutions for years, praising some foreign countries or political groups while chastising others. It is my policy to vote against resolutions of this sort whenever they have the impact of placing our country in the middle of an internal political problem of some other nation, or involving us in some regional conflict. In fact, this is almost always the specific intent of resolutions of this sort. Often, I am the only Member of Congress to vote against these resolutions.

Some have questioned these votes, arguing that they are meaningless statements of opinion. However, I have always been more skeptical, and careful, about voting for these measures. Last week’s reaction by Turkey , a long term ally and NATO member, shows that Congress should be a lot more restrained in sticking our government’s nose into the affairs of other nations.

Even though I am no fan of the war in Iraq , keeping positive relations with Turkey is important to protecting our troops who have been sent to fight this war. We are likely to need cordial relations with Turkey so that we can get our troops out of Iraq as quickly and safely as possible, when the time comes.

As a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, my office has been contacted both by the White House and the Turkish Embassy. They know I oppose these types of interventionist resolutions and they know I will not support the current resolution. They also know full well that this particular resolution will only serve to strain an important international relationship our country should be seeking to strengthen.

In this instance, the problem is that many of my colleagues in Congress are more interested in seeking to score political points and proclaim their moral superiority, instead of worrying about our nation’s best interests. Also, in most of these situations, those who oppose the resolution regarding Turkey all-too-often fail to realize that similar resolutions dealing with other nations have the exact same effect. Namely, they isolate our country from the rest of the world.

Even if other countries do not take the rather extreme step of recalling their ambassador, this kind of meddling by Congressional resolution almost always serves to offend governments and political leaders in other counties.

Last week’s events make clear that Congress, and our foreign policy establishment, must reconsider the entire policy of interventionism if we are to avoid further isolation of our nation.

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Ruminations on Neo-Isolationism and its Dangers

Once again, been doing some ruminating, this time on the Ron Paul brand of neo-isolationism. I've decided that it's a fundamentally flawed policy for several reasons:

1. The central premise itself is fatally flawed. The idea is that if we ignore the world, the world will ignore us. Sorry, folks, but putting our collective hands over our ears, closing our eyes, and singing "lalalalalala" at the top of our lungs won't stop other nations from knocking on our door--or knocking over our skyscrapers either. History shows this clearly; the last time isolationism was seriously tried in this nation was during the 1920s and 1930s. It ended rather suddenly on one Sunday morning in December, 1941.
2. There is also an idea that if we stop "meddling" in the Middle East, that things will calm down. Again, this is not in line with reality. Like a cop standing on a corner keeps neighborhood kids from causing too much trouble, America's presence in the Mideast has helped keep the violence from getting worse. Just imagine what the turbulent Mideast would look like if those bent on violence weren't afraid of American planes, bombs, tanks, and troops showing up if they went too far.
1. A corollary to this is that America is primarily responsible for the restraint shown by Israel. If we stopped asking Israel to hold back on their responses to Arab violence, it doesn't take a lot of imagination to understand what would happen... just look at the Six-Day War, for example, and Israel's bombing of Iraqi nuclear facilities in the 1970s.
3. There's also, among at least some proponents of neo-isolationism, a concept that the people of the Middle East are not worth shedding American blood to help. This one doesn't need a lot of comment from me, so I will just say that people are people, they all bleed red, and to single out one group as unworthy of our help is distasteful in the extreme.

Bottom line, neo-isolationism quite simply won't work. It will not deliver what it promises, because the entire idea is screwy. Maybe that's why the wackos that follow Ron Paul like the idea.

Posted by C-C-G at 06:26 Comment (1)

Jesus is my Lord and my God, and Ron Paul, champion of all things freedom, including religion and the free exercise thereof, is my choice for president.

Clear thinking as usual

Paul plays chess; Bush/Giuliani play checkers

Wise advice from Ron, as usual

He's so consistent!

Get active NOW to put Ron in the general election.

What is begun in anger, ends in shame.