Wednesday, February 16, 2011

No Nation an Island

Why Ron Paul is Wrong on Foreign Policy
(c) 2011 by Tom King

The US estimates more than 375,000 illegal immigrants cross the southern border annually, 31% from countries other than Mexico. If a weapon of mass destruction can be made to weigh 150 pounds or less, how many could be hidden among those 375,000 refugees that flood the US every year. That's why we have to cripple the ability of terrorists to get those weapons in the first place by attacking our enemies where they live, and why we can't wait till they reach the border.

Ron Paul and his supporters call for us to abandon foreign military bases and adopt a non-interventionist foreign policy. The idea is the same one the left has put forward. If we would only leave everyone else alone, they wouldn't bother us because we are too hard to attack being so far away over so much ocean and too strongly defended.

A modern border is almost impossible to defend as though it were a wall. No defensive wall has ever been successfully defended without being eventually breached or flanked - not Hadrian's Wall, The Great Wall of China or The Maginot Line.

If you leave the enemy unmolested in his lair and allow him time and resources to bring destruction to our borders, it is unreasonable to suppose that a determined foe is not going to be able to get those weapons across the vast, almost entirely undefended borders of this country. A dozen nukes could seriously cripple the U.S. and make us vulnerable to opportunistic nations.

Not only that, but a non-interventionist policy will leave us in the day of 24 hour news, watching helplessly as our fellow man starve, be butchered, made homeless and brutalized by whatever latest power mad dictator/terrorist gets his hands on sufficient weapons and soldiers to overcome and exploit his neighbors.

It may not be fair that we have to support the Pax Americana that currently exists in the world and the peace is not perfectly kept because we do not have the resources to police the world. We must pick and choose our battles. We can't intervene everywhere, but make no mistake about it, it could be much worse if we weren't out there. Anybody who thinks that if America just went away, peace and love and unicorns would break out across the planet, is impossibly naive.

The reason we have 375,000 people risking their lives each year (and that estimate is 5 years old), is that they look across the border and see food and peace and opportunity. Allow dictators like Saddam Hussein to overrun their neighbors and consolidate power unmolested, you create a never-ending stream of refugees looking for a haven, followed by a growing crowd of megalomaniacs leading armies. Let one real lunatic get hold of a nuke or two and smuggle it into the US with the tide of humanity that flows across our border and they can instantly reduce our vaunted ability to defend ourselves.

Militarily, Fortress America is defendable for at most a generation. Beyond that we will find waves of global strife pounding away at our defenses till they crumble. We could even be drawn into another World War, more bloody and devastating than any we have ever faced.

Ron Paul paints a beautiful picture of a peaceful world that results from his non-interventionist strategy. Unfortunately, history doesn't support that picture. It is likely we would have stand by and watch helplessly, as the Old World revives the horrific practices it has known for millenia. I'm not sure we could stand it. Americans are not that calloused. We are the finest humanitarians on the planet. Any money Mr. Paul could save us by going isolationist (another word for non-interventionist), would soon be spent cleaning up the mess that would soon be made by the heirs of people like Idi Amin, Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden, Auguste Pinoche, Baby Doc Duvalier, Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Mao Tse Tung, Tojo, Ferdinand Marcos and their ilk. The difference will be that the new versions of these madmen won't be hemmed in by American “intervention.

Tell me where I'm wrong on this. Give me historical evidence that this is a fallacy. I've had people say, “History shows this is a fallacy.” and yet they can give no examples except maybe Switzerland.

Switzerland? Really? That's the best you can do in 7,000 years of history? One lonely anomaly.

How about looking at Poland? No territorial ambitions there. Peaceful people by all accounts. And yet through history, the Poles have been overrun and brutalized by their neighbors time and time and time again – simply because they looked weak and vulnerable and exploitable. Do we really want to look like we are afraid and in full retreat in the eyes of a world that has a history of conquering its neighbors every time it gets the chance?

Not me, Ron.

Not this little black duck...

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