Patrick at the Pagan Temple left this comment to my post on Ron Paul’s ass-clowness.
I have a lot of fun tweaking the Paul supporters or “Paul pod-people” but like Patrick I agree with most of his economic policies. It is his libertarian views on foreign affairs that I cannot respect.“Actually, I agree in principle with Paul's foreign policy as much as I do his fiscal, economic beliefs. But where I do part company with him, in the strongest possible terms, is his naive views of Israel, the Middle East and Muslims in general, and Iran in particular. Those things betray a simplicity and even an ideological blindness that renders him unfit for office.”
Paul's "naive views" are his foreign policy. What libertarians fail to realize is that George Washington’s “no entangling alliances” doctrine was a pragmatic calculation based on the infant Republic’s weakness compared to the great European powers – not an expression of an ideal.
The ideal embraced by all the founders (including men as different as Hamilton and Jefferson) was an America that would be at least the equal of any of the European powers in matters military, economic and political; an America that could act anywhere on the globe to protect its interests. This is why we went to war in North Africa against the Barbary Pirates to protect our sea lines of communication. This is why WWII was the right thing to do and why the long Cold War against communism was the right thing (including all the proxy wars like Korea and Vietnam and El Salvador and Nicaragua).
Even the idea that the Founders didn’t want America to have an “empire” as the term is currently defined by the left doesn’t hold water. The War of 1812 was as much about a US desire to capture Canada and bring it into the Union as it was about keeping our sailors from being impressed by the Royal Navy.
US support of Texas’ war of independence and the Californian Bear Flag Rebellion both had territorial aggrandizement at their heart. Can anyone but the most insane left-wing multiculturalist look at the way that the average Mexican lives and not think that the West Coast and Southwest are better off as part of the USA?
Our support for Cuba’s independence from Spain was begun by people who wanted to see Cuba become a state in the Union. That effort was defeated by “anti-imperialists” in the legislature, to the extreme detriment of the Cuban people.
Both the United States and the world are better off with an active and involved US than without it. Just as the British Empire did enormous good in its day (India is vastly better off for having been a British colony) The US has done in its and hopefully our day is long from over.
The current war against Islam is just the latest war against an existential threat to enlightened "classical liberal" culture. From Christendom's first war against an expansionist Islamic empire to England's war against the fanatical Roman Catholic Spanish Empire to the United Kingdom's war against Napoleon's fanatical atheist French empire to the modern wars against fascism, Nazism and Marxism free people cannot remain free by hiding behind the illusion of secure borders (like the French hiding behind the Maginot Line) and practicing appeasement abroad.
During the Second World War Switzerland embodied the libertarian ideal of maintaining a strong national defense but avoiding entangling foreign alliances while trading freely with all. In fact they made enormous profits by trading with both the Axis and Allied powers while showing no moral aversion to taking payment from the Germans in gold extracted from the teeth of Jewish Holocaust victims.
What would the world look like today if the United States and the British Commonwealth had taken the same attitude?
What will the world look by the middle of the 21st century if we take that attitude toward the Islamic world today?
Why can't Ron Paul and other libertarians see that?