Ron Paul is frequently accused of having an “isolationist” foreign policy. The media and the other republican candidates giddily overuse that word (perhaps because it has 5 syllables and they think it makes them sound erudite)…but in the immortal words of Inigo Montoya (The Princess Bride),
“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
Ron Paul’s foreign policy is one of non-interventionism, not isolationism.Isolationism means that a country cuts off diplomatic ties, closes its borders,and invokes high tariffs. That is not what Ron Paul is advocating at all.
Non-interventionism simply means we mind our own business. It means closing hundreds of foreign military bases. If the prospect of closing these bases is held as being “isolationist” then apparently Canada, China, and India are all “isolationist” as they lack foreign military bases. Is it really a threat to national security to close our bases in Germany, bases that are a relic of a war that ended 67 years ago and that exist in a country that poses no threat to us? What is the point? Are we afraid that if we close those bases suddenly Russia will invade Germany? Give me a break. Closing bases doesn’t mean we forego operational readiness. Water covers 70% of the planet, so a strong ocean presence will ensure that we are capable of responding to any threat.
Our foreign policy in the Middle East is a tragic comedy. It is the consequence of unpredictable outcomes that results from operating under the delusion that we are in control. For example, in 1953 the US openly overthrew (operation Ajax) the elected prime minster (Mosaddegh)of Iran, which allowed the Shah to assume power. These actions fomented anti-American sentiment, which culminated in blowback in 1978 with the Iranian revolution and hostage crisis. Iraq, under Saddam Hussein, then opportunistically invaded Iran in 1980 owing to the disarray caused by the nascent revolution in Iran. We didn’t like Iran anymore so we backed our ally Iraq and supplied Hussein with weapons. Russia invaded Afghanistan in 1980. We didn’t like Russia so we supplied the Mujahedeen, led in part by Osama bin Laden, with weapons.Then Iraq invaded Kuwait using the weapons we supplied them with during their war with Iran. That invasion led to US military bases on Saudi Arabian soil.bin Laden despised the bases so he became our enemy. His attacks during the1990s climaxed on September 11, 2001. 9/11 was the culmination of blowback from our foreign policy for the prior 50 years.
Simply recounting these events does not mean that we“deserved” the attacks or that they were “justified”. It merely explains how our interventionist actions got us from Point A to Point B. If I keep poking my brother in the eye until he hits me upside the head with a baseball bat I certainly do not deserve such an extreme reaction, however I’m not totally blameless and innocent. Actions have consequences and they often are not the ones you expect. If non-interventionism had been US policy then the Iran hostage crisis would not have occurred and Iraq would not have invaded Iran or Kuwait. So, there would have been no US-Iraq wars and no US military bases in Saudi Arabia. Without those bases bin Laden would have taken no interest in us.
Imagine if China openly interfered in our elections and installed a puppet communist regime. Imagine then if China established a military base in the US ? Do you not think we Americans would resent this greatly?Of course we would, so why should we expect any different when we do the same to other countries? The path to peace is to mind our own business, maintain a deterring military force, and promote free trade to all countries (sanctions are an act of war). The “selfish” motives of capitalism will ensure peace. Why?Invading and killing your customers is bad for business.