US Foreign Policy, Iraq, and Intervention
First things first: I was against the war in Iraq from the beginning. Agreed that Saddam Hussein was a horrible dictator and a violent threat to the numerous minorities he oppressed, but not agreed that he was any real threat to the USA. I take counsel from the Founding Fathers who warned against foreign entanglements and adventurism.
So, the Democrats have been working for a few years slowly, and now rapidly, towards a withdrawal from Iraq. It appears that President Bush is likely to go along with it. And yet, it really gives me little comfort.
I do not for a minute believe that the withdrawal is coming pursuant to a non-interventionist perspective. I would be delighted if I thought that was their course. But the Democrats I know have often ridiculed me as an isolationist over the years, and I’ve not really heard a one enunciate homage to the Founders. It’s hard to see it as anything but purely political, as a means to attacking a weak President.
Indeed, when Democrats were last in control of US foreign policy, we found ourselves in Bosnia and Somalia, where there was no real threat to the USA- just like Iraq.
It’s hard to know what to make of US foreign policy right now, and its direction. With a Republican dominated government, I knew what to expect, and to expect not to like it. Now I have no idea what to expect, but I still expect not to like it.
I used to have a handle on Democratic foreign policy. Democrats presided over the prosecution of World War 2, and the subsequent rebuilding/occupation of Japan and Germany. So stay-the-course was that effort that we still have troops in those countries. Again, I didn't agree with the invasion of Iraq, but once it happened, we eliminated the Iraqi leader and government. We destabilized the country and the region. So, we should leave? Once we made our mess, I came to believe it became our responsibility to fix our mess.
Those committed to an international, interventionist role had always cited "nation building" as their goal. What happened to that here with Iraq? Is the opportunity to attack a weak President so irresistable that nation building in conditions that warrant it due to our invasion efforts just go out the window?
These are interesting times, in the Confucion sense. If this whole episode doesn't reveal the value of a Libertarian foreign policy, I don't know what does.