Freedom Folks

Friday, January 12, 2007

Pax Americana: Do We really Want An American Empire?

By James Kotthoff

Foreign policy is a complicated issue especially when we have a president with absolutely no foreign policy experience. U.S. foreign policy has changed dramatically in the last 30 years or so, and even more rapidly in the last 20 years. Once upon a time the U.S. conducted it’s foreign policy with the idea that all nations had the right of self determination and war was the course of last resort. These ideas have seen a drastic shift in the age of globalization. Where once upon a time our government only considered what was best for our nation, they now seem to have dreams of empire (even if it is a shadow one). The question is how is this in the best interests of our nation?

Until the latest Iraq war the U.S. had never instigated a conflict or even participated in one unless there was an over riding national interest. From the American Revolution through the first Gulf War our nation only acted if there was a serious threat to the union or we were attacked first.

The American Revolution was fought to create a nation, The Civil War fought to preserve the union. WW1 and WW2 this nation only entered after we were attacked. Even Korea and Vietnam were fought to slow the spread of communism. Even George H. W. Bush fought the Gulf war to defend our access to Kuwaiti oil. The list goes on and on, even the invasion of Grenada didn’t occur until American students were in danger. The U.S. has never had a policy of preemptive war until George W. Bush.

Don’t misunderstand me. The war in Afghanistan was the proper course and well within the historical policy of the U.S. We were attacked and the masterminds hid in Afghanistan with the approval of the Taliban government. The Iraq War is a different issue. We were not under serious threat by Sadaam and the Iraqi government. We had no over riding national concerns there. Even assuming that Iraq had WMDs it still goes against what this nation stood for to go to war there.

Regime change is not a good enough reason to go to war. Promoting democracy in a nation that has never know it is not a good reason to go to war. Once a upon a time the U.S. went to war to defend her people and to protect our vital interests. That has passed into history.

Look at this issue logically. Is there really any difference between the U.S. invading a nation to impose democracy upon it’s citizens then the China invading Tibet to impose communism upon it’s citizens? If we as a nation truly believe in the mandate of self determination does this only apply to governments we approve of? And what of our military who joined an honorable service with an oath to defend the constitution and the nation, not to impose our society on other nations.

Our nation is seen as a bully around the world. Why is this so? Simply because our government sees fit to act like a bully. Our government picks and chooses which regimes are bad and which are good. We call Iran an evil regime yet cozy up to Saudi Arabia. We point our finger at Syria for occupying Lebanon while ignoring China’s occupation of Tibet. The fact is we are not the world’s policeman and as a nation we should not want to be. Our government focuses on their ideal of a new world order or American empire while ignoring issue vital to the health and safety of the nation.

We spend billons of dollars and risk thousands of U.S. serviceman to defend the border between North and South Korea while we ignore the security of our own borders. We allow our corporations to outsource American jobs, while at the same time allowing those corporations that cannot outsource to import millions of illegal aliens to take the “jobs American’s won’t do” all in the name of profits. While our government enters into treaties, trade agreements and out right sells our infrastructure to foreign companies.

Once upon a time the concept of “America First” actually had meaning. Our forefathers shed their blood to build and preserve this nation. I seriously wonder what they would think of this nation now? I think that George Washington made his feelings clear in his farewell address when he admonished the nation to stay out of foreign wars and avoid permanent alliances and passionate attachments to nations not our own. The purpose of a government is to protect and serve it’s citizens first, foremost and always. Empire building or placing global concerns ahead of national concerns is not the purpose of government. All on has to do is read the preamble of our founding document to understand this.

“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

This is the framework on which our government was built. In even the most abstract interpretation it does not grant government the power to enter into treaties that oppose the general welfare of the people, yet we see it happening time and time again. From the Dubai Ports deal to the failure to enforce immigration law the welfare of the people is being harmed again and again. From NAFTA to CAFTA to granting China most favored nation status. These treaties and deals only benefit the wealthy business owners they do not promote the general welfare.

The truly sad things is that we the people have allowed this to occur. Instead of demanding that our government fulfill it’s responsibilities to the people we get bought off by entitlements and social giveaways. So that we spend our energy trying to make sure the other hyphenated American doesn’t get more then we get. I am not sure exactly who said it but “A House Divided Cannot Stand”. And we have allowed the powerful to make us into just that.

The only way to preserve the union is to become involved. Demand that your government fulfill it’s responsibly to the people. It is not easy and you may never life to see the results but as that glorious document says it is for ourselves and our posterity.

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