Sunday, August 29, 2010

Non-Interventionists ARE Pro National Defense and Do Support The Troops

By Daryl Luna, Editor at:
*In Defense of the Constitution*


Can you be opposed to our current wars as well as the influence of the military-industrial complex and still be pro-troops and strong on national defense? Of course, you can! But you wouldn't know it, listening to many of the talking heads who claim to carry the mantel of conservatism but are really just neocons or neocon-influenced.

Opposition to preventable, unconstitutional war is nothing new to libertarians and conservatives who made up the Old Right. In the past, adherence to a strict non-interventionist foreign policy was a distinguishing mark of the Old Right, and any self-respecting libertarian/conservative was quick to be weary of war and what Murray Rothbard labeled "the warfare state."

Moreover, war was only to be fought according to a strict set of principles. Just War Theory conditions, constitutional parameters, and true defensive needs had to be met in order for those past champions of human freedom to endorse the United States taking military action.

Needless to say, much has changed in recent decades. Neoconservative influence and a general lack of consistently applied principles have led so-called libertarians and conservatives to abandon their non-interventionist heritage and endorse unconstitutional and unnecessary wars.

To make things worse, those who hold to traditional principles as small government advocates are called unpatriotic, anti-military, and anti-strong national defense by many who claim to be on the side of liberty. This deception has gone on for far too long, and it is time to set the record straight.

In no way is it unpatriotic to believe that your country is great. In fact, it is so great that it should not lower itself to a level that neglects the seriousness of war, the preciousness of human life, and the morality and justice of its actions. My opposition to hawkish behavior and unconstitutional warfare stems not from a lack of patriotism, but rather, from an abundance of it.

Likewise, a belief in non-interventionist foreign policy in no way makes one anti-military. I have friends and family currently serving in the military. In fact, my uncle is serving in Iraq as we speak. I support them wholeheartedly and pray for their safety.

In no way am I anti-military. I respect our men and women in uniform, and I believe their service is both vital and honorable. Because of this care and respect I have for our military, I believe that we should never be hasty to send our troops into harm's way.

How does wanting to keep the military men and women from sacrificing their lives unnecessarily make one anti-military? Only a neoconservative would say something so illogical! Moreover, in no way does non-interventionism run counter to a strong national defense. In fact, it is the only foreign policy position that can achieve this goal.

By refusing to engage in war for the sake of war, a non-interventionist foreign policy provides for better troop morale, responsible defense spending, and a safeguard against overextending our military might. Rather than weakening our military by forcing it to become policemen of the world, non-interventionism seeks to keep the focus solely on national defense and our own interests. Moreover, in not creating enemies around the world by picking sides in international disputes, non-interventionism adds to our security and removes us from a host of enemy lists.

Lastly, we should note that opposition to the military-industrial complex's unchecked influence and the call for responsible defense spending does not run counter to a strong national defense. General Dwight D. Eisenhower first sounded the alarm against unwarranted influence by the military-industrial complex, and the great hero of WWII can hardly be called anti-military or anti-national defense.

Conservative organizations like The Heritage Foundation often equate a desire for a more responsible level of defense spending with a desire to strip America of its strength and safety. Nothing could be farther from the truth. At least for those constitutionalists who cry out against bloated defense budgets, the desire is to balance security with fiscal responsibility--something that can and must be done if we are to remain safe and free.

There are those out there who refuse war at all cost and in all cases; I am not one of them. I believe that a just war can exist and a constitutional war is permissible. There are also those against war who are also against the troops; I am not one of them, nor are most non-interventionists. Then there are admittedly those in the liberty movement who use reckless language when referring to issues involving the military and defense, but we must not allow this to mar the image of the movement as a whole.

I am proud of our military men and women, and I am ashamed of our leaders for putting so many of them in harm's way for unconstitutional and unjust reasons. But I love America and see the importance of a strong national defense, which I support fervently. I know however that a strong national defense is not achieved through our current reckless interventionist policies. Does this make me unpatriotic or anti-military? By no means!

As for me, I will continue to fight for a truly strong national defense and truly support all of our troops. To achieve this we must follow the advice of our nation's Founders and support "peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none."

Don't forget to visit Daryl at:
In Defense of the Constitution

4 comments:

Teresa said...

I wouldn't call people who believe in non-interventionistism unpatriotic but rather just having a differing opinion than myself. I do not understand, especially in this trying and extraordinary of times, how any person could believe in non-interventionism and would have us just wait like sitting ducks, have us not be proactive in catching the terrorists, instead of wholeheartedly going after the terrorists in the Middle East or wherever, have us wait for the next attack and playing defense, but I don't call people who believe in a non-interventionist military approach unpatriotic.

But, I would say it is somewhat befuddled or hard for me to understand how a person can be for our troops if the person doesn't back the operation that they are taking part in or trying to win.

Also, it isn't true that our country has been non-interventionist. Our country has been interventionist since after the time of the Monroe Doctrine. I have been meaning to show this in a post and will do so later in the week-after my Wed test.

Daryl said...

I can respect you willingness to not call non-interventionists unpatriotic, but I would like to clarify something.

Non-interventionists aren't for sitting around and doing nothing. We are merely against unnecessary and reckless action. We believe that those who present a true threat to our national defense should be dealt with--but not every terrorist or rouge nation fits into this category.

There are bad people everywhere. Should the US go into every country around the globe and fight terrorists and dictators? In light of the days news, should we invade Russia? Since much of the 9/11 planning went on in Germany, should we invade that country?

Non-interventionism is merely about putting our nation's defensive interests first. We believe in national defense, not nation building or policing the world.

Sadly, when we get involved in conflicts around the world there is always blow-back. Even our own 9/11 Commission noted that the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, were a reaction to our intervention in the middle east for the past few decades. This does not mean that the terrorists don't deserve retribution, but it should give us a time to think back on our foreign policy and its effects.

How I support the troops is this: I want them to not be put into danger without just cause. I think they deserve to have a goal to work toward, not an open-ended commitment. Sadly, they cannot win, because the US gov't has not defined victory. That is wrong--plain and simple.

I spent the week before last with a number of non-interventionist soldiers who support their comrades, but they do not support the wars. I am the same. I value the sacrifice of our men and women in the armed services. They are doing their duty, and they are brave in the face of adversity. What I can't support is the failure of the US gov't to support and protect our troops.

Lastly, I never said that our country has been non-interventionist at all times in the past. There have been times when we were, but recently we have been nothing but interventionist. There have been back and forth phases in levels of interventionism. The statement, "Our country has been interventionist since after the time of the Monroe Doctrine" is just too broad to be true. At times we were at other times we were not. For a recent example, what do you do with the period in between the great wars of the twentieth? After the disaster of WWI, we practiced non-interventionism, until Pearl Harbor.

Steve June said...

I don't know that you can say we practiced non-interventionism between WWI and WWII... i mean, we didn't get the military involved, but we provided money and supplies to the countries we liked, and put a stranglehold on the economies of the countries we didn't...

Daryl said...

That is a fair assessment.

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