"There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with
power to endanger the public liberty." - - - - John Adams

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Pawlenty attacks GOP "isolationists"

"We will bankrupt ourselves in the vain search for absolute security."

- - - General Dwight Eisenhower

“Our enemies in the war on terror . . .  respond to strength.  Sometimes strength means military intervention." 
- - -  Tim Pawlenty

By Gary

In a strong attack on his rivals in the 2012 Republican presidential field, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty criticized the growing isolationist sentiments being expressed by some in the GOP ranks.  In this attack Pawlenty is in the bi-partisan American mainstream.  There is little difference between the two American political parties on war. 

“America already has one political party devoted to decline, retrenchment and withdrawal. It does not need a second one,”  Pawlenty said.

Governor Pawlenty, in a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, said some Republicans are pivoting away from the party’s legacy of “strength” in the foreign policy arena, while trying to “outbid the Democrats in appealing to isolationist sentiments.”

“This is no time for uncertain leadership in either party. The stakes are simply too high, and the opportunity is simply too great,” he said.  “History repeatedly warns us that, in the long run, weakness in foreign policy costs us and our children much more than we’ll save in a budget line item,”  Pawlenty said.

“Our enemies in the war on terror, just like our opponents in the Cold War, respect and respond to strength,” Mr. Pawlenty said. “Sometimes strength means military intervention. Sometimes it means diplomatic pressure. It always means moral clarity in word and deed.”

“That is the legacy of Republican foreign policy at its best — and the banner our next Republican president must carry around the world,” he said.

Shocking News:  Wars weaken nations

The modern GOP has become the party of war.  Republicans eagerly support the bombing and / or invading Libya, Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.  The Republicans want to wage wars around the world, but they refuse to pay for them.  Instead of raising taxes to pay for the wars, Republicans want us to borrow money from China or Brazil or have the Federal Reserve run the print presses.  Those policies leave a weakened not a stronger America.

BRITISH EMPIRE:  Back to back wars bankrupted and
imploded the empire to where it vanished almost overnight.

What Republicans do not understand is that in general wars do not strengthen a nation but in fact weaken a nation making it vulnerable to an outside enemy or internal revolution.  World War II did not strengthen the United States.  We only looked stronger in comparison because WWII had reduced all the other important nations to rubble and near starvation.

Some examples:

RUSSIAN EMPIRE:   Czarist Russia was bankrupted, gutted and starving because of World War I.  The result was the Communist Revolution, mass slaughter and former Russian provinces such as Finland and Latvia becoming independent nations.  If Russia had remained neutral in the war there would have been no Lenin or Trotsky.

GERMAN EMPIRE:   The great Empire of the Hollenzollerns was up ended by World War I.  The overseas colonies were lost, the monarchy was overthrown in a revolution, there was hyperinflation of the currency, economic depression and and rise of the Nazi Party.

BRITISH EMPIRE:   The combination of two world wars bankrupted and brought down the greatest empire since ancient times. 

FRENCH EMPIRE:   Stretching from South America to Africa to Asia this great empire was also massively weakened and brought down by two world wars.

SOVIET EMPIRE:   The massive military spending of the Cold War combined with the endless war in Afghanistan caused the fall of the Soviet empire.  The Communist Party was overthrown, the Warsaw Pact nations escaped the control of Moscow and many of the Soviet provinces became independent nations.

BYZANTINE EMPIRE:  The most successful of all Westnern nations lasted for
over 1,100 years from 330 to 1453.  They faced far worse enemies than America
has ever had to deal with.

A Byzantine foreign policy for America

The United States is totally bankrupt.  There is no more money nor will there be any for years to come.  But politicians like Obama and his supporters still want to keep fighting expensive wars.  Modern Republican politicians try to out do Obama and are still beating the war drum.

I know this is a radical thought, but how about just leaving other nations alone?  The assorted countries of the world managed to exist for the last 10,000 years without the United States sending in troops to help them "solve" their problem of the moment.  Let's bring our brave troops home to defend our wide open borders against an invasion of drug lords, illegals and terrorists who simple walk into the United States at will.

My area of historical study is the most successful nation in the history of the Western world, the Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire. 

The Byzantines were not afraid of war.  For 1,100 years war is all they knew having to deal with endless invasions of Persians. Germanic tribes, Slavs, Arabs or Turks.  Being the surviving half of the Roman Empire they also had the most powerful army and navy in the world.  They used their military many, many times over the centuries. 

But they Byzantines did everything in their power to avoid or minimize any possible wars.  Their foreign policy was dedicated to buying off possible enemies or buying allies to help avoid wars.  There are two main reason for this.
  1. Wars are hugely expensive causing a drain of the resources of the state that could be used elsewhere.
  2. In war you cannot guarantee the outcome.  Combat can go against you making matters worse or cause internal unrest.
The foreign policy of Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan followed the basic Byzantine model.  Both Presidents built a powerful military, but did their best to avoid major combat, build alliances and build a strong American economy through peace.  Both Eisenhower and Reagan knew that the real power of America was the power of our free economy.  With money you can buy friends and avoid war.

Peace through strength.  The American political Elite need to re-think their ideas about war.

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