Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Bush's interventionism

Pat Buchanan explains how President Bush's foreign policy is harmful to the United States:

President Bush is championing a policy of interventionism in the internal affairs of every nation on earth. But did we not learn from 9-11 that intervention is not a cure for terrorism, it is the cause of terrorism.

Clearly, the president does not understand this, or believe it. For, in his inaugural, he describes 9-11 as the day "when freedom came under attack." But Osama bin Laden did not dispatch his fanatics to ram planes into the World Trade Center because he hated our Bill of Rights. He did it because he hates our presence and our policies in the Middle East.

President Bush says we have no other choice than to end tyranny on earth because the "survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands." But this is ahistorical.

The world has almost always been a cesspool of despotisms, but America has always been free. We have retained our liberty by following the counsel of Washington and staying out of foreign wars that were not America's wars. It has been when we intervened in wars where our vital interests were not imperiled – crushing the Philippine insurrection, World War I, invading Iraq – that America has come to grief.

Occupying the Philippines led us to intervention in Asia, war with Japan and, soon after, wars to defend the South Korean and Indochinese remnants of the Japanese empire. Wilson's war gave us the Versailles peace treaty that tore a defeated Germany apart and imposed unpayable debts on her people, leading directly to Hitler.

The invasion of Iraq has reaped a harvest of hatred in the Arab world, cost us 10,000 dead and wounded and $200 billion, and created a new training ground and haven for terrorists to replace the one we cleaned out in Afghanistan.

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