Demand a non-interventionist foreign policy in 2008, demand Ron Paul

Alex Potter

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Alex PotterIf you want out of Iraq, look to Bill Richardson and Ron Paul. If you want a foreign policy of non-interventionism, don’t even think about voting for anyone else in 2008.

What many Americans fail to realize is that the Iraq war is the symptom, not the cause, of our broken foreign policy. The decision to invade and remain in Iraq is the product of a foreign policy that values intervention in other countries to promote U.S. economic and political interests. Iraq is simply the latest episode in the saga of American interventionism abroad.

Bill Richardson is the only Democratic candidate who would begin troop withdrawal from Iraq as soon as he became president. To be honest, though, it doesn’t matter because Bill Richardson cannot compete against the machine that is the Clinton campaign or the rock-star popularity of Obama among young Democrats. Demand a non-interventionist foreign policy in 2008, demand Ron Paul

Then there is Ron Paul, the only anti-war Republican. Not only will he get out of Iraq as fast as Bill Richardson, but he will get out of Europe, South Korea, Japan and many of the other 135 countries (there are only 192 in existence) that the U.S. has an active military presence in. This would save the U.S. a total of about one trillion dollars, more than enough to start solving social security, national debt, tax reform and immigration.

Ron Paul is the only candidate I have seen actually acknowledge that our current situation regarding Islamic extremism is at least partially caused by blow-back from past intervention in Middle Eastern countries. He is the only candidate telling the truth about the consequences of American foreign policy and thus the only one demonstrating the moral commitment to shaping that policy positively.

Whether installing the Shah, supplying Iraq with weapons to fight Iran, supplying and training the Mujaheddin, sending troops to Lebanon, stationing thousands of troops in Saudi Arabia, imposing sanctions on Iraq or invading Iraq, our interventions in the Middle East are shocking and the consequences have been catastrophic.

What Ron Paul offers is a genuine policy of non-interventionism, a return to an era of U.S. foreign policy that heeds Thomas Jefferson’s advice to have “peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations: entangling alliances with none.” Ron Paul is the only candidate who addresses not only the symptom of our policy, namely the quagmire in Iraq, but the disease of interventionism itself.

Clinton supported the war and then when she ran for President and changed her mind. She supported troop withdrawal…then troop reduction…then troop caps. Clinton’s record on Iraq is atrocious, but the main point isn’t that she is a hypocrite; it is that she is an absolute military interventionist.

Just look at her posturing against Iran. Clinton just supported an antagonizing bill that labeled Iran’s revolutionary guard, essentially their politicized army, a terrorist organization. This vote comes at a time when such petty escalations could lead to war.

Obama’s stance on Iraq is admittedly more consistent, since he has opposed the war from the beginning. However, his position on military interventionism is generally equally atrocious. He has said that he would launch military attacks inside Pakistan if Musharaff did not control the Taliban and al-Qaeda in their hinterlands.

This threat comes at a time when the stability of Pakistan’s central government is in danger. The collapse of Pakistan’s military dictatorship could easily result in religious extremists gaining more power, not less, and military intervention that would destabilize Pakistan’s regime is completely contrary to our interests there. So Obama’s solution to extremism is to spread destabilizing war across greater swaths of the Middle East and Central Asia…brilliant.

I’m not going to even talk about the Republican candidates, besides Ron Paul, because they are all unabashedly for continuing the failed policy of trying to shape the Middle East to our whims, whether it is in Iran, Iraq, Israel or Saudi Arabia. Vote for any of those candidates if you want decades of military presence in Iraq at the cost of trillions of dollars, thousands more lives, more anti-American sentiment that leads to extremism and possibly an even wider regional war.

Don’t trust big-government Democrats a minute when they advocate a policy of a limited foreign policy and don’t trust so-called limited government Republicans when they want to finance military deployment all over the world. Americans need to realize is that there is consistency and sincerity in saying that small government means small government at home and abroad. The only candidate with momentum that has that sincerity is Ron Paul.

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