In the immediate future, I do not think the United States will be intervening abroad on the ground — not in the Middle East or, for that matter, many places in other parts of the world. The reason is not just a new Republican isolationism, or the strange but growing alliance between left-wing pacifists and right-wing libertarians.
The growing desire for non-interventionism (not “isolationism” as neocons like to call it) is not strange at all. As Ron Paul has said many times, liberty brings people together. So while Hanson finds the idea of left & right coalescing on foreign policy as “strange,” we here at The Ron Paul Institute are cultivating that very dynamic. Take a look at our Advisory & Academic boards and you’ll see that we do not care about the typical left/right paradigm. The goal is a foreign policy of peace.
Some of the new reluctance to intervene abroad is due to disillusionment with Iraq and Afghanistan, at least in the sense that the means — a terrible cost of American blood and treasure — do not seem yet to be justified by the ends of the current Maliki and Karzai governments.
“Disillusionment” is quite the understatement. Americans were flat out lied to about the entire disaster. Whether it be about the non-existent WMD’s in Iraq, how quick and easy the war would be, or the bogus cost projections. When Iraq was being sold to the American public, the cost was said to be $40 billion. Well, they were about $950 billion off!
Endemic ingratitude also seems to matter to the public. Most Americans don’t feel that either Iraqis or Afghans appreciated us very much for ridding them of Saddam Hussein or the Taliban.
Who is surprised by this? John McCain lied to the American public by saying the U.S. would be seen as liberators. Instead, the U.S. destroyed Iraq and made it into a haven for Al Qaeda (who were not there before the U.S. invaded).
Should the Iraqis send back Thank You cards to the U.S. government for destroying their country?
We are broke and owe $17 trillion in long-term debt, which makes it harder, psychologically, to borrow the money to intervene in Syria. The lack of money, like mental exhaustion and ingratitude, is an additional catalyst for inaction.
Ron Paul has said for years, that America has a choice between stopping the insane militarism voluntarily, or we can wait for the much more painful financial crisis that stops every empire in its tracks. Sadly, the neocons always push for the latter, believing that they have cracked the code in abolishing economic law.
...the removal of tyrants so far has not led to much social, economic, or political improvement, much less an upswing in pro-American sentiment.
It is not the business of America to interfere in the internal affairs of other nations. The U.S. removes one tyrant and replaces it with another. The new tyrant becomes “our guy”. Yet the whole thing rots to the core because it creates terrible animosity and hatred from the people who have to suffer under “our guy”. Hence the never-ending revolts against “our guys” in the Middle East.
That reluctance is not necessarily because we are broke, tired, isolationist, or indifferent to moral concerns, although we are becoming all of that. Rather, Americans are not sure that we have the security interests we once had in the Middle East and elsewhere, and our elites do not have the wisdom to explain how our projected aims, methodologies, and desired results will improve life for the supposed beneficiaries of limited U.S. intercessions.
Actually, Americans are hurting economically. If the economy were stronger, perhaps the neocons could squeeze in another war without much resistance. But military empires are extremely expensive, and the resources have to come from somewhere.
The trillions that are wasted on foreign adventures are trillions that could have been used for productivity and advancement. The empire has bled the U.S. economy dry, and the situation is compounded by never-ending regulations on the private sector domestically.
The elites need not explain a thing. The results are in, and the average American is starting to see the situation much clearer than before. The Ron Paul Institute is here to help finish the job.