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Friday, July 1, 2011

Chicken Hawks Tim Pawlenty and Lindsey Graham fret over Republican "isolationism"

Mike Shaner

Warmongers and Chicken Hawks alike are growing restless over what they perceive to be a growing faction of “isolationists” infiltrating the grand old party.

First it was John McCain (R-AZ) speaking on ABC’s This Week,

There’s always been an isolation strain — isolation strain in the Republican Party, the Pat Buchanan wing of our party. But now it seems to have moved more center stage, so to speak,

 In making his case for continued intervention in Libya he warned of the dangers such “isolationist” policies hold:

“I do want to send a message, and that is that we cannot move into an isolationist party. We cannot repeat the lessons of the 1930s, when the United States of America stood by while bad things happened in the world. We are the lead nation in the world, and America matters, and we must lead. But sometimes that leadership entails sacrifice, sadly,” he said.

Next it was the old reliable Chicken Hawk Lindsey Graham (R-SC) who flatly said that peace is bad politics and those who question intervention in Libya, “should just shut up.” Presumably for the good of NATO?

The president’s done a lousy job of communicating and managing our involvement in Libya, but I will be no part of an effort to defund Libya or to try to cut off our efforts to bring Gaddafi down, If we fail against Gaddafi, that’s the end of NATO.

Finally, according to an article in Politico,  former Minnesota Governor and obscure 2012 Presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty joined the fold:

I don’t like the drift of the Republican Party toward what appears to be a retreat or a move more towards isolationism.

Using the term isolationism in this way, is charmingly disingenuous. It does, however, provide a more striking impact than the more accurate term of non-interventionism. After all, one can easily develop disdain for an isolationist but it is much harder to strike similar emotions for one who merely chooses not to meddle in the affairs of other nations.

McCain who has never met a war he didn’t like, uses the deceptively twisted logic that “isolationism” somehow facilitated the rise of Hitler’s Germany when in fact the opposite is true.  if the U.S. had never intervened in WWI it is most likely WWII would have never occurred. Hitler rose to power through various means, none of which was non-intervention. As Phil Duffy wrote in his 2008 article Did Isolationism Cause World War II:

No serious historian has been willing to make such a simplistic and senseless case in public. One of the most comprehensive histories of the Nazi era was written by William L. Shirer, a journalist assigned to Germany during the period when the Nazis came to power. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich covers 1,143 pages, the first 276 of which describe the multiple forces and events that led to the rise of Hitler. American isolationism is not once mentioned in that section of the book.

The truth is McCain, who once infamously sang “bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran,” on the Senate floor, is a shill for the military industrial complex. As the philosophy of liberty and non aggression long espoused by Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) begin to resonate with the masses, people like McCain will shout to the high-heavens in one last attempt to save the old guard. In the eyes of people like McCain and Graham war is good for business. If people understand that a strong national defense begins at home, if they awaken to the idea that peace brings prosperity, war mongering politicians would be forced into extinction.

Graham’s argument that peace is bad politics simply doesn’t pass the laugh test. Poll after poll shows that Americans have grown war weary. Support for bringing the troops home is at an all time high. People have grown to understand that foreign meddling is immoral, harmful to the economy, makes us less safe, and is not compatible with a free society.

One can hardly blame Tim Pawlenty for trying to separate himself from the pack while gaining name recognition. His attack on “isolationism” was really an attack on former Massachusetts Governor and fellow 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney. The better strategy would have been to question the authenticity of Romney’s sudden desire to end the wars. Mitt may be sincere in his desire to end the war but one must consider that public opinion has more to do with that than a sudden moral awakening.

Ron Paul is the only candidate from either party who has a consistent track record of non aggression. The neoconservatives in the Republican party have long attempted to paint him with the false colors of isolationism, but as his message becomes more popular, they are going to require a broader brush.

As the election draws closer and Paul’s message gains momentum, we will likely here the howls of “isolationism” from every corner. If things reach critical mass it is possible that we may rumble the facade of our two party system and reach bipartisan agreement on the dangers of “isolationism.” After all, Democrats are just as happy with the welfare/warfare state as the Republicans. The last thing they want is some kooky old Dr. shaking up their cozy little system.

One must ask which is the more isolationist point of view: The one of Ron Paul which says we should participate in honest friendship and free trade with all nations equally or the one of McCain, Graham, and Pawlenty which says we should pay them off or blow them up?

Related articles:

Who Will Watch The Watchmen?

Simply voting out Obama is not the solution

President Obama Confused about the role of Congress



A Tale of Two Elections: Historic or Unimportant

Also visit the Ron Paul Page

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