I can’t go to the non-interventionist position shared by the Ron Paul advocates at Saturday’s caucus. Just can’t do it. I can’t really fathom full blown isolationism either, but at least with those blinders on we wouldn’t be profiting from a situation that we won’t enter into politically or militarily. But really I can’t see how anyone could go for either philosophy. Maybe it’s really only philosophy to the Paulians? When faced with a situation would they really be the priest or the Levite and pass by on the other side, or would they abandon their “philosophy” of non-interventionism and adopt the role of the Samaritan?
How was it, in pre WWI America, for new immigrants to our nation hearing about death and destruction in Europe, a home they only recently left? Thinking of distant friends and family suffering not only war, but the first wide spread use of chemicals such as mustard gas. How did they feel as business went on as usual, but their new country, our country, refused military assistance to Europe? Non-interventionism probably didn’t seem like a very right policy then. Thankfully, enough Americans had the compassion and sense to force the non-interventionists into helping their fellow man.
And just a decade or so later, how did non-interventionist Americans choke down doing business as usual with Japan? By supplying them through the 30’s, we were effectively enabling imperial Japan to brutally conquer China and much of the South Pacific. And in a different way the non-interventionist Americans stood by, but still did business with, Europe as they were overrun by Nazi Germany. Who knows how many lives would have been saved if we had simply quit supplying Japan earlier or intervened militarily in Europe a few years sooner? Thankfully FDR wouldn’t stand forever with either of these situations and America intervened. Many Americans died, but unknown countless lives must have been saved and I for one admire FDR’s interventionist attitude.
Sure the world we live in is messy, but no one is served, nor saved, by Americans pulling blankets over their heads hoping the monsters will simply disappear. They haven’t and they won’t. In his presidential campaign, Barack Obama is calling for change. For the sake of the world, let’s pray the change he is calling for isn’t to abandon our current foreign policy in favor of sadistic non-interventionism. Haven’t we seen enough suffering at the hand of that flawed policy? Non-interventionism doesn’t work and I can’t go there.