Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Why Not Privatize Foreign Policy?

By Richard Ebeling

 President Obama announced Saturday afternoon that he was delaying any military intervention in Syria until the United States Congress has come back into session following the summer recess, and can debate whether or not to vote authorization for military action as a response to the presumed use of chemical weapons against civilians by the Syrian government.
There has already emerged sharp and splintered dividing lines in America as to whether or not the U. S. should militarily intervene, and if it did what form that military action should take on and for what purpose. Some public opinion polls have suggested that around 50 percent of those asked said that U.S. should not intervene, whether or not the taboo use of chemical weapons has occurred in Syria.

Whatever the Congress might decide, and regardless of what the president chooses to do with or without Congressional approval, there will be no clear and unanimous agreement about the purpose, goal or form of U. S. intervention into the Syrian civil war. And there will, no doubt, remain a significant number of Americans who believe that it is none of the country’s business to meddle into the internal affairs of another nation, especially in such an uncertain setting as Syria today.

The Constitution of the United States is unambiguous that it is the duty and responsibility for the federal government to defend the country from any foreign attack or clear and immanent act of aggression by another nation. But especially in the post-World War II era, the presidents of the United States, sometimes with and sometimes without Congressional approval, have sent U. S. military personnel into harm’s way by intervening in the wars and civil wars of other countries. Tens of thousands of young Americans have lost their lives in these foreign adventures.

Most of these foreign military interventions have created and left divisive scars on the American people for years and decades. In the cases of the Vietnam and Iraq Wars this has most certainly been true.

Everyone of these foreign interventions has required the United States government to take sides in another country’s domestic conflict, making some Americans pay for U. S. participation in wars in other parts of the world that they either don’t understand or strongly disagree with. In the case of the Vietnam War, loved ones were forced to serve, fight, and sometimes die under the government compulsion of military conscription. These foreign adventures not only impose a money tax on America’s citizens, but a “blood tax” in lost or injured lives, as well.

Maybe it is time to stop the era of government foreign political and military intervention through the radical solution of a “privatization” of foreign policy. For the advocate of individual freedom the role of government in a free society is the protection of the citizenry’s life, liberty, and property from force and fraud. It is not the role of government to make over the society, regulate the affairs of the people, redistribute wealth, or compel people to live differently than they peacefully and honestly choose to do.

The same rule should apply in to the foreign relations of the United States with the rest of the world. Just as it is inconsistent in the free society for the government to “intervene” in the personal affairs and voluntary associations of the citizenry, it should likewise not be the business of the United States government to intervene in the domestic affairs of other nations.

But are there not injustices in the world? Do not “bad men” do bad things to the people of other countries? Yes. But just as in the free society concerns about the hardships and tragedies of one’s fellow citizens should be a matter of charity and voluntary community efforts to try to alleviate the misfortunes of those who might reasonably need help, it should be matters of personal conscience and choice to assist those in other lands who seem to need and deserve our support.

Read the rest here.

1 comment:

  1. Isn't that what Al-Qaeda is, a private organization?

    Aggression against someone else's property or land is still aggression against someone else's property or land. Whether it be by a state, a mob, an individual or a company.

    This is just more corporate fascism trying to be packaged as "libertarianism". It isn't!