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Zack Strong: Non-Interventionism and the Crisis in Ukraine

Independent American Party

MARCH 11, 2014 Posted by: KELLY GNEITING

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Senator Rand Paul appeared on the Glenn Beck radio program on March 11, 2014 to sound off on numerous issues. The senator is excellent on most matters, but increasingly takes the establishment viewpoint on others. Perhaps this is a result of his percolating plans to run for the presidency in 2016. This article is a needed reminder to Sen. Paul to avoid political posturing and to stick to the healthy principles of non-interventionism advocated so clearly by the American Founding Fathers. Though not perfect, Senator Paul is likely the most Liberty-minded representative in the Congress today and, at very least, cannot be characterized with the appellation of traitor that justly belongs to Sen. Lindsey Graham, Sen. John McCain, and others. However, as the undisputed standard bearer in the Congress for what remains of our Liberties, Sen. Paul needs to be kept faithful by his fellow Freedom-lovers. To this intent is this article written.

On the Glenn Beck program, Sen. Paul said the following concerning the current Ukraine situation: “We can’t allow, I think, in a civilized world, just countries to willy-nilly invade other countries and invade their sovereign territory. So yes, absolutely we should respond. Putin should be isolated from the civilized world for his actions” (link to full interview: http://www.glennbeck.com/2014/03/11/rand-paul-reacts-to-mitch-mcconnells-plan-to-crush-the-tea-party/ ). In a separate op-ed, the senator spoke of Russia’s “affront to the international community” and proposed economic sanctions, visa restrictions, and cooperation with European nations in opposing Russia both politically and economically (link: http://time.com/17648/sen-rand-paul-u-s-must-take-strong-action-against-putins-aggression/ ).

In both his op-ed and radio interview, Sen. Paul made it clear, thankfully, that there is no military option on the table. However, terminology like “international community” and “can’t allow” is disturbing. The United States is not part of an international community. Rather, we should not be. No nation can truly retain its sovereignty and be a working member of an international community. We should communicate with other nation and have peaceful relations, yes, but never enter into alliances, put one nation above another, or do anything that would impair our Freedom of action. Furthermore, Sen. Paul’s statement that we cannot “allow” Russia to pursue its own course implies that the United States, or the international community as the case may be, somehow has a right to dictate to other nations. This line of thinking is dangerous and should never be entertained by someone with aspirations to high office.

Another disturbing theme of the senator’s statements is that he is seemingly unaware that economic sanctions are, and have always been, considered acts of war and belligerency. Sanctions have often been the cause of wars and, indeed, American sanctions on Japan played no small part in the Japanese’s decision to attack Pearl Harbor in World War II. Senator Paul’s own father, former congressman Ron Paul, understands this important truth and recently published his warnings against meddling in Russo-Ukrainian affairs and against imposing sanctions (see his report here: http://original.antiwar.com/paul/2014/03/09/war-can-we-afford-ukraine/ ). All of us, including Sen. Paul, would do well to listen to the old sage’s advice.

Furthermore, it seems that Sen. Paul is forgetting the policy of non-interventionism that was espoused by our Founding Fathers and which served America so well for so many decades. Senator Paul is doing a near 180 from his respectable position of opposing interventionism in Iraq and elsewhere.

Let us here pose several questions. Is the situation in the Ukraine good? No. Do we wish that the Ukraine was free and independent? Absolutely. Is Russia the aggressor and originator of this current debacle? Yes. With the exception, perhaps, of those who mistakenly believe that the so-called Ukrainian coup was orchestrated by American money and assets (see political analyst Joel Skousen’s website www.worldaffairsbrief.com for a thorough debunking of that myth), we can all agree on the aforementioned points.

However, it must be asked, does the United States have a right to intervene in the Ukraine? No. We have the power to intervene, of course, but such a course of action would be unconscionable and unjust. Does the United States have a right to dictate anything to the world? No. And no other nation has an obligation to listen to us. Does the United States have the authority, moral or otherwise, to bully other nations into submission? No! We would not accept Russian or Chinese coercion and intervention in our affairs and therefore cannot expect other countries to bow to our will, no matter whether we are right or wrong. Simply stated, the United States has no inherent right to be involved anywhere in the world except in the United States and the surrounding regions of legitimate national interest.

Having lived in Russia for two years and having visited the beautiful city of Kiev twice, trust me when I say that my heart goes out to the peoples of that region of the world who have been so long oppressed by tyrannical regimes, foremost among them the Soviet regime which still runs the show despite propaganda to the contrary. This Ukrainian situation, as tragic as it is, is entirely unrelated to American interests, does not threaten the United States, and is by no means within our sphere of concern. We are intervening unnecessarily. Our constant interventionism is fanning the flames of world hatred against the us that Russia and China bank on using one day as a justification to launch a massive nuclear war against us – a war which I, Joel Skousen, Alex Jones, and others have warned about for many years, and which the Russians and Chinese are rapidly arming for.

Non-interventionism is seen by so many as a position of weakness or indifference to human suffering. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Neutrality is a position of strength that puts us above reproach, gives us the moral high ground in disputes, and allows us to conserve our strength and man power for domestic industrial, agricultural, or other pursuits. In advocating non-interventionism, our Founders envisioned a truly strong America, an America that would be an example of pace, justice, wisdom, and Freedom. They envisioned the United States becoming an asylum for all who wanted to escape the constant bickering, wars, and oppression which were then, as now, a permanent feature in the world.

Below are numerous statements about war, interventionism, and international disputes from our inspired Founders. They are illustrative of the high-minded and wise position taken by the generation that gave us our Independence, reared the first free government in modern times, and set us on a course to greatness. Read these quotations, compare the establishment’s line to them, and then ask yourself which side you come down on. All of us patriots must work to keep each other faithful – truly faithful – to the pure principles that made America the greatest nation in the history of the world. We must reach out to our representatives and demand that they toe the strict line of Liberty. We can start by internalizing the following principles and ensuring that the government cease and desist from its international meddling and focus on alleviating the burdens on individual Freedom it has created here at home:

“Our first and fundamental maxim should be, never to entangle ourselves in the broils of Europe.” – Thomas Jefferson to James Monroe, October 23, 1823

“The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible . . . Europe has a set of primary interests which to us have none; or a very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged in frequent controversies, the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns. Hence, therefore, it must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves by artificial ties in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics, or the ordinary combinations and collisions of her friendships or enmities.

“Our detached and distant situation invites and enables us to pursue a different course. If we remain one people under an efficient government. the period is not far off when we may defy material injury from external annoyance; when we may take such an attitude as will cause the neutrality we may at any time resolve upon to be scrupulously respected; when belligerent nations, under the impossibility of making acquisitions upon us, will not lightly hazard the giving us provocation; when we may choose peace or war, as our interest, guided by justice, shall counsel.

“Why forego the advantages of so peculiar a situation? Why quit our own to stand upon foreign ground? Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalship, interest, humor or caprice? It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world . . .” – George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796

“I have ever deemed it fundamental for the U.S. to never take active part in the quarrels of Europe. Their political interests are entirely distinct from ours. Their mutual jealousies, their balance of power, their complicated alliances, their forms and principles of government are all foreign to us. They are nations of eternal war. All their energies are expended in the destruction of the labor, property and lives of their people.” – Thomas Jefferson to James Monroe, June 11, 1823

“Not all the treasures of the world, so far as I believe, could have induced me to support an offensive war, for I think it murder.”
– Thomas Paine, The Crisis, No. 1, December 23, 1776

“A highwayman is as much a robber when he plunders in a gang as when single, and a nation that makes an unjust war is only a great gang.” – Benjamin Franklin to Benjamin Vaughan, March 14, 1785

“If there be one principle more deeply rooted than any other in the mind of every American it is that we should have nothing to do with conquest.” – Thomas Jefferson to William Short, July 28, 1791

“Great is the guilt of an unnecessary war.” – John Adams to Abigail Adams, May, 1794

“Determined as we are to avoid, if possible, wasting the energies of our people in war and destruction, we shall avoid implicating ourselves with the powers of Europe, even in support of principles which we mean to pursue.” – Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Paine, March 18, 1801

“Harmony, liberal intercourse with all Nations, are recommended by policy, humanity and interest. But even our Commercial policy should hold an equal and impartial hand: neither seeking nor granting exclusive favors or preferences . . .” – George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796

” [The United States] has, in the lapse of nearly half a century, without a single exception, respected the inde-pendence of other nations, while asserting and maintaining her own. She has abstained from interference in the concerns of others, even when the conflict has been for principles to which she clings, as to the last vital drop that visits the heart. She has seen that probably for centuries to come, all the contests of that Aceldama, the European World, will be contests between inveterate power, and emerging right. Wherever the standard of freedom and independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will recommend the general cause, by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example. She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself, beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom. The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force. The frontlet upon her brows would no longer beam with the ineffable splendor of freedom and independence; but in its stead would soon be substituted an imperial diadem, flashing in false and tarnished lustre the murky radiance of dominion and power. She might become the dictatress of the world: she would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit . . .

“[America’s] glory is not dominion, but liberty. Her march is the march of mind. She has a spear and a shield; but the motto upon her shield is Freedom, Independence, Peace. This has been her declaration: this has been, as far as her necessary intercourse with the rest of mankind would permit, her practice.” – John Quincy Adams, Independence Day address to the House of Representatives, July 4, 1821

“Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow-citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government. But that jealousy to be useful must be impartial; else it becomes the instrument of the very influence to be avoided, instead of a defense against it. Excessive partiality for one foreign nation and excessive dislike of another cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other. Real patriots who may resist the intrigues of the favorite are liable to become suspected and odious, while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interests.” – George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796

“To cherish and maintain the rights and liberties of our citizens and to ward from them the burdens, the miseries and the crimes of war by a just and friendly conduct with all nations [are] among the most obvious and important duties of those to whom the management of their public interests have been confided.” – Thomas Jefferson to John Thomas, November 18, 1807

“To cherish peace and friendly intercourse with all nations having correspondent dispositions; to maintain sincere neutrality toward belligerent nations; to prefer in all cases amicable discussion and reasonable accommodation of differences to a decision of them by an appeal to arms; to exclude foreign intrigues and foreign partialities, so degrading to all countries and so baneful to free ones; to foster a spirit of independence too just to invade the rights of others, too proud to surrender our own, too liberal to indulge unworthy prejudices ourselves and too elevated not to look down upon them in others . . . as far as sentiments and intentions such as these can aid the fulfillment of my duty, they will be a resource which can not fail me.” – James Madison, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1809

“For us to attempt by war to reform all Europe and bring them back to principles of morality and a respect for the equal rights of nations would show us to be only maniacs of another character.” – Thomas Jefferson to William Wirt, May 3, 1811

May we always stay the true course that has taken our People to unsurpassed heights. And may we forever shun perverse philosophies that, while brimming with hope and utopian dreams, have proven the destruction of countless nations throughout history and which are contributing to America’s rapid decline. No matter how unpopular it is to say that our government is wrong, we must always utter the truth and never be ashamed. History will bless our memory if we unflinchingly stay the course outlined by our great forefathers that leads to peace, happiness, and personal Freedom. This is what matters; all else is illusion.

Zack Strong is the Issues Committee Coordinator for the national Independent American Party. 

About Post Author

Krzysztof Lesiak

I've been a contributor for IPR since January 2013. I consider myself to be a paleoconservative. I'm also the founder of American Third Party Report. Email me at clesiakcrusader@gmail.com.

6 Comments

  1. Cody Quirk Cody Quirk March 14, 2014

    Good to read articles from practical-minded constitutionalists that don’t behave like religious zealots 🙂

  2. Deran Deran March 14, 2014

    But didn’t I read the IAP promoting American internventionism via a reassertion of the “Monroe Doctrine”?

    https://independentpoliticalreport.com/2013/12/independent-american-party-how-rescinding-the-monroe-doctrine-endangers-the-united-states/

    Interestingly by the same author. So the IAP supports US interventionism in the nearabroad and not faraway? The IAP sees the America’s as the US’ imperial play ground, so leave eastern Europe to be the Russian’s imperial play ground?

  3. Cody Quirk Cody Quirk March 15, 2014

    Unlike the Monroe Doctrine, intervening in a far far away country that we don’t have any business or direct interests in is vain and not in conformity what the views of our founding fathers.

    BTW, not all Independent Americans think alike, yet non-interventionism doesn’t always equal isolationism.

  4. paulie paulie March 15, 2014

    Foreign interventionism is wrong no matter how near or far. It is true that non-interventionism does not equal isolationism; for example I am for truly free trade and truly open immigration, which is the opposite of the isolationist view on those issues.

  5. Mark Seidenberg Mark Seidenberg March 16, 2014

    Cody,

    The United States does have a long trade connection with Crimea going back to the 19th century. In Tsarist times American firms built the first grain elevators in the Russian Empire
    there. That trade was a two way street. Crimea Russian investment came to places like Florida and built a railroad there. That is why there are Russian Place Names in South Florida, e.g.,
    St. Petersburg, FL and Odessa, FL.

    paulie is correct free trade creates markets and jobs for both trading partners.

    Crimea went to Russia by the Convention of Bucharest in year 1812. Then in 1954 it was trans-
    ferred to the Ukraine Republic.

    No one asked the locals what they want as a government. Then. Now they get a Hobson’s
    Choice.

    Sincerely, Mark Seidenberg, Vice Chairman, American Independent Party of California.

  6. Mark Seidenberg Mark Seidenberg March 17, 2014

    Cody,

    The United States had a long trading relationship with the Ukraine proper in addition to that in
    the Crimea also. It even had an office of the United States Department of Agriculture at the
    Port of Nikolayev in the Ukraine before WW I. That port had a fine built grain elevator built
    and managed by an American Agribusiness firm before the Communist took control. It should
    be noted in Isaac M. Rubinow, RUSSIA’S WHEAT TRADE, (1908, Washington, DC) at page 10
    stated “On the market place in Nikolaiev, I had an opportunity to observe a fact which a short
    time ago would have been altogether incredible. The peasants on arrival at the market with
    their grain were asking: What is the price in America according to the latest telegram? And
    what still more surprising, they know how to convert cents per bushel into kopecks per pood.”

    I find this even more incredible what the United States Government Officials pre-World War
    I thought that the Ukraine peasants where backward and would publish that in United States
    Government Publication.

    I recall at the beginning of WWII that S. W. Boggs of the United States Department of State
    wrote that Lester Pearson of Canada was “Provlncial” and could not understand why the
    United States would concede “Michias Seal Island in Washington County, Maine for Canada
    to concede the Plover Group of Islands near Barrow, Alaska to the United States Government.

    Sincerely, Mark Seidenberg, Vice Chairman, American Indepandent Party of California.

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