Monday, January 02, 2012
Papa's Doc's foreign policyBen Adler at The Nation addresses Three Myths About Ron Paul 01/02/2012, #2 of which is his segregationist brand of libertarianism and #3 of which is his foreign policy: "Just because Ron Paul opposes imperialism and unnecessary invasions of foreign countries doesn’t mean he has a liberal or progressive bone in his body. Paul is a nationalist and isolationist, staunchly opposed to multilateral organizations."
He links to this piece by Michael Cohen, The World According to Ron Paul Foreign Policy 12/23/2011, which looks at Papa Doc's foreign policy in more detail.
I've been concerned pretty much since the Iraq War started or thereabouts over the way in which neo-Confederate and Old Right isolationist sources like Antiwar.com - which I've quoted numerous times, though normally with a disclaimer about the source - were establishing a presence among war critics for their brand of far-right ideology. Papa Doc's popularity suggests that it's a siren song that some left-leaning critics of US interventionist foreign policy find it hard not to be attracted to.
The problem, however, is that there is far more to Paul's view than just his opposition to U.S. military adventurism. Paul also believes that the United States should depart from all international organizations and global alliances. This includes not just NATO, but also the United Nations and the World Health Organization (he introduced legislation to this effect as recently as this March). He stridently opposes NAFTA, all free trade agreements, and even U.S. membership in the WTO on the grounds that free trade should be free of government interference, global rule-making, or apparently dispute mechanisms. He is opposed to amnesty for illegal immigrants and believes that securing America's borders should be the "top national security priority."What some of Papa Doc's left-leaning sympathetic commentators seem to miss is that Papa Doc's rabid nationalism, xenophobia and paranoid conspiracy-mongering are integral parts of his foreign-policy thinking. His antiwar positions don't exist on some parallel track. They are part of a hardcore Old Right isolationist strand of thinking that constitutes an exceptionally ugly tradition. Neither Adler nor Cohen call out climate change as a particular concern. But Papa Doc is also dead set against any kind of international agreements to reduce greenhouse gases. And, for that matter, against any and all domestic government regulations that would control pollution of any kind. Because that would violate the liberty of rich old white guys like the Koch brothers to poison the air, water and soil as they like.
Tags: isolationism, old right, ron paul
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No subject for immortal verse
That we who lived by honest dreams
Defend the bad against the worse."
-- Cecil Day-Lewis from Where Are The War Poets?
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