Jacob G. Hornberger – “Not a Dime’s Worth of Difference on Foreign Policy”


Not a Dime’s Worth of Difference on Foreign Policy

Jacob G. Hornberger | June 3, 2008

An op-ed in yesterday’s conservative Wall Street Journal provides another example of how there isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between Republicans and Democrats, especially when it comes to foreign policy. The op-ed, entitled “Don’t Expect a Big Change in U.S. Foreign Policy” by Timothy J. Lynch and Robert S. Singh, argues that no matter who is elected president — McCain, Obama, or Clinton — foreign interventionism will continue to be the order of the day.

We all know where John McCain and Hillary Clinton stand, especially with respect to the war of aggression against Iraq, a type of war that was punished as a war crime at Nuremberg. McCain is proud of the fact that the U.S. government attacked, invaded, and occupied Iraq, a country whose people and government never attacked the United States.

Although Hillary Clinton now waffles over whether she favored the invasion of Iraq, she cannot deny that she, along with her cohorts in Congress, unconstitutionally delegated the congressional power to declare war on Iraq to President Bush. While she now says that she really didn’t expect President Bush to actually attack Iraq when she voted to give him the authority to attack Iraq, she’s being dishonest and disingenuous. The fact is that if the invasion and occupation had gone swimmingly, there is little doubt that Clinton would today be crowing about how she voted for such “success.”

Obama simply got lucky when he opposed the invasion of Iraq. After all, it’s not as though he has a principled opposition to empire and interventionism, as say Ron Paul does. Like other pro-empire, pro-intervention advocates in both the Republican and Democratic Parties, Obama picks and chooses which Third World countries are likely to succumb to such U.S. regime-change techniques as coups, assassinations, foreign aid, invasions, and occupations.

Obama may have suspected that the conquest of Iraq would not go well, which is the most likely reason that he opposed it. After all, does Obama ever talk in terms of moral principles? Does he ever say that it was wrong to attack a country that had never attacked the United States? That it’s wrong for the U.S. government to be committing the war crime of waging a war of aggression, especially after having participated in a legal proceeding that punished German officials for committing such as war crime? That it’s morally wrong for U.S. soldiers to be killing and maiming Iraqis in an occupation that is rooted in an illegal war of aggression? That the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq are illegal under our form of government given that President Bush never secured the constitutionally required congressional declaration of war?

I’ve never heard Obama say any of those things. All I’ve ever heard him say, in essence, is that the occupation and the surge aren’t working and that President Bush should have continued bombing people in Afghanistan (without the constitutionally required congressional declaration of war) in the hopes that one of those bombs landed on Osama bin Laden.

Fortunately, there’s a way out of all this imperialism, militarism, corruption, out-of-control federal spending, and violations of civil liberties. That solution is the libertarian paradigm of individual freedom, free markets, and a constitutional republic. Since the solution would require the dismantling of the U.S. government’s military empire and the abandonment of militarism and interventionism, unfortunately Americans cannot look to such Republicans and Democrats as McCain, Obama, and Clinton to embrace it.


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