“It’s not a Ronald Reagan type of idea to ride on our white horse around the world trying to save it militarily. Ronald Reagan won the cold war by bankrupting the Soviet Union. No planes flew. No tanks rolled. No armies marched.”–Richard Viguerie
The quote above is from conservative activist Richard Viguerie. He is one of the fathers of today’s conservative movement- or what’s left of it. The quote makes a very important point.
This writer supported the war in Iraq based on the assumption that Saddam was acquiring weapons of mass destruction and would provide them to those who wanted to harm Americans. The idea of building a Democracy in Iraq was never an idea that appealed to me; there is nothing conservative about it. Providing food, clothing, and education to those in foreign countries is what Sen. Barry Goldwater called “international welfarism.” It sounds too much like Democrat Woodrow Wilson’s vow to “make the world safe for democracy.” It was that idea that led us into World War I, and it was a failed idea. As proof of that failure, we have WWII.
The conservative punditry is beginning to admit failure in Iraq, but their thinking is wrong-headed. They are suggesting that the war is failing because of the way President Bush has handled it. That is not the reason.The war is failing because conservatives did something that, in days of old, they swore they would never do. That is, they have taken it upon themselves to become the world’s policeman, and to expand welfare not just at home, but every piss-poor foreign country on earth. This is President Bush’s goal- his recent declarations in Guatemala proved this, where he all but stated that amnesty for illegal aliens was his goal.
The new conservatism must put America first, aim at reducing the size of government, and scrap the idea of playing mother hen to the rest of the world. Prior to WWII, the conservatives were people like Charles Lindberg, and they were “isolationists.” Isolationism and non-intervention is, and was, the essence of a conservative foreign policy.
Now what might argue that had we gotten involved in WWII sooner, perhaps fewer European lives would have been lost in Hitler’s holocaust. From a humanistic standpoint that is possible, but from a strategic standpoint we entered the war at the best possible time.
Japan, by attacking first, put a serious dent in its resources. Moving the Japanese Navy from Japan, to Pearl Harbor, and back again cost money and fuel, which that country was already facing shortages of. Hitler’s armies had been weakened by long and bloody wars with Russia and wars in other parts of Europe. For years America watched as the other countries wore each other down, then moved in to claim victory only after we were attacked by the Japanese.
Am I saying we should wait to be attacked? No, I am not. There is a such thing as intelligence, and it failed us in the months and years before 09/11. Blame Bush, blame Clinton, or whoever, but the bottom line is that terror prevention is an intelligence matter. It also has to do with severely curtailing entry into this country from non-western countries. And we must get control of our borders.
These are the real things to consider if we are to prevent another 09/11.