The Spectacle Blog

Daniel Larison, Ron Paul and the Monroe Doctrine: Part II

By on 12.7.11 | 6:22PM

Amazingly, Daniel Larison still doesn't understand Ron Paul. Or the doctrine of "non-interventionism" that Larison seems to be advocating in Ron Paul Style.

Mr. Larison has responded to my post below on his dismissal of repeated interventionist policies by America's Founding Fathers. Larison's reply focuses on the Monroe Doctrine -- a decidedly interventionist doctrine -- by trying to use its language to disprove its very existence.

Let's remember this from Congressman Paul, who approvingly quoted ex-CIA analyst Michael Scheuer in his book The Revolution: A Manifesto.

Scheuer is cited for saying with reference to the 9/11 attacks that the attacks "In fact (have) everything to do with what we do." Paul goes on to say that when the U.S. meddles in the affairs of other nations it is in fact generating "blowback" -- and therefore, "actions cause reactions." Meaning -- if America doesn't interfere -- there is no blowback.

Larison submits language from the Monroe Doctrine that is flatly an outright violation of what might be called the Ron Paul Doctrine as expressed by both Paul and Scheuer.

For example, Larison cites this section from the Monroe Doctrine, the bold print Larison's:

But with the Governments who have declared their independence and maintain it, and whose independence we have, on great consideration and on just principles, acknowledged, we could not view any interposition for the purpose of oppressing them, or controlling in any other manner their destiny, by any European power in any other light than as the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition toward the United States.

Catch that language that Larison cites? In bold print, no less. As, amazingly, support for his case.

Here it is:

…we could not view any interposition for the purpose of oppressing them, or controlling in any other manner their destiny, by any European power in any other light than as the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition toward the United States.

This language from the Monroe Doctrine is an outright violation of the "Paul Doctrine." In the world of Ron Paul, who is the United States to be getting into the business of viewing anything in Latin America as a "manifestation of an unfriendly disposition toward the United States"? In fact, historically speaking, the phrase "Yanqui Go Home" is nothing more than vindication for the Ron Paul Doctrine that the James Monroe Doctrine could only produce "blowback." In this case: hatred for the U.S. and a drive to get the U.S. out of Latin America. Once one concedes that Latin America -- or any other piece of geography outside the physical borders of the United States -- somehow gives America the right to decide about whether the rulers of that geography are manifesting an "unfriendly disposition" to the United States -- one is violating the Ron Paul Doctrine.

That very phrase Larison quotes in the Monroe Doctrine -- "manifestation of an unfriendly disposition toward the United States" -- is nothing but pure Bush or Rumsfeld "neoconservative" language written in the 1820s. It is precisely the way George W. Bush looked at Iraq. It is the way Ronald Reagan looked at Grenada and Nicaragua. That Harry Truman looked at North Korea. And Franklin Roosevelt at Europe with Hitler and the Pacific with the Japanese.

One could go on and on here, but the short of it is that the deeper Mr. Larison plunges into the actual language of the Monroe Doctrine the more foolish Ron Paul's views and those of so-called "Paleoconservatives" look. James Monroe and his Secretary of State John Quincy Adams were effectively the Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld's of their day.

Again.

One can have a legitimate debate about "interventionism."

But to try and say the Founding Fathers were not interventionists is a fool's errand.

James Monroe's Doctrine -- based on the exact language provided by Daniel Larison - being exhibit A.

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