Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Imposing Freedom

Ben Shapiro says:

But now, America faces a crossroads. Since the death of the Soviet Union, we are unquestionably the world's only superpower, the world's remaining empire. Acquiring an empire requires a different mindset than maintaining and expanding one. Empires either decline or they grow. If America is to survive and flourish, Americans must realize that empire isn't a choice: It's a duty.

Excuse me? It's now the duty of America to conquer the rest of the world?

I don't think anyone could accuse me of not being a patriot. But I am not a blind patriot. I don't love my country because I was born here, I love it for the ideals of liberty it once represented. I strive to educate people about those ideals and the meaning of freedom.

It is clear that we are less free here in America than we used to be and our freedoms will be further abrogated in the years ahead. I do not support the political expansion of America in to the rest of the world because that is not the proper role of a nation that embraces liberty.

The people of oppressed nations that desire liberty will, if they love liberty enough, rise up against their government and demand their liberty. Such revolution is almost always paid for with blood; so be it.

We cannot and should not tromp around the world trying to impose freedom on other nations. The Iraqi people were oppressed by Sadaam Hussein; of that there is no doubt. But I question what they really wanted. Did they want freedom or just freedom from Hussein? If they really wanted freedom, where is the evidence of previous attempts at revolution by the masses? Is it democracy they wanted? Perhaps they really wanted a Representative Repbulic, but I doubt it.

While I agree that it is sometimes necessary to go to war to protect this country, we shouldn't be going to war on behalf of the people of another nation. Freedom must be earned by those that would maintain it.

Let's go back in history a bit to the American Revolution. Let's say that France, in it's hatred of England, decided to send it's military over here to the Colonies, kick out the English and hand us our government on a silver platter. They planned and oversaw elections and stuck around for a while to supress the uprisings of those colonists still loyal to The Crown. How long do you think this nation would have lasted under those circumstances? I contend it would have been less than 100 years, probably far less. Why? Because you can't just hand freedom over to a group of people that did not earn it.

Sure, the French helped us. In fact, they handed us a decisive victory at Yorktown but they did not fight our war for us. They helped a nation that was already resolved to throw off it's chains.

Let's go to Iraq. What are we doing there? Are we simply a helping a nation that has resolved to gain it's freedom? No. We have gone over there and insisted that they have their freedom. We planned and executed their election. We are fighting their insurgents. We are training their military. They do not have freedom. For all intents and purposes, they are a colony of the United States and they exist at the pleasure of the current administration. They don't have freedom in Iraq; only a shadow of it without form or substance.

I might have supported the war in Iraq if the Iraqis were rising up against their oppressor and sought our assistance. But we cannot march in to another nation, slap a Constitution down on the table and tell them that that this is how they must now live. We cannot, and should not determine the course of another nation who is not a direct threat to us. The overthrow of Hussein might have been necessary for our own protection but we have gone beyond the pale and conquered a nation that had neither the resolve nor the resources to be a threat to our borders.

It is not the duty of free nations to impose their freedom on other nations but only to encourage people to stand against their masters and free themselves.