Friday, September 11, 2009

America's History of Interventionism

I came across a thought-provoking article entitled "The Causes, Aftermath and Lessons of 9/11", written by Anthony Gregory and published at the Campaign For Liberty website on the 8'th anniversary of 9-11. Within the article, Mr. Gregory summarizes the history of the United States' interventionist foreign policy from 1953 up to now, and how it relates to the terrorist attacks perpetuated against the United States on Tuesday, September 11, 2001.

One blurb within the article discussed what occurred during the May 15 South Carolina GOP debate, where Rudolph Giuliani almost single-handedly put Ron Paul on the map. At the time, I was fairly politically apathetic. However, that night, watching the debate out of sheer boredom, something clicked within me. I didn't realize it at the time, but I eventually came to understand that I was watching something said by a politician that I had never heard said anywhere on mainstream television following 9-11. A few weeks later, I remember seeing Ron Paul being interviewed by Bill Maher on Maher's HBO show. Maher called Paul his "new hero" that night. Maher also commented to Paul that "if America was a smarter country, wouldn't you be leading in the polls?". He then made the comment that "You've just never heard this logic coming from someone who's actually going to run this country" after Paul talked with him about the CIA and Blowback (starting at the 4:40 mark of this video, "A New Hope").

I remember thinking "A Republican (?!?) is now Bill Maher's new hero? Wow!". From there, I became very interested in Ron Paul, the person, and the ideas he was presenting to the American public. I know he's not everyone's cup of tea, but I think almost everybody, love him or hate him (and it's usually one or the other), can appreciate that there is something unique about Paul that doesn't seem to be shared by many politicans in this country.

Even if one doesn't agree with the conclusions reached by Mr. Gregory in his article, I hope that one can recognize and understand that there are unintended consequences for our actions. Again, I have no intention of excusing the actions of the perpetrators of the 9-11 attacks. David Letterman probably said it best when he said the following on September 17'th, 2001:

“The reason we were attacked, the reason these people are dead, these people are missing and dead … They weren't doing anything wrong, they were living their lives, they were going to work, they were traveling, they were doing what they normally do. Uh, as I understand it—and my understanding of this is vague, at best—another smaller group of people stole some airplanes and crashed them into buildings. And we're told that they were zealots fueled by religious fervor, religious fervor. And if you live to be a thousand years old, will that make any sense to you? Will that make any goddamned sense?”

However, I sincerely believe that the confrontation between Ron Paul and Rudy Giuliani on May 15, 2007 at the GOP Debate in South Carolina will be remembered as one of the most pivotal and historical moments in U.S. political history decades from now. I am hopeful that more folks on both the "left" and the "right" will begin debating whether the continued need exists for our interventionist foreign policies, which never really change from one administration to the next.