Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Noninterventionism Is Not Isolationism: The US Government Should Stop Arming Ukraine

Posted by M. C. on May 7, 2022

In his interview with Dave Smith, Colonel MacGregor yearns for “the kind of country that we were a hundred years ago, which in most cases, was interested in intervening to end conflicts, not with military power, but to offer its services as an objective partner, as someone who could bring two sides together and avoid a larger more destructive conflict“ Does this sound like isolationism and lack of compassion for our fellow man?

Daniel Martin

Libertarians, liberty-wing Republicans, and other opponents of nondefensive wars are popularly misconceived as having an “every man for himself” approach to both economics and foreign policy. Of course, this is patently false in both cases, but this piece will focus on clarifying the latter.

Local Libertarian activist Roy Minet, who has also written about the former, touched on the popular myth of isolationism in his 2014 LNP article: “Apparently, they call anyone who doesn’t support their various military interventions around the globe an isolationist.” I made this same point in my 2017 piece about how the isolationist label helped kill Ron Paul’s 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns. This conflation of noninterventionism with “isolationism” continues to squelch and distort the message of antiwar voices … which is particularly relevant given the current events in Ukraine.

The Libertarian National Committee recently sent out a mailer titled “No War with Russia.” It warns of the danger of entangling alliances and lays out a brief history of Russia and the US’s precarious relationship and the role the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has played in it. The prescription is noninterventionism because “when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”

A recent article on further explains how the state, along with its media allies, exhibits a pattern of concocting crises to perpetuate the power of this hammer: “What defines our present condition is how the moral panics are used to rally a civilian army that revels in the demise of the nonconforming opposition…. The Russia-Ukraine War is an easy lightning rod that the government and established centers of power in society can use to demonize Americans who hold the wrong view.”

This “wrong view” is often merely a more nuanced and contextualized view of the situation than what is found in mainstream legacy media. “The answer for why Americans pine for more war is probably complicated, but it’s clear that they generally hold simplistic views of the situation over there.”

Perhaps it is people’s resignation to the idea that the history and context of the conflict are too complicated to grasp that leads them to accept the simplistic narrative they are fed. Consequently, popular virtue signaling seems to be centered around criticism of Vladimir Putin and conceding nothing to him (even if this comes at the expense of Ukrainians themselves). But noninterventionism takes the sensible position that Putin is not our leader and that thus Americans can’t hold him accountable for bad behavior. Conversely, if we at least acknowledge the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s role in provoking this conflict, we can work toward holding our own leaders accountable and press them to create a more diplomacy-friendly atmosphere.

See the rest here

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