Reaping What We Sow

2003-10-26

It's come to this: the army of the U.S. government is destroying crops and livelihoods in Iraq for the sake of -- what? Power? Control? Saving the Iraqi people from Saddam Hussein? Reading stories like this makes me ashamed to be an American.

America began as a people dedicated to peaceful relations with all nations. Now America is ruled by a government dedicated to permanent (and, increasingly, total) war.

Yes, I am a non-interventionist. Some brand this position as isolationist, but it is not that: I am all in favor of the ties of friendship, commerce, and cultural exchange. What I am decidedly and irrevocably opposed to is American intervention all over the planet. But shouldn't the American army free the oppressed Iraqis, the decimated North Koreans, the long-suffering Cubans? No. Not only is it wrong for the U.S. government to intervene in the affairs of such countries, it is even wrong for it to maintain a standing army in time of peace (where "peace" is defined as an absence of hostilities within the borders of the several states). (Indeed, it's even possible that the very notion of government-sponsored national defense is a myth.)

Abstaining from foreign intervention may seem overly harsh, even cruel. And in one sense it is, because it leaves the fate of Iraq in the hands of the Iraqi people (and similarly for all the other hellholes on this planet: North Korea, Cuba, Libya, Syria, Myanmar, Zimbabwe, and all the rest). But you know what? America is not the world's policeman, nor is it the world's social worker. I'm sorry if that upsets your view of the world. You'll have to get over it.


Peter Saint-Andre > Journal