Friday, 20 November 2015

Partnering With Putin

Written by  Fr. James Thornton

Vladimir Putin wants the United States and Russia to work together to defeat ISIS, as they did to defeat the Nazis. But as this survey of U.S. foreign policy shows, intervening in foreign affairs usually ends up bad for America. 


On September 28, 2015, President Vladimir Putin of Russia addressed the United Nations General Assembly in New York. His speech dealt primarily with the situation in Syria, where radical Islamists seek to overthrow the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. While Russia supports Assad and has committed its military to stop the advance of the hyper-radical Islamic State, the United States has for some time supported forces opposed to Assad, forces led by supposedly “moderate” Islamists. Unhappily, the demarcation line that separates the “moderates” from the radicals is so poorly defined that a good deal of the armaments and equipment supplied by the United States to the “moderates” has found its way into the hands of the radicals.

In attempting to form a type of alliance with United States, the Russian president spoke as follows: “On the basis of international law, we must join efforts to address the problems that all of us are facing and create a genuinely broad international coalition against terrorism. Similar to the anti-Hitler coalition, it could unite a broad range of forces that are resolutely resisting those who, just like the Nazis, sow evil and hatred of humankind. And, naturally, the Muslim countries are to play a key role in the coalition, even more so because the Islamic State does not only pose a direct threat to them, but also desecrates one of the greatest world religions by its bloody crimes.”

The reference by Putin to the Second World War alliance between the United States and the Soviet Union is significant, but perhaps not in the way that he intended. To grasp fully the implications of the sort of alliance touted by the Russian president, let us briefly review the evolution of American foreign policy.

A Policy of Peace

In his Farewell Address, President George Washington admonished his countrymen to avoid allowing the newly independent United States to be dragged into the ongoing wars and strife that characterized Europe. “The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations,” he said, “is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible. So far as we have already formed engagements, let them be fulfilled with perfect good faith. Here let us stop. Europe has a set of primary interests which to us have none; or a very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged in frequent controversies, the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns. Hence, therefore, it must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves by artificial ties in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics, or the ordinary combinations and collisions of her friendships or enmities. Our detached and distant situation invites and enables us to pursue a different course.” In other words, while friendship and trade with all countries is a good thing, the United States should maintain strict neutrality when it comes to Europe’s seemingly everlasting quarrels since they involve nothing that concerns this country.

President Thomas Jefferson spoke similarly when, in his 1801 inaugural address, he advocated “peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none.” That policy of friendship and trade with all, but alliances with none, remained the cornerstone of our country’s foreign policy throughout the 19th century. Indeed, during that time there were occasional conflicts with other nations. But these involved the immediate interests, or the defense of the sovereignty, of the United States. Let us review major events in America’s foreign policy during that period.

An example of a policy that involved America’s interests was the First Barbary War, which began in 1801. Pirates along the North African coast regularly attacked commercial vessels, including those of the United States, seizing them and either holding their captives for ransom or selling them into slavery. In exchange for tribute payments, the Pasha of Tripoli offered protection against these attacks. For some time, the United States paid the protection money, but when Tripoli demanded increased payments, the United States refused. A squadron of ships was sent to the Mediterranean and, when threatened by Tripolitanian pirates, engaged them in battle. A blockade was enforced against Tripoli, and both sea and land battles ensued. The climax came when a U.S.-led army crossed the desert from Alexandria to the city of Derna, which was captured. The Pasha, fearful of further encroachment by the U.S. forces, agreed to terms and signed a peace treaty that satisfied American concerns. A Second Barbary War was fought in 1815 when the Barbary States returned to their old practices. Two powerful American squadrons under Commodores William Bainbridge and Stephen Decatur entered the Mediterranean, attacking and capturing enemy ships. U.S. envoys demanded an end to piracy and threatened the North African rulers. The war ended with a new treaty that guaranteed American rights in the Mediterranean, granted compensation for American losses, and freed American and European captives.

Another example of war to uphold American interests was the War of 1812, declared by the United States against Britain on June 18, 1812. Hostilities were brought about when Britain stopped American ships on the high seas to seize American seamen and impress, or force, them to serve in the Royal Navy. That was a direct assault on American sovereignty and an attack on the ability of the United States to sail the oceans of the world for purposes of peaceful commerce and communication unmolested. To make matters worse, Britain tried to foment an uprising by Indians on the American frontier. After more than two years of war, during which part of Maine was occupied and the U.S. capital burned, negotiations brought peace. The Treaty of Ghent was signed in December 1814, in which American grievances were satisfactorily addressed.

To discourage further European imperial adventures in the Americas, in 1823, President James Monroe proclaimed what came to be known as the Monroe Doctrine, stating that any attempt by Europe to establish new colonies in the Western Hemisphere would be regarded as an act of aggression against the United States. The point of that declaration was to keep any European conflicts from spilling over into the Americas and, thereby, to avoid ensnaring the United States in Europe’s disputes.

In 1836, the Republic of Texas came into being, having achieved independence from Mexico. It was subsequently recognized as a sovereign country by the United States and several European countries. In October 1845, a substantial majority of the citizens of Texas voted in favor of union with the United States. That union became official in February 1846. Unfortunately, there arose a dispute between the United States and Mexico as to the precise location of the western borders of Texas.

Texas had always claimed all of the territory as far south as the Rio Grande, while Mexico insisted that the borders of Texas extended no further south than the Nueces River, a difference involving a huge swath of territory. Both the United States and Mexico sent in troops. In April 1846, a large Mexican force ambushed and overwhelmed a small American force of about 80 men, killing 11, wounding six, and capturing the remainder. President Polk stated that Mexico had invaded American territory and shed American blood, and asked Congress to declare war, which it did. As a result of the American victory in that war, the United States gained not only Texas, but also the territory that is now California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, most of Colorado, and a small portion of Wyoming. For that, the United States paid Mexico $15 million (the equivalent today of nearly $500 million), and the United States agreed to assume the debts owed by Mexico to American citizens, amounting to $3.25 million (the equivalent today of about $88.6 million). Later, in 1854, Mexico agreed to sell what today is southern Arizona and a small slice of land in southwest New Mexico to the United States for $10 million (the equivalent today of about $260 million). The land was needed so that a transcontinental railroad could be constructed along a southern route that avoided mountainous terrain.

From about the 1630s, it was the national policy of Japan that no foreigner could enter Japan and no Japanese could leave that country under penalty of death. Even in cases of shipwreck — more common then than now — survivors were usually executed for stepping foot on Japanese soil. There were exceptions to the isolation: A small amount of trade was allowed with the Dutch and the Chinese, but even here the contact between the Japanese and foreigners was restricted to a small island just off the coast of Nagasaki. Foreigners could not leave the island to enter Japan proper. In 1853, U.S. Admiral Matthew C. Perry sailed into Edo (now Tokyo) Bay and presented letters to the Japanese representatives demanding that Japan be opened to foreign shipping and trade. He returned in 1854 and signed a treaty opening Japan to American trade, establishing an American consulate, and assuring that shipwrecked sailors would no longer be killed but shown hospitality until they could return home.

The government of Abraham Lincoln was particularly vigorous in its attempts to keep the European powers from interfering in the War Between the States. Britain and France were both warned that formal recognition of the Confederacy by them would mean war with the United States. Whether the United States would actually have declared war as a result of recognition is another matter.

War between the United States and Britain nearly erupted as a result of what is known as the Trent Affair. On November 8, 1861, the USS San Jacinto stopped the British mail steamer HMS Trent as she was sailing toward the Caribbean island of St. Thomas (then a Danish possession). On board were two Confederate diplomats, James Mason and John Slidell, on their way to Europe for discussions with British and French authorities. The U.S. captain, Charles Wilkes, arrested the two diplomats, declaring them “contraband of war”; removed them to the San Jacinto; and transported them to Boston, where they were held as prisoners. While many people in the North were delighted with the seizure of the Confederates, a careful review of maritime law brought forth serious doubts about the legality of the action. In Britain, news of the seizure, seen as a flagrant insult to the British flag, brought an explosion of outrage. London demanded an apology and the immediate release of the Confederate diplomats. Meanwhile, British troops were dispatched to Canada in case war broke out. Though initially reluctant to back down, Lincoln ultimately acquiesced to the British demands, realizing that were Britain to declare war at the same time the war with the Confederacy was being fought, the United States would be hard pressed to prevail.

Less than two years after the end of America’s fratricidal war, the United States agreed to purchase the vast territory of Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million. Russia was concerned that in any future war with Britain or the United States, Alaska could not be defended, and so it was better, they thought, to sell it. The transfer ceremony took place in Sitka on October 18, 1867.

The Kingdom of Hawaii gained the recognition of the United States and the major European powers in the 1840s. In 1887, a constitutional monarchy was created, the constitution of which the king, Kalakaua, only reluctantly signed. When the king died in 1891, his sister, Liliʻuokalani, succeeded him as monarch. Not liking the restrictions on monarchical power in the 1887 constitution, the queen began the process of adopting a new constitution, which would restore some of the rights of the throne. In 1893, men opposed to any constitutional revision overthrew the queen, proclaiming a provisional government. A petition was sent to the United States asking that it annex Hawaii. However, President Grover Cleveland, disapproving of the manner in which the queen’s government was toppled, declined to annex the islands. An independent Republic of Hawaii was then formed and the idea of annexation by the United States was set aside until after the expiration of President Cleveland’s term of office. The islands were formally annexed as the Territory of Hawaii in July 1898 during the administration of William McKinley.

By the late 19th century, the United States had become a major power in the world. Evidence of that power was the Spanish-American War. Some historians regard that war as the beginning of American interventionism in the world’s affairs. Others dispute that, since no foreign alliances were involved, seeing it only as a part of American expansionism that had begun with the Louisiana Purchase.

In February 1895, Cubans began an insurrection against Spain’s control of the island. Over the next several years this struggle for independence became ever more harsh and bloody, so that by early January 1898 the American consul-general in Havana, Fitzhugh Lee, came to believe that American lives and property were in danger. He therefore asked the United States to send a battleship to Havana Harbor as a show of force, to discourage any threats to American citizens. The battleship Maine was dispatched, arriving January 25. On February 15 the Maine mysteriously exploded and sank, killing 266 American sailors. An American Board of Inquiry determined that the ship was likely sunk by a mine, while Spain’s investigatory commission determined that the explosion came from a malfunction inside the ship itself.

In 1974, Admiral Hyman Rickover led an investigation of the sinking, concluding that a fire in the coal bunker caused an explosion in an adjacent ammunition magazine. Another investigation, this one financed by National Geographic magazine, was inconclusive and only demonstrated that either theory — internal coal fire or external mine — was possible. Whatever the case, which we may never know with certainty, it is highly improbable that the Spanish government or military would have authorized the deliberate sinking of an American warship and thereby sparked a war in which a Spanish defeat was a near certainty. At the same time, it is abundantly evident that elements within the American political establishment of that time desired war and thus seized the occasion of the sinking to rouse public opinion in favor of war. “Remember the Maine” became their incendiary catchphrase.

On March 30, 1898 the United States demanded that Spain grant Cuba immediate independence, a demand that Spain refused the following day. Consequently, on April 11, President McKinley asked Congress to authorize the deployment of U.S. troops to Cuba to end the strife there. Congress passed a joint resolution demanding Spain’s immediate withdrawal from Cuba and authorizing McKinley to use whatever force necessary to gain Cuba’s independence. An ultimatum was sent to Spain, and the United States initiated a blockade of the island. That brought a declaration of war by Spain against the United States on April 23. On April 25, Congress declared war on Spain retroactive to April 21.

At the Battle of Manila Bay, May 1, 1898, the U.S. Asiatic Squadron, led by Commodore George Dewey, defeated and destroyed a Spanish squadron and seized Manila. Subsequently, 11,000 U.S. troops landed on the Philippines, which then came under American tutelage. The Spanish-controlled island of Guam was captured without bloodshed on June 20. Puerto Rico was attacked by sea beginning May 12, and by land June 25. Armed conflict continued on that island until the end of the war. Victory in Cuba was achieved by joint naval and ground action. The U.S. Navy first took Guantánamo Bay in early June, and then Santiago de Cuba in early July. Ground troops were landed in the far south, just east of Santiago de Cuba. Over the next several weeks the United States fought and won a fiercely contested series of battles. After its string of defeats, especially at sea, Spain sued for peace. On August 12, an armistice was signed, halting all hostilities, followed by a peace treaty on December 10. As a result, Spain ceded control of the Philippines, Guam, and Puerto Rico to the United States, and also relinquished control of Cuba, which became a U.S. protectorate. Thus America gained several overseas possessions that, among other things, vastly enhanced its naval strength.

That brings us to the end of the 19th century, a period that saw the United States rise from a comparatively weak nation into one of the great powers of the world. Throughout that period, the United States avoided any involvement in Europe’s rivalries, in accordance with the wise counsel of Presidents Washington and Jefferson. It did indeed expand across the North American continent, and eventually acquired several overseas possessions. The wisdom in the case of the latter has often been debated. Yet, whatever its disadvantages, its long-term effects did not have the catastrophic repercussions on the world and on our country as did our involvement in the wars and conflicts of the 20th century, as we shall now see.

World at War

On July 28, 1914, Europe began its descent into the bloodbath that came to be called the First World War. Triggered by the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary, heir to the throne of his country, the war involved Austria-Hungary, Serbia, Germany, Italy, France, Russia, Great Britain, Japan, and the Ottoman Empire. Upon the war’s outbreak, none of the countries involved imagined that it would be anything but a comparatively short war. Some boasted that it would all be over by Christmas. But that was not to be. Military technology had advanced considerably since the last major European conflict. Rapid-firing machine guns were ubiquitous, against which the individual soldier had no protection except to remain hidden in his trench. Millions were slaughtered, and the war soon developed into a protracted stalemate in which, on a daily basis, each side sacrificed thousands upon thousands of soldiers just for the sake of winning a few yards of ground.

Shortly after the war began, and especially after the invasion of Belgium by Germany, Britain’s propaganda factories launched into a frenzy of fabrications, the object of which was to provoke America into joining the war. It was alleged that German soldiers — thereafter referred to as “Huns” — were chopping off the hands and feet of Belgian children, roasting and eating Belgian babies, engaging in mass rapes of Belgian women, executing patriotic Belgian boy scouts, and so forth ad infinitum. It was claimed that Kaiser Wilhelm was intent on conquering the entire world, which, to people familiar with the military and other resources of Germany compared with that of the world she supposedly intended to conquer, was patently absurd. No story, it seems, was too lurid to publish. America was flooded with sensationalist pamphlets repeating these allegations, which were then picked up and spread by the press. Britain had also managed early in the war to cut the Atlantic cable linking Germany with the United States, thereby assuring that all war news reaching this country was filtered through Britain.

The sinking of the RMS Lusitania in May 1915 was also employed in propagandistic fashion by Britain to push the United States into the war. The ocean liner was portrayed by the British as an innocent victim of German barbarity and, indeed, 1,198 people, 128 of whom were Americans, perished with her. The British insisted that the ship carried no contraband, but in fact she carried large quantities of ammunition, explosives, and materials used to manufacture weapons. Only one torpedo struck the ship, yet that explosion caused a second larger explosion, so damaging the Lusitania that she sank in just 18 minutes, something only possible for a ship of that size if it were packed with explosives.

It is likely that the Wilson administration was surreptitiously supplying Britain with war materials in violation of our declaration of neutrality. At the same time, the British Admiralty was aware of the location of German U-boats around the British Isles, since it had broken the German naval code. It was thus aware of U-boats off the coast of Ireland, where the Lusitania would pass. The Lusitania had been ordered to sail slowly as she approached the Irish coast to rendezvous with a naval escort ship, which made the great liner an easy target. Strangely enough, the escort ship never showed up and the Lusitania, proceeding slowly as she awaited her escort, was left a veritable sitting duck.

These extremely suspicious circumstances were not reported by the press, and so American opinion was inflamed. One consequence of the sinking was that in September 1915, at American insistence, the German government temporarily suspended its policy of unrestricted submarine warfare. Yet, since the ending of that submarine warfare left Germany almost helpless in dealing with the British blockade of Germany, a blockade that was rapidly propelling the country to the brink of starvation, in February 1917 it was forced to resume such warfare against any and all ships entering what was defined by Germany as a war zone around the British Isles.

The final straw for Americans was the Zimmermann Telegram, in which the German Foreign Office offered Mexico an alliance if, and only if, the United States entered the war against Germany. In that case, Mexico would be expected to attack the United States and, were Germany and its allies victorious, was promised the return of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona, territories she had lost in the 1830s and ’40s. The whole idea was a major blunder by the German foreign office and, truth be told, ludicrous given the abysmal condition of Mexico’s military, which could never have been a serious threat to the United States. Nevertheless, the telegram was intercepted and decoded by the British and then given to the American ambassador to Britain, Walter Hines Page, who forwarded it to President Wilson. Wilson, in turn, released it to the press. Americans were stunned and infuriated. Wilson went to Congress asking for war against Germany, which Congress declared on April 6, 1917. Could American involvement in the war have been avoided? Had we honored Germany’s U-boat blockade of Britain as we did Britain’s blockade of Germany, there would have been no casus belli, there would have been nothing to provoke us into the war. But the Wilson administration, rather than remaining truly neutral as it had declared, continued secretly to provide material aid to Britain.

So it was that 121 years after Washington’s Farewell Address, in which Americans were admonished to stay out of Europe’s wars, the United States leaped headlong into a European war, losing 116,708 men killed or missing, and stepping onto a slippery slope the bottom of which has yet, almost a hundred years later, to be found. Faced with fresh American troops and strangled by the British blockage, by the end of 1918 Germany found it impossible to continue the struggle.

After the end of hostilities, a backlash developed in America against the idea of American involvement in the affairs of Europe. The peace created by the Treaty of Versailles solved none of Europe’s problems and created a host of new ones. The throwing together of peoples who had ancient grievances against one another into new, artificially created countries; the shifting of borders that left ethnic minorities under hostile governments; and the denial by the victors of the rights of the vanquished to be able to defend themselves established a Europe rife with bitter resentments. The U.S. Senate wisely rejected Wilson’s League of Nations, which would have compromised American sovereignty, and the Treaty of Versailles, which, in its vindictiveness, violated many of the ideals that Wilson had himself trumpeted so loudly. President Wilson had promised “a war to make the world safe for democracy,” but created a world in which dictatorships sprang up everywhere. He promised “a war to end all wars,” but set in motion forces that guaranteed a new and even more terrible war within a generation.

How catastrophic was American intervention in the First World War? Winston Churchill answered that question in an interview given to William Griffin, publisher of the New York Enquirer, in August 1936. (Churchill later denied making these comments, but in October 1939 Griffin insisted in sworn testimony before Congress that he had.) Churchill said, “America should have minded her own business and stayed out of the World War. If you hadn’t entered the war the Allies would have made peace with Germany in the Spring of 1917. Had we made peace then there would have been no collapse in Russia followed by Communism, no breakdown in Italy followed by Fascism, and Germany would not have signed the Versailles Treaty, which has enthroned Nazism in Germany. If America had stayed out of the war, all these ‘isms’ wouldn’t today be sweeping the continent of Europe and breaking down parliamentary government — and if England had made peace early in 1917, it would have saved over one million British, French, American, and other lives.”

When, during the 1920s, British prop­agandists admitted that they had lied about German soldiers eating Belgian babies, chopping off the hands and feet of children, raping helpless women, and all the rest, a deep revulsion swept America against any further involvement in Europe’s disputes.

On September 1, 1939, almost 20 years after the signing of the Versailles Treaty, a new war — a war of revenge — broke out in Europe. Once again Britain pulled out all of the stops to try to drag America into the war; but resistance to involvement was overwhelming. Polling showed no less than 79 percent and often as much as 95 percent of the American people wanted nothing to do with another foreign war. It was only after President Roosevelt succeeded in baiting Japan into attacking Pearl Harbor (see my review of President Herbert Hoover’s book, Freedom Betrayed, in The New American, March 5, 2012) that America was able to enter the war. And so, once again, America was thrust into a war she had not desired, this time costing the country more than 400,000 lives and more than $300 billion (more than $4 trillion in current dollars).

How Does America Benefit?

So let us now revisit President Putin’s address of September 28, 2015. He is, of course, correct that the alliance between the United States and the U.S.S.R. succeeded in defeating Hitler and his National Socialist ideology. However, what he does not mention is that that alliance also made Stalin and his communist ideology the only real victors in the war.

Britain and France, exhausted by the war, quickly lost their overseas empires and were no longer counted among the world’s great powers. The United States, gaining nothing materially from its victory, was forced to take on new burdens in assisting the recovery of Western Europe and Japan and in defending the Free World from a newly aggressive Soviet Union. In contrast, Stalin’s U.S.S.R. gained a huge new empire in Eastern Europe that encompassed East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Albania, and Poland — Poland, the very country whose seizure by Germany brought on the war in the first place, was given over the Soviets. In the Far East, the Soviets seized Manchuria (then a Japanese puppet state known as “Manchukuo”), Inner Mongolia, the whole of Sakhalin Island, the Kuril Islands, and the northern half of Korea. Manchuria and Inner Mongolia were then used as bases for the seizure of China by Mao Tse-tung’s Chinese Communists in 1949. In every one of these countries, or portions of countries, ruthless and brutal communization was the order of the day and tens of millions were murdered outright or worked to death in forced-labor gulags. Additionally, our country was made a member of the United Nations, an odious international organization that infringes on American sovereignty, that acts as a nest of subversion inside our own country, and that has been every bit as useless in preventing wars as was the League of Nations.

Far from making the world a better and more peaceful place in which to live, the alliance with Soviet Russia simply added enormously to the burdens of the American people and to the suffering of the people of the world. The struggle to contain communist imperialism in Korea and Vietnam cost another 100,000 American lives and hundreds of billions of dollars in American treasure. And the end consequences of these and other wars in which the United States has been involved since then have inevitably been new crises and new wars — “perpetual war for perpetual peace,” as historian Harry Elmer Barnes famously put it.

In recent years our country has entered into military actions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria. Once again, our activities have made ugly situations much uglier. Why, for instance, is it in our interests to overthrow President Assad of Syria? How did the United States benefit from the overthrow of Colonel Gadhafi of Libya? In what way were American interests served by overthrowing Saddam Hussein who, despite lies to the contrary, did not have weapons of mass destruction? Assad may not be, and Gadhafi and Saddam Hussein may not have been “democrats” but their authoritarianism notwithstanding, they are, or were, no threat to the United States, they maintained stability in their countries, and they kept the peace between the various religious groups living in their countries. Our encouragement of rebellion, our arming of rebels, and our participation in actions against them have brought unprecedented chaos to those regions of the world; have cost hundreds of thousands of lives; have made an extremely militant form of Islam a dangerous adversary that threatens, among other things, to wipe out Christianity in the countries involved; and have precipitated an ongoing refugee crisis that is overwhelming Europe.

So, we must pose these questions: If the United States were to partner with Russia as proposed by Putin, would interventionism suddenly become a good thing? Or would it be better for the United States to return to the policy advocated by Presidents Washington and Jefferson?  Could the United States cease being the “policeman of the world” and instead put the interests of its own people first, as was done for the most part in the 19th century? Certainly it is possible to return to our pre-interventionist policies, and certainly it would be better for the American people.

First, to protect our own country from any possible aggression, we must maintain a defensive posture second to none. Second, we must insist that the wealthy countries of Europe (for example, Britain, France, and Germany) and Asia (for example, Japan) undertake to defend themselves and their regions instead of relying on the United States as their protector. The combined defense budgets of the four countries just parenthetically noted come to slightly over $200 billion, while the United States spends $581 billion in its role as protector of the world. Third, we must put aside the notion that the United States is somehow obligated to spread “democracy” throughout the world. We must recognize, as we once did, that the concept of representative government  limited by a written constitution (which the liberals invariably term “democracy” though a government of law under a constitution is a republic) works well with some nations and with some cultures, and works poorly, or not at all, with others. Fourth, once disengagement is accomplished, the United States must resolve never again to try to be the policeman of the world. America’s national resources are not infinite and the cost in lives and treasure is ultimately ruinous. That applies as well to the notion of buying influence and friendship through foreign aid.

As the world’s policeman, we have simply generated anger and hostility from people who never asked us to interfere in the internal affairs of their countries. When we maintained the policy of friendship and trade with all, and entangling alliances with none, we were respected and admired by nearly all the world. The time has come to listen to the sage advice, and follow the ways, of our American forefathers. The time has come to close our ears permanently to the siren songs of internationalism and interventionism.

Photo of Vladimir Putin: AP Images

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